Are you feeling the urge to slow down? Take a long nap? Maybe even growl a little? Your body rhythm might be mimicking that of a bear who’s getting ready to settle in for a long winter’s nap, a hibernation.
This is a good thing. It’s pretty hard to know what’s happening in your body unless you hang out with it. But if you’re a go-go-getter running from one responsibility to another, or from one social media site to another, how do you slow down long enough to connect your brain and body?
You do things that are unusual.
Last night I put down my usual book that it’s taking me months to finish (only picking it up before my eyelids close shut from overdoing) and picked up Teachings on Love, by Thich Nhat Hanh. I even stayed awake long enough to get to the chapter on self-love. In it he writes:
We begin by asking how is my body in this moment? …
We look into our body to ask whether it is at peace or suffering from illness. We look at the condition of our heart, our lungs, our intestines, our kidneys and our liver to see what the real needs of our bodies are….
If you don’t slow down and connect your brain and body, you will have body chaos, similiar to disease.
Without the skill of knowing how to slow down in the past, as written about in my memoir, I was thrust into cataclysmic experiences that challenged my body’s safety and my peace of mind. Although I overcame much disconnection then, the process isn’t over. It’s a life-long journey I have to remind myself of over and over to be truly healthy and content.
As the weather changes in some places and the daylight gets shorter in all places, you may want to settle into a long winter’s practice of personal hibernation, if only for five to ten minutes a day, of being still and quiet with your body. In your body's wisdom you will also discover what really resonates with you based on everything you’ve learned throughout this year. A bit of hibernation each day, at least for a few moments to connect your body and brain, will relieve stress and may even change your face from that of being a growling bear to resembling one of a cuddly, cute teddy bear.