How important is our body to us and can we appreciate what it feels like? Is our health and wellbeing affected when we do?
A point of inspiration
I noticed a couple interact together when I was travelling recently, what struck me most of all was how delicate and fragile their interactions were.
From the way she touched her hair and adjusted her clothing presented such a strong feeling of of delicacy that it was fragility personified and yet at the same time strong and sound.
There was no limp or failing power within the movements at all and there certainly no room for pathetic looks, manipulation or game playing here, there was simply no need.
Her partner touched her as gently and respectfully as she was treating herself, honouring her with his every move. This respect and honouring didn’t stop there. I noticed that how they spoke to their neighboring travellers and how they were with each other was the same.
There was no difference in the delicacy and strength with which they interacted together than the respectful and loving way they spoke to everyone else.
There was none of the usual shift in intimacy when we stop talking to our loved one to the way we relate to the world, as all too often we reserve intimacy for our families or loved ones only and so treat them one way and everyone else gets a whole different side to us. Not here.
My experience of being fragile has not always been great. I thought as I grew up that trusting others was not always a wise thing to do, as I got hurt in the process.
My hurt’s then ordered and arranged how I related to people.
I would shut down and go into protection when ever I was with people, my shoulders would hunch forward and I became hard in my body to protect myself. Even when it seemed that I didn’t have anything to defend myself from, I was so used to being in protection, it became a way of life.
I would not have known how it was to be fragile from a tree trunk.
I knew everything that fragility was not, but not what is is.
When I first encountered fragility
It was only when I met a man called Serge Benhayon, from Universal Medicine that I realised just how shut down and protected I was. This man, presenter and healer, was so open and undefended that I could see for the first time in my life that protection is not all it was cut out to be.
I started to feel there was more to life than sitting in my own hurt.
Gradually, through attending workshops and presentations and having sessions with Serge and the Universal Medicine practitioners, I began to develop a relationship with myself and the stillness and Divinity that lives within me and each and every one of us.
Understanding that men and women are equally sensitive, equally fragile and delicate, has changed how I relate, not just to myself, but to everyone I meet. I no longer see men as hard and tough, yes they may come across like that sometimes, but I can also feel the fragility and sensitivity within the toughness. Neither do I see myself as being hard and shut down, but open to learning about living from a sense of honouring and fragility.
Men and women
The delicacy of women is often well hidden, just as I buried my own sense of this, so do far too many men and women. How we relate to each other is highlighted by the fact that two women die from domestic abuse every week in the UK alone and hundreds of thousand of families and children live with domestic abuse as a daily reality.
Where ever we go we meet abuse as a reality, it has become normal. Fragility, delicateness, along with respect and honouring each other’s sensitivity is a rare thing to see. Yet it is ours to choose.
An inspiration for walking in the world
We can choose to be inspired by how others we are choosing a different path are leading the way with a different quality of life. There is another way to live, I have discovered this for myself, living from hurts never supported me, I am giving it up as a bad job.
Give me the intimacy of fragility any day.
This blog was inspired by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine and two young people who have been attending Universal Medicine presentations and workshops. Serge Benhayon is a remarkable man who is showing the world another way of living.
I have known Caroline Raphael for ten years – she changed my life. I was a deeply hurt and angry woman due to the abuse I experienced in my life, the anger dominated my life. I was angry about everyone God and the Universe for not rescuing me from abuse as a child. This anger affected my personal life, my relationships and my working life. In fact there was no area of my life that wasn’t affected.
I had been attending Universal Medicine workshops and healing courses, but anger was the one thing I would not let go of. Then I met Caroline Raphael. I shared with her that this one situation felt like it was taking over my life. There was a guy who I felt really angry at, I had a great story as to why I was justified in my anger, it was the best reason ever. Caroline asked me a question:
“Could it be that you are not angry at this man at all, but are really angry at your own choices and are using him as a scapegoat to blame for not making different choices in your life?”
It felt like a bomb had gone off in my body – I was stopped in my tracks. I had lived with anger all my life and was sick of how it controlled me and here was someone suggesting that I am angry at myself not at anyone else at all, but angry at me and me alone
“And I could feel just how much this was the truth.”
I was absolutely ready to hear the truth and ready to take responsibility for bringing healing to this anger.
I asked Caroline Raphael how I would deal with anger if it came up again. Caroline suggested that I see it as a shadow, which would come and visit for a while because I had relied upon anger for so long to get by. So when it came she suggested I see it as an illusion and unreal. Whenever I had these feeling come up, to say ‘you are not real, I am not choosing you’. After a while, these shadows stopped coming and I was clear of any remnants of anger.
Caroline Raphael supported me to see the truth and to step into self responsibility which improved my personal and work relationships and made family life a fun and light-hearted experience instead of being dominated by anger. This one meeting changed my life.
Thank you Caroline Raphael from the depths of my heart.
When we consider quality in the workplace, what comes to mind? Performance Indicators? Maintaining Policy’s and Procedures? Applying Health & Safety regulations? These are all relevant and our day to day work load is governed by these. On a practical level our work pressures are related to – how we manage to do what we are supposed to do within the hours we are given in a day.
The pressure our work places us under on a day to day basis seems to ensure that we maintain a cyclical thought process that runs on a well worn track:
‘How am I going to do all that in the time I have to do it in?’
It seem’s we look constantly to that mantra, it feeds a sense of increasing urgency as we rush to get everything done, racing ahead of the mouse and the keyboard, our minds working faster and faster that does not stop when we go home. Does this contribute to create poor sleep and waking in the night with panic or out of control thoughts we do not want to have? Does it feed a sense of over- whelm, in that it can’t be achieved – it’s hopeless. Can our work-load / case load management feel like an out of control tsunami chasing our tail?
At this point do we consider what it’s like to be on the receiving end of someone in this state: the quality we are in when we make home visits, talk to clients and their families, devise work plan’s, problem solve, write reports, engage with professionals at meetings and so on and so on with the many different roles and activities we are being ‘us’ in.
What does that ‘us’ look like at this point?
Research evidence informs us that people in the workplace get sick with increasing frequency.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) research identifies stress as the number one cause of long-term sickness absence
And our sickness rates are through the roof. Moreover according to data released by the ‘Occupational Health Magazine’ last month revealed more employees seeking help for mental ill health issues. They cite ‘a a 70% increase increase in the past two years.
For example, in the field of Health and Social Services, research tells us that caring had a negative impact on physical health (83 per cent) and mental health (87 per cent). Could it be that caring for others to the detriment of self, which is endemic in the ‘caring profession’s’, is a root cause for our current state of ill-health?
When we are anxious and/ or our stress levels are elevated, we look for outside ourselves for solutions to fix how we feel. We all want the instant fix so we can get the report in on time, the relief from pain so we can meet deadlines. I have noticed that there’s a huge reluctance to take responsibility for the fact that:
Perhaps we get sick by making all of ‘this’ – the outside world – more important that we are?
We don’t want to look at self-responsibility, we want the magic pill, the instant solution. These solutions include drinking lots of coffee to wake us up and keep us going and add to that lot’s of Cola to increase the caffeine, eating lots of sugar based foods and snacks like cake, sweets, chocolate, not forgetting the pain killers for reoccurring headaches, antacid and heart-burn remedies etc etc. We plug ourselves into MP3 players, push on and drive ourselves to work without regular breaks, we make jokes about how awful we feel, with some pretty raw ‘trench humor’, we complain about the job, we bitch about case loads, we do all of the above and more but
There’s one thing we NEVER do,
That is take responsibility to consider what we are like walking into other people’s lives, answering the phone, sending emails, writing reports,
What quality we are in when we do so.
Our basic position remains ‘there’s nothing wrong with me and the way I live’. It is a sad irony that many of our clients have that same view, ‘there’s nothing wrong with the way I parent, you need to go next door, they’re really bad, it’s them you need to look at.‘ In Health and Social Services, we share a similar trait’s as our client group. How could we not?
When do we look at our quality as workers and consider – Does it matter what state we are in?
Does it matter if we hate to come to work and if we hate our job except on a Friday?
Does it matter if we are exhausted all the time and struggle to get to the end of the week?
Does it matter that we can’t stop thinking about work, even in the middle of the night?
Does it matter if we have the view ‘we don’t need to change’?
Does it matter if we are stressed out trying to achieve PI’s and deadlines?
Does it matter that we come to work after a heavy night out and are feeling awful because of it?
Does it matter if we drink every night to relax after a hard day – when every day is a hard day?
Does it matter that the British Medical Journal states that Alcohol ranks “most harmful” among a list of 20 drugs, beating out crack and heroin when assessed for its potential harm to the individual and harm to others?
Does it matter that we are angry about how our clients and colleagues?
Does it matter that we are distract ourselves from feeling the truth about our lives because we don’t want to feel?
And the 50 Million dollar question:
Does it matter what our quality is like, living the way we do?
Why should it matter?
Imagine, if you will, a scene in an office, two people have had a steaming row and you walk in. We immediately notice the room feels awful and we tip toe around them, get to our desk and bury ourself in work, put our MP3 on and pretend it’s not there. We feel it anyhow but ignore what’s going on as it’s uncomfortable. Or, we know when our boss is on the war-path as soon as he/she steps into the office, we duck our head and hope to go unnoticed. Or, someone is having a great day, do we feel resentful? When we go home, we can feel what mood our partner or our children are in as soon as we come through the door. If we are being honest we can say:
We can feel what is going on.
To confirm that:
We can feel what is going on with other people around us.
To take that further:
We can feel what is going on, we don’t need to be told, we feel it first
Yes, we know what people are feeling. We can admit it.
Think back to the last time someone was really ‘nice’ to you but it didn’t sit right because you thought they were trying to ‘butter you up’ to get something; or when someone really dumped on you, made you feel small, made you feel like and idiot, or made you feel great. What did that feel like?
Simple fact: We feel all the time.
We feel all the time and it’s normal to feel what is going on, we use this facility to negotiate with normal day to day stuff, but we pretend otherwise.
We can choose to acknowledge that we feel, or we can ignore it. We feel nonetheless, and…. everyone else does too!
We know that 95% of all communication is non-verbal and most of that 95% is feelings. On a daily basis we have this huge mass of ‘felt communication’.
What does it feel like when someone you know comes into the room and throws their bags down with a crash, sits in anger and types in anger? We know we can feel it, it shows in our face. So why do we think for a second that our thoughts and feeling’s are hidden from our colleagues,our clients and even our children? Given that:
What quality are we offering to our colleagues, clients and families as a result of the way we live, act and think?
If we know that we all can feel what is underlying all our words and thoughts, would we not have a more responsible way of living and working?
Is there another way to live that takes responsibility for how we live day to day, to ensure we don’t crash and burn, to ensure we don’t dump on others, a way that is equal for all. The first step is self-awareness of our own behavior’s, thoughts and speech, the second is learning to self-nurture, to care for ourselves so we don’t seek remedies without also remedying the source of the problem inside us.
Can we change our quality and the service we provide if it’s simple self-responsibility.
What is self-responsibility?
Self-responsibility is making choices in life knowing that whatever we choose will have an impact on everyone around us.
So what we choose to eat, to drink, to think, to say and to live day to day, forms your quality and
It effects everyone.
We can’t afford to pretend that because no one is watching us it’s okay to do what we do, it’s not, because it ALWAYS affects our quality, no matter who’s watching or not, and it’s our quality that we then present to others.
Knowing this, what is your quality?
Is it worth holding on to or worth changing?
I have been reading a lot of articles lately on food and why we are getting fatter as a human race. I have been especially interested in this since I made some choices that lead to me losing about half my body weight over the past few years.
Initially I began to look at what I was eating in terms of how it affected me from day to day. I knew that what I was eating was making me feel less than good, so I chose to cut some things out to see how it went. The results were impressive in terms of how I felt (awesome) and what happened to my body (also awesome).
But some of the choices I made were against what I had been told and educated in with regard to food. For example:
‘Bread is a staple and part of a balanced diet.’ – Yet bread gave me diarrhoea, bloating, cramps and candida.
‘Alcohol is a socially acceptable part of life.’ – Yet it gave me lower back pain, nausea and a sense of not being me at all; this would last for a day or more after I had drunk alcohol, yet it’s socially acceptable.
‘Milk, cheese and dairy are the building blocks for the body.’ – Yet it made my nose run constantly, gave me tinnitus and yet more diarrhoea.
‘Chocolate is a treat we can give ourselves as a reward for working hard and being good.’ – Yet after the initial 3 minute rush, it made me feel like I didn’t have a body at all, I was just numbed out and so happy to be numb! How was that a treat?
‘Fruit is part of a healthy diet.’ – Yet I had diarrhoea and got a more powerful sugar rush than I had ever had from chocolate.
‘Rice, corn, potatoes, pasta and other carbs are necessary to keep us going through the day, they stop us falling asleep mid afternoon.’ – Yet they rapidly turn to sugar in the bloodstream and will gaurentee to make you sleepy by 3pm, and they also gave me a sugar rush, bloating and diarrhoea.
All of this made me realise that what we are told about health/ food /weight was not necessarily the truth. If we reflect on the state of our bodies in this world today, what are they telling us and how do we live in a world where cancer is 1 in 3, diabetes is the fastest growing disease on the face of the planet, illness and disease are out of control and more people are getting obese than at any other time in our history – doesn’t that say something about how we are living???
When are we going to wake up and listen to our bodies and what they are desperately trying to tell us?
We, the human beings on this planet, use and abuse our bodies filling them up with rubbish like a landfill site. Why? Agitation, stress and anxiety seem to make us eat more. Is it to fill ourselves with something when we feel we are not enough? Or do we push the body with running, extreme exercise regimes, overwork, overdrink and overeat to numb out and not feel what is really going on? Do we fall for everything we are told by health experts and pharmaceutical companies because it’s apparently easier than having the sense to notice what impact our lifestyle, food and drink has on our body? But is living that way easier? Is it really easier to believe that it’s normal to drink every night so we don’t have to feel the obvious results of the way we are living day to day?
The news is full of what is happening in the food and drink industry and how we have consumed in the past couple of decades. For example:
- Almost two-thirds of people rely on alcohol to relax in the evenings, the charity Drinkaware has warned. Drinkaware warns that alcohol might appear to aid stress but often makes things worse.
- Dr William Davies, a preventative cardiologist who practises in the USA, reports in his new book ‘Wheat Belly’ that wheat is so bad for your health that it should carry a government health warning.
– The Guardian newspapers reports, ‘Sugar addiction is making our children fat.’ Smoking and alcohol dangers are known and regulated, so why are the risks posed by junk food not taken seriously?
can you turn this into a dot point like the others instead of the hyphen?
- Why is our food making us fat? We are on average 3 stone heavier that we were in the 60’s. We have unwittingly become sugar addicts.
These are a mere few examples of the way the food and drink industries are being exposed , but perhaps we don’t want to listen as it may mean we will need to look at how we eat and drink?
Personally, I know how hard it can be to make the choice to change. We don’t like change, so much so that we want the easy-not-to-be-challenged lie over the inconvenient truth.
We would rather be consistently lied to than admit we have been fooled.
What about looking at why we eat the way we do? I started to look at why I used food, alcohol, coffee and stress to bury and hide from what I was feeling. I recall feeling scared of feeling, simply because it hurt and I worried I would get lost in that hurt and be stuck there. I found that healing the hurts did not mean getting lost, it meant getting myself back.
I did not do this alone, I had help to do this and it’s been a long journey and it continues to be an unfolding journey for me to listen to my body.
I would never have admitted to the fact that I lied to myself
and numbed myself out of existence,
until I stopped long enough to feel what was going on in my body.
I was offered a reflection of what my life could be if I started to take responsibility.
I am aware that I had invested so much of me in looking at what the world was telling me what I should do and what I should be. I constantly sought to be something for the world out there and ignored me inside and any connection with who I truly am inside. If I didn’t meet what the world wanted of me, which was most of the time, I’d fall into self-loathing and beating myself up for not being enough. It’s so easy to choose to do that.
Could the problem be that not one part of that world tells us we are awesome just for being ourselves, not one part of the world said:
You don’t have to do anything, you are great and beautiful just for being who you are in this world and we love you for your being you.
No one said:
What if the world inside of you surpassed anything the world outside could offer you? Look inside, you have it all there, you don’t have to do any thing to be wonderful, you don’t have to draw the best picture, run the fastest, be the best, have the fastest car, the nicest house, you are wonderful just being you. Whatever you do when you are being you is wonderful anyway, as it’s you expressing the wonderful you.
Even though we didn’t get that as a child, we can acknowledge that we are grown up now and that we can parent ourselves, we can choose that and give that to ourselves every day. The rules are different now and we can make the choices to make and shape our own life.
If we keep choosing to give that to ourselves every day and choose to see that truth in us, then what can stop us? Only ourselves with some old patterns of behaviour that take us out if we so choose. And if they do take us out, then we’ll only keep falling for that until we come to and stop. It’s no biggie to trip up. We’ll do it until the day comes when we can hold steady the awesomeness that we are in this world, and this is work in progress.