Consciousness is the greatest gift that we have ever been given. You may not even realize it, but it’s probably the most important thing that we have, our most valued possession, that separates us from other mammals, blue blooded reptiles, birds, plants and all other beautiful living things created by the source of life.
Consciousness is like having the great big white light flow through our bodies. It is a gift from the divine, the ability to utilize our senses to look, feel, smell, taste, hear, intuit, and turn all of those exquisite, brilliant sensations into ideas that then can form into reality.
Consciousness is about thinking about the possibility of what can be. As Stephen Covey states in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:
“Everything is created twice, first in your mind and again in reality.”
That is the power of consciousness and awareness.
Without conscious thought, we would still be living in the Savannah hiding out in caves without all of the incredible modern advances that we have now. So please, don’t spoil or waste this gift that we all have inherited.
Instead, I want to encourage you. If you have been feeling disconnected, alone, isolated, or unsure of what your body is doing, like it’s working against you and not for your greater good… I want you to lean into this and take the lessons from it so you can become the best that you can be. All it takes is time and practice.
Practice what? You may be asking.
Mindfulness Practice: Body-Connectedness
Thoughts can become your reality (whether you’re thinking about good or bad). So when we want a positive reality, we need to think about these positive thoughts more often. We want to train our mind to observe what our body is telling us, and then have our mind think of what we want more often.
This is how we can become conscious and connected to our body. This is the reason why the very first thing I teach people in my clinical practice is: “What does your poo say about you?”. It’s because this serves as the first and easiest step to developing your body-consciousness. Not in an obsessive or unhealthy way either, but in a way that allows and observes… Plus pooping is something that you (hopefully) do everyday.
To create a habit or practice, it needs to be repeated daily1. I like the term body-connectedness; there’s no negative connotation as there may be with body-consciousness.
So let’s start a body-connection movement, where we learn how to listen and interpret all of the beautiful and important messages that our body gifts us. Let’s move on, because as they say, the proof is in the pudding.
What is Body-Connectedness?
It is the ability to be aware of what is going on in our bodies.
You wouldn’t believe how many people are so disconnected. I was, and sometimes still am. You have been, and sometimes you still are. How do I know this? Because I am not only an examiner of popular culture, but I am also a naturopathic doctor; I have intimate connections with the inner workings and understandings of my patients and this is where I see a major gap.
Especially when they first come in to see me.
It’s a constant job. Directing our thoughts into our awareness, and frankly, many of us are not highly skilled or trained. Quite the opposite actually… We are highly distracted and disconnected.
Being disconnected goes something like this:
- You block the gut feelings that you get
- You avoid feeling what is happening in your body, mind and soul by distracting yourself with habits and addictions (such as drugs, booze, food, sex, and anything else you can think of – disrupting your ability to have awareness and create new habits2)
Having body-connectedness bring us back to our beginning. Our root and our core feelings are an understanding of what the signs and symptoms our bodies are telling us.
Because as Oprah’s favorite author, Maya Angelou, says:
“When you know better, do better.”
Many of us are walking around not knowing. It’s time to get in the know of your body. It is your one and only temple gifted to you along with your consciousness.
Let’s find out what the messages are that we receive from the body… The signs and symptoms.
What is a Symptom
From a medical perspective, I see patients and ask them how they are feeling. When they recount what is going on, they are telling me about their symptoms.
Symptoms are like storytelling about your daily life experience and how you are feeling in your body. These symptoms are super valuable, and it’s important to become aware, conscious, and connected to what is occurring in your body.
Examples of symptoms include:
- Brain fog
- Difficulties pooping
- Sleep issues
The list goes on! These are all expressions of what is going on within the body.
What is a Sign
Signs are not so much our experience but rather what you or someone else could objectively see.
Examples of signs include:
- Itchy and inflamed skin
- Bloated belly
- Loose stools
- Trembling or shaking
My job on this earth is to help you have body-connectedness and to put it in socially relatable words. As Ace of Base said, “I saw the sign” you should also be seeing your signs daily.
So What Does This Mean To Us?: Your Next Steps
It means let’s take the first step in the “I love me” department and learn what your body is trying to tell you. Let’s learn how to connect to it and become conscious of the cries for help and the love letters it sends us.
Download my guide the 50 Shades of Poo, and begin this journey. The very first and best way to learn about your body is in the most crucial of functions: your poo.
It isn’t number 2, but rather the number 1 product that your body produces and as such it’s the gateway to body-connectedness. Plus, it’s accessible and it’s easy to measure all of its characteristics.
So it’s time to show up in your skin and learn the signs that your body is showing you. Show up, take notes, and learn what you can do about it.
Life, after all, is a journey of discovery and you are in charge of the direction that you go in.
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2 Renteria R, Baltz ET, Gremel CM. Chronic alcohol exposure disrupts top-down control over basal ganglia action selection to produce habits.Nat Commun. 2018 Jan 15;9(1):211. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-02615-9.