Do you realize you’re in an intimate relationship with your body? Body awareness fosters your growth. When was the last time you said hello? Are you faithfully aware of what your body feels? When did you last ask it, “How are you? How are you really?” Are you willing to hang out with your body when it’s cranky or tired or quivery? Do you tune in with your very best listening ears? Do you speak with a soft tone of voice and say, ”Tell me more…”

You and your body are in the most intimate relationship. And the two of you may need couples’ therapy…

Your body craves your awareness

Your body is an intelligent organism with wisdom and feelings. Your body loves you like no one else, every cell in lifelong service to you. Your body craves your attention as you experience life. When you open to your inner experience you access a richness that makes life truly alive. But your body is also where you experience pain and the vulnerability of your limits. You’re wired to avoid pain and unrest so you may abandon your vulnerable, real life in your body, and live in ideas about your life, in your head.

Avoiding your body leads to suffering

But everything you do to avoid your inner experience of your body cuts you off from authenticity and resilience. When you split off from your body you don’t feel vulnerable and your pain will numb. But you will numb also, as anxiety mounts in the background driving you into behaviours that create suffering.

Feeling your body can help you grow

You are wired to avoid pain and discomfort, but you are also wired to grow. Your loving body wants to help you. Use your inner senses, feel unrest, and enter into the most intimate relationship. When you are faced with the truth of your vulnerability, notice sensations of sympathetic nervous system arousal that feel like anxiety, and understand them as a call to come home.

Feel that. Really feel your body, with warm interest and non-judgment.

Your most intimate relationship is with your body; give it your warm interest.

As you soothe your loving body with warm attention you grow into your most authentic, resilient and connected self. Open up to the most important relationship you will ever have, and intimately feel what your body feels.

Bring awareness to your body like the quality of your life depends on it. Because it does.

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Embracing Unrest

I’m excited to announce my first book has a launch date! Out October 18th, 2022, Embracing Unrest: Harness Vulnerability to Tame Anxiety and Spark Growth answers the question: why is it so hard to “be here”?

View my “Embracing Unrest” column on Psychology Today!