Sanctuary and Serenity

Listen to your body.

Posted on: March 27, 2010

Listen to your body.

Make a physical inventory of your body.  List any places that cause you discomfort or pain.  Then ask each place what the pain is about.  Write the answers in a notebook or journal.
Pay attention to your body.  Listen to it.  Get help with your body needs.  Tune into your inner voice.  Ask yourself what your body needs, and believe what it has to say.  You are your own best counsel, and it is important to follow your own good advice.  Remember the wisdom of the ancient Chinese saying:  “To know and to not do, is not to know!”
I’m not advocating that we spend our lives navel-gazing.  Nor am I saying that it is wrong to look after people, to care for and to give unto others.  We all need to give and receive.  Our very future as individuals and as a society depends on this kind of exchange.
I am suggesting that we begin our charity at home with ourselves.  We need to give to ourselves before we can give to anyone else.  Otherwise we will walk around wounded, looking for someone to help or heal us, believing that if we do enough good deeds, if we are kind enough to others, eventually our turn will come, and we’ll get back what we give out.  If this is what we expect, then the reality that people often cannot or will not give back can easily lead us to anger.
The truest form of giving, and the one least likely to backfire, is giving without expectation.  We can only do that when we have enough self-nurturing to give freely, so that we don’t need or expect anything back.
It is difficult to give to ourselves.  That’s why we don’t do it.  Many of us feel that we are not deserving, that we are not good enough.  We find it much easier to give to others.  So if you are a giver, start giving to yourself.
Feed yourself pleasure.
  • Take a walk.
  • Go to a nearby park and use the swings.
  • Read that book you’ve been longing for.
  • Call up a friend that makes you happy.
  • Play basketball or volleyball.
  • Take a bubble bath.
  • Learn how to _______________.  (Fill in the blank with something you ‘ve always wanted to learn.)
  • Take time for relaxation exercises.
  • Do something just for you every single day and notice how good you begin to feel.
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