In the weeks prior to moving with my family to our new home, my 8-year-old child came to me and confided a big truth. “Mom, before, only half of my body wanted to move to the new house, but now my whole body wants to move to the new house!”

I did a double take from behind a pile of boxes and dropped the pan I was trying to pack. “What do you mean, oh wise child?”

“Well, um, before, I didn’t know if I would like going to a new house; but now I like it [the house] and I’m sure I wanna move.”

I hugged my child and thought about the lesson in her simple comment. As children, we knew how to think with our bodies. It was not until we were indoctrinated into Western traditions of separation of mind and body, and the supremacy of the mind over the body, that we forgot that we ARE inside a body that feels and absorbs all our emotions. Stress is the result of the body’s inability to assimilate all the stuff we pile up on ourselves. Symptoms such as chronic backaches, headaches and heartburn are signals your body sends to remind you that you have overdone it.

This is not just new age theory, the American Academy of Family Physicians recognizes the effects of stress on your body’s wellbeing. They go as far as to point out that even “good stress,” such as having a baby, can affect your health.

Humans are creatures of habit and any change can bring about emotions that we think with our Western minds that we can control, only to have our bodies tell us otherwise.

We need to remember to listen to our bodies – our whole bodies. Like my 8-year-old.

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