Follow Your Body’s Lead, and Move Toward What Nourishes You

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It’s summertime. The days are long, the weather’s warm, everything is growing and the flowers are in bloom. Summer is the time when I feel most like a plant. I just want to stretch out toward the sun, stick my toes in the water and my feet in the soil, and gain as much sustenance as I can from the natural world. Summer gives us the feeling that, if only we chose it, our lives could be simpler…. slower…easier… more real and elemental.

It can be easier in summer to be in touch with “the soft animal of your body,” as Mary Oliver called it in her poem “Wild Geese.” It’s that soft animal that ultimately tells us what we truly want, and don’t want. It tells us how it wants to grow. It tells us what to reach for. If we let it, it will tell us what will feel good to move toward, and it will let us know also if we go toward things that it senses is not right for us.

Maybe today, or someday this week when the sky is blue and the weather’s glorious, take time to be outdoors, and let your entire organism– your body – lead and guide you toward its natural fulfillment. Give your thinking mind a break and let the soft animal of your body tell you where it wants you to go and what it wants you to do, moment by moment and hour by hour, for the rest of the day. Your body is very wise. Who knows what wonderful and surprising impulse it will call to you to follow – and what new potential that might lead to in your life?