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Listening is crucial for effective communication. This means listening to yourself as much as your audience. But how do you listen to yourself? Do you pay attention to your inner voice? Do you pay attention to what your body is telling you? Or both?

Integration of your thoughts and felt-sense will bring about a feeling of deep knowingness that tells you what feels instinctively right. When you listen and communicate from this place it feels safe, calm, solid and authentic.

Bringing awareness to the body you’re in to help make the body-mind connection means you can operate as a whole Being.

This is where mind influences what happens in our bodies, and what happens in our bodies influences the mind. The two work together to make meaning of our experiences and guide our intuitive sense.

I often check in with myself to see what I can hear in my body – sensations, breathing, temperature, heaviness or lightness, energy levels.

I don’t always need to explain what I’m noticing, but rather sit in whatever I’m feeling. Lean into whatever my body is telling me it needs. Because this is also telling of my emotional state and needs in that moment.

Sometimes it’s telling me to rest. Sometimes I’m compelled to run. Sometimes I just want to move freely in dance, or on a walk exploring somewhere new. Sometimes I’ll unconsciously rub my neck or arm in a self-soothing way. When I notice I’m doing this, I’ll take a moment to also notice what else is happening for me emotionally – whether it’s a reinforcing something that feels nice, or a physical reaction to upset or distress.

I am a physical person who likes to move and really feel in my body, aware of how my muscles and breathing and movements are working in sync. I also cherish times to be still and rest. There are times I feel physically strong but emotionally tired, or perhaps I’m emotionally energised but physically tired – so I tailor my exercise accordingly. When I’m feeling energised in body and mind I’ll work towards a personal best in powerlifting, or jump into a Muay Thai class. When my body is telling me to slow down I’ll do a yin yoga class, or have a nap.

When making decisions I’ll pause to listen to what my gut – the second brain – is telling me. Does the decision sit well within my Being? Does it feel good? Are there any warning signals, or feelings of discomfort? Do I feel any tension in my body when I think about it?

I used to be more in my thinking part and made decisions based on intellectual reasoning and rationale. But sometimes this didn’t align with how I felt about the decision in my body. On paper it seemed right, but it didn’t feel right.

Now, I listen to my intuitive sense and my intellectual parts. But when I’m at a stalemate, I’ll always lean into the feeling over the thinking. Listening to my instincts is one of the most valuable and transformative ways I’ve grown over the years.

Are you attuned to your body? What happens when your intuition is strong? What happens when you ignore your gut instincts?