When I first started my work as a health guide (educator? mentor? coach?) and writing this blog, I wrote monumental posts about all the things I cared about and believed about holistic health. (Back then I hadn’t yet focused on women’s hormones and the Sex Surge.)
I wrote about holism- the concept of interacting systems (mind, body, spirit, environment) and self-care. And I wrote several posts about how to listen to your body. It’s a tool and skill I think bears repeating.
Listening to our bodies is one of the most important tools we can use on the peri-menopausal and Sex Surge journeys.
What does that mean? To listen to our bodies?
Let me get way more succinct than my original post: It means paying attention to what is happening inside your body.
To get a bit more detailed:
Emotions: what are you feeling at any given moment? What emotion is happening inside you? Where does it live inside your body? Sometimes my anger is in my head, sometimes it’s in my chest. If you’re in the Surge or peri-menopause, sometimes the emotions can be overwhelming.
Sensations: What is happening in your body? Is your tummy rumbling? Do your eyelashes hurt? Is your skin feeling tight? Is there a warmth behind your knee? Noticing these types of things can really help you get in touch with your body. Noticing sensations is probably the best way to develop that communication with your body.
Environment: what is happening around you? And does your body react to that in any way? Maybe it loves the music emanating from the club. Maybe your body gets itchy every time your mother-in-law shows up. The environment can cause changes in your body, mind, and spirit at a moment’s notice- and all those things register in your body, one way or another.
Patterns + Disruptions: are there patterns to anything that is happening in your body? Are any usual patterns shifting? This is a place where charting your cycle can give you boatloads of useful info- especially during peri-menopause when the pattern starts to shift. The Sex Surge can be a giant disruptor in all areas of a woman’s lift- but listening to those disruptions can be really valuable.
Tuning into these experiences, as they happen in your body, is exactly what listening to your body is about. And I am a huge fan of listening to the body.
The body will tell us what it needs- food, sleep, calm, interaction- that is the beauty of it. (I know, in modern life we can’t always reply in the way the body wants. You can’t nap under your desk at work.) And as we listen to the body, we can find out so much about ourselves, our needs, our desires, our hopes. Our body has a lot to tell us if we can take a few breaths to tune in and listen.
Now, I will say that listening to the body doesn’t mean we have to do everything our body wants or might wish for, but we should definitely be listening. When you’re in the Sex Surge, the push to act on what the body is saying is enormous- sometimes completely overwhelming. But the point is to listen and pause- and then decide what to do.
For me, listening to my body has been integral to maintaining my own sense of feeling healthy and well – and it’s also saved my life once or twice. My body has also surprised me with how it can sometimes know things my brain does not (intuition!). It’s also really come to be a relationship I depend on. My body is my safe place (and I know for many women their own bodies are not safe places, which makes me seriously weep) and I want to have the best relationship – and communication- that I can with it.