When was the last time you took a walk and listened to the sound of the leaves blowing in the wind, or the birds singing, or the sound beneath your feet as you walk on the ground? It can be hard to hear the subtle sounds around us when our minds are racing, the sounds of cars, electronics, and people are all battling for our attention. It can also be difficult to listen to our bodies. Sometimes our bodies give us subtle reminders that we need to attend to ourselves, and sometimes our bodies scream out at us until we give ourselves the attention we need.
Learning to listen is part of coming into rhythm with our bodies. Listening helps us learn the subtleties of our body, so hopefully we can address our needs before it’s too late. In listening we learn to be more intentional with ourselves, making time and space to care for our bodies. I have been told many times that scheduling time for myself is just as important, if not more important than scheduling activities that spread me thin.
Learning to focus on our breath teaches us how to listen to our bodies in the moment. It can help us to create space to address any discomfort in the body, and ask ourselves what that’s about. Breathing helps us to be present, not letting our minds run ahead of us or lag behind us. Take a moment to close your eyes, notice your breathe. How it feels, where it flows? Notice any discomfort or anxious feelings in the body. Notice if you feel joy or peace. As you breathe, ask yourself how you are feeling in this moment. Then listen.