Connecting to a Body more Intelligent than the Mind

I have found that connecting to my body is as simple as making a choice to stop and do so. I allow myself to become aware of my breath and then to breathe gently, allowing my breath to return to its own natural rhythm. I often find myself focussing on feeling my lungs as they move gently with my breath and then it is easy to feel when events of the day, such as driving my car or pressures at work, have affected this natural rhythm. From here I can start to become aware of other parts of my body – my shoulders, arms, feet, back and how they are feeling – deepening the connection with my body; it is in this connection that the intelligence of the body is revealed.

This is an intelligence that inspires a deep love, care and honouring of myself, my body and others through a way of living that honours what the body knows before what the mind knows. I’ve come to know this as whole body intelligence. What I’ve discovered is that my body feels far more what supports it to be vital and healthy in life and relationships than anything I’ve ever read in books.

But this wasn’t always the case. For most of my life I’ve held the intelligence of the mind as the marker of success, enjoying and excelling in formal study, holding postgraduate degrees and working within academic research for the past twenty years. In the world of academia, intelligence is synonymous with knowledge and is linked to job security, prestige and power. The body comes a distant second to the mind and I have observed over the years the constant pushing of the body to meet deadlines; the vast amounts of coffee and/or caffeinated drinks consumed, often as a meal replacement; and a growing trend of chronic back pain and mental health issues amongst students and staff. I know myself that I gave my body little attention when studying, as I would focus only on getting an assignment finished on time or getting good grades.

You could say I was absent from my body, paying little or no attention to any physical sensations or signs from my body. For example, I can’t count the number of times I would find myself sitting in the same spot for hours, engrossed in some task, only to finally stop, move and then become aware of my numb backside and the tension in my shoulders. Another example would be eating while reading a book or watching TV, only noticing you’ve eaten too much and are feeling bloated when your plate is empty AND you haven’t even tasted the food. It seems that pain and discomfort quickly bring us back to being present in our body.

It has to be asked though, what kind of intelligence is OK with allowing the body to reach such a state of discomfort, pain and disharmony? Is that really intelligent?

To be honest, it’s not always pleasant to feel what’s happening in my body, but I’ve come to understand that any pain or discomfort is my body’s way of communicating to me that I’ve not been connected and, therefore, unaware of how absent or present I am in my daily life. I’m learning that the body knows exactly what it needs to support it to be in life, in complete harmony within, and with others, without stress and tension, moving through each day with ease – this is what I call intelligence.

Our body is in constant communication with us, however we tend to ignore it at the expense of our own health and well-being. I know when I allow myself time to stop, to breathe gently and to reconnect to my body, I have rediscovered a deep stillness, warmth, delicateness, loveliness, lightness and vitality within me. In feeling these qualities, I am inspired to move and act in a way that allows me to maintain them throughout my day, to the best of my ability. These qualities are always present in my body, but if I’m not connected and present with my body, then I can’t feel them and I’m more likely to do things that may cause me pain or discomfort.

Everyone can connect, or reconnect, to the innate whole body intelligence, simply by making a choice to stop and become present with the body, allowing an awareness of how or what the body is feeling at any given moment. Connecting with our breath is a great place to start to connect to the body and its very loving form of intelligence.

By Michelle Sheldrake, Social Science Researcher, Esoteric Massage Therapist, mother

Related Reading:
The Body’s Intelligence
On True Intelligence
Coming Back to Whole Body Intelligence

678 thoughts on “Connecting to a Body more Intelligent than the Mind

  1. To truly appreciate ourselves and honour what our body is consistently communicating with us is super important and a true game changer.

  2. I love how you describe connecting to the body so simply Michelle, as making a choice to stop and do so. I have made to heard work sometimes in the past, focusing on the distractions so choosing to connect appears less easy. Once we know we are being tricked by the mind, we can start to see the game being played out and not get fooled by it so much.

    1. And it is that simple isn’t it. Being connected to the body, surrendering and being present with our quality in our movement allows divinity/Soul/ our most natural way to be right there with us. It is only when we choose to not be with our body does the opposite energy then have permission to be there with the mind then Consuming us with thoughts and drive and a so called intelligence that really is destroying us the world over. Whole body intelligence is the way to go – for our bodies, for our relationships and for our world societies.

  3. From my experiences with university and academics, there sometimes seems to be a badge of honour worn in lauding the world of books and intellect, working late into the night, eating poorly, living at the expense of the physical being. Yet what if, as you say, the true intelligence is actually to be found in the body and a way of living that will nurture and make accessible that whole-hearted intelligence, the intelligence that holds all, takes all into account, and does not miss anything. How have we been short-changed to consider the first as aspiring to the peak of academic success when it truth it is burying true wisdom and the profound intelligence, that is there within all equally. We know what we have is not true, but how many academics are willing to speak up and say so, at risk of their positions, security and illusion of prestige.

    1. This kind of university intelligence is outside of us so the badge feeling makes sense. The difference and truth comes when we live who we are from our heart, listening to our body and being with our Soul, then and only then do we get to feel the fact that we bring the most amazing intelligence to absolutely everything we do. Yes we need a degree to do a job but no one ever said we had to lose ourself in that or identify ourself as being our job yet this seems to be so common in society today.

    2. Annie I have found that there are some academics that hide behind their intelligence and use it as a bettering ram so to say to bludgeon other people who do not have formal qualifications as knowing less and therefore somehow seen as a lesser species. So how interesting to read that the body actually knows more than the mind will ever know. And how was it that people who did not go to universities managed to build the pyramids? Which even today with the greatest minds and technology we cannot replicate to such detail!

  4. It is tempting when we have been recklessly trashing our bodies, to then check out, numb, go into the mental realm to avoid feeling the abuse we have have been visiting upon ourselves, because it feels horrible. However this solution is not going to change anything only leaving us vulnerable to further assault, not only from ourselves but others. First we need to stocktake and become aware of the abuse down to the minutest level, and from there choose, and start to live and move from a different energy, one that starts with true self care and self nurturing. This way we allow our body to live a level of love that it is designed to live, and we can truly enjoy the deeper connection, vibrancy and joy of living that connection. This is the greatest foundation to live our true selves and remain unaffected by the assaults and abuse of the external world.

    1. Well said. And because of this lack of understanding the body is dramatically deteriorating. We are not taught to truly care, nurture ourselves or hold ourselves in regard and honour our body and feelings first. If we were taught this and told to learn the tools we needed for our profession from this foundation we would not have eg medical students trashing themselves to complete a degree. A profession may I add that puts one in a position that is suppose to support health.

  5. There is ‘deliciousness’ in our bodies that is described so well in this blog and it is a deliciousness that is so much greater than anything we can eat and so long as we keep choosing to stay connected to it, does not melt away after a few ‘mouthfuls’. How much do we trade this more permanent satiation for a few morsels of sensation on our taste buds?

  6. The beautiful thing that I have discovered is the clarity of mind I feel when I choose to be with my body. This shows me clearly, that a mind, without connection to the body is cloudy and unsure.

  7. It is amazing to come out of the confines of a life lived from my head alone and into a life lived with all of me… my mind an integral part of my whole body intelligence, not the ‘go it alone dictator’ that had scant regard for the well-being of my body.

  8. What a beautiful feeling it is to drop back into one’s body after being in the head. There is a feeling of expansion and openness, freedom and surrender. There is a feeling of coming home and settlement.

  9. I have found that in reading this title, “Connecting to a body more intelligent than the mind” actually offers you the stop which allows you to drop into your body and then you get a moment of feeling the spaciousness and steadiness of yourself in connection. There is a difference felt between interacting with life in a whole body way as compared to just being driven solely from the head and not paying attention to the body.

  10. To connect to the body is crucial and there are moments where I do not like to feel how my body feels because of past choices.

  11. I have also found it very supportive to stop during my day as often as I can and reconnect with my breath and the gentle movements that my ribcage and stomach make when I am breathing. I have learnt that if you allow your body to breathe its own breath, it finds a very natural rhythm or breathing and moving that feels great and very steady and still.

  12. I’ve always found it hard to do exactly what my body is telling me to do, for instance I would have so many signals about changing the foods I eat and allowing more rest for my body, and carrying it in a less hardened state. The beauty is that this relationship is an open book and can be revisited again and again.

  13. Being a student of my own body is the most incredible learning experience – and super empowering as I realise what an amazing teacher my body is. .

    1. I agree Jenny, I am discovering the same thing about my body. I am also realising how often I am choosing to not listen and connect to the intelligence of my body. This blog and your comment is inspiring me to be honest with myself about what is going on and to make a very simple choice, to connect to my body and listen to it more consistently and lovingly.

  14. “Connecting with our breath is a great place to start to connect to the body and its very loving form of intelligence.” – the Gentle Breath Meditation has been the single most life changing tool for me. When I was first introduced to it, it felt so alien because I was stimulated to the eye balls with nervous energy, caffeine and sugar a lot of the time and the gentle breath meditation was offering me quite the opposite.

  15. “You could say I was absent from my body, paying little or no attention to any physical sensations or signs from my body” – I was similar to this too.. or if I did feel pain tension like at the gym after an exercise class, then I would note that physical sensations, usually a ‘loud’ one as being a sign of a “good workout”.. and carry on. The more true connection and slowing down the pace I brought to my body i.e. actual presence through listening to it and responding to it, the prior absence is occupied with me, and I find my body exchanging now on a more subtle and less noisy or loud level. Connection brings awareness, that brings the change of choice.

  16. Every movement we make is registered in the body by its quality and vibration, and ripples out to everyone and everything around us. It is up to us to simply observe and read what we are feeling as we interact with each other and the world in daily life.

  17. Listening to someone speak from the knowing in their body, as opposed to the knowledge in their mind, is radically different. I prefer body intelligence any day.

  18. Funny, as I started to read this article I started to become aware of the uncomfortable way I had been sitting for an extended period, and how I had been completely ignoring/ shutting off from the signals telling me so – and as soon as I shifted everything changed in how I was working, and how much more freely I was able to write. we can sit in a configuration that enforces old patterns, and modes of thinking, or sit in a way that frees us from those old patterns and allows a different, clearer and present state of being. Awareness is key.

  19. I love this Michelle. It’s amazing how such a simple thing to stop and feel the movement of my lungs, changes everything. Thank you for sharing.

  20. I agree, when we feel pain in our bodies, some times it can be challenge to stay with it, I know I have attempted to avoid it or ignore at times. The more that I pondered what it means and why it is presenting itself the more I have been able to understand, in the whole of life, no doubt the bodies divinely intelligent.

  21. Michelle, reading your blog again I realise how often I choose to stay in my mind and thoughts instead of connecting to the intelligence of my body. Like you shared it is a simple choice to connect to my breath and to my body but why I am not choosing this as often as possible throughout my day is something I am going to look at and bring more awareness to.

  22. Thanks To The Livingness ‘I have rediscovered a deep stillness, warmth, delicateness, loveliness, lightness and vitality within me.’ As a work in progress I also feel that it is time for me to feel what is happening to my body, when I have ‘eaten too much and are feeling bloated’, so that I can deepen my connection and not be distracted by indulging in anything that can be a distraction, which to me at present is food and over indulging.
    For more about connection go to;
    http://www.unimedliving.com/search?keyword=CONNECTION

  23. So simple to do and yet so profound are the feelings our body offers to us when we connect to our innate essence of divine love.

  24. The body is communicating with us all of the time and it really is as simple as choosing to stop, listen and focus on the breath. Breathing gently is the first step to coming back to feeling the whole body and to being self-responsible by deeply honouring what we feel and nurturing ourselves. It is so loving and easy to do, it is also easy to choose to ignore/disregard the body, but then if not straight away, there will eventually be the consequences – the self inflicted harm felt in the body through back-ache, exhaustion etc., that will make us have to stop and be addressed.

  25. When we consider how a baby knows what it needs in terms of when its hungry, needs a cuddle, is too hot or too cold etc, and that it knows because that is what it feels, then it is not so out of the ordinary to consider that as adults we too have this ability to feel the truth of what our bodies are asking for rather than relying on our minds to tell us what we ‘think’ we need. Its just that we have learnt to override what we feel.

  26. It is often a challenge to stay with discomfort in the body because it may be communicating to us there is something that we need to look at or address. We often want to avoid what we are feeling as we do not want to feel the choices we have been making that have led to the unpleasant feelings. There is a level of honesty that we need to go to at these times knowing that the body is the ‘marker of truth’ SB

    1. So we build a relationship, respect and dialogue with our bodies that support us when there are ‘big’ things to explore and feel. I know that my building commitment to live and work with my body, rather than in disregard and ignorance of it, is supporting me to move way beyond the struggles of my own little world and become aware of the part we all play in a much bigger picture.

  27. Despite my body’s communications being uncomfortable and/or painful at times, I know it is telling me to stop, listen and honour these feelings, whereas my mind would try to tell me to keep going. But at what cost?

  28. It’s so true – the body is super intelligent, the fact that we can just know things before we even think is evidence of this. For example we know exactly what choices we need to make through a day to ensure how we live tomorrow.

  29. Currently in our society the intellectual mind is glorified and academia is sold as the highest achievement. Something I could never relate to – and so I held myself in a less-than energy at school. So, in protection I turned into a bit of a rebel – but that was also a rebelling against the true wisdom of my body. Now, my body is my ‘go to’. I now know that I can truly trust my body and have an ever deepening and loving relationship with myself that allows more and more access to the true intelligence being offered in every moment. Thank you Serge Benhayon for introducing me to me.

  30. It is interesting that so many ignore the body and often drive it to exhaustion instead of allowing the body’s wisdom and intelligence to inspire all our movements throughout the day.

  31. Through connecting to my body and my movements I am discovering a whole new way of living with an awareness and feeling far greater then anything learned and read about that is deeply honouring and known inside.

  32. It is worth considering that the thoughts we experience are less to do with the power of our mind than they are the movements of our body. This philosophy as presented by Serge Benhayon is at first a little confronting. However, here is two things to consider. Firstly, one needs to consider how difficult it is to stop thinking certain thoughts, or to try to change your thoughts from negative to positive. For years, positive thinking has been seen as the answer, but anyone who has really tried this can seen it is prone to failure. Thus, it is perhaps worth considering that our thoughts are controlled by more than just the mind. Secondly, consider the effects of body position on your mood. For example, cross your arms, frown, and then try to think loving thoughts. It is invariably difficult. Proof in its own way that our body and its movements has more effect on our thoughts than we may at first like to think.

    1. Yes. I agree with this Adam, but only on the basis of experience. As I sit here typing I can slouch and feel the despondency in this or open up my shoulders, lengthen my spine and feel the willingness and enthusiasm to engage with life… totally different ‘thoughts’, totally governed by my relationship with my body and my choice of movements.

  33. It has been deeply empowering to discover that it is our movements and quality of being that determines the types of thoughts we will then experience – instead of thinking we ‘think’ our thoughts and therefore are owned by them. Learning we can change our thoughts by how we live and move brings the focus right back to the choices we make in each moment and the quality we choose before we move, act, think, speak and walk. This has been life-changing.

  34. Yes, I know for me, when I’m slouched or walking while in my head, my thoughts and movements definitely change, as opposed to being present with myself and enjoying every movement because it is full of love, joy and purposeful.

  35. When we think from the mind we will always be using a lesser form of intelligence, feel the power of the body and we will always deliver more then any mind can ever perceive.

  36. Some where along the way, many of us have become seriously distracted by the ideas in our head…whole body intelligence developed through a reconnection and awareness in movement alllows us to feel and so understand so much more about life. I know this and I say this from a few years of practice and there is still much to learn.

  37. it is a destructive cycle – when I have been reckless and disregarding of my body through stress, overwork and worry and wrong foods, to then seek to escape from it but engaging more mental energy, stress or poor food… but taking those steps to nurture the body first, and reconnect to its wisdom and it becomes a natural progression to honour its communication and support it.. Turning this simple equation around has turned around my life.

  38. ‘connect to the body and its very loving form of intelligence’… we don’t describe the intelligence of the mind as loving (it is more so a calculating form of intelligence) – and yet the intelligence of the body cannot but be loving.

  39. Just reading your words here Michelle, has brought me back to feeling my body. I needed this, this morning and to be honest it happens a lot, that I drift into emotions or living from my head. Yet every time I get to see the truth you present, I feel ‘oh yeah – life is so simple! how could I ever forget?’. And yet I find I invariably do. To me this is real proof that there is a part of us that is always looking to distract us from our body – because when we live in relation to that, this selfish greedy bit is no longer in charge. There truly is a battle going on inside of us all, no wonder our society has conflict too – it just reflects the unintelligent way we let our mind rule the roost.

  40. Michelle, I agree with this, ‘I’ve discovered is that my body feels far more what supports it to be vital and healthy in life and relationships than anything I’ve ever read in books.’ I had an incident yesterday where my body was clearly saying it was time to leave where I was with my son and go home, I started to feel a tension in my body and having felt this before knew it was time to leave, I over road this to be polite to the person I was with and then my son hurt himself and it started raining, this kind of thing always happens when I do not listen to my body and instead listen to my head.

  41. ‘In the world of academia, intelligence is synonymous with knowledge and is linked to job security, prestige and power.’ It is this kind of intelligence than inhibits us from seeing so much more.

  42. We all do know what is good for us but we do not allow it to come naturally from our body but instead let the head calculate what is best. To accept that our bodies know and can show us the way is a very far away concept in our world today where everything revolves around our mind and the intelligence it can produce.

  43. I have found Esoteric Yoga – http://www.esotericyoga.com/ – one of the most supportive modalities to support this connection to the body. I lived in such hardness and disconnection to my body, that I was rarely present with it, and only listened to my body when it screamed pretty loudly. Esoteric Yoga sessions have supported me to let go of this momentum, and learn how to be with my body so those stop moments don’t feel so impossible.

  44. I agree Michelle, our body feels far more what supports it to be vital and healthy in life and relationships than anything read in books. When we disconnect from our body and let our mind take the lead we accept what is not true which reconfigures our body and separates us further from naturally feeling and knowing what is true and what is not.

  45. We have our choir meeting today and I am feeling how important it is to be connected to and aware of our ‘instrument’ – our body – in full before and as we sing. Traditional teaching methods only connect singers to aspects of the body but my feeling is ‘the whole body loves to sing’ and when we do use our whole body, somehow we are able to unite more naturally with the other singers in our group. For me, there is no part of life that this ‘whole body approach’ does not apply to and when we are connected to our bodies we are equally connected to life.

  46. Connection so we can be on our evolutionary path instead of the treadmill that life used to offer us brings the warmest most blessed feeling to our bodies. When I feel the pain, which brings disconnection in life, life gets complicated, and then when I am connected life is so simple. Our divine connection is guarantied and simple when we choose to call god with the intent to be of true service to humanity.

  47. Anyone who relies on the intelligence of the mind to get through life will deny that the intelligence of the body even exists. It’s so easy to override the body with the mind, but ultimately the body has the last say. If we have ignored the body for too long then illness occurs. At some point we do have to stop and listen.

  48. “…..what kind of intelligence is OK with allowing the body to reach such a state of discomfort, pain and disharmony? Is that really intelligent?” This is a great question Michelle. We rely so much on the mind for intelligence, but ultimatley our body will always tell us what is true and what is not, however much we try to ignore it.

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