We can live more freely in our bodies than we realize. We are used to carrying around emotions, judgments, shame, and suffering about our pain and limitations. We are so used to it, we don’t even notice the luggage we are carrying around.
A key component to spiritual awakening is to liberate the ego stories that we project onto any aspect of life, including our bodies. I’ve learned that there are many things that can catalyze you to liberate your old stories, and these are the three keys that are perhaps the most immediately powerful and empowering.
1. Step Back and Witness the Body
It’s very hard to liberate suffering, fear, judgment and shame in the body when you are stuck in it. So the first empowering key to liberation is simple and powerful; take a step back. Step outside of all the noise in your head. And then see the body; really see it, maybe even for the first time. Witness the body honestly, in its beautiful and limited experience. What do you see, what do you know?
I first experienced this when I was healing from being raped. I felt like I was lost in a sea of shame about my body. Some greater wisdom in me was able to step back and take one step outside of the swirling shame. I was able to suddenly see clearly that the shame was partially my own confusion; I thought something was wrong with me because these events happened, when it had nothing to do with me. I also saw that the shame wasn’t all mine; the shame was an amalgamation of all the suffering that the men who had raped me were wrestling with and projecting onto me. I saw that I didn’t have to carry around their suffering any longer.
The clarity of this realization landed so powerfully that it gave me a huge boost to heal and release all my shame. Though it still took time to integrate this realization, I was able to heal much faster because I was able to take a step back, see the truth, and let go of the stories.
2. Love the Body
After years of carrying around judgment or fear, the number one thing that the body needs most is love. Loving the body, being in love with the body, seeing Divine Love in, through, and for the body is probably the most powerfully healing act you can do.
When I began practicing this years ago, at first it was challenging for me; it felt forced, it felt like a stretch. I had to effort to connect to love for the body, mostly because I had a lot of stories of unworthiness getting in the way. Over time and with practice, my experience morphed until I could feel a presence of love that was so deep and unwavering, I began to see that Love and my Body were one and the same, not separate. My experience now is of being in seamless Presence with Love in all things, including my body.
3. Listen to Body Wisdom
Sometimes we have to start making changes by just doing things that we intellectually know are good for us or that other experts have told us are good for us. As we grow, however, we have another option, which is to learn to drop down and listen to the wisdom in the body.
Every body has inherent wisdom. This wisdom knows when to rest, when to run, when to exercise, when to eat or stop eating. It knows when it needs love, energy work, or Divine Truth. It knows when it needs help, when it needs to see a doctor or a therapist, or when it needs a massage or a yoga class. In other words, it knows what it knows and it knows when it doesn’t know and it needs help. This is the grace of Wisdom.
Body Wisdom knows it’s not separate with God; it knows that Life Force flows in, through, and as the body and in all things. Body Wisdom knows that you are Love.
Most of you, maybe all of you, have experienced hearing Body Wisdom. Maybe you didn’t even realize that you were hearing Body Wisdom! It can be extraordinarily liberating to make it a practice to listen to Body Wisdom. Often just the experience of listening deeply and attuning to the body is very healing, especially if the body has felt ignored, abandoned, or pushed.
The Body Wisdom supports us in the deepest spiritual ways and practical ways too. I have learned so much by attuning to my body and hearing Body Wisdom. I first discovered this practice in college when I had a vicious sore throat. Somehow I knew to take a step back, tune into my throat, and ask it what it needed. I heard from my body that I had unexpressed emotion that was lodged in my throat that needed to be empowered, expressed, and then released. So I expressed and released the emotion, embraced the power of my voice, and voila! – my throat ache disappeared within just a few minutes!
On my awakening journey, my Body Wisdom showed me how it is not ever separate from the rest of Divine Creation. It showed me that the body itself is an expression of God. It showed me the extraordinary light and love in every cell.
Over these many years, Body Wisdom has shown me how to change my diet, what yoga poses to add to my practice, when to see other healers, and when to change my energy meridians and flows to maximize well being. It has taught me how illness can be a gateway to a different kind of rest and stillness, different from other kinds of relaxation or meditation. Body Wisdom teaches me every single day, and I bow to it with humility.
I hope that my personal stories of liberating projections onto the body have inspired you. I celebrate the extraordinary diversity of humanity, and I know that you are having and will continue to have a completely unique discovery of witnessing, loving, and listening to the body. What do you see and know when you step back and see the body in a new way? What do you experience when you open to love for the body? What do you learn when you tune into the body’s greatest Wisdom?
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