I am indebted to Joan "Joani" Culver who contributed material for this
When I listen my body (as
as it sounds) it tells me
what it's got going on.
It tells me what it needs (in the case of something I should
supplement) or it tells me what it doesn't need (in the case of
something I should discontinue). I've always listened my body. Nobody
told me to or taught me how. I've just had it that that's what one does
with one's body. But it's not necessarily so. It's not necessarily
true. And it's certainly not necessarily true for everyone.
In our bi-annual strategy huddle, my nutritionist commented "The way
you listen to your body, is amazing.". I didn't know it was amazing.
Doesn't everyone listen to their body? During a routine check-up, my
physician said "It's great the way you listen to your body.". I didn't
realize there was anything that great about it either. I mean, isn't
that what everyone does? When
one of my coaches,
someone I've known
and have enormous respect for, exhorted me to "Keep listening to (your)
body", I realized it was time to become more facile with the idea, and
to see if I could distinguish something useful about it ie to see if I
could say something useful about it and / or
something useful about it. Thus
an inquiry which
the following, inter alia:
There are the semantics of it which are unavoidable. Do I
really listen to my body? Really? Or is it that I simply
listen my body? The "to" in "listen to my
body" is colloquially de rigueur, yet it detracts from the
experience / its
the experience. My experience is "I listen my body" in which a "to"
would be both superfluous and distracting too.
Elsewhere in this
Conversations For Transformation internet series of essays,
we have already differentiated between "listening" and "listening
to". In a transformed context, we almost always "listen" rather
than "listen to". The difference is that I bring forth listening when I
"listen" my body ie I'm
of listening, I'm responsible for listening - whereas when I "listen
to" my body, it'sthe source,
it's responsible, and I'm off the hook (to a degree) for being
responsible for causing the totality of the experience. The difference
is both subtle and profound.
Soon, based on this experience of my body not on a concept of it, I
asking "But is it really my body?". Yes,
conceptually I know it's my body. Yet my
experience is merely of "a" body - or even of "the" body,
if you like. Dare I stand in an experience of "a" body or even of "the"
body rather than of "my" body? (I'm asking the question only as a
matter of accuracy).
Maybe it's not even
What if it's not my body?
Sometimes I'm unsure if it's
That's the order of insights which resulted in the byline of this
essay's title morphing from the colloquial
To My Body"
Listening the body (as I subsequently discovered) is so universally
recognized (although not so universally distinguished as such) that
it's even been given its own scientific designation, which is:
"interoception". If per-ception is the ability we have to
be aware in totality, and if intero-ception is the ability we
have to perceive what the body is telling us
I surmised there would also have to be a distinction for what we
perceive around the body (I
the designation "outside the body" which in and of itself
is a subject for
another conversation on another
There is. I found it. It is: "exteroception".
Here then is the trifecta of 'ceptions (if you will):
there's per-ception, there's extero-ception, and there's
intero-ception (which I aka "listening the body"):
the feeling of knowing what is happening in your body, for example
if you are hungry, thirsty, warm, cold, etc
Given interoception ie listening the body, I get what to add to my diet
and / or what to remove from my diet. I listen. It informs. Listening
the body, I get what exercises to add to my regimen and with what
frequency and / or what no-longer-applicable exercises to remove from
my regimen. I listen. It informs.