Checking With Your Body First for Answers

Free will is the ability we have as humans to make choices that are not determined by just external circumstances. We can increase both the reach and effectiveness of our free will when we become keenly aware of where we put our attention.

In the following exercise, you will sample a tangible experience of a body-first vs. mind first approach.

Imagine that you are sitting at the beach watching the waves rise and fall a few feet before you. Hear the ocean waves as they crash on the beach and smell the salty air, feel the sweet ocean breeze on your skin, see the setting sun spray color across the sky.

Now take a minute and listen to the thoughts passing through your mind. What are they saying? The voice in your head might be comparing the weather at the beach to the current temperature where you live. You may even find that your thoughts begin to go over your bucket list, and that long-overdue trip you’ve wanted to take. Next thing you know your mind has wandered off to many other thoughts.

Now that you’ve witnessed your own thought-stream, let’s shift your attention.

Go back to the beach scene and engage all of your senses. Intentionally shift your attention from your thoughts to your body as you imagine yourself at the beach.

Take a deep breath, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Notice anything you observe that you were not aware of a few moments ago.

Notice any body sensations that arise. Scan your body from your head to your toes. What do you sense and feel in your body; not just what you think in your mind.?

You just made a fundamental attention shift from a mind-first to a body-first orientation. The focus of your attention went from thinking about the beach scene to experiencing what you feel when you imagine being on that beach with me. You expanded your experience by engaging with what is happening inside your body in addition to what is going on outside or floating through your mind.

It’s important to note that it isn’t necessary to silence the mind or stop your thoughts to broaden your attention and include what your body is feeling and telling you for more bandwidth to give you information, feedback, and the best direction.

Here’s a very short video that will help you go body first more.

Throughout the day notice:

When I think about _________ I have the following thoughts _________

When I think about ________ and listen to my body I notice and feel ________

For more body awareness tips