October 2011: After 5 days in sunny California, the biggest take home message for me was how to be more present in my body. Geneen Roth asks how can we know we are hungry or satisfied if we are not in our bodies in the first place. It is not rocket science but that doesn’t mean it is easy to do!
We had the opportunity to pay attention for 5 days – to our bodies, to our emotions, our thoughts, over and over, while eating, meditating, doing emotional inquiry, writing and other practices. What I most noticed is that dropping back into my body and out of my head was immensely reassuring and grounding.
I will share more about the four key practices I learned at this retreat at my upcoming workshops, but here are a few tips to get started…
1) Take even a minute or two out during the day and notice what is going on in your body. Notice your feet on the floor, your butt on the seat, how your chest and shoulders feel, what is going on in your stomach. See what you can notice, be curious about physical sensations related to feelings
2) Take a moment to notice your body before eating and ask yourself how hungry are you, and what food are you hungry for. We learned that there is a difference between mouth hunger and body hunger. Mouth hunger is full of ‘gimme gimmes’ whereas the body knows what it wants for nourishment. 3) Try eating slowly and put your cutlery down between bites. Keep asking your body how hungry or satisfied it is. Hunger has a sharp signal whereas satisfaction has a soft one and is easy to miss.