by Rosanna Bianchini, Gloucestershire, UK
A few years ago my body was much harder and more rigid than it is today. I had tightness in the muscles in my neck, shoulders and chest, which was causing both aches and a stiffness of movement in my upper body. My body felt hard and unyielding. As a result I could say that any movement took more effort than would naturally be needed, and the demands on my muscles and my energy were therefore greater.
I had begun to understand that if my body was as tight and as toughened as it was, how could I possibly feel or know what felt right for it and what did not? – just like calloused, leathery hands with their thickened skin cannot allow full sensitivity to feel what is there to be felt. I also noticed that with this hardened and stiffer state the sensitivity and movement-flow through the muscles was being affected, and it was more difficult to be gentle just doing simple everyday things because of this.
For many years I had also a feeling, somewhere inside, that something was very wrong on a deeply fundamental level – from a place more profound than the consistent aches and pains, and deeper than the history of past depression and illness. In very quiet moments, when I was doing yoga and focussed on the deliberate and slow movements in my body, I connected to a place where I could feel there had to be more, another way to live, that did not result in feeling as I did. In that connection lay both the inspiration and the answer, which I was to later discover.
However, the question remained; why had my body ended up in such a way? I wanted to find out what was really going on: what had I been doing for my body to be showing me now, so loudly and clearly, that it was not OK?
But where to start? It was becoming clear, simply through a process of elimination, that any lifestyle choices I was making during the day, like what to eat, when to sleep, how to exercise (or not), must be having a consequence that showed up sooner or later in the body… so how could I become more aware of this? And how could I begin to feel what was really going on in a body that had become stiff and hardened?
I began by paying attention to myself to learn what was happening – but I had to discover a way back to having a body that could feel, and so initially I took my clues from observing Serge Benhayon and others who I could clearly see were making responsible and loving choices for themselves. And it was from their consistent reflection of love, which came through in the way they lived their everyday lives, that the ‘more’ – which I had, deep inside, known there to be – was confirmed. It was confirmed as being love… and with this confirmation my trust in that loving way was re-kindled.
Just as a child would learn – I observed, I listened, I noticed and then I experimented for myself.
I put a focus into bringing a deliberate gentleness to the body and making choices that I had observed were more loving and nurturing, choices that would support my body rather than choices that ignored the physical consequences of them. To build this discovery of what was more self-loving, I took feedback from the body itself. For example, I would experiment with food to feel how what I ate affected my physical state or the way I felt emotionally, I would take notice of all the signs my body could give me, like how ‘bunged up’ did my nose feel on waking? How stiff were my muscles? How runny did my eyes feel? What were my periods like? How creaky were my joints? Did I feel bloated in any way? What did my skin look like? How dry was my hair? How regularly was I going to the loo? Every part of me, both inside and out, had a story to tell. I listened and experimented consistently, checking back for what may have caused the change (good or bad), and adjusting accordingly what I ate, how I worked and how I interacted with people, based on what my body was feeding back to me.
Over this initial year or so, because I had been willing to give myself the time to listen to myself and my body, and in response make choices that were more loving, harmonious and supportive for me, I started to feel more harmony and balance within myself; my hardness and tightness eased and my body became softer and easier. Physically I began to feel more open across my chest and less restricted in my back and shoulders. I also noticed in my relationship with others, feeling less guarded and protective.
I can honestly say that feeling what my body has to say and bringing in more loving choices to live in a more loving way, has brought a profound, positive effect to the way I feel – in all senses of the word. With the self-proven understanding that every choice has its effect, it has been very lovely to explore the benefits and support we can bring to ourselves in such a simple way… I can also say that I am still enjoying this connection and a deepening of that honourable relationship with myself.