Let’s face it most of us spend our lives in our heads. When we have a decision to make we use our head. We research, analyze and think, think, think! Now, there is nothing wrong with a bit of thought but when we leave out our body’s wisdom our thinking often heads the wrong direction. This is a statement I often hear from client’s, “I don’t know what I want anymore! I feel lost.” Our body can be our greatest friend when it comes to figuring out what we want. It is very hard for the body to lie. That is why lie detectors work so well. Our body tends to tell the truth. Have you ever had a job that you didn’t like? Did your body complain by getting sick often, getting headaches, neck aches, backaches, feeling exhausted? My guess is that it did. Our wonderful body has ways of saying “no” to things we don’t want or like. The problem is that most of us are not listening. In fact we often do not listen until the messages get so loud that we are knocked flat on our backs…literally! The way to find your passion-filled work and life is to learn to listen to your body saying “Yes” or “No”.
So how do you do that? I’m glad you asked! Here is a simple exercise to help you notice the signs your body gives you. Take a minute to think of the worst job you ever had. Really imagine yourself working that job again. Now notice what your body is doing and feeling. Did your hand touch your throat? Do you feel tension in your shoulders? All these are signs that your body is telling you “NO!” You can play with this some more by thinking of the three people you dislike the most. Imagine all three of them moving in with you!! Help! What is your body doing and feeling now? Make notes about how your body says “no” so you will remember.
The next step is noticing how your body says “Yes”. Think of the best job you have ever had. Maybe it was a volunteer job. Imagine yourself showing up for work at that job again. What are your hands doing? Are they relaxing? Did your shoulders come down? How do you feel? Does your head feel light? Do you have butterflies in your stomach? Try the same exercise thinking of your three favorite people coming over for dinner. Don’t you love that feeling?! Now you have a good idea of what it feels and looks like when your body is saying, “yes”.
Does this mean that when you follow your passions and listen to your body you will always feel good? Unfortunately, that is not the case. Following your passions requires risk. It requires you to move out of your comfort zone. When you do that you will feel fear. Sometimes following our passions requires us to do some painful healing as well. You will learn the difference between the discomfort of your body saying “No” and the discomfort of healing and the fear of trying something new. The latter feels cleaner, it often has excitement mixed in with the fear, it feels necessary and exhilarating when you go through it.
Start today to listen to your body and when it says “yes” follow that. When it says “no” honor that as well. I know it may sound impossible to do at first but take baby steps, experiment with it. Soon you will learn to trust those feelings and your body will lead you to your true path, the path that will fill you with joy and keep your life and work passion-filled!
Leanna Fredrich works with professional and executive women in the 2nd half of their careers who are burned out and don’t know what to do next. She helps them go from burned out to fired up by finding meaningful and passion-filled work. Are you serious about creating an amazing life? Take the FREE “How to Discover Your Passion-filled Work” ecourse. For more information go to http://www.LeannaFredrich.com