Our Brilliant Flesh & Bone

Our mind and our body are in total cahoots.

When our mind thinks Calvin & Hobbes is funny, our body laughs. When our mind thinks an Otis Redding song is sad, our body cries. When our mind is nervous about a speech we’re giving, our body gets butterflies. When our mind is embarrassed about that slip-up we just made, our body blushes.

There is one incredible superhighway between our brain and our flesh and bone.

But the body is more than a reflection of the mind’s state. As many have said, the body has an intelligence all its own. We just aren’t taught how to hear it.

Here in the West, we are conditioned to rely nearly exclusively on our minds for intelligence. When someone’s smart, we say she’s got brains. We don’t say she’s got body.

And if our bodies get in the way of our brain’s ambition, we override them. Sleep less to work more. Drink caffeine to feel less tired. The number of athletes, weekend warriors, gym rats who’ve ignored their bodies’ pains and permanently injured themselves is too high to count.

But those pains were trying to tell us something. That distended stomach after we eat dinner too fast is trying to tell us something. That low energy when we’re around those folks who gossip and talk toxic is trying to tell us something.

We only need to hear it. More specifically, to come into relationship with our body. To listen so attentively that we can hear the wisdom before it manifests in full-blown hurt, energy-lessness, discomfort.

But this is not just a pain-prevention measure, it’s also a path to moments of bliss. It’s letting ourselves sink completely into an embrace. It’s slowing down to really taste that just-baked bread. It’s giving ourselves over to the physical urge to stop and watch the sun setting in the west.

Our flesh and bone has real brilliance. And just think how incredible our life could be if we listened to our body’s wisdom the same way we listened to our mind’s.

The Lightning Notes is funded by kind donors. If something here strikes you, I'd be grateful if you'd consider donating. Click to Donate!