Notice the messages you are sending to your body, it might be listening.
Think for a moment of a body part that gives you the most grief. Right now in this moment or in the past. Really pause before you go on to the rest of this article.
Do you have your body part in mind? If you want to, write down the name of this body part and get specific. For example: right ankle on the outside or left eye when it twitches.
Once you have one body part, (yes only one please). You can go back and repeat the exercise later with other parts of you if you choose to.
Now start to list all of the things you say to yourself and to others about this body part. For me this is easy. I have been known to say, “I have a bad knee”. I would tell my yoga teachers, massage therapists, energy and body workers because they would ask how I was feeling. I also assured them that it had been a bad knee for a long time and that I couldn’t really trust it. I would make up the stories about the condition of my knee. It was not working like it should because of all of my years of hockey or maybe it was because of the many falls I had and the stitches as a kid. My Mom confirmed that it could be genetic when I told her about it. She also had a bad knee.
When you have your list ready of all the names you call this body part, all the stories you tell about it and all of the feelings you have for it, then sit back for a moment and read them over.
Now give your body part a name, (maybe choose one that doesn’t remind you of anyone that you know). For example, I could name my knee Jeanie. How is Jeanie feeling with all the things that I just said about her?
Since I told Jeanie that she is the bad knee then she might automatically assume then that the other knee is better than her, that I might think of it as the good knee. She might feel hurt, envious, jealous, angry or bitter. She might even decide to really act out all of these feelings or just give up all together.
Don’t worry if at this moment you think this feels like a crazy exercise. I would have thought the same a while ago. Give your body part a name and emotions? What kind of woo-woo jazz is that?
I often was telling students in yoga classes to let go of their negative self-talk and I started to think about this with my knee, (and other parts on various days). I started to give my knee a voice and she was saying, “hey look lady, I am doing the best I can with what we have been through together. Show me some respect and love please”.
I started to stop myself from saying “bad knee” and instead I began to see that I have two great knees and right now one needs a little more love and attention and that is why it is sending messages of sensation to me. Working with positive affirmations is powerful.
Recently at a HeartRise yoga teacher-training weekend we watched a video of Saje Dyer, (Wayne Dyer’s daughter), about how she started to talk to her “bumps” and healed her body. This was when I knew that I needed to up my game and really jump in. I needed to set the science mind that was thinking, “really why would this even work” aside and go for it. What did I have to lose?
I decided to use positive affirmations and send love gratitude and kindness to my knees, equally.
It has only been a month now, but I can say that I have a lot more faith in my knee. I listen and back away from any pain or discomfort. I let go of trying to “fix” me and instead I feel like I am at a place of acceptance of my physical state.
If you have some thoughts on this I would love to hear about them.