“This is your body, your greatest gift, pregnant with wisdom you do not hear, grief you thought was forgotten, and joy you have never known.”
― Marion Woodman
Today I want to offer some reflections about your body’s wisdom: your body is your oracle. And I want to share a bit about my journey and what I have learned, hoping that it can be helpful and inspiring to you. It’s a long article, so make yourself comfy or sit with your favourite tea!
As we move towards Spring, I have been thinking about what I left behind and what I am calling in.
Many of you know that I moved to a new home. This event suddenly became very symbolic for me. I am experiencing a new lightness of being and a sense of physical release. I sleep better and feel, in general, more at ease and joyful.
I had very intense experiences in my old house, where I started navigating peri-menopause and then entered menopause. I can see now the light at the end of the tunnel and can say that the last five/four years have been the most challenging and turbulent of my life.
When I started to feel hormonal changes and mood swings and experience sleepless nights and high anxiety, I knew I was on a massive threshold. I could not ignore the signs and the discomfort.
I kept asking myself over and over: what is my body telling me?
I refused to embrace the journey into midlife and menopause as a curse.
I did not want to become a victim. So I decided to pause and listen.
And one of the most profound adventures of my life unfolded: the inner voyage into the darkest, most hidden, buried, forgotten and rejected parts of myself.
My body was calling for attention, and I knew I had to do a lot of healing work and integrate lots of old trauma, PTSD, grief and rage.
Everything unresolved from childhood, from co-dependency issues to chronic depression, was on my face. There was no other way to turn. No way out. Nowhere to go but inside and be patient.
I cooked slowly in the alchemical fire. My soul and body were exhausted.
I had to surrender to a totally chaotic time. I had to go to hell and return, but I did not know if I would make it. I had to trust the transformation of the butterflies and that I was entering the most significant initiation of my life. I had to trust that my body was not betraying me, but greater intelligence was at play, even when I struggled the most with my mental health.
Luckily I am here to tell you the story. I am alive, with a few more bruises, scars, wrinkles and white hair, but more at home in my being, comfortable in my skin and backbone, and hopefully with a little more sense of humour and wisdom (thanks to becoming older!).
Something else had happened in my old house in the last few months. My body was feeling very heavy. I had all sorts of strange sensations that I could not describe, and sometimes I imagined that the house was purging me out. So at one point, I had to invite another deeper layer of surrender and trust in what I was experiencing versus wanting to fix it. I did not need to become stronger and endure the discomfort in the house.
The signs were clear: that chapter was ending, and I had to leave that place. I would still be there if I had not listened to my inner discomfort or kept labelling it as something negative. So an external movement and action were also required. It feels like my body knew when it was time to turn pages and start a new chapter. I had done, it seemed, with the dark night of the soul, I had done enough edge-walking, and I was ready to move on.
I have been in that house for nearly five years. Interestingly, this physical urge to move became apparent only in the last months. My body finally called for a more expansive and comfortable environment.
What if my and your body are oracles?
The word oracle comes from the Latin ‘orare’, which means ‘to speak’.
But please bear with me a bit more. I want to go back to butterflies for a while.
The metamorphosis from a caterpillar into a butterfly happens in the pupa stage. The caterpillar’s old body dies in the protective shell called a chrysalis. This stage can last a few months or e couple of years. How incredible! How long is that in the life of a small creature?
The caterpillar’s body digests itself, breaking down its body through the digestive juices. These fluids transform the cells of the caterpillar into ‘imaginal’ cells. And these are undifferentiated cells that can become anything, any type of cell, and they will form a new body.
So let me ask you again. What if my and your body are oracles, and even in the most challenging, turbulent and chaotic times, they dream of imaginal cells and our new way of being in this world?
I remember another pivotal time in my life. I wrote about it often, and you may already know about it. But for now, I want to mention that my body spoke to me in a certain way when I had cancer.
I knew I had to change many things in my life if I was lucky enough to make it alive.
And so I asked myself: what is my body communicating with me?
What my body needs?
Who do I need to become?
The tumour grew on my chest, close to my heart and lungs, so it spoke to me about sorrow. And it also affected my thymus gland, which is essential in the immune system. As non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a disorder of the blood and lymphatic system, it felt as if my body could not recognise ‘external’ attacks or invasions. I knew very little about limits and boundaries.
So, it came out that I needed to draw very powerful boundaries with my family and separate physically, energetically, and metaphorically from them, especially from my dad. It became apparent that I still had a lot of tears to shed from my mother’s death and disentangle from the role that I took early in life to become my dad’s emotional carer.
Eve Ensler wrote: (…) Then I got cancer — or I found out I had cancer. It arrived like a speeding bird smashing into a window pane. Suddenly, I had a body, a body that was pricked and poked and punctured, a body that was cut wide open, a body that had organs removed and transported and rearranged and reconstructed, a body that was scanned and had tubes shoved down it, a body that was burning from chemicals. Cancer exploded the wall of my disconnection. I suddenly understood that the crisis in my body was the crisis in the world, and it wasn’t happening later, it was happening now. Suddenly, my cancer was a cancer that was everywhere, the cancer of cruelty, the cancer of greed, the cancer that gets inside people who live down the streets from chemical plants — and they’re usually poor — the cancer inside the coal miner’s lungs, the cancer of stress for not achieving enough, the cancer of buried trauma, the cancer in caged chickens and polluted fish, the cancer in women’s uteruses from being raped, the cancer that is everywhere from our carelessness.
Her words are potent, provocative and poignant and make me feel gutted and shaky. And yet I feel there is truth in it. They make me think of the interdependence of all life. What we do against the Earth we do it against ourselves and vice-versa.
And Eve Ensler also said: ‘One of the most radical things women can do is to love their body.’
I remember the first time my body ever spoke to me. I was in my early twenties and started to experience clear signs of dissociation. Paradoxically I could feel that I could not feel and could also sense a lot of numbness. I was not entirely at home in my body. I also hated myself and my body. I was a walking head.
And yet, my body was also screaming loud and clear.
It was a shocking revelation. I could not ignore it.
I was also lucky to listen and to have some form of love in my life.
I have been a passionate dancer since I was a child. I learnt to connect to a sense of an intact core inside myself, or what one of my teachers, Ya’Acov Darling Khan, calls the ‘unbroken’. I knew it was there. I had glimpses of it. Sadly, I hung out with it sporadically: I was busy with many self-destructive patterns! That healthy core only needed more attention. And every time my body screamed, it got me to listen.
I then understood that returning home to my body would be the key to my healing journey. I had no books available those days on this topic, and still, there was no internet, so that was my first glimpse into the body talking to me. I grasped it as if it was the most significant revelation I had, the first glimmering light in a storm, and I held on to it dearly as if it was a matter of life and death. And I followed it and started a great adventure.
Today I am grateful that I don’t need too much cathartic healing and have learnt to pay more attention to subtleties.
I also remember something else. I was educated to be a nice girl, say yes to daddy and be obedient. This happened at the expense of cultivating my inner knowing, self-validation and intuition. So I learned, for survival reasons, to pay more attention to what others told me about myself rather than reading my inner signals. This caused me some trouble later in life. I developed poor boundaries. I was always looking for external validation and thought that others (i.e. teachers or people in a position of authority) always knew best or could tell me what to do.
When I separated from a boyfriend in London more than a decade ago, the pain was excruciating and overwhelming (as it triggered the wound of abandonment). I could barely function and leave the floor for a few days.
I was like a wounded animal. I was so in despair I needed somebody to tell me what was happening and what to do. With a lot of shame, I spent enormous amount of money on psychic readings. That young man betrayed me with another woman, and I wanted to stubbornly know if he was coming back.
On the one hand, I sadly realised I could not fully trust myself and my guidance. On the other hand, I also felt that my body knew what to do. I was tired and emotionally depleted and needed to rest and focus on the basics: eating, restoring and sleeping. I also longed deeply to sense the ground underneath me, the Earth and surrender. I did not know in my being, in my muscles, what it felt like to be supported and held. And so there I was, for days, lying down on the floor. I had very little stamina; all I could do was cry and ask for help from the Divine.
I knew my body and soul were one. My body was an antenna sending out signals into the Universe. I was pissed at God/Goddess/Creator/Creatrix. I felt lonely and lost. And I used to say: ‘if you are really out there, please send me a sign because I am about to give up.’ Then little miracles would occur: a friend would call, or a fox would appear in front of my window. All I had to do was open up my body, release more weight into the ground, let go of contraction and fear, and allow life to show up and move through me. It was a sensual experience. It was all about coming back home to myself, and it had nothing to do with my ex-boyfriend.
These stories I shared are unique to my journey and somewhat extreme examples.
I am not suggesting that you wait to be ill or be in acute distress to explore the possibility of relating to your body as an oracle.
By the way, was I sure that all the messages above were the truth but nothing but the truth? Could I swear to it? Absolutely not. But I knew that these narratives allowed me to navigate dark times in a more dignified way, open up my imagination and connection to life’s magic and syncronicities and create more meaning and purpose. And I also knew my soul was whispering and I was craving to listening to her.
Furthermore, each of us is unique, and so is each body’s map. This is a complex topic and full of nuances.
Paying attention to small signs, sensations, and gut feelings is a beautiful way to enrich your life journey.
When I trained in physical theatre in London more than a decade ago, I had the opportunity to experiment and play with exciting exercises.
Our teacher asked us to visit majestic churches, markets, museums and parks.
Our task, in the attempt to ‘open up’ our bodies, was to notice how these different places would affect us.
What were we feeling?
What was happening to our breath?
How was our body responding to architecture, colours, crowds and trees?
What were we learning from this experience?
Fascinating, isn’t it? I invite you to embark on a similar exploration. Bring a notebook with you and see what happens!
We all live busy lives; what would happen if you would stop and pay attention to what is happening inside you?
Do you remember the sensations of that time when you said yes when you actually wanted to say no?
Do you remember how good it felt when you did something nice for yourself?
Do you remember when somebody walked into a room, and you wanted intuitively move towards or away from that person?
Do you remember when you had shivers along your spine, and you immediately knew that something was true or a sign for you?
What message do your muscles give you when you feel expanded or contracted?
How would it be to follow the wisdom arising inside of you?
Your body is a tool to discover your hidden truths, inner knowledge, and wisdom and has incredible intelligence.
The Merriam-Webster definition of an oracle is:
a: a person (such as a priestess of ancient Greece) through whom a deity is believed to speak;
b: a shrine in which a deity reveals hidden knowledge or the divine purpose through such a person.
We are all wired for connection and being in tune with our bodies.
It’s ancient technology, and we all have it.
Cognitive and intellectual tools are not enough to create a transformational journey. It is not possible to only talk or think stress or trauma away.
Our bodies carry memory in their tissues, muscles and cells.
For example, if you grew up in an environment where you needed to shrink or be invisible to be safe, loved and accepted, that pattern might live in your posture or habits.
New neural pathways grow out of attention.
Sometimes there are gaps in our awareness, and often when that happens, we also break down our capacity to express ourselves freely.
So I invite you to pause. Right now. It is not important what you do. It is essential that whatever you do, you do it with intention.
What is your posture right now?
Can you sense contact between the ground and your feet?
What happens if you lean towards your chair and open the back to receive support?
What happens if you imagine growing taller towards the sky?
What images do arise?
There is an incredible life force in your cells, organs, skeleton and muscles. You are a walking miracle.
Your body is your oracle and contains a deep, raw, and wild intelligence. It is a source of wisdom, connection and transformation.
We all need somatic tools and habits to re-inhabit our innate intelligence and support our system towards overall health.
In ancient societies, the belly was considered the centre of intelligence. Our contemporary culture locates intelligence in the head and sees the body as an assemblage of parts.
When the body, heart, mind and soul are separated, the body becomes an object that needs purification, exercise, numbing, stimulation or fixing. The soul is considered something that lives in the sky and not in the flesh. This narrative cuts us off from an essential part of ourselves, each other, and the living forces around us and from participating as active co-creators and agents in the mystery of life. The risk is not inhabiting ourselves fully and the sacredness of the world around us.
‘If you are divided from your body, you are also divided from the body of the world, which then appears to be other than you or separate from you, rather than the living continuum to which you belong.’
Think about this. If you embrace your body as an oracle, you can reinvent how you experience yourself and life.
You can find many answers and valuable information.
And do you remember the infinite possibilities of the imaginal cells of the butterfly?
So let me ask you a few more questions.
You can put some gentle music on, meditate, and simply play with them daily. Focusing on them will expand your embodied awareness and intuition.
Do you remember when you followed your gut feelings?
What did you learn?
I invite you to make a list of those meaningful insights!
We also know that our brain is constantly scanning for danger, and we may all suffer from negative biases.
Therefore, we may need to intentionally rebalance this pattern by focusing on more positive things. I am not talking here about bypassing difficult emotions but about the possibility of creating more overall flow and balance.
Here is what I suggest.
Our quality of life may improve if we include more pleasure. And the capacity to experience it directly depends on how much attention we give to little things and body sensations. Consequently, we can immerse ourselves more in life and the flow.
How do you feel when you listen to a beautiful piece of music?
How much attention can you give to the sounds around you right now?
Moreover, the sense of touch and hearing develops very early in the womb’s amniotic liquid. There is a memory and blueprint in each of us. Sensations on the baby’s skin are enhanced and transmitted by contact with water. Around week 18, the ears are already able to absorb sounds. The baby feels the mother’s heartbeat, gastrointestinal sounds, blood flow and breath. Therefore, we develop since early gestation a profound sensitivity and receive information in our nervous system through vibration and sound. They are part of our birthright to feel, orient, create harmony and ride life’s ebbs and flows.
If you open your imagination, curiosity and willingness to co-create with life, know this: every sneeze, yawn, knot in your tummy, weight on your chest, goosebumps, itch, pain, pleasurable feeling, warm or tingly sensation, sound and exhale has a message for you.
Your body is a miracle.
Your body is your oracle.
Your body is your channel to connect to greater powers, the elements and resonate with the Web of Life around you.
Just play and have fun with it!
And please remember that this is not about other people telling you that your sacral chakra is blocked or you have a hole in your aura. It is an invitation to awaken, heal the atrophy in your muscles, trust yourself, validate your experience, and engage with your process.
Your body is a map with rivers, hills, deep caves, musk and valleys and is calling for your attention, love and care.
And if from each would a flower could blossom, what would your body oracle say right now?
I would love to hear your story!
Please feel free to comment below.
Last but not least. For those who stored a lot of trauma in their body, it can be scary to open up to this exploration.
So I invite you to stay with what is comfortable, even if only 1%, and orient towards ease.
Focus on what is already working.
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or need extra support.
Thanks so much for being here with me today!