A few months ago I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease. So far, no damage, but it freaked me out a bit. I obsessed. Who me? A gluten-free diet is strongly recommended by some (I don’t have coeliac disease). So for a while I cut the gluten and fretted over small amounts. But it was confusing. To GF or not GF, that was the question.

Fast forward and I’m back on the gluten. You would think I had taken to drink. At first I felt bloody awful. But a few weeks in, I started to feel better, much better. The difference? A new perspective. I found a short YouTube talk about autoimmunity. Actually it was delivered to my inbox.

The clip was by a doctor, a woman with multiple medical degrees who has recovered from multiple ‘incurable’ autoimmune diseases. Her perspective is basically this: autoimmunity is fighting against yourself, so stop that. Listen to your body, listen to yourself, trust yourself. Get in touch with how you feel. Feel your own answers. Feel what you need.

Well guess what, I think that works. For me, simply hearing that clear perspective from a highly qualified doctor made all the difference.

I stopped asking “what’s wrong?”. That question was only making me sick. Instead, I started asking ‘what do I need?’. And my energy came back. I woke up feeling well.

Well it’s weeks since I drafted this and I’m tired again but no longer in despair. What do I need? More sleep. Some lazing. To do something useful to change what’s annoying me.

What is your body saying?

Can you feel the tension in your body? Can you feel it with curiosity? Can you drop the fear? Can you just feel rather than name it or try to change it? What often happens is that the energy starts to move. Or it tells you something. When you ‘push push push’ you eventually feel numb. You no longer know that you need sleep, a walk or food.

In touch with yourself

Our bodies are our sensing mechanisms. They tell us a lot about ourselves. All our emotions happen in our bodies. If you can’t feel what’s happening in your body, it’s hard to make decisions. It’s hard to know what to try. If you don’t notice your physical reactions you waste a lot of effort.

Body knows

I think (listen to the irony) that intuition works through the body. We have gut feelings for a reason. Your body will usually have an opinion.

I’m just going to listen to my body for a while. Does she like bread or cheese or laksa or caramel slice? Does she like filing or finger-painting? Try it. See what your body says and stop being afraid.