I’m at “that” age now.
Everyone around me is having babies.
And because I already have one, conversation always turns to the birth.
“How was it?” A friend asks me.
What do I say? Tell her the truth? That I made sounds I have never heard a human make before?
So I smile and say, “It was fine”.
She breaths and with a sigh of relief and teary eyed says, “Thank god because I am so scared!”
Having a baby is literally the most natural thing ever. We humans have been doing it for thousands of years. Without ultrasounds and OBGYN’s and luxury 5 star birth suites with tropical spa and African drum music. So why is my friend, who is young, fit and healthy so frightened of doing something her body has been designed to do?
I think it comes down to one simple fact.
She doesn’t trust her body.
In fact, not many of us do.
We have really been trained not to. We have been trained instead to listen to so called “experts” about our health instead of listening to the greatest expert on you, YOU. Don’t get me wrong, health care has come a long way and many lives have been saved and improved, but it has come at a cost. Now, we outsource our health. We listen to outside spokespersons before we listen to ourselves.
Case and point: How many of us pop a pill or run to Dr Google every time we feel the slightest bit ‘off’? Why do we think that some guy writing from his backyard shed in Albania knows more about what our body is doing than we ourselves would?
I know it sounds like new age hoo ha, but our bodies actually do ‘talk’ to us.
A headache usually tells us that we haven’t drunk enough water, or that we have been at the computer too long or that that third (or fourth) Cosmo wasn’t the best idea.
A headache is a sign to slow down and give your body a chance to heal.
But instead of listening, we shut our body up. We take a pill, we “power through” and it gets harder and harder to hear our body when we are smothering it.
Why is listening and trusting our body so important?
Because you know you better than anyone! You know how eating a bread roll makes you feel, regardless of what the food pyramid tells you. You know how going to bed early makes you feel, even if there are 85 blog posts telling you that geniuses’ stay up all night.
If you’re not feeling amazing the whole time (and there is no reason why you shouldn’t), maybe it’s time to listen to your body and make the changes that it’s screaming out for:
• Is it time to get back into some regular exercise, or have you maybe been pushing yourself a bit hard in that arena?
• Should you put the cupcake down and try that green smoothie instead?
• Is it time to speak up and get a helping hand with your workload?
There’s one person to ask. You. Deep down, buried away is the real answer. But you need to ask the question first and then trust that the answer that comes back, is the right one.
Getting in touch with you
1. Lie down somewhere comfy and close your eyes
2. Place your hands on your stomach, fingers splayed
4. Notice where your breath goes, is it into your stomach? Is it up in your shoulders? Pay attention to your breath. Slow it down, count 3 breaths in and 3 breaths out. Nice, slow and deep.
5. Now start a full body scan. Starting from your head, gradually ‘scan’ your attention down. Notice how your body feels. Are your shoulders tight? Is there a knot in your butt? Focus on breathing ‘into’ these areas and let them melt away.
Think about it, every day, we get into a car. A man-made object, made and designed by someone we do not know, that travels very fast around other man made objects travelling very fast. We put our trust into people we have never met, that they have safely made this machine, that others on the road are good drivers. Yet, we don’t trust our own bodies to do what they are designed for: to move, to heal and to give birth.
It’s time to change that.
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