In my career, I have worked with thousands of people. I can say with certainty that nearly all of them have experienced some form of disconnection from their bodies.
One very subtle manifestation is ignoring when you feel tired or signs that you may be getting a cold, like a sore throat or stuffy nose. These are all subtle signs that you need to rest and take a break. Ignoring these can lead to more serious illness, which often contributes to disconnection.
You may feel powerless to recover, victimized, angry and sad about not being able to do what you want, and grieve about how your life has changed. You might have been trying to recover unsuccessfully for a long time, putting your trust in medical professionals and others or one “miracle cure” or supplement after another. In this situation, it is important to acknowledge your feelings and empower yourself to work WITH your body, rather than seeing it as your enemy. intuition speaks to you partly through your body. Listening will help guide you as to what remedies, foods, treatments, etc. will help and those you should avoid.
Other common manifestations are a negative body image, constant dieting and eating disorders. Dieting and eating disorders can result in pushing down hunger and making choices about eating that have nothing to do with what your body wants or needs. You may not even chew or taste your food if you are only thinking about how calories or weight gain. If you have a negative body image, there is a natural tendency to cut yourself off from it. Disconnection leads to more body dissatisfaction and depression which can exacerbate eating disorders and dieting. Cutting and other self-mutilation are signs of severe disconnection, with self- harm being an attempt to “just feel something”. Dissociation, shame, guilt, and often self-hatred accompanies all addictions. An important step in healing is allowing yourself to feel, especially difficult emotions. You are stronger and more resilient than you think.
Minimization of the severity of symptoms or impact of illness, denial of pain from abuse, anxiety, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) are also examples of disconnection. So is feeling numb and spending too much time thinking about the past or the future and not feeling “grounded”. Disconnection can also happen when you don’t focus enough time or energy on what is happening in the real, practical world. It can be tempting, especially in the current political climate, to focus on feeling good and escaping through meditation, yoga, exercise, reading about spirituality and consulting psychics, which can be great and therapeutic, but you also must be present and know what is going on in the practical world.
2. You’ve talked before about intuition not only being in our heads but in our bodies—can you explain?
The third eye or 6th chakra, located between your eyebrows, is one of the areas associated with intuition. The other is the 3rd chakra, located just above the belly button, in the “gut”. “Gut feelings” are another way of saying intuition, which you are likely familiar with, especially if you are empathic. Being empathic means that you easily pick up the feelings of others. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have psychic abilities, which means being able to communicate with people who have passed, and intuitive doesn’t necessarily mean psychic either. You don’t have to be any of these things to have gut feelings or to react physically when faced with emotions or when listening to your intuition. These terms are often used interchangeably but are not at all the same. I believe we all have intuition.
A common example is gut issues, which can include indigestion, acid reflux, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, Crohn’s Disease, IBS, food intolerances, GERD and more. In almost all cases, I find that these people respond to their emotions physically, usually first feeling them as “gut” symptoms. When you feel upset, nervous, sad, are around others who are upset or sad or nearly any emotion at all, it is common to have gastrointestinal reactions. You may not connect your emotions to the severity of your symptoms however and may try to fix them medically. Physical symptoms are a way that your intuition communicates with you about feelings you need to address. This does not mean that you may not also need to address gut issues through dietary changes, nutrition, or other physical means but I believe that all symptoms have a component of the intuition trying to talk to you and get your attention. They are signals.
3. What signals are we missing out on?
So many! I have mentioned many of them above. Literally anything your body does or anything you feel could potentially be a signal from your intuition. Any picture or word you see in your head, any song that comes to mind “out of nowhere”, suddenly thinking of a person or place, any emotion. Creative works are often expressions of our intuition, which is why art therapy is such a powerful tool. You also get signs and signals from so called random things that happen in life like conversations you have with someone you just met, “accidents” or last-minute changes in plans, cancellations of flights and traffic jams that save your life.
When people have accidents like tripping and breaking their leg or worse, I always ask them what was going on in their lives at the time and how the accident changed them. Most of them had been neglecting themselves or doing something that made them unhappy. Some were putting off unpleasant or frightening tasks. In other words, they were ignoring their intuition and the accident made them listen.
4. How do we begin to connect to the body and our intuition?
Connecting to intuition and my body literally saved my life. In addition to some of the suggestions I have already mentioned, mindfulness is a great way to start because it helps us to focus on what is going on in our bodies and minds right now, blocking out common distractions and fear. You can start using mindfulness techniques to connect with the body immediately, without any books or tapes. Mindful or intuitive eating is excellent and simple. There is a section in my on the subject but just thinking about if you are hungry or thirsty before eating, thinking about if the food you are about to choose is what your body really wants and how it will feel in your body and what you are feeling emotionally is a good start. Sitting at a table just in front of the food, not the tv or computer, feeling the food in your mouth, tasting, and chewing it, not just swallowing, are also easy changes people can make. This leads to being able to feel when you are starting to be satisfied, not stuffed. I always tell people that if they want a piece of chocolate or something, make sure it is a good tasting piece. Enjoy it!
There are many other ways to connect to the body and intuition and I teach my favorite ways in Heal from Within. Meditation, massage, giving or receiving reiki or other forms of energy healing, tai chi, and other eastern arts, being in nature and grounding yourself by walking in water and taking Epsom salt baths are excellent. People who get tattoos often become addicted, not only because of the beauty and artistic expression but because of the temporary pain, which sounds rather strange, but I understand, having several large tattoos myself. You can’t ignore your body when getting a tattoo. The use of divination devices such as pendulums, runes, and oracle cards, where you use so called random objects and ask questions are still more ways to connect.
I believe that it is only through doing this that we can heal and live healthy lives. I also believe that we need to teach this to our children at a young age. If they are connected to their bodies and intuition, they will know that they are never alone and that they have a constant source of answers and support. They know that they don’t have to give in to peer pressure and that they can stand up for themselves and what they can believe it. They can love themselves. To teach it to our kids, we need to know how to do it ourselves.
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