October 1, 2012

Your Body Journal 3: 'Sensing the Seasons' Journal Exercise

Deepening Body-Awareness: 

Sense The Seasons

You know your body better than anyone else; 

It's time to ask,  listen,  and heal from within.

Part 3 of "Your Body Journal" marks the end of this series. I hope you enjoy this seasonal exercise as a way to more deeply connect to your inner self :) Part 1. Listening to The Voice of Your Own Body, offers reasons why it's important to listen-in and Part 2, Creating a Journal That is Uniquely You, offers many ideas on how to make a journal that fits you.

This is an experiential exercise that over time you may find yourself doing without any conscious effort. In fact, you may already be taking the time to observe how your body, mind and spirit respond to your environment around you! This, I believe is the most self-empowering tool we can use to better question, listen, and understand our own personal health needs. I really believe it is the first step to true health! You know your body better than anyone else, truly. Honor that wisdom, truth, and reality. You don't have to always "defer to everyone else" (as a friend so eloquently describes it) to know how you feel or what is true!

Taking the time to listen-in to the body can open up a whole new world of experience in getting to know your senses. We have so much more to work with than the eyes to see with, the ears to hear with--and much more room to use all of our senses at a deeper level. 

Once a day, take at least 5 minutes to hone in on your senses. Choose 1-2 observations such as a sound, color, smell, or a physical feeling in your environment. If you are making this journal to see how you may feel differently from one season to the next, you may like to sit by an open window or go outside

Let's focus on how the changes in the autumn may affect your body. Consider asking yourself
questions around the senses. Below are a few suggestions on things to can try to pay attention to. Though, some senses are likely to be stronger than others.  If you experience anything, simply record it. Even if it becomes no more than a thought in your mind, a sensation, or feeling in your heart-- just take note. 

For instance, you may find that your tastes, moods, emotions, levels of energy, and areas of pain change as the seasons chance.  And, the more time you spend in observation with them, the sharper they will become. I think this is a great exercise to do with every season, though, the questions may change over time. 

Over the years you may discover weather, foods, smells, people, etc., that trigger a feeling of imbalance in your body. By journaling, you can reflect on ways that you may be able to predict your bodily patterns and better hear your own voice. Your body will tell you what you need and from there you can seek out answers for balance. If you live in Lexington, I have created a page of local resources that I will constantly be updating. There you will find a variety of practitioners, websites and resources that you may find helpful on your healing journey.

Saturation of the Senses

Remember, start slowly, maybe ponder upon one question a day. Your philosophies will unravel over time and you will be better able to listen to your body the more you practice.

Smells: What do I smell that is different this season from the others? How does this scent me feel, what memories does it provoke?

Sights: What colors so I see with fall? How do the colors I see around me make me feel emotionally? Do they make me feel alert? Tired? What colors make me feel more cozy in the fall? 

Feelings: What emotions and  activities do I associate with fall? 
Internal Response: Do I feel in/out of  balance doing these activities? Do I feel in/out of balance emotionally? 

Textures, Temperatures: What textures make me think of fall? Touch the ground, leaves, etc. What texture is my skin, and hair right now? What am I experiencing in my body right now? A certain temperature? More awareness in a certain area than another? Pain? Relaxation? 

Sounds: What sounds do I hear in the fall? How do I feel when I hear them? What sounds would be most appealing right now?

Other Internal Check-ins: What did I eat or drink last night? What did I eat this morning? Did I feel energized after I ate? Did I wake up feeling well rested? How does my stomach feel? Has my skin changed in the past few days? How do I feel emotionally today: moody, balanced, happy, depressed? etc. How is my Energy? How is my digestion? Am I nervous or Relaxed?

Connecting the Dots

You can observe and compare your notes as time goes on. Did you notice if you changed with the season at all?  Did certain foods trigger certain moods? Did certain weather help you sleep better? 

In the fall, did you get a runny nose after eating diary? Did your seasonal allergies or arthritis flare up after eating bread, pasta, or crackers? How about your belly and skin? 

Do you notice that being around certain people put you at ease, while other a state of anxiety? What can you  do to help or change this situation?

 There are no right or wrong answers here. Only a window for you to better see how your emotions and body interact with the world around you. You may be surprised at how much you share in common with the very nature of the season or environment that surrounds you!

I hope this is helpful! I would love to hear about your changes and observations over time.

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