The other day I watched this tough and touching TED Talk by Eve Ensler, the creator of the “Vagina Monologues”. She tells her story of living disconnected from her body, until traumatic events shocked her into realizing her own physicality. Please take a few minutes to watch it!

Photo by lifescript, via Flickr

When I posted a link to the video on Facebook, a dear friend appreciated the message but asked the question, “so without having a tragedy like this, how does one connect with her body?” I thought this was such an important question that I am answering it here. There is no one right answer, but these are some of the ways I have learned from the women I have worked with over the past 8 years.

Be aware of present-time experiences. Your body is living in this very moment while your mind is often mulling over the past or future tripping. The more you are able to be in the right now, the more connected you will be to your body.

Listen to your body’s signals and impulses. Your body is incredibly wise and offers you subtle (and not-so subtle) cues about what you need in terms of rest, nourishment, movement, connection and more. Even taking a few seconds to take some deep breaths and ask, “What do I need right now?” will give you some answers. And remember,  your breath is the one unconscious thing your body does that you can make conscious just by paying attention!

Time time for body-loving rituals. Dig your toes deep in the mud of your garden, get some bodywork, make love to yourself (or someone else) and relish every delicious second of it, do a sun salutation in front of your living room window…

Move. If you hate going to the gym, please don’t go. Instead, move in what ever way your body does enjoy. Dance, hula hoop, walk and talk with a friend, row a boat, learn martial arts, play in the water, run around the park hugging trees with your kiddos…whatever you do, let your body do what it loves. And I promise, every body enjoys some form of movement.

Appreciate at least one thing about your body every single day. That’s right, look in the mirror and find something to love about yourself. Your strong legs, great complexion, smooth elbows, naturally wavy hair, brilliant smile…

Photo by Mario Izquierdo, via Flickr

Please leave your own ideas about connecting with your body in the comments below!