Listening to my body isn’t hard at all. But acting on what I’ve heard is.
For example, most mornings my body hurts. Especially my neck and back. When I’m getting more exercise, they hurt less. When I’m not exercising, they hurt a lot more.
Take this very moment. It’s 6:55am. I just got out of the shower. As I was brushing my teeth, the phrase that begins this post sauntered through my mind, swinging her pretty li’l hips. Ha! I thought. That’s a perfect line for a blog post about InterPlay philosophy. I want to go write it right now!!
But then My Body spoke back: Um, Gretchen, don’t you think it would be a good idea to stretch first. I mean, we’re in pain right now. And you know how it goes: the minute you open the laptop, you get sucked in for hours. Pay attention to me first, and then write all you want!
Me: Good point. In fact, what you’re pointing out is a perfect illustration of InterPlay’s distinction between body data, body knowledge, and body wisdom. That’s brilliant! I want to go write about it right now!!
My Body: Gretchen, dahling. Please pay attention. You notice that our neck hurts pretty badly right now and that our spine is longing to stretch. That’s body data: the little bits and pieces of your experience.
Me: Right! And body knowledge is about collecting those little bits of data over time. Looking for patterns in my experience.
My Body: Yuh huh. And I’ve noticed that pain in the morning is a pattern that doesn’t go away without exercise. I also notice that it’s a pattern of yours to let excitement for starting the day get in the way of taking care of me. And then I’m in pain for the rest of the day.
***Pause, to let this information sink in. Gretchen is nodding her head, aware that her body is telling nothing but the truth.***
My Body (probing, using her best teacher voice): And…what is body wisdom all about, according to InterPlay?
Gretchen: Body wisdom is about taking action, using the information we’ve gathered about our patterns to make our lives more wonderful.
Body (quietly, almost to herself): And wouldn’t life be more wonderful if we stretched first!
Gretchen: (acquiescing) Yes, yes it would. (but then jolted by another creative urge) But my GOD, this thinking process you just led me through is so wonderful. It’s a perfect illustration of how important the Body Data-Knowledge-Wisdom thinking process is, and how hard it is as well! I need to write it down right now or I’ll forget. And I promise ~ I PROMISE ~ I won’t spend more than fifteen minutes on it. … And then we’ll stretch. Pinky swear.