Listening to my Body

by Carmel Reid, Somerset UK

My body has been speaking to me all my life. Sometimes I’ve listened, and when I haven’t it has had to shout louder. Occasionally, when I’ve ignored it completely, it’s brought me to a complete stop so I had no choice but to listen.

I recently did an exercise writing an A to Z of all the things I’ve had go wrong in my body and I was amazed to see just how much my body has been speaking with me all my life.  

I really have been rough with it, from roller skating as a child and forever bashing my knees, to smoking as a teenager and causing a possible stroke risk in my later years. I am forever getting bruises as I move quickly and bump into things, and cuts on my hands or broken nails from doing hard work without gloves.

Some things are obvious, and some things are more subtle. Some results are immediate and some take a little longer to manifest.

Putting on weight, for example, developing arthritis, a hyperactive thyroid and a serious heart condition took twenty years before I paid it any attention.

As I’ve started to listen to my body, I’ve learned to treat it more gently, making better choices about what to eat and how to be, and many of the symptoms have disappeared.

The weight has reduced considerably, the arthritis is less painful, the thyroid is back to normal, and my heart is beating strongly, but is still out of rhythm. Thanks to medical advice from my GP and the local cardiologist, I am on medication to reduce the risk of a clot that could lead to a stroke. I’ve seen how badly a stroke can affect people and I’d rather not have one, so this time I am truly listening; my body doesn’t have to shout at me any more.

I’ve come to appreciate that my body naturally knows how to be in harmony with itself, and that it’s truly the best source of information I have. I realise that all these symptoms are my body reflecting back to me how I am living, how all the daily choices I make about how to be, what to eat, when to rest etc., are truly affecting me.

I’m no longer propping myself up with caffeine, sugar and alcohol, and now I can feel how exhausted I am most of the time.

I eat well, I exercise, my work is pretty simple, so what’s going on?

It’s very subtle, but what’s tiring me is how I am choosing to be with other people in my day. I have been putting a lot of energy into looking for acknowledgement from them, trying to please, to get things ‘right’. I have been getting involved in their emotional issues rather than dealing with my own. When a child cries, or when an adult is hurt by something someone else has said, instead of staying detached and observing what’s going on, I have wanted to make it all better. As a child, I wanted to help my parents resolve their arguments, and there has been a part of me that always wanted to ‘fix the world’.

All the while I’ve been ignoring the me that is me.

Maybe if I listen more to my own heart, learn to trust how I am feeling, instead of looking outside all the time, my heart can begin to beat with a more regular rhythm… my own true rhythm?

It’s lovely – the more gentle I am with and in my body, the more present I am with ME first, the lovelier it feels and the more I can feel what my body is telling me.

Now it doesn’t have to shout so loud, the merest whisper will do.

I’m listening.

802 thoughts on “Listening to my Body

  1. Carmel, this is an inspiring account of the return to the innate wisdom that our body holds.
    “I’ve come to appreciate that my body naturally knows how to be in harmony with itself, and that it’s truly the best source of information I have”.

  2. Near where I live there is a traffic light that turns into red if your speed is 50 kmh or higher. It obliges you to go to a certain speed if you want to enjoy the green light. Otherwise, you get a red light and have to stop. The body is no different except that we choose not to see it as clearly.

  3. It is true that the body has to shout louder and louder to be heard. It will be great when the wisdom of the body is taught in schools when we are still connected to feeling and knowing, children really know when to stop eating or when they are poorly. As we get older, our patterns become more entrenched and we are less keen to make changes. BUT it is always possible.

  4. ‘When a child cries, or when an adult is hurt by something someone else has said, instead of staying detached and observing what’s going on, I have wanted to make it all better. As a child, I wanted to help my parents resolve their arguments, and there has been a part of me that always wanted to ‘fix the world’.
    All the while I’ve been ignoring the me that is me.’ So true Carmel we have been sucked into tolerating solution based resolutions which can never attend to the root cause or energetic imprint of a situation.

  5. Our body tells us so much about what we have taken on, where we are at, what beliefs we have, if we are in drive and pushing to get through life etc. What I’ve noticed is how by being too involved in what is going on for my boys and remembering what they need to do etc. is that my body has been holding stuff that is not even mine.

    1. This is so true, Aimee, we don’t realise how much we take on other people’s stuff or how exhausting it is. How much of what we think is ‘caring’ is interfering, not allowing others to take responsibility for their own health?

      1. Very true Carmel, and then we wonder why or even resent when some are dependent on us. We are the only ones that can heal ourselves and make responsible choices in our life, no one can do it for us.

    2. Thankyou Aimee and Carmel for the conversation here, it’s a great reminder that true responsibility brings a simplicity back to our relationships and interactions.

  6. Wanting to fix others first is a great distraction away from focusing on and dealing with our own stuff that we need to look at within ourselves.

  7. When I start to get agitated it’s a message to me that I have left my body and am not staying present with what I am doing. When I stay present, I am more able to listen and then respond to what my body needs. I’m ditching the auto pilot, but in doing so, am observing how much of what I do has been in this mode.

  8. It was good to read this as I can feel that I have deeper to go with this, I am still getting tired within my days and feeling very exhausted when I hop into bed. I can feel it is the small refinements that are needed to change and to really as you say ‘start to listen’ to what my body needs in each moment.

  9. “I’ve come to appreciate that my body naturally knows how to be in harmony with itself, and that it’s truly the best source of information I have”. Being in harmony is being present in our body and allows us to observe the world around us and it gives us a true answer instead of a solution.

  10. This is a great reflection Carmel of how we can always go deeper. The fact that you have started to look at the obvious ailments has helped bring up the more subtle things that are actually quiet foundational. Trying to ‘fix’ people can really consume us, and yet in that is a learning that we can choose to not get sucked into what is going on but observe it and respond.

  11. The gentleness with the body is such a crucial part of self care, but we really aren’t taught to be gentle with ourselves, instead we learn to push, to be tough, and we value being number one at any cost. I have found gentleness with my body has a really wonderful effect on my wellbeing and vitality, it’s something though I have had to work at because I have years of entrenched patterns doing the opposite.

  12. You are a living miracle Carmel, I have seen your before and after photos and it is amazing to see how much you have changed with the support of the Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.

  13. I am discovering a deeper level of listening to my body, because up until now I have felt many things but dismissed what I felt and I am now noticing more and more – not just the physical ailments, but how it feels in my body when somebody expresses with anger, or recently I felt the energy coming at me from a computer that someone else was looking at when they were watching something that was energetically harmful. Goodness knows what watching TV or playing computer games does to our youngsters – we are so unaware of this energetic bombardment on a daily basis. I am still eating to numb what I feel but the feelings are getting stronger the more I pay attention to them and honour them. My next step is learning to express what I feel – not in a judgemental way, but simply expressing Truth…Taking a deep (but gentle) breath…

  14. What I am recently finding more and more is any choice acted from a place of un-truth, in my case being good or pleasing or trying to fit a picture etc., and it doesn’t have to be anything physically taxing, but it is so detrimental to my body and it really tells me so.

  15. I find that my relationship with my body is actually the key to life, the way I treat myself affects everything – my moods, how I feel, my awareness, my thoughts, how my day goes – so much comes back to how I began my day and whether that was caring, respecting and listening to my body or not.

  16. Whatever I want to change in my life, some things that are affecting me, the key is always to stay or come back to my body and not get distracted by any thoughts coming from the outside, like ideals and beliefs. Truly listening to my body is deepening the level of care and nurturing to my body.

  17. Our body is an encyclopedia of all that we have lived and every choice we have made. The question to ask ourselves is – do we dare to pick up this mighty tome and leaf through its pages or do we glue them shut by virtue of our chosen ignorance?

    1. I have a whole book which page by page is slowly being unglued, some pages are easy others offer quite a bit of resistance, but unglued they will be.

  18. The more subtle things that are becoming apparent are things like: music overlaying videos on Facebook, or adverts that come on the radio, the way someone shouts and or swears at a friend or neighbour, someone speaking negatively about world affairs. When I hear these things I can feel an unpleasant sensation in my body. It is not yet precisely located but I can develop that. I am also learning to feel food – preferable before I eat it but certainly after.

    1. It is amazing when the body is attuned to love and we allow it to be felt and that all that is not of this same quality sticks out as the deviation it is, away from the truth we naturally are. We feel everything in detail when we are listening.

  19. Love that you are now listening, in a nutshell you have described what is wrong with most of us in humanity – we are not listening!

  20. I am listening as well Carmen. Listening is one, following up the signals is part 2. To treat my body as my best friend and listening and following all its signals is work in progress, but I deeply appreciate the steps I have taken.

  21. It is amazing how many second, third, fourth, fifth chances our body gives us and how much time it gives us to respond more harmoniously and supportive.

    1. Yes, there is no judgment coming from the body, no demand, it simply lets us know and it is we who often ignorantly ignore its signals. When we allow the space to re-connect to our body’s true intelligence it naturally starts to reharmonise without any fanfare. How can we not appreciate such wisdom?

  22. The more subtle feelings are now coming up for attention and I am learning to trust my body when there is a choice to be made about what to do. Moving to Australia was a whole body decision and very easy to follow, but there are more subtle signals I’d have dismissed in the past that I am learning to honour and express.

  23. Even if I did an “A to Z” it would never be enough as I have just looked at my left hand alone and counted at-least fifteen 15 things that I have seen and countless others that are energetically still active. While ever we live in the ignorance it is only a scratch and those famous words ‘toughen up and be a man’, which we all get as we are connected and have had many incarnations, then energy has an a way of distracting us and ‘ouch it has happened again’.
    These visible marking are showing me that when it comes to the detail in my life I can work on things from a point of connection and not disconnection. So I am taking note of this and am preparing to deepen my connection so that the momentum that has kept a level of disregard in place can shift.
    With the amount of injuries I have gotten, with at-least four 4, which is still only my left hand and they have happened in the last 6 months, so I will endeavor to update this comment to advise on my progress.

  24. “It’s lovely – the more gentle I am with and in my body, the more present I am with ME first, the lovelier it feels and the more I can feel what my body is telling me.” An awesome summation of the power of gentleness for self and the awareness and wisdom shared from the body. Our bodies are magic and it only takes us a moment to connect, listen and feel the endless possibilities to learn and explore so much more than we ever thought possible.

  25. We can pick up the loud or less loud signals , but no matter how loud they are, our body is constantly communicating with us – up or down. We need a different approach a deeper understanding of how our movements and choices effect our body and how we can be more in harmony within our everyday life. This is where I have found The Way of The Livingness very very supportive, and since than has become my everyday movement, as much as I am willing to walk my truth of what I feel in my body and observe around me. Key is that I need to take everything I have learned and observed and taken into deeper consideration – take it out and share it with others. Love and truth is never ever to be kept away from anyone once you know it.

  26. As we age our lists of not listening to our body grows from a shopping list to a full set of encyclopedia, they were the manual Google of the day. It has taken a lifetime to arrive where I am today but is not taking long to once again listen to what the body has always been telling me. And, you are right, a simple whisper is all that is required today.

    1. What if when we’re ill or unwell our body was the new google? And instead of searching on the internet we tuned into what was going on in our body?

  27. We can learn so much from our bodies, they are an endless resource when things go wrong as to what is actually going on. Imagine having the greatest resource of everything you need to know at your fingertips (literally) we have an endless resource to help us learn, develop and grow in life.

  28. Our bodies are amazing – I’m finding out how mine works with symbolism from Nature. Recently we had a spider visit our house which was OK but the dog caught it and killed it and I had to clear it up. I felt awful in my body and couldn’t touch it for a while. Spiders mean complication and what someone explained to me later was that the reaction in my body was me feeling the energetic poison of complication I could be introducing into my life.

  29. ‘the more gentle I am with and in my body, the more present I am with ME first, the lovelier it feels and the more I can feel what my body is telling me.Now it doesn’t have to shout so loud, the merest whisper will do.’ Beautiful Carmel!

    1. Being gentle with our movements can completely alter the quality of vibration moving through the body. Being present with our movements allows the body’s communication to flow and be heard very clearly.

  30. I find that when life is seemingly challenging or very busy the only thing that guides me to stay with me in it all is to stay with my body and forever honour its wisdom.

  31. Reactions and emotions affect our health far more than what we experience in the physical world per se. There is no greater poison than taking on the emotional issues of another.

  32. It is true Carmel that taking on other people’s issues and emotions cause dis-ease and disharmony in our own bodies, it is draining. When we can hold ourselves in these situations we can be truly supportive.

  33. The body and the detail with which it communicates is truly wise. It reflects back to us all of our choices. I also deeply appreciate how the body loves to be harmony with itself and brings this consistent reflection to us 24/7. Thank you Carmel.

  34. It is fascinating all the different layers that you have uncovered about how your body communicates with you about how you are looking after it and particularly the emphasis you place on outside factors like making others’ problems more important than you and your well-being which I can really relate to.
    My constant need of recognition from others rather than appreciating and confirming to myself how I have been so that no outside acknowledgment is necessary. Also feeling the need to get involved in other people’s problems rather than focussing on how I am with me and letting that reflect to others that we have a choice about how much we care for our own bodies – making that our priority above all other responsibilities so that we are ready and able to give our all to whatever we are doing as we go through life.

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