True healing does not come from outside ourselves. Although many of us think that our health trials and tribulations will come to a grand closure once we find the perfect health care provider, in my experience this is a myth, an urban legend. As we are dynamic, ever changing individuals a health care provider can assist us in finding a baseline and helping us to prioritize our efforts so that we get the most for the time and energy that we devote towards healing, but they cannot be there every step of the way. So what are we to do?
Each one of us has the potential and ability to listen in. To clearly hear the signs, signals and indications that our body is constantly providing for us. So what are we listening to? Many of us did not get an owner’s manual when we were born and Ayurveda has long since provided a framework that can be used as an owner’s manual so that we can have a language that allows us to develop physiological awareness, perception and attention. It is the cultivation of listening in that allows the symptoms that are unique to us to rise out of the noisy crowd and give us a clear message. When the message is clear then we can easily reply.
It is like having a conversation with your body where you open your ears and use your awareness and attention to determine what exactly is being communicated. The challenge may be that you don’t know the language of the body and so you don’t know what you are listening to. The science of Ayurveda provides us with a basic language for listening that is based on four pairs of opposites these are: hot/cold, light/heavy, dry/moist and stagnant/mobile. When you listen in try and describe your experience with one of these words, or use your own words and find a correlation between your words and these words. Over time you will start to become in tune with your body, just as a master pulse practitioner becomes in tune with your pulse to understand your body. This attunement to self will allow you to move towards harmony.
Now, look at how you listen to and respond to others. It is common for us to treat others as we treat ourselves. Do you find yourself thinking about what you are going to say when the other is talking or feeling bored or needing to be somewhere else, but too afraid to say something. If so this is the fertile ground for the practice of listening in. Learn to truly pay attention to yourself and to others. In order to do this it can be useful to get in touch with your stories and your pain. Many people who find Ayurveda come because they feel as if they have tried everything else. They come with a story of the pain and hurt that they have been through. In order to open the lines of communication with your body I recommend writing your body a letter. It doesn’t have to be a long letter, but it is useful to set a time limit like 30 minutes sit down and tell your body everything you are feeling. What you are grateful for and what wishes you have for improvement. Do this now! Or if you can’t do it right now schedule a time to do it. Think about what you will do directly before and directly after.
This letter is powerful because it allows you to be your own support person. It allows you to step outside yourself for a moment and witness your story, witness all that you have been through and develop empathy, develop a willingness to support yourself and to walk this journey with your body instead of fighting against it. No matter who is on your health care team you are the one who has to do the work and by supporting yourself you empower your team and all those around you.
Wishing you vibrant health and enjoy the power of listening in.