How easy is it for us to look at the birds of the sky, the flowers blooming, the stars shining from billions and trillions of miles and light years away, and see Divine fingerprints and the wisdom of God’s creation flowing out of every atom as we gaze in wonder at the world before us. As life unfolds, our very surroundings seem to whisper or roar of the Divine, of Love expressed in a multitude of ways, we acknowledge how each creation can speak to us of God’s wisdom.

 

How often in pages of scriptures we read of beautiful analogies that invite us into gazing at the birds, that compare our lives to that of trees growing abundantly with fruit or withering away, that invite us to remember a star shining that guided those aware of its significance right to Jesus. Creation is bursting forth with so much to say of the Divine and, perhaps, you take time to listen, to watch, to gaze with unhurried attention, and soak in the wisdom that creation has.

 

Yet, we look at ourselves and we often don’t see the same. Instead of seeing another one of God’s beautiful, intentional, wonder-filled creations, we see the ideas conditioned into us by the media, by people we know who say things that hurt us (whether intentionally or not), and more. While there are countless reasons as to why we don’t look at ourselves with the same sense of awe, we can begin to practice seeing ourselves in this way.

 

Listening to your body is one way of embracing the wisdom of God’s creation as expressed by you– a beautifully created individual. There are many ways to listen to your body and that can help you embrace the wisdom of Divine creation, including something as simple as acknowledging and acting on the cues your body is giving you when you’re hungry and taking time to eat, noticing when you’re thirsty and drinking water, going to the bathroom when you notice, or calling it quits for the night when you’re feeling tired. While these body cue may seem simple, since we eat, drink, and sleep every single day, consider how you listen– do you listen to your own body cues? If you listen, do you act upon what you notice?

 

As I continually learn to listen to my God-given, extremely wise, temple of the Spirit, body…I adjust. I shift and change as I listen to give space for what is being shared. I acknowledge it. And then, I respond.

 

Sometimes responding looks like stopping what I’m doing and going to fill my cup with water as I’ve acknowledged the thirst that I can feel in my mouth. Sometimes it looks like standing up and shaking my body as I feel stagnant and my body posture has begun to fold forward more and more and more. Sometimes it’s feeling emotions bubbling and allowing tears to flow.

 

This practice of listening to my body, then responding, has become something I intentionally lean into during my morning movement. 

 

The process often unfolds like this:

 

1. I wake up in the morning and already notice my body talking to me about something.

My hips, my back, my neck, my shoulders. My wrist. My gut. My head. My body, right upon waking, is already inviting me into conversation.

 

2. I roll out my mat and put on my intended movement for the day.

At this point, I still go with what I have planned. Whether that’s a stretch day, weights, or yoga, I start off with what my daily schedule has on it.

 

3. My body gives me cues throughout the movement.

I feel tired. I feel strong. My right knee is bothering me. How cool to feel these muscles working. I’m over this. I’m going to take it slow. I’m going to go hard! This variety of cues come during different days, different weeks, different moments, and it’s all a variety waiting to unfold.

 

4️. As I notice, I listen and start to respond in the moment.

Noticing that I’m feeling tired? I’ll respond by slowing down and taking more stretch time. Noticing that my knee hurts? I’ll respond by moving slower, engaging more intentionally, or changing the movement all together. Noticing that I’m feeling strong? I’ll respond by pushing hard during the workout, seeing what my limits are and enjoying reaching them. Noticing that everything kind of just feels like the worst? I’ll respond by just laying out on my mat and letting my body guide me to what it needs for a gentle, soft, stretch or even stillness.

 

5️. As these moments exist, they create patterns that I begin to notice, and I adjust.

From my aerials silks class on Monday, I often wake up on Tuesday with a sore body head to toe from the adventure that was the night before. I’ve adjusted. Instead of a workout, I stretch. I get all my blocks, the foam roller, take it slow, close my eyes, and move how it feels good. It feels juicy getting into all the sore spots and I feel lovely and wonderful after.

 

6️. I continue to expand body acceptance.

I accept my body for where it’s at. I learn that listening to my body and cultivating this practice of listening can be an asset to the future versions of me as I age and find different forms of movement to play with. 

 

As I explore new forms of movement, adding in lyra to my weekly rotation (aerial hoop!), listening to my body  has become even more crucial as I need extra intentional recovery. As I grieve the passing of my father, my body also craves different things in the form of soothing and emotional support, and so I honour my body by listening, then responding with love and care, not judgement and frustration. 

 

Listening to your body is embracing the wisdom of God’s creation. It’s often easy for us to look at a bird and find Divine fingerprints but look at ourselves not see the same. Perhaps when you look in the mirror or down at your feet or stomach or arms, you take a moment to acknowledge all that this beautiful, wonderful, amazing body does for you and try treating it with a little extra love and care.