How often do we actually listen to that little voice inside our head? That inner whisper is our sub-conscience, our instinct and intuition trying to tell us something. Sometimes it’s our own body speaking to us.
I’d like to say that I’m fairly in-tune with my body and its voice. I’m pretty observant to how I feel at any given moment. Aren’t we all? For example, usually it’s pretty clear when you are on the verge of getting sick. You not only don’t feel 100%, but some thing is “off”. You feel like you’ve had an overly hard day that is resonating through your whole body. Our bodies also have an odd way of getting us to slow down, and it’s usually at the most inconvenient time. An injury or illness, often does not happen because we are clumsy and trip over the parking curb or have been licking the hand weights at the gym – it happens to force us to slow down as the result of not listening to that little voice.
A few years ago I finally listened to my body after it had been whispering to me for some time. I knew I had to leave dance and stop teaching because my knees specifically told me that if I wanted to walk when I was 80, I’d stop. I rode it out for as long as I would dare, and then at the end of the season in 2011, just before getting married, I stop teaching ballet. Little did I know, in the not to distant future, my body would speak to me again and I’d have to give up yet another physical activity.
Often our little voice has a specific volume or tone – or at least mine does. For a long period my body whispered to me, but for a few weeks now the whisper has developed into more of a speaking tone until last week it (my body) yelled at me after teaching one of my fitness classes. “I can’t do this any more.” The resulting pain in my hips and knees was enough to fully get my attention. And so, once again, listening to my body, I’m now giving up teaching fitness classes.
I get the picture now and have committed a full month (if not more) to nothing but recovery. That doesn’t mean it’s sitting around and watching movies all day – however nice that sounds. Because I like to eat, and eat well, I must keep up my own physical conditioning. But I have a feeling that, left to my own devices, I will be better on my body than when I was teaching fitness classes. I shall bump up my deep water cardio to twice or even three times a week, continue to work with my personal trainer, in addition to cardio and stretching on my own. I will also add seeing an acupuncturist to my team of specialists that include an orthopedic surgeon, a masseuse, a reflexologist and a chiropractor.
It became very clear to me recently on a instinct or feeling level that the door to the next chapter of my life will not open until I shut the door of my past. Knowing this, I have had one foot in the past, while longingly looking towards the future. It took a few months for me to learn that it doesn’t work that way. The door of the past must shut completely in order for the future to be open to me. IE I must give up physical teaching all together. It has not been easy. I have been teaching ballet or fitness for almost fifteen years and it’s something I physically, mentally, spiritually and psychologically associate myself with. But as one door closes, another one opens. I have the courage and strength to walk through the unmarked door of the future, because the path of my life has led me here to this moment, and I am ready.