QigongWe rarely ask our body anything.  Well, we ask if it’s hungry periodically if we’re not sure.  We sometimes ask it what it wants to eat. We ask it to do things…well really we require it to do things and sometimes it balks or simply can’t.  But for the most part we ignore it unless it needs something or we need it to do something.  We don’t really look at it as a font of wisdom. In fact we’re constantly trying to train it, improve it, adorn it, hide it, or ignore it. We certainly aren’t looking to it for guidance.

But what if we did? What if we actually asked our body questions. Not just “Are you willing/able to do what I want you to do today?” but actual questions. Questions about why I crave this food over that. Or why I get tired when I do this which isn’t strenuous but not when I do this really physical thing over here? Why I can do things easily on this side and not on the other? If we actually asked those questions what answer would we get? And what would it take for us to listen.

One of the things about the various physical spiritual practices like Yoga or Tai Chi or Qigong is that they do that very thing. They encourage us to rediscover our ability to hold conversations with our body. To recognize that our body has just as much to say about our lives as the rest of us. In western society we can get overly focused on “quiet the mind” and not realize that the point isn’t to be quiet, it’s to be available for new conversations. Your body has wisdom concerning your finances, your relationships, your spiritual journey, that it can relay in detail, but we never ask. Perhaps it’s because the body is a very direct communicator and we’re afraid of hearing the truth of things. Perhaps we are afraid of the fact that once heard the truth cannot be unheard. However, we feel it all the time and spend enormous amounts of energy to ignore the message. What if instead of just listening, we started asking direct questions? What if we started honoring the answers?