Thursday, May 14, 2009

Your Most-Trusted Advisor

At the end of Sue Ludwig’s insightful essay about how our bodies desire and seek balance she asked, “What does your body teach you about balance?”

I consider my body my most-trusted advisor. I think it assimilates information from the Universe that I can’t understand fully at first. You see, I know the Universe wants my best life, but sometimes I don’t heed its advice – sometimes I’m convinced I don’t even hear it.

It’s like Oprah says: Life sends you messages - first it will put a pebble in your path, then a rock, and then a brick wall. If I don’t hear the plink of the pebble, the rock shows up - usually as a bodily symptom. I pay attention because I really want to avoid hitting that brick wall.

My one quibble with Sue’s essay is when she states that our bodies don’t do drama. I’ve noticed that if I ignore its message, mine is quite capable of drama. In fact, I’ve seen my body produce some Oscar-worthy performances.

I work as a nurse-midwife in a hospital. I consult with physicians when I am caring for a woman who is considered high-risk and occasionally I don’t agree with the physician’s plan for managing a particular case.

One night I told a doctor that I was disinclined to follow his plan and he responded by saying, “That’s why I’m here, to tell you what to do.” Those weren’t his exact words, but you get the point.

I knew the doctor’s plan was not going to cause harm and I didn’t want further conflict, so I followed his orders. Within a few hours I lost my voice. My throat hurt and I couldn’t speak above a whisper.

As soon as I got home I looked up laryngitis in my well-worn copy of Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life. I believe the book provides clues to understanding the messages underlying an illness. If you decipher these messages and, more importantly, act on them by changing your thinking, you will improve your life.

For laryngitis she writes that the probable cause is “So mad you can’t speak. Fear of speaking up. Resentment of authority.” I was struck by the truth of this: I was mad. I had been afraid to speak up to the doctor. And I resented that he didn’t seem to value my expertise.

The new thought pattern she offers is “I am free to ask for what I want. It is safe to express myself. I am at peace.” I drank it up like a healing balm and got my voice back quickly after that.

The affirmation also helped me gain insight into the fact that I don’t need to compel the doctors to agree with me or even to see my side. All I can do is use my best judgment and present a plan of care.

For me, being at peace means that my worth is not predicated on others valuing me. I value me.

Since that epiphany I’ve had other differences of opinion with my physician colleagues but I haven’t had that sense that my value as a practitioner was diminished. And I’ve never lost my voice again.

You don’t need a copy of Louise Hay’s book (although I highly recommend it!) because all you really need to know is that if you ignore the wisdom available to you, your body can create a painful drama.

The Universe wants you to know that you are worthy of love and respect and you can have a life filled with health and happiness – you just have to listen.

Do you think there is anything your body is trying to tell you at this moment?

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