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Making the Body-Mind Connection
by Mari L. McCarthy
Editor's Note: You've heard that the mind and body are connected, but have you experienced it? Find out just how intertwined they are and how to use journaling to make their interactions work in your best interest in this powerful article by Mari McCarthy.
News flash! The body and mind are intimately connected.
Now, that may not be news to you, but it’s likely that you are not sure exactly what it means or how body and mind operate in synch.
Mostly, we are aware of the ways mind is different from body: it’s faster, more flexible, intangible, invisible, unpredictable. The body, by contrast, is slow, resistant to change; it’s experienced via our senses; it’s all-too-visible and predictable. It’s not easy for mind and body to appreciate one another, it seems, much less act in unison.
Yet we’ve been hearing this teaching for a long time now: what we traditionally perceive as two separate entities – the physical and the mental – are actually very closely aligned if not one and the same. Since the idea is upheld by many of our most enlightened minds, it’s probably worth finding out more about it.
Our Western culture places so much value in the mind that we have made the body into a distorted, alien burden. This is much to our detriment because the body holds wisdom that the mind will never conceive.
Current thought is bringing us back around. Just as body without mind is Neanderthal, mind without body is equally savage. It’s both of them in harmony that creates wellbeing.
By applying a conscious, deliberate method of discovering connections, it’s possible to experience personally the synchronicity of body and mind, bringing your awareness of their oneness into much sharper focus. You can then use this knowledge to live more comfortably.
People rarely consider the fact that, when it comes to their own personal health, they are the world’s number one expert. By developing a strong, conscious body/mind connection, we empower ourselves to heal without costly medications and doctors.
The medical and alternative healing worlds, of course, may be extremely helpful in effecting your speedy recovery if you are ill or injured. But your inner physician is the one who always leads the way.
The mind/body interaction that constitutes our total wellbeing gives us the opportunity to become our own Primary Care Provider, working in partnership with other experts as desired.
What is the most effective way to experience the mind/body connection? An excellent option is journal writing.
Writing by hand in a journal has been documented to have beneficial effects for people in a huge variety of life situations. The act of hand writing on paper in itself illustrates mind and body cooperating closely. Thoughts and the pen’s movement flow so well together that often it’s hard to say which is leading, which is following. Did my mind say that, or did my hand?
Here’s how to use your journal as a path to knowledge of the ways your body and mind are intertwined:
1. Keep a food journal. Begin to notice the difference between foods that make you feel good, and those that bring you down.
2. Spend time in your journal on the subject of your body: its senses, moves, and feelings.
3. Practice being still, opening your awareness to signals from inside and out. Write about the experience.
4. Deal with setbacks, challenges, or fears by journaling about them.
5. Gently dissect negative patterns by writing about them.
6. Confidently establish positive patterns by plotting them in your journal.
7. Make journaling a regular habit so you can stay on top of mind/body changes that naturally occur, and adjust easily.
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About the Author
Mari L. McCarthy is The Journaling Therapy Specialist, founder of Create Write Now, home of Journaling for the Self of It™. Mari offers counseling and encouragement to journal writers through her many online journaling resources, as well as private consultations. CreateWriteNow's Personal Journal Blog provides articles on how starting and sticking to a daily pen to page Journaling Practice can help you access your inner intelligence and transform your life. Mari offers lots of Journaling Free Stuff with free Journaling eBooks and free samples from her 15 eBooks, including Start Journaling and Change Your Life in 7 Days, and Who Are You? The 7 Day Journaling Challenge.