Jour du Journal: Let me hear your body talk!

Dialoguing with your body aches and pains to heal the past.

Yesterday I had my very first massage. It was only a short one, a chair massage at a wellness fair. But in that 5 minutes the masseuse was able to tell me that I “ran cold” and that I’m “tightly strung.” Yup (brrr!) and YUP (just ask my kids if I’m tightly strung!).

Today I have been trying to keep my shoulders down and back, but I have been holding myself in a protective stance for so many years that my body has adopted this position as the norm. I’m not even aware that I am tensed up until I unclench my shoulders and find they are able to go down at least an inch. It’s like in so many novels I read where the character doesn’t even realize he is holding his breath until he lets it out.

Like a tree, our history is etched in our centers. Our bodies hold our traumas, our illness, our emotions. At some point in my past I felt the need to protect myself and so my shoulders came up and forward in a pathetic attempt at keeping vulnerability at bay. And so now, although I may not longer feel so vulnerable as I did as that scared child, my body is in the habit of trying to protect me. Massage therapists, energy healers, and other body-spirit specialists understand this and help us undo the messages of the past by loosening and expelling the hurts of the body.

How can writing also help unwrite the messages of the past? First the past has to be acknowledged. Find the pain and talk to it.

For today’s journal exercise, I want to you to think about where in your body you feel pain. Or, like in my case where I currently have no physical pain, relax each part of your body area by area to see where you are most tense. If you have to work to relax it, it was too tense!

Now, take that part (or those parts) of your body and have a chat with it. So, for example, I would write something like:

Me: Hey Shoulders! Why you so het up? Always hanging out near my ears…

Now let your body “answer.”

Shoulders: To keep you safe. Protect you…

This may feel silly at first but just keep writing and your inner knowledge will come out if you give it time. Ask why. Explore all the reasons you might be “sore” in body and spirit. Work on your body, work on your mind, together they will help each other heal.