One of the most amazing books that I was introduced to several years ago during my yoga therapy certification was “You’re Body Speaks Your Mind,” by Deb Shapiro. Since reading this book the very first time it has remained at my bedside and weekly I go to it for answers and inspiration. It is filled with stories and recommendations for decoding the emotional, psychological, and spiritual messages that underlie illness. It presents the idea of how interconnected the mind and body are and the importance of listening to both.
The most striking story from the book is about a woman by the name of Jenny who throughout her life has broken the same hip in the same place three separate times. The first time she fell off a horse just two weeks after her fiancés death. The second, twenty some years later, from a car crash just weeks after her mother passed away. And the third, years later after the death of her dad. Each time she broke her hip, the person she was most emotionally dependent on had died. With each death she transferred her dependency to the next person in line. Jenny, who now uses a walking stick, realized this pattern and the emotional relationship to her accidents, she vowed to take herself off on a solitary retreat to: “Find out who I am so I can walk by myself for once.”
In Jenny’s story we see a more “negative” relationship between the mind and the body but the connection between the two can be used in very powerful positive ways as well. Colonel Alfred Richmond who is 76 years old ran his 40th Marine Corps Marathon today in Washington D.C. He is called a “ground pounder” because he is someone who has run every Marine Corps Marathon since the beginning of the event in 1976. Colonel Richmond is outrageously positive and is defying his age in leaps and bounds. He is someone that sees things half full and his body responds in the same way. In 1990, Alfred had been brutally shot three times in New Orleans while on vacation and had proceeded to have three serious operations that summer. He wasn’t planning on running the Marine Corps Marathon that year but right before the event he read an article featuring veterans like him and decided to give it a go. He ran three times before the big race. Two three milers and one six miler. Colonel Richmond ran the marathon that year and finished in record time. That is called the power of the mind over the body. The body achieves what the mind believes.
In my profession I have the opportunity to work with many who come to me injured, depleted and ill. I also work with a very healthy population as well. From the first session that we spend together it becomes very obvious those that are connected and in touch with their bodies and those whose relationship between the mind and body is foggy at best. But regardless of where they are at, building the lines of communication between the two is a necessity. When information is not being shared things begin to get very loud and noisy in the form of injury, sickness, fatigue, and disease. Oftentimes being too late. Deepak Chopra says, “The mind and the body are like parallel universes. Anything that happens in the mental universe must leave tracks in the physical one. “
How do we get up close and personal with our mind and body? We begin to slow things down. We meditate. We spend time in Shavasana. We quiet the noise in our heads, our lives and the lives around us. We become present. We take time to be still. We take little pains, aches, and slight injuries seriously and give our bodies the time and patience to heal. We choose appropriate forms of exercise that fit the needs of our mind and body. We commit to eating a healthy whole foods diet, rich in nutrition so that our guts can quiet down and work efficiently. We stop competing, striving, pushing and forcing. We seek counseling to heal. We prioritize the relationships and those we love. We turn off the t.v. We bring a reverence and peace into our daily activities. We have gratitude for the amazing lives that we are able to live. Most importantly we LISTEN! Know that the relationship between the mind and the body is not a dictatorship but a democracy. Work as one to be the most finely tuned, highly efficient, living bio computer that you can possibly be.
If any of this resonates with you and you are looking to make some healthy changes for your future, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can’t wait to get started with you on a journey towards optimum health and fitness and a life filled with joy and purpose. As always BE STRONG!
Kim is a passionate fitness junkie that is certified in Personal Training, Pilates & Yoga. She thrives on introducing you to your healthy, fit, joyful and amazing self through fitness, life and nutritional counseling.