The Church says: The body is a sin. Science says: The body is a machine. Advertising says: The body is a business. The Body says: I am a fiesta. ~ Eduardo Galeano (Uruguayan writer, 1940-2015)
The body is filled with surprises! And, wisdom. The body “knows” things, important things – like what you like and desire. What feels dangerous. What gives you pleasure.
When asked if you like chocolate, that is literally a no-brainer! You know — without having to think about it — if you like chocolate. (For the record, I like chocolate.) To get involved with thoughts and considerations like “Should I like chocolate?” or “Is it okay/cool/evolved to like chocolate?” is distracting. Because your body already knows the answer.
Your body knows many things, if you will stop cogitating a moment and tune in to your deeper self. This deeper self is centered in your heart and your gut and the marrow of your bones, rather than in the incredible bioelectrochemical neural network that occupies your brainpan.
We experience emotions viscerally, and only afterwards conjure a name for them. You feel fear in the pit of your stomach; you see red when enraged. Your heart is in your throat when you feel scared. Stressful situations give you a pain in the neck (or ass); your shoulders are weighed down with grief; sadness brings a lump in the throat. Common parlance suggests that authentic sentiments are heartfelt.
We signal wholehearted assent or commitment with words that imply moving our bodies. I’m down with it! I’m in! When we only wish to offer our witness we speak the language of bodily perception. I see; I hear you; I feel for you.
The thoughts, imaginings, opinions, wishes, analyses, knowledge, and conjectures of the mind lead to complexity. Often we are of two minds, or sense a profound split between head and heart. Strong desires can overpower the cooler rationality of the mind.
The challenge of authentic living is to ground yourself in the wisdom of your body in the present Moment while utilizing the peerless ability of the focused mind to exercise compassionate judgment and choice. The mind is part of the body. Aim for the sweet spot of integration and authenticity by embracing the timeless wisdom of your body.