F E E L I N G by Jill Peterson

I have noticed over the years, we have focused more and more on the value of thinking, analyzing, problem solving, and interpreting information.  While these processes are important and valuable, we seem to be experiencing an imbalance in life where we lead an existence from the neck up, having lost a connection to the physical body unless we experience pain or illness. 

Have we truly lost the art of connecting to the exquisite language of the body or do we just need to be reminded of the value of this language in navigating our everyday lives, making decisions, and living life to the fullest?  

Sensations are the “words” of the body and they occur in every moment, whether from the physical processes that sustain our system such as hunger, thirst, and digestion, or from the “mental” exercises of thinking and experiencing emotion.  With every thought, emotion and bodily process, there is a corresponding sensation in the body, waiting to be heard. 

iRest teaches us how to listen to the language of sensation through the art of FEELING.   We learn how to direct our attention and feel, not think, our way through the body and all that it is telling us:  constriction in the chest, warmth in the hands, lightness behind the eyes, tingling in the feet, the weight of the tongue resting in the mouth.  As we are reminded how to listen to the body through feeling, we are connected to all the information the body has to offer.  We may feel a tightness in our stomach as anger arises, a constriction in the chest as fear moves through us, or an expansion in the head as we imagine a positive outcome or experience joy.  With this information, we can often feel the sensation of the emotion or belief arising, before the mind has even named it, giving us time to respond rather than react. 

There is an added bonus to the language of the body: it does not lie.  Unlike the thinking mind that can provide endless pros and cons to every situation and rationalize our way to whatever we would like to believe, the body gives us clear answers every time that do not waver.  We simply need to know how to listen and understand the language it speaks through the art of feeling.  Hence the wisdom we often hear when making decisions to “listen to your gut.”