Listening to the Body’s Inner Voice

Filed in The Healthy Writer by on October 24, 2011 • views: 356

It’s my first day of vacation, and I’m sitting in the Denver airport on a three-hour layover. Doesn’t take long away from the drive of the freelance life to be bitten by the creative writing bug. I love these times when I can just sit back, relax, and let my mind roam free. No deadlines, no projects due. Though I love my work, it’s lovely to have a little time away sometimes. I always seem to do my most creative thinking when I can carve a little space out of my busy life to just “be.”

I haven’t blogged for over three months, mostly because the summer was insanely busy and full of changes that kept me running full speed week in and out. I have some great news, though. I’ve been conducting another experiment in my own life, testing out the idea that if you listen to that inner voice, no matter what, you’ll get where you want to go in life. More about that later, but I will say that once again, the experiment worked! Following the inner voice never fails! It shouldn’t surprise me by now, but somehow, it always seems miraculous.

Back to this post. While on the plane, I read an article in Writer’s Digest (November 2011) about a new book called Writing Yoga: A Guide to Keeping a Practice Journal by Bruce Black. Bruce started yoga in mid-life, and with the encouragement of his yoga teacher, kept a journal about his practice. His journal turned into a book that’s intended to help writers find their voices through a consistent practice of journaling and yoga. What struck me as interesting, however, was Bruce’s comment toward the end of the article. He urged readers to not just read his book, but to actually do the yoga poses as well, as engaging the physical self is key to finding a peaceful, confident center.

“The ongoing conversation with your body is a crucial element in the process of learning to trust yourself,” he says. Through his experience with yoga, he learned to question how far to push his body—something he had never done before. As a young athlete (runner), he says his coaches always pushed him to perform despite painful injuries, something that happens to many athletes these days, even those in junior high and high school.

“Instead of helping me reach my full potential,” Bruce says, “my coach and fellow runners helped me curtail it. I realized that if I kept listening to other people and ignoring my own voice, I’d destroy my potential and any chance of reaching it.”

We see it far too often—athletes that push themselves too far and end up permanently injured, never to play or run or ski or swim again at the same level, all because they were pushed to keep going when they knew they should stop.

Our culture seems to encourage “performing past the pain,” but the inner voice knows when the body needs a break. No matter what age you are or whether or not you’re an athlete, we all do it. We stay up past the point of exhaustion. We fail to eat healthy meals. We let other things get in the way of exercising. We carry purses that are too heavy for our shoulders! And we pay the price, every time.

Are you pushing yourself to extremes? Doing more than you think you should? Try listening to your inner voice, not only in matters of the heart and mind, but the body as well. After all, life isn’t a sprint, but an endurance sport.

© Jacetan | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

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