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When the Body Says NO

It is always important to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn’t matter what we call it; what matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over.

 ~~Paulo Coelho

Greetings to all my precious people!!

We are in the midst of restore and release, aligning our focus to Spring – the time of renewal.  Are you feeling the energetics yet?  The urge to purge, the desire to rearrange things, the need to finally tend to the stuff that has been piling up in the land of “someday.”  Many times these prompts for change are signaled by the body speaking its language with emotions and physical sensations that beg to be acknowledged.  But more often than not, the feelings and bodily twinges become those darned symptoms that annoy or irritate us.  They interrupt our plans, invade our thoughts and present a choice point for us – to listen more attentively, or to disregard and put aside until “later.” 

But what happens when we are indifferent to the messages from the body?  

Dr. Gabor Mate, physician, public speaker and award winning author tells us that in his clinical practice of general family medicine, he saw the array of diseases created by the hidden stress and unattended emotions of his patients.  Heart disease, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, cancer and more were attributed to repressed emotions.  Ongoing modern research confirms that emotions are inseparable from our health and physiology, and yet we have made little progress in helping each other hold space and make sense of connecting the dots to support our well-being.

Elizabeth Gilbert, journalist and speaker, talks about her 20 year practice of journal writing as a practice of not only listening to self but hearing wisdom from a Higher Self.  In an interview with Jonathan Fields on his Good Life Project podcast, Elizabeth says her daily habit of asking a question of LOVE/Source/God/Universe, begins with the writing prompt:  LOVE, what would you have me know today?  And then she says she waits, and writes exactly what she feels as the “response” flows through her, without questioning and without editing.  A better direction for this could be:  Open up a notebook and write yourself a letter, using the exact words you have always wanted to hear somebody else say to you.  

Yes, this might seem very strange and you could be thinking, what is the point?  But I want you to consider this time of Spring as a fresh start, a space where you can play around with different ways of thinking – and doing – and imagine some possibilities.  When was the last time your body said NO?  And how would you recognize NO?

Perhaps indigestion after a late night of eating and drinking is a NO from the body.  Maybe the migraine headache when you neglect to nourish yourself with adequate rest.  Difficulty sleeping when you are choosing not to address issues at work, or in your relationships.  The list of NO from the body could be endless, but it doesn’t have to be. 

So what is this skill of listening that we can practice?  And how do we begin to settle into our space of storyteller as well as listener? 

Consider taking some time each day – a prioritized 5 minutes – to journal an answer to a question like Elizabeth Gilbert, or sit quietly and breathe deeply to connect to your heart space with gratitude.  Set your intention for the day and your attention to create it will follow.  Above all LISTEN to the stories from your body, listen with compassion and kindness.   Remember, it is our health and well-being that begs us to listen, pay attention and create the stories that can support our journey.

The “scéalaí,” (SHKAY-lee) or storyteller, occupies a revered space in Irish tradition, embodying the roles of both messenger and the keeper of tales. Storytelling, an ancient craft, thrives on the intimate exchange between teller and listener.  A tale spun by a scéalaí is a living, breathing entity, remembered from the heart and endlessly reborn in the act of telling.

A scéalaí tells a story with an understanding that each tale is uniquely shaped by the moment of its telling. There’s no script; the story weaves and wanders, guided by the teller’s skill and the energy of the audience. This invites us into a world where stories are not just told but shared, co-created between teller and listener.

The essence of storytelling underscores the special role of the listener, the quiet soul at the heart of storytelling. For stories to truly live and to resonate, they require the hearts, minds, and ears of those who listen. The listener’s engagement with their silent participation breathes life into words, allowing the story to flourish and take shape in the imagination. The listener is not a passive recipient but a vital presence. It is in the alchemy of telling and listening that tales become more than words; they transform into vessels of wisdom and connection.

The Irish tradition of scéalaíocht (storytelling) celebrates not only the skill of the storyteller but also the sacred act of listening. It’s a reminder that in our fast-paced world, taking the time to listen, to truly engage with stories and with each other, is a powerful act of presence and connection.

May we recognize the value of storytelling as a bridge between hearts and minds, and may we cherish the moments of connection forged through the ancient, soulful art of sharing stories. We also celebrate the listeners, the essential keepers of the story’s flame; for without them, the magic of storytelling would fade into silence.

If you are searching for new ways to access your own Wisdom and tap into your inherent navigation tools, I would be honored to support your journey.  Schedule a call today and let’s discuss how we can create a program to nourish your body-mind-spirit.

I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you, and that you will work with these stories from your life–not someone else’s life–water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom. 

That is the work. The only work.

~~Clarissa Pinkola Estés 



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