BalanceJuneIssue2017 - 16



I'm not ill, I'm
just resting
my head


PRETTY disconnected

The thought of listening to
your body just isn't on your
radar. You may consider
that kind of behaviour an
unnecessary indulgence, or
you may feel you're in some
way undeserving of gentle
care. Perhaps you expend a
lot of energy looking after
others, while turning a blind
eye to your own needs.
You may roll your eyes
at the concept of putting
on your own oxygen mask
before assisting others, but
it's possible that if you
don't start looking after
your own health, your body
will communicate more
and more loudly until you
need to stop and take note.
Consider whether you
might have self-destructive
tendencies. In the future,
try to break habits that don't
serve you and think about
all the reasons why you are
grateful for your body.

take action

'SHED' stands for 'sleep,
hydration, exercise, diet'.
Review how well you're
tending to these basics and
identify one gift of self-care
you can give yourself today.




totally in touch


just getting by

Deep down, the concept
of listening to your body
isn't completely alien to
you, but you don't do it
enough. You are capable
of tending to your needs
in many ways and, on
the whole, you make
decisions that keep
your mind and body
functioning fairly well.
You may also be aware
of ways in which you
could listen to your
body more, whether
this is driving yourself a
little less hard at work,
exercising often, getting
more sleep or simply
stepping off the hamster
wheel of life.
Don't always go for
the convenient or
seemingly easy option.
Without wanting to scare
you unnecessarily, this
kind of 'everything will
be fine' thinking can
sometimes catch up
with you.

take action


Slow down and pause for
a moment to focus on
your breathing. Even if
it's during a toilet break.

Congratulations - you've honed
the art of listening to your body.
Perhaps this comes naturally to
you, or maybe you've learned the
hard way after running yourself
into the ground once too often.
Psychotherapist Sheldon
B Kopp wrote: 'The secret of
enlightenment is: when you
are hungry, eat; and when
you are tired, sleep.'
There's a helping hand within
your psyche that tends to and
protects your needs. You know
what balm is required.
The way in which you care
for yourself also sends a
message to those around you
that they have permission to
care for themselves, too.

take action

Practise mindful eating and see
which foods most nourish you.




Time for some tough love: rather than
listening to your body accurately,
you may be overly sensitive, and fail
to know the difference between a
minor ailment and a serious illness.
If you're constantly complaining
about something, ask yourself why
that is. If you bombard friends with
details of your latest perceived
health setback, it might be time to
turn to someone better qualified for
support. If you've made extreme
lifestyle choices, try to get a firm
grasp on where that's coming from.

take action

Meditating may help you focus
and quieten your mind, so that
you can discern the messages that
really count.

BALANCE June 2017


Culturally, here in the
West, we tend to give the
body pretty short shrift,
prioritising the capabilities
of the rational mind and
focusing more on the
external appearance of the
body rather than what's
going on inside. For many
of us, the internal
functioning of our bodies
only becomes
a consideration when
something goes wrong.


As you sit and read
this, try to notice how
conscious or unconscious
you are of the sensations
in your body. In disciplines
such as yoga and Aikido
(a Japanese martial art),
practitioners talk of
dropping out of the head
and into the body.
Practising this expansion
of awareness through
the body is an excellent
first step.


Deepak Chopra says: 'Feel
what you feel.' Don't deny
or try to talk your way out
of something - the best
path is to simply embrace
how you feel and act
accordingly. Resist the
temptation to override the
body's calls for attention:
it's unlikely that what a
headache is trying to
communicate is that you
need painkillers! What
is its real cause?


If you have a mystery
ailment (that you've had
checked out by your GP),
which is persistently
hanging around, it might
be helpful to explore what
you think that ailment
would communicate to
you if it had a voice. It's
quite possible that your
body knows something
your mind has been
striving to ignore. B





Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BalanceJuneIssue2017

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