If you’ve been here a while, you all know I love running. I’ve learnt a lot through running but, mainly, it’s strengthened the ability to listen to my body.
The “mind over body” idea is not something I subscribe to, and I reject the mind/body dichotomy. Like many other folks, I believe that the mind and body are completely intertwined; listening to your body will lead you to understanding yourself on a deeper level.
With that being said, I’ve been nurturing an injury for well over a year now. I decided to completely ignore the signals by body was sending me to stop running for a while to rest. As you do.
It reached a point where my body was nagging me so much that I decided to visit my physiotherapist for some much needed stretching, figure out what was going on, and see what could be done about it. Needless to say, working from home has caused more issues. I’m not moving around as much anymore by comparison of pre-pandemic levels. Those micro-movements you do throughout the day really do add up – whether it’s moving to and from the car, walking to make a cup of tea, or spending time stood up for whatever reason…it all helps to keep your body working as it should.
My physiotherapist said that my core was not working as it should; that is to say, not working at all. My legs are doing all the work of holding me up, which is putting pressure on my hips, leading to an injury. Meanwhile, I’ve been running with all this, causing further problems.
He figured I need to work on strengthening my core. The core isn’t just your abs, it’s your back. As the term suggests, it’s the part of your body that should be holding you up, enabling you to move freely, and is…well…the centre of you. Your core.
Cue the lightbulb moment…
If we go on the basis that the body can lead you into a deeper understanding of yourself, then I needed to take this as a hint. If my core isn’t working as it ought to be physically, then how is my core compromised spiritually and emotionally?
I started to consider my core beliefs. What do I believe about the world? What do I believe about myself? What beliefs am I holding onto that are tired, and in desperate need of strengthening? My core beliefs are the things that hold me up, too. They allow me to make sense of, and move through, the world. In a way, if my core beliefs are weak and faulty, that will also reflect in my body. I may walk with my head down, I may collapse into my hips when I sit because I don’t have the pride or confidence to sit tall. I may even be putting too much emphasis on other areas of my being, or even other people, to carry me through the world in hopes that they will make up for what I lack at my very centre.
Whilst I can strengthen my physical core, I also need to tend to my inner core, too.
My ego always wants to move. She is determined by the external rhythms of the world, moving forward always, pressing on further, pushing, pushing, pushing…Always running. Away from, or toward, but never still. She’s like my legs; taking all the weight and not coping very well.
My soul always wants to linger a little longer. She is determined by the inner rhythms of who I am; moving steadily and surely when necessary, and taking her time to smell the roses on the way. She doesn’t push, she trusts in the timing of myself. Confidently, she moves forward, knowing that the journey is all part of the process. She is like my core; strong, steady, and able to hold herself in all moments.
In this way, we can take the cues of the body to really explore our inner worlds…
- Are your shoulders stiff and aching?
A sign of poor posture, but maybe a sign that you’re carrying a lot right now. Literally, the world on your shoulders.
- Are your feet tired?
Where have you been travelling that is no longer serving you? Where do you need to stop going? Is it time to sit and figure out your next steps?
- Is your throat sore?
What have you denied yourself from saying for so long? Or maybe you’ve said too much, and the sting of those words linger in the back of your throat, desperately seeking solace in need of an apology?
- Maybe your head aches?
What have you been thinking about so much lately that it hurts? Are your thoughts racing all the time?
Maybe it’s not connected.
Maybe it’s just simply one of those things.
But would it hurt to get curious? (No pun intended.)
What core beliefs are you working on changing?