Linnette Dooley is an artist and founder of the WellSprings Women’s Program. In this inspiring guest post, she  gently reminds us of the importance of learning to listen to our bodies’ subtle communications.

 

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By Linnette Dooley

I have a confession to make. I have a lifelong habit of being too hard on myself. And gratefully my body is getting tired of this old habit. I can feel it in my heart.

Are you with me? As I write this I am feeling the emotional release of energy as I welcome in kindness and understanding on a deeper level. As I welcome in the feminine.

I am not sure how much is the result of my early home environment and how much is just my nature, but my proactive stance has been getting the best of me. Literally.

Long lists. Too many holiday cookie plates. Do-it-yourself projects. And perfect pictures. The results have been constant motion. I once told a neighbor that I don’t get out of bed until I really need to because once I get going I don’t stop.

A few years back I was working on learning to pay better attention to my body’s signals. The reason that I was asking for this communication was that I had developed a habit of pushing myself physically to the point of exhaustion. I wanted to become aware of when my body was communicating that enough was enough.

So one day I was outside working through a list of projects that I wanted to complete in my yard. I was focused on paying attention to how my body was doing. And then, maybe a little more than half-way through my list I felt/heard my body say, “that’s enough.”

Girl with Red Bike by John Gascot

It was subtle, so I understood why I hadn’t heard this before, but it was there. It was like a switch had been flipped. In order to finish my projects I basically had to shut down emotionally because I was no longer choosing to listen to my body. That was a big lesson for me.

Since then I’ve gotten better at making smaller, more realistic lists. I spend much less time on autopilot as I have worked on learning to be present and honor my body.

But then several weeks ago I re-connected with this same message on a deeper level. I saw how my stress levels and being so goal-oriented were affecting the flow of my feminine energy. There was still a level of pushing.

After just a day of letting go of all expectations and sitting with this realization I noticed that my joy began to return and ideas were starting to flow again.

A memory surfaced from my years of backpacking. On almost every backpacking trip, no matter where I was in my cycle, I would start my period on the trip. The physical exertion would cause my estrogen levels to bottom out.

I like being physical. But my tall, slender frame is built more for speed and flexibility than endurance. Ayurvedic medicine recommends that you exercise only up to 50% of capacity. That is pretty much the point at which my body had communicated “enough.” Here in America we overdo everything.

I have been thinking about the history of my relationship with my body. I realize now that my body has been giving me the same message for a long time. This time I am realizing how toxic my habit of over-doing-it is to the flow of my feminine energy.

So once again I am listening more closely. At this time in my life my heart is asking for less of that proactive stance. Instead, joy and flow and peace are moving to the top of the list. And kindness.

How does your body let you know when it’s time to take it easy? Comment below.

Linnette offers a course in Meditation: Cultivating the Divine Feminine, in which she shares tools that you can use to heal the body-being communication space. She can be reached through WellSpringsWomen.com or on Facebook.

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