Podcast: Episode 114: (Re) Building Trust With Your Body

When people are working with persistent levels of pain and trying to reduce symptoms, often they develop a real distrust of their bodies. They feel annoyance and irritation about what their body is doing or not doing, and they feel upset that their body is not getting on board.

For a long time, we have honored our brain function over our body intelligence. We have not been paying attention to our bodies, and we have not been valuing them. But it is possible to rebuild trust with your body by recognizing the dissociation between your brain and body, and building a bridge of connection.

In this episode, I’m sharing three steps to help you rebuild trust with your body and start tuning into your inner wisdom. I’m addressing my thoughts, opinions, and bias around supporting the body and showing you how to create a different outcome for yourself.

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What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why you don’t have to get your body back on board.
  • A key reason people aren’t recovering and healing from their symptoms.
  • The importance of validating your feelings.
  • How to stop resisting what is true in yourself.
  • What to do if you want to rebuild trust with your body.
  • How to gain more trust, freedom, connection, and ease.

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Male Announcer: You’re listening to From Pain to Possibility with Susi Hately. You will hear Susi’s best ideas on how to reduce or even eradicate your pain and learn how to listen to your body when it whispers so you don’t have to hear it scream. And now here’s your host, Susi Hately.

Welcome, and welcome back. With this episode I want to dig into this idea of building and rebuilding trust with our bodies, and having less fight with our bodies, of bringing bodies back on board so to speak. A lot of people when they come to see me and work with their persistent levels of pain and to reduce symptoms there is often in the background, and sometimes in the foreground, a real distrust with their body.

There is an annoyance and an irritation. A worry, or a concern about what their body is doing or not doing. And they're upset that their body is not getting on board. I mean, why can't their body just get on with it and get better already? So with this episode I want to address some of my thoughts and opinions and some of my bias around supporting the body.

And if as you listen to this you're hearing a lot of resonance, then you're going to want to inquire about the Healing And Revealing Human Potential group teaching and coaching program that I run. Because we take these concepts and go deeper into them and really experience them and apply them. And you can read more about that at functionalsynergy.com/synergy.

So how do we build that trust with our body? And in some cases, to answer the question that some people will have is how do we get the body back on board? And in one bumper sticker, we don't have to get the body back on board. Because the first step in this process is to realize that your body is already on board.

It's giving you, right now it's giving you all the information that you need. It's just that you're having some trouble understanding what the information is and how to use it. And it makes sense that you're not understanding what the information or how to use it, because for decades we have not been paying attention to our body. We have not been valuing our body.

In fact, we honor cognitive processing well over our body intelligence and have been doing so for decades upon decades. I remember when provinces in Canada started to phase out physical education, considering it to not to be as important. Reducing recess time so more time could be spent learning, I put that in air quotes. So we've, for a long time honored our brain function over our body intelligence.

There's also another piece that I think all of us at some level went through. Maybe all is too big of a word so I'll express it more from a perspective that I recall and that I remember very, very distinctly. And when I share this story with my clients and with my trainees there is always a knowing nod from a good portion of them. So as I share the story, consider it for yourself.

I remember as a young child this sensation I had when I saw adults talking, and even as I'm sharing this I can remember one of those events very, very, very clearly. When what they were saying and what they were feeling did not match. The words were coming out, yes. But the underlying emotion and the word spoken were not aligned. One thing was being said, and yet there was a different feeling.

And I remember being confused by that, being confused about why they were not speaking what they were feeling. I also have a memory of speaking to the feeling in another and not to the words. I remember being utterly confused about which one to address. And I remember seeing other people around me, they were older than me, how they seemed to navigate this dissociation better than me.

Now, of course, I did not use the word dissociation back then. But now as an adult looking back, I can clearly see what was happening. And I could clearly see that these other people didn't seem to have a problem with it. All I remember was being confused as to why someone would feel one way, but then speak another.

Now, decades later I can clearly see how this break in reality of not using words for what is actually happening is part of what continues the separation of mind and body. And it's a key, key reason for what keeps people from not recovering and not healing from their symptoms. In order to heal we need to align the expression of our bodies with what is coming out of our mouths.

We need to tune into that alignment. We need to reclaim the language of the body. We need to create the new habit if we want a different outcome. The starting point here is to realize that your body doesn't lie. That all sorts of nonsense can come out of our mouths, but the body, it doesn't lie. Yes, we can medicate with any number of substances, we can take the edge off and even numb out sensation. And the body doesn't lie.

I realize that this can be and sound so foreign to many, and perhaps on another level it can be very confronting to so many people because the dissociation is so prevalent in so many of our cultures. Many see the body as being less than. Something that we control, that the brain and our cognition is valued to be more than. And yet, the reality is, is our true power, the true opportunity for recovery and healing occurs when we align the two of them, the body informing the brain.

What I'm speaking about here is the same wisdom that exists in animals who can feel when the tsunami is coming and they move to higher ground. This is what I am offering to you, to tune into that inner wisdom. So to tap into this, consider the following three ideas.

First, begin to notice. Notice when you speak, notice if you are actually telling the truth. Notice if you are aligned even a little bit about what you are feeling, whether those feelings are emotions or physical sensation. You don't need to know why you aren't telling the truth, just simply notice that you aren't or you are.

Notice if there is a break in reality between what is existing in your body and what is coming out of your mouth. And then notice if you want to push those sensations away, sort of shove them down. Notice what you do when you realize that there's a break in the reality.

Get really familiar with what that experience is, or rather get familiar as you can because I recognize that this process can be very challenging. So only go into it as far as it feels comfortable.

So if you notice that your breathing rate starts to rise, your heart rate starts to pound, you start to get headaches and all those things, then back off of the process. I want the process to be easeful. I want it to be enlightening and informing, not traumatizing. So really only go into it as far as it really is comfortable and easy.

Next, notice the gap. So notice that when you're not telling the truth and you're noticing what the truth actually is, pay attention to the difference. You don't need to do anything about this, I just want you to simply notice.

So you're giving a lot of space to what's being said, what's not being said, what the real truth is, and then what you are doing. Like are you shoving things aside? Are you eating food? How are you compensating or buffering for not acknowledging what the real truth is? Are you online shopping? Are you drinking another coffee? Are you grabbing a glass of wine? Another piece of chocolate? Like what are you doing in place of?

Okay, then the third step is to take a break and a pause because you're not actually solving for any of this, you're just simply noticing. And out of noticing, then you'll begin to recognize patterns of what you're doing.

The next step is, when you're ready to do this, is to notice the building up of feeling or of emotion, so physical sensation or emotion, when the truth is clear. You still don't have to actually speak out loud what the truth is, the key is to simply acknowledge what the truth is without shoving it aside or buffering around it or compensating for it.

You simply can notice. This is where a journal can be really helpful or some other means to validate the experience that you're having on the inside. I remember when I was in this reclamation process for myself, when I was learning to both feel what I was feeling and articulate it in a way that was landing. And I made a lot of mistakes early on as I learned how to communicate in a way that both honored what I was feeling and the other person.

I probably should have journaled a whole lot more, but I sort of learned by doing. And as I got better at the process of feeling more and tuning into my alignment more, I got better at articulating it.

So rather than learning cognitive constructs like how to be a good active listener, which in many cases isn't about listening at all, but thinking about being a better listener. As I learned to simply feel more and express that feeling in a way that landed, what opened up was a space of trust. Not only with my body and my brain, but also between myself and the other person.

I was told by my clients that I was saying things that no one else was saying. And I was saying them in a way that they could actually hear. There wasn't this like, as Susi I know better. Which makes sense, because I don't. But what I do know is that as a person learns to feel and express that feeling, whether it's outwardly through their mouth, or simply acknowledging and validating it for themselves, that alignment brings about better trust on so many levels.

And with that trust, symptoms go down. So do you see here we're not getting the body back on board. Because the body is on board, it is talking to us. The symptoms are the communication mechanism. What's distinct here is this relationship between acknowledging the feeling and honoring the truth of that feeling. Being comfortable with feeling, even the misalignment between what we're saying and what we're feeling.

And again, we don't have to speak out the feeling. We can simply validate what the feeling is and honor the trust and the truth that is ours without pushing it aside, without shoving it aside, without burying it in all this other distraction, compensation, or buffering. And as you do, like I said, a moment ago, the trust will go up. And as trust goes up, the symptoms go down.

This is a cognitive process insofar as you are connecting your brain and your body. And by doing so you will have less fight with your body. The sensations of your body are informing your brain and now you can make such better, clearer decisions.

So many people have told me that this level of awareness, this depth of understanding between their brain and their body is truly their next step of success. Some of my CEO clients will tell me that this really is the secret to their amazing leadership, just being able to tune into themselves. It's such a less exhausting way to be.

Think about it, if we're resisting that which is true in ourselves, that resistance, that friction, that's tiring. So if we can begin to pay attention and tune in, validate that experience, and then bit by bit begin to express it in a way that lands, you will begin to see the change. Once you can be honest with yourself about telling the truth, there will be an easier and more connected alignment between your brain and your body.

And then once you're there, you can then take the next step into actually engaging more and more with the symptom of your body. Because now there's more understanding and belief that your body has something to say and your brain, your mind will be more open to the communication.

And I have an episode where I speak about dialoguing with a symptom, and that's episode 37. So you can scroll back to that and then walk through a process of really tuning into what that symptom has to say.

So in summary then, if you want to rebuild the trust with your body, it begins by recognizing the reality of what is, of recognizing the disconnect, the dissociation between your brain and your body, and then building that bridge of connection.

Now, the good news is it does not take time. When that realignment begins to happen, because it's innate and natural within each of us, when it starts to happen it picks up a lot of speed. And you as the individual have control over how fast it goes.

And again, remember step one is just validate what the experience is. And then step by step you will gain more trust, more connection, more freedom and more ease.

Now, if this has resonated with you I have two options for you. If you want my help and you want to work inside of a group teaching and coaching program, you will love my Healing And Revealing Human Potential program where we take these concepts and go deeper into them and really explore and experience them. And you can find that at functionalsynergy.com/synergy.

Or if you want one on one connection, then you can reach out to me at [email protected] to learn more about our private sessions. Have a great time exploring.

If this episode has resonated and you're looking to deepen this idea of getting your body back on board, of listening deeply to your symptoms, of listening to the whispers so you don't have to hear the screams and you're looking for one to one support or professional training, then reach out to us at [email protected] where we can customize your learning path. That's [email protected]. Looking forward to hearing from you.

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