10 ways to reconnect with your body and yourself
The body is more than just a cart for carrying the head around. It’s vital for more than our physical health. The body is intimately involved in every aspect of our lives. Connection to our bodies brings about connection to joy, to purpose, to others and even to the planet.
That connection is our birthright, but it’s at risk. Education keeps us in our heads, at the expense of our bodily wisdom. Modern lifestyles encourage lack of physical movement, though movement is linked to feeling. Often, we’re simply too busy to feel. The media teaches us to be ashamed of how our
bodies look, as well as of our sexual desires, leading the body to become both a consumer object and a sexual object. Huge numbers of us have experienced trauma, which leads to disconnection and conflict.
Modern healthcare, despite its achievements, plays a part too. People are viewed as symptoms and biological parts; feelings are again numbed through prescribed drugs.
Happily, there is much we can do to reclaim and reoccupy our bodies. This will transform our perceptions, emotions, and relationships in numerous ways. It’s also a political act that could transform the world.
Move. Stretch, fight, dance or make love. There's always a way to move—either informally in your own home, or through one of the many great embodied arts (such as yoga, martial arts and dance) that have spread around the world.
Slow down. Do less and do it with presence and awareness. Reject busy.
Find pleasure. Bodily awareness and pleasurable activities (ones that you’re not addicted to) are good friends.
Connect. Embodiment is relational. Take the time to nurture and enjoy close relationships.
Use technology with care. I love technology and do not mean to demonise it, but excessive use can lead us away from the body. Healthy limits linked to time and place (such as no phone at the dinner table or after 9pm), plus occasional longer breaks (such as a month off Facebook) can be wonderful.
Spend time with children and animals. Both are naturally embodied and inspire us to be.
Go outside. Feel the sun, wind or rain. The sensorial, rich feast of nature will not let you be disembodied.
Question authority in all forms including religion and politics. Ignore advertising. Stay connected to your own genuine needs and desires by being in the body. Be your own guru.
Be creative. Make up number ten yourself.