Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293
I've realized lately, from watching conversations here at the boards and just from talking to and listening to people in general, that people, on the whole, only really notice or acknowledge the bad or uncomfortable things going on with their bodies, and not the good/awesome things.
One example of what I mean is something I find happens frequently in everyday in-person conversations. If one asks someone how they're doing and they decide to give a more detailed response then just "I'm okay" or "not bad," I often find that they're most likely to talk about how stressed they feel, or how tired they are, or how much their right shoulder aches, rather than sharing that they feel awesome, or that they just went for a walk and their body feels really good, or relaxed, or energized or (insert your own adjective).
When we talk to people here at Scarleteen who express worry over what their body is doing at the present moment, we often find that these same folks, when asked about what their body used to do, say that they didn't start paying attention until the new discomfort or worry cropped up.
I think most of us are conditioned not to pay attention to our bodies unless they do something really dramatic.
The thing is, though, that our bodies are really amazing and complex entities. They're changing, adapting, and just plain functioning for us in subtle and not-so-subtle ways all the time. They have the power to make us feel awesome, as well as crappy or just so-so. many times when our body does something or feels a certain way that really gets our attention, it's because it's been gently asking for our attention for a while and since we haven't payed it that attention, it then has to up the ante.
So, what I'd like to discuss and share here is ways that our bodies feel good or do positive things for us in our every day lives.
Right now, checking into my own body, i'm noticing how relaxed and open my neck and shoulders are. That's usually where I carry a lot of tension, and because of some long-standing neck problems I have, getting rid of that tension once it makes itself apparent is tricky. So, I'm appreciative when those muscles and joints feel loose and happy without any say-so or input from me and I try to remember to thank my body for that, rather than just ignoring it until pain reminds me that I actually do have neck muscles.
What subtle things do you notice about your body on a day-to-day basis? Or, checking in with your body right now, what do you notice it doing that you feel good about?
-------------------- Robin Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011
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I am prone to pretty debilitating migraines, so I actually make sure I consciously enjoy my migraine-free days, especially days where I have big things planned that I would hate to have to miss out on due to a migraine. I am also really grateful when I am able to do things that I would not be able to on a migraine-day, like wear my hair up or watch a movie without my glasses on. And of course, few things feel better than that moment at the tail-end of a migraine when you realize that the pain is easing up and you'll be alright again in a few more hours.
-------------------- Johanna Scarleteen Volunteer
"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005
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I notice my frame is getting smaller, my belly area is not protruding much anymore Also my joints dont seem to need to be cracked as often Also my urine is a nice hydrated color and i seem to only fart if i have to defecate
-------------------- It is my hope that what i ask here is answered for me and anyone else afraid to ask the same question :) Posts: 133 | From: Connecticut | Registered: Feb 2013
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Good idea, Robin - I've thought of starting a topic like this too. =)
I have a pretty complicated relationship with my body, to put it mildly, but I've been trying to focus on the times when I feel at ease in it. I've found that riding my bike often helps me feel energized and powerful, as do my hill-climbing walks I take on a fairly regular basis.
I've been doing physical therapy for knee pain for the past couple of months, and it's made my butt muscles a LOT stronger. I've always had strong and muscular legs and this has been extra exciting for me - my entire lower body feels really solid and substantial now.
My wrist issues keep me from knitting and crocheting as much as I might like, but I'm still really happy that I can do it at all. I'm almost done knitting my second pair of socks!
Posts: 1352 | From: San Francisco | Registered: Jan 2013
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My first introduction to getting acquainted with my body was when I first took up yoga my first year of college. All that sitting, breathing, stretching, and holding poses for several breaths made me pay attention to my body structure and posture; eventually, that extended to a self-awareness outside of doing yoga. I could be sitting in class during a lecture and my mind would momentarily "scan" my body and the sensations I was feeling--the cold hardness of the chair that gradually reached equilibrium with my body heat, noticing tension in my shoulders or in my hand while taking notes, and immediately letting go of it.
When I started dating my current partner, he and a good friend who happens to be an energy reader got me interested in embarking on a spiritual journey. I learned -- and am still learning -- to look into myself and my emotional baggage to find out what is and isn't mine, and then to let go of what isn't mine. Energetically speaking, I learned to identify how certain situations make me feel and where I feel them in my body, and then learn to process that energy in a way that is healthy. Granted, it's hard work, and there were plenty of times when I felt like I was taking one step forward, two steps back in terms of progress. But I did it--and I still do it--because I feel that the ends justify the means.
In doing this sort of meditation/energy work on myself, I feel like the practice has brought me closer to my self. I am learning to trust my instincts, even if they turn out to be wrong sometimes, and to not be so hard on myself when I do screw up. I discovered the healing powers in just the simple act of a good deep breath, and overall, I don't feel as uptight and tense about myself or around others compared to how I was several years ago. That doesn't mean I still don't act incredibly goofy or awkward and shy at times; it just means that now I'm aware of it and take responsibility for my actions.
-------------------- Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. - Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale Posts: 234 | From: Hawaii | Registered: Feb 2013
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Upon reading this thread, two instances came to mind. First, about two weeks ago, my cat scratched the inside of my left palm. It hurt really badly, and it ripped the skin and I was worried that I might get an infection (as adorable as my cat is and as much as I love him to death, his claws dig into you and man, do they hurt!). But, for two weeks, I was just keeping an eye on it; and it was pretty cool to see how my body rejuvenates itself over time. There's still a little spot there with pink skin, but I thought it was so cool that my body was healing itself without much help from me. That made me happy.
The other thing is that, usually, when my bleed comes, I get really bad cramps. But the past few months, I haven't always had cramps - and I notice it when I don't. So that was a blessing, since a lot of other stuff was happening at the time and menstrual pain would've made things worse.
You're right, Robin. We focus too much on when our bodies do something wrong. I've always been fascinated by the fact that our body has cells that heal themselves and bodily functions that work, EVEN while we're asleep! Breathing, swallowing, your heart beats without you thinking about it...
Good thing our bodies aren't cell phones!
-------------------- "I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can) Posts: 692 | From: Canada | Registered: May 2012
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I'm actually really in love with this thread! Thanks so much for starting it, Robin!
I've noticed that I've been dwelling a lot lately on the things my body can't do, and I realize that it's making it harder for me to really enjoy life despite that. As for the things my body can do, I greatly enjoy the fact that despite my insane amount of clumsiness, and my uncanny ability to fall on flat surfaces and run into everything, the joints in the lower-half of my body seem A-ok. I absolutely love how I'm still able to express myself through music with singing and writing or arranging music, but also especially when it comes to playing the violin since I have issues in one of my arms that keeps me from playing as much as I'd like to; but, as Molias mentioned, I'm still grateful that I can even do it at all. I like how my body is still able to experience pleasure (sexual, even though it's just with myself , and other kinds) despite what it can't do. I like knowing that I can pinpoint most of my limits when it comes to things my body can't do, because I like to think of it as a metaphor for hopefully being able to take my limits seriously in other aspects of my life. I like how my most recent hurdle with my body has been teaching me to not judge myself so harshly, whether it's for the physical things or any other things I can't do.
All in all, I like how my body teaches me things that I don't think I would've learned otherwise if I didn't have some challenges that came with it.
That is a really cool and inspiring post, Robin Lee. I am in a course of study where I am learning a lot about the human body. There are so many different things that can go wrong with the body! And yet - there are so many things that go right with it! It's so complex, I think it's amazing that it works at all! Even at the same time that health problems are happening, there are so many other things that are working properly in the body at the same time.
It's still kind of hard to apply personally, though! Like personally, I have endocrine conditions that I really don't feel good about. But I"m at a better spot than I used to be!
Posts: 44 | Registered: Nov 2013
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