The body has its own intelligence and language—a sensate, visceral, and intuitive language. When we are children, our attunement to the messages of our bodies is instinctual. We are naturally repelled by what isn’t right for us, what might cause us harm on some level—whether emotionally, energetically, or physically. We are equally drawn to what is beneficial. Sadly, unless we have been properly protected and honored for that attunement to our body’s intelligence as young people, our cultural conditioning and perceived priorities quickly override it.
One of the facets I often see in my healing work with clients is the need to rebuild trust in that inner guiding system. Our vitality and optimum health depend on both our ability to hear it and to trust what it is trying to communicate.
My Client Helen
I had a client named Helen who lived in a foggy, damp climate on a houseboat on the bay. Her main concern was that she simply could not reconnect with her zest for life. She complained of feeling sluggish and fatigued all the time. Her work as a personal assistant did not bring her joy, and her long-time relationship with her husband had become dull and entrenched in routine. The things that used to replenish her on her days off—gardening and writing—seemed lackluster, and she said she could just as easily curl into bed with her laptop. Friendships took “too much time and energy” and she didn’t feel like “putting herself out.”
After a few minutes of speaking with Helen, we engaged in a guided visualization exercise to help her attune to her body. It became apparent that she was literally dying for sunlight. Her inner vision took her directly to a warm beach in the summer. She saw herself skipping barefoot on the warm sand and diving into the cool water feeling exhilarated. Lying on a bright yellow towel afterward, she imagined what ingredients she might add to a fruit salad. Her towel was a “particular yellow” she said, and she described in detail how her skin soaked up the heat and turned golden brown.
It was obvious by the images her psyche chose to show her in the visioning exercise that she needed sunshine, fruit (perhaps certain vitamins), and a particular place and type of activity to feel exhilarated and restore her enthusiasm for life. The vibratory frequency of the particular yellow she described also seemed important to me in resourcing her depleted energy field.
After the exercise, we discussed the possibility of a vacation, and she said it wouldn’t help, because she would just have to come back home to the same situation. She then gave a list of reasons why it was impractical for her and her husband to consider moving somewhere where the weather better suited her and why they could not change the structure of their lives. Unfortunately, her body and energy probably won’t be able to come into optimal coherence until those messages are at least heard and addressed.
The suggestion for sunlight seemed “too simple” to Helen as a viable first step on the path to improving her well-being. Helen then decided that the symptoms she was having might be from a medical issue and she went to see a doctor for testing. All the tests come back negative, but she knew something still wasn’t right. The doctor could not find a technical name for what ails her, so he gave the diagnosis of depression and a referral to a psychiatrist who suggested she go on an antidepressant.
Now she is in the same life circumstances that seem to be exacerbating, if not creating, her condition, but she has been placed on a medication that is muting that discomfort—that very discomfort that was sent as a message from her healing system that something needs to change.
In subsequent sessions we had together, it appeared to me that the medication had further suppressed Helen’s ability to heed her body’s wisdom and messages. To make matters worse, there is an additional layer of fog in her field due to the antidepressant, which makes the natural, knowing impulse more remote and more difficult to hear.
Trusting Our Innate Wisdom
Our innate healing wisdom that tells us what we need for balance, regeneration, growth, and well-being gets muted when we don’t listen to it. It also gets more audible and nuanced in its direction for us when we respond in the reverse.
Why is it so difficult for us to believe and act on those kinds of cues? What is it about our modern brains that feels better when we get a diagnosis from an authority about our condition? Why do we not believe that certain foods, colors, places, light, people, or activities are part of our natural ability to feel well and to heal? Why don’t we trust what we innately know?
Our bodies continually give us clues about what to eat, where to go, what to do, who to spend time with, and what and who to avoid. We owe it to ourselves to listen, even if we cannot act on every message immediately. When the time is right we can listen, adapt, and move forward. The ability to acknowledge and act on those inner guiding messages serves our vitality and empowers us to self-regulate and heal what may be keeping us from optimum well-being. Even one small act in the direction of our wellness starts a movement in our whole organism toward greater health.
Just as plants need particular conditions for growth, so do we. No pat answers or medication or diagnoses can address or know better than our own bodies what is true and right for us. We are each a unique constellation of molecules; we are subtle and complex organisms and, therefore, what works for each of us is equally unique.
Medicine certainly has a place in our lives. I am simply making a case for honoring the innate intuitive healing wisdom of our own bodies. It seems these vehicles we are born into are compassionately designed, and encoded with, healing software. We need to re-learn how to use it, see that it is viable and practical, even if what it suggests sometimes appears simplistic or impractical to our modern, logic-conditioned minds.
It is time to include both the left and right hemispheres of the brain, the masculine and feminine, the logical and intuitive, in our awareness and also in our functioning. May we trust what we naturally knew as children and take back our power to regulate and heal ourselves—at least in all the ways we can.
Amrit Rai is both a visual artist and an energy medicine and touch specialist. She lives and works in Mill Valley, California. For more information about her, visit www.amritrai.com and www.amritaiart.com.
This article originally appeared in the Autumn 2017 issue of Body Sense magazine.