THE BEST TRIP YOU COULD TAKE THIS WINTER
By Olga Sheean
When I was 16, I had a boyfriend who couldn’t relax in company unless he was drunk. Some 30 years later, my clients are telling the same story and little seems to have changed. Clara, a 26-year-old language student, had given up on ever having a healthy, loving relationship. “We’re all crippled by low self-esteem,” she told me. “It’s been drummed into us by the Church that we’re useless and unlovable, and none of us have a clue how to relate in a healthy, loving way.” Despite her awareness of the problem, Clara was taking antidepressants, sleeping pills and antacids. She was managing her pain but it hadn’t gone away—and neither had the message that her body was trying to transmit.
When we try to blot out our painful perceptions of self, we deny the deeper parts of us that are yearning to be expressed. Our bodies always support us in our personal evolution, and if we lose our way, they generate symptoms designed to put us back in touch with the truth.
For Clara, choosing to listen to her body was a turning point in her life. When she realised that her depression was caused by a deep sense of unworthiness, that her insomnia was caused by shame around her sexuality, and that her heartburn was caused by a knot of anxiety in her stomach, she finally allowed herself to start processing the backlog of emotions. When she understood that her body had been trying to guide her towards the happiness she craved, she learned how to interpret its messages and follow its cues. She started to live life on her own terms. No more late-night drinking with friends just to ‘fit in’; no more compromises in relationships in the hope of being loved; and no more pushing aside her feelings in favour of what others wanted.
Taking responsibility for our bodies—as well as our beliefs, emotions and choices—is the most powerful thing we can do to create our ideal life, yet we’ve been taught to defer the responsibility to doctors, lawyers, governments and other ‘experts’ because we don’t believe we can fix ourselves. We’ve also been programmed to endure, to suffer and to generally make do, which stops us from standing up for our rights, from saying no to any kind of abuse, or from engaging in healthy rebellion.
But the body rightly rebels when it’s abused or disregarded, and its symptoms are the physical translation of our negative beliefs. It’s our own unique guidance system, telling us what’s best for us and when we’re off track with our true selves. We may not know all the right answers to make it confident and whole, but we can start asking the right questions:
· Am I loving or rejecting myself? Am I doing what’s best for my body and mind?
· What fears and beliefs are holding me back?
· How does my fear, self-doubt, anger, grief, insecurity, resentment, jealousy, rejection, disappointment or defeat prevent me from being fully me?
· Am I ready to change my mind and stop letting others run my life?
· What would I feel if I stopped drinking/smoking/pill-popping/comfort-eating? If these things are preventing me from being fulfilled and happy, do I really want to keep doing them?
· What can I do to enhance my self-worth and start believing in Me?
· How can I change the negative programming that’s keeping me stuck?
· Am I taking actions that open me up to more love, support and fulfilment?
· What more can I do to nourish and heal my body?
If you’re feeling lonely, broke or unhappy this winter, remember that your body is ready and willing to take you where you want to go. Trust your gut feelings, explore your emotions, and question any belief that doesn’t support you in being the best that you can be. It’s the most important journey you can make… and the destination is you.
Olga Sheean is an author and personal empowerment coach who teaches a unique system of self-mastery designed to put you back in charge of your life. She offers in-person and online coaching/consultations worldwide.