By Kim Knight, Director of the Art of Health, Auckland, New Zealand
The other day I had an interesting experience which reinforced the concept and importance of ‘Body Intelligence’.
I was with a friend and his daughter, age 8 years. Whilst she was eating breakfast she complained that her food tasted off. He told her not to worry about it. She re-iterated that it really did taste off. He again told her not to worry about it. She again said it didn’t taste right.
By this stage, I could no longer keep my mouth shut. I know that if she was tasting something odd, then the probability was she was right. And two important issues came to mind for me:
- Our body has an inherant system for food-safety testing. It’s called our smell and taste-buds. We need to know that we are eating edible food so that we do not poison ourselves. All animals know this too, which is why cats and dogs will not eat food that is off. This intelligence is known as ‘animal instinct‘ and has been developed and passed down from our ancestors for centuries.
- We have an in-built system in our gut that tells us if something is ok or not. It’s called ‘gut feeling’. We are born with this system switched ‘on’ and as long as we are encouraged to use it, it will stay ‘on’. However, if we are trained, through unconsciously being told not to listen to it, we will stop trusting this feedback system. Whilst it can never fully switch itself off, as it is an inbuilt system, we can switch ourselves off from noticing it. This is how we lose the connection to our innate body intelligence.
This then sets up a dilemna for a while, because we know intuitively what feels right, but we are told by people who we think know everything and are considered ‘Gods’ (caregivers), that our feelings are not to be trusted. So where can we go from there. Up to the head of course, the only place left to go! After all, “it’s the only logical thing to do”. And so we start training ourselves to rationalise, analyse, think and work everything out with our head.
This then brings in another problem: WE BEGIN TO STOP TRUSTING. As we lose the body-mind connection, we start to lose trust in ourselves. This is a crime in itself, and leads to lack of belief in self, approval-seeking, low self-esteem and poor decision-making. As we stop trusting our body, we STOP LISTENING to the messages it sends us. And because this habit starts at an early age, by the time we are adults we have no idea we have even done it.
It simply doesn’t work, only living from the head. We cannot stay healthy if we are constantly over-riding our body intelligence, as the thousands of ill people around the world are testament to. We need to be using all our intelligences – intuition, instinct and intellect – in order to function as a fully integrated (whole) being.
The wonderful thing about this incident was that the daughter FELT SAFE enough to speak her truth – three times. This shows she did not fear criticism or punishment from the parent, and that she still has a good sense of self. For that I was grateful.
So let’s give our children the gift of trusting their intuition and gut feelings so that they grow up to trust their body intelligence, which is here first and foremost to keep them safe, happy and healthy. Hallelujah! There’s hope for us yet!
Kim Knight – The Art of Health
It’s an art to keep yourself healthy!
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