Are you really listening?

We think we listen. We certainly listen to the news, the chatter in our brain, and what’s showing on social media… but how often do you actually listen to the voice within? The answer to happiness, wellness, and even success, whatever definition you give to success is not “out there” but within.

We think we listen and attend to our bodies. We go to the gym to get moving and compensate for these longer and longer commutes. We try to eat a bit less cheese and slow down on the spices to pacify our stomach. We visit our doctors and dentists to get regular checkups. But when is the last time you took the time to actually listen to your body rather than what people “out there” would tell you about what your body needs, and check whether it is actually a bath or a long walk in the woods without your cell phone that your body needs?

We think we listen to our heart. We get it pumping when we go to the gym. We get it checked by our doctors. But when is the last time you really paid attention to how your heart actually feels? When is the last time you checked whether you need help getting over this recent loss of a loved one and pervading sadness that doesn’t seem to get out of your lungs?When is the last time you actually took the time to cross the street and eventually accept the invitation from your neighbor to come for a cup of tea when deep within your heart knows that know how much joy this brings?

We think we listen to our mind. We are certainly in our thoughts most of the time. We get into meditation, yoga, breathing classes and anything that would help tame the rummaging litany of thoughts in our brain. But when is the last time you stopped to really pay attention to your thoughts and assess whether these voices in your head are actually empowering (beliefs such “I’ve been able to surmount challenges in the past, there’s no reason I can’t surmount this one”) or disempowering (beliefs such as “this deal that went south is a sign that you are a loser and will achieve nothing”)?

We think we connect to our intuition. We browse or read self-help books. Some people attend regular religious services, other find in meditation and other practices a way to reconnect to their spiritual side. But when is the last time you actually really connected with your gut feeling to assess if what it sends you might actually be valuable? When is the last time you tapped into your intuition to get solutions to surmount some current challenge in your life or insight on what you want to do next in your career?

The path to wellness is not “out there” but within. And it’s not as insurmountable as it seems. And it starts with just taking a few seconds to check on ourselves, on all levels, the physical, the emotional, the mental, and the spiritual levels. Because our selves don’t calculate averages. We take super good care of our body, and kinda hope for some of us, that this will balance out the lack of attention we pay to our heart. We meditate regularly and hope this will fix the nagging lower back pain we have. Well, good try. I’ve also tried. But this doesn’t work. We don’t get averages. The sobbing heart will keep on sobbing, despite all the meditations we can do. The nagging lower pain will stay on through the meditation sessions.

It is by having an encompassing look at every single one and at all of the components of our selves because body, heart, mind and spirit are connected, interrelated and functioning together that we realign ourselves to a fuller, happier self. Our beliefs shape the way we see the world, and lead to our emotions, and these consequently trigger our actions. Our actions generate responses from our environment (a sad colleagues when we argue with them, or a creative child when we foster their creativity) and these trigger emotions and reinforce or challenge our beliefs that we feel our full, happy, empowered, peaceful, and confident self.

This series of Wednesday Wellness posts will be exploring all four components of our self, the body, the heart, the mind and our intuition. It will explore various ways to reconnect with ourselves, on all levels, accept who we are, and realign ourselves on all levels, internally and with the world around us to live fuller, happier and more empowered lives.

©2018 Do No Harm Foundation

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