“Listen to your heart”. “I had a gut feeling about it”. “Every time I’m around this person I get a headache”. “The hair on the back of my neck stood straight up”. These phrases are familiar to us because in the absence of a common cultural language about intuition (see: marginalization, above), the body can express what we can’t articulate otherwise.

It’s vital to honor these reactions. The ability to read our own and other’s energy is a major component of psychic empathy. If you are an extremely sensitive empath (hint: most of us are and don’t know it), you’ll likely pick up the emotions of other people constantly, which at a minimum causes distress and distraction. If you are going to put stock in your intuition you are also going to need good boundaries, and if we are unable to notice how we are affected by others or are constantly suppressing or ignoring this, it can cause stress, anxiety and eventually illness.

Equally importantly, being able to interpret alert messages from our bodies is crucial if we want to make good decisions in any area of our lives. There’s not one relationship or situation in which we have to endure feeling adrift or restless, as long as we are paying attention to the constant flow of creative guidance coming from our intuition.

The good news is that if we don’t listen the first time, the volume just gets turned up until we can hear. Symptoms will continue to persist until we get it. And the reverse is true, too! When that lightbulb finally goes off above our heads and we make the connection, the signals from the body abate as well.

The 5-Minute Body Scan: Take a break. Go somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed and set a timer. Focus first on your breathing and watch your breath very gently, letting your breath breathe you…watch it slow down until you feel connected to yourself. Then pay attention to your heartbeat and listen to it until you feel even more grounded. (It’s helpful to put one hand on your heart). Then, starting at the top of your head and using your mind’s eye, scan each system of your body (musculature, nervous, skeletal, etc) and see if you can identify if any part of you feels ouchie or stressed. Pay particular attention to your heart, your gut, your hands, your feet, and just above your eyes in the middle of your forehead.

What do you discover about your body’s intuitive centers? Bonus Question: What do you notice when you bookend your day with this exercise? Extra Credit Bonus Question: historically where are the areas in your body that have needed repair, or have been the sites of stress and illness? By identifying these and their proximity to the most powerful intuitive channels in the body, you’ll have great information about where you get your information!

~There’s another way to do this exercise if you have a hard time sitting still, but try it after you’ve at least tried to do it in stillness once! If you like to walk or run, or do yoga, incorporate this exercise into the cooldown portion of your workout.

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