What Do You Tell Your Body?

The relationships we have with our bodies should look a lot like the relationships we have with other people. Give and take, listening and responding accordingly. In fact, the relationship between body and self is one of the most important relationships to maintain. In this episode of Inner Warmup, Taylor lends some advice on communicating with your body.

Episode Transcript

Listen to Inner Warmup where your inner work begins. My name is Taylor Elyse Morrison, I'm the founder of Inner Workout and you as always are our expert guest. Thanks for being here. And let's get straight into it with our little mindfulness of warm up. Today, what I'd love for you to do is to place your hands together, so that your palms and your fingers aren't touching and then clasp your hands like you're holding hands with yourself. Take a look at your hands as you do this, maybe give them a squeeze. Feel a transfer of energy between your palms and then the interlocking of your fingers. As you look at your hands, remind yourself that your hands are a part of you, a part of your body, one of the ways through which you experience the world. And when you're ready, you can unclasp your hands. I like doing little exercises like that because when we get disconnected from our bodies, which can be a trauma response, we literally can forget that our hands are part of us or that our feet are a part of us. And so taking a few moments to just experience a part of your body that maybe you overlook, can be really beautiful and meaningful. Okay, so the question I want to talk about today is, what do you tell your body?

We've talked a lot over the course of this month about being in conversation with your body. And the focus thus far was on what your body could tell you, how your body was speaking to you, whether or not you were listening. But conversations are two way streets, right? You're talking and you're listening, you're giving and you're receiving, and the same is true when we talk about being in conversation with your body. And so we've come to a point where I want you to think about what you're telling your body. And this yes can be verbally what you're telling your body, how you're speaking to it, but there can also be nonverbal ways that you're communicating with your body as well. So maybe you're telling your body that it's not a priority, or it's not worth listening to when you can feel that you're so tired, you can barely keep your eyes open. But you keep going o a project or you say yes, let's go to the next episode as you're watching Netflix.

That's one way that you're talking to your body, you're telling it something, even without having a spoken conversation. Or if it's in the middle of the afternoon, and you're feeling hungry and you know, you should stop and eat but you don't because you want to get out one more email, or you're just like, if I could just push through for like 20 more minutes, then I can respond to my hunger. Those are ways that you're having conversations with your body, you're telling your body something even if you're not speaking. But we also can be verbally in conversation in our body, whether the conversation happens out loud, or if it happens just inside of our head. And it can be some unkind stuff depending on where you're at in this moment in relationship to your body. Maybe you, like me, are exploring what your body looks like in this post pandemic world and maybe there are parts that are softer. There are muscles that operate differently than they did previously and you might be trying on a dress that you've worn previously, or you might be going shopping and you might notice that you're saying things to your body because it's not the exact same body that it was before.

Or maybe it's when you're doing something physical that challenges your body and you feel that conversation starting and maybe it's really empowering and you are celebrating your body for all that it can do. Or maybe it's kind of like an inner mean girl and you're not saying the kindest things. I found, for me, that having a regular movement practice...you've heard me say this before, it's really important for me and how I relate to myself holistically. I also find it to be a great lab and kind of pulse check to see what my conversation with my body is like, what am I saying to myself when I don't know if I can do another rep? What am I saying to myself when the instructor can do something that I can't do. And I've been experimenting with using movement as a way to explore this dialogue that I have with myself and with my body, and also to begin to change that. So there was a time where I would have been really, really hard on myself for not being able to do certain things in a movement practice and now it's really exciting because I will be doing a workout...and if you do workouts regularly, you probably know what I'm talking about...where you're just like, over it.

You're over it, but you're like, okay, I committed to this and you're not in danger of physical harm or anything, just mentally you've hit a wall. And I, in the past maybe would have been really mean to myself, like why can't you keep going Taylor, you have been doing this practice for a while, this should be a no brainer. And lately, over the past several months, I'll just be like, you know what, this is really hard Taylor, you are doing a hard thing right now. And that's a conversation that I'm having with myself. That's one thing that I'm telling my body, like you're doing something that's difficult, you're doing something that's challenging. It makes sense that it would be hard, it would make sense for you to hit a mental block right now and just really acknowledging the experience that I'm having in my body. Sometimes I'll be doing something, and it's difficult and I'm like okay, we've got three more of these things, and I might say something like "Taylor, you're really strong. We're really strong right now, look at us doing this thing that we couldn't do before", even though honestly, I'd rather re-watch Schitt's Creek. But I know that me taking the time to do this is really supporting my mental health.

So for me, and you can test this out for yourself, exploring what I'm saying to myself in a movement practice helps me then dial into what I'm saying outside of a movement practice. So if you are listening to this, and you're like, I don't really know what I tell my body. I've never thought about it. Well, great. That's part of why we have this podcast for you to spend some time being in conversation with yourself on questions that maybe you wouldn't normally think about. What I would challenge you to do, if nothing comes to mind right away, is to first just think about your normal day. Think about the things that have become norms for you, what you do in the morning as you're getting ready, what you eat, maybe what you do throughout the day. Do you get up and stretch to go for walks? Just go through a day in your head. Think about what has become normal for you and think about what those norms then tell your body. Like if it has become normal for you to skip all of your meals and stare at your computer all day, you're probably telling your body your needs are secondary to the work that I have going on. So that's one entry point that you could start with.

The other thing is to think about what starts to come out when you are on the cusp of something that feels a little bit unfamiliar or new or different in your body. Like I said, for me, I see that a lot when I'm doing a movement practice. That's one of the places I physically challenged myself the most and have the, I guess, the freshest physical experiences. So I could go back to workouts and think okay, what are the thoughts? What are the conversations that start there, but maybe you had a near travel experience, or maybe you tried an outfit on that isn't something that you would normally wear? Go back to that moment and see if you can have any insights from there about what you were telling your body in that moment. So you can look at it from the sense of norms and the implications that your norms have on what you might be telling your body even inadvertently, and then you can look at kind of the outliers, those edge experiences and what conversations pop up there.

So I think I've shared enough. It's time for me to turn the mic and the reflection over to you. What do you tell your body?

Thanks for taking the time to reflect with me. I always appreciate it. If anything came up for you that you want to share, you can always dm us on Instagram. We love to hear from you. And if you think this episode would benefit a friend, why don't you send it to them or take a screenshot and put it on your stories? You sharing the podcast is how more people find out about it. And we are so so appreciative. We have another inner co working session coming up in a couple of weeks. If you go to inner workout.co/schedule, you can sign up and put some of these insights into practice in the context of self care fields community. I will release you into the rest of your day. Thanks for your time, and thanks for your expertise. Take care!