If you listen to what’s happening in your body, what can it tell you about your mental and spiritual wellbeing? That’s what Emily Hall tries to answer with her clients.
She is a Minneapolis based registered nurse as well as an energetic body worker with a background in multiple healing modalities. MN Now received an email from a listener recently. She said that, like many others, she’s been facing pandemic blues—overwhelmed, sad, and grieving the loss of normal life and the changes brought on over the past two to three years.
Emily Hall’s 10 minute meditations on listening to your body really helped her feel more like herself. Hall leads host Cathy Wurzer through one of her short meditations.
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Now, we received an email from a listener recently. She said that, like many others, she's been facing pandemic blues-- overwhelmed, sad, and grieving the loss of normal life and the changes brought on over the past two to three years. On top of all this, she's mother to three young kids. She started a new job. And she's been adjusting to a recently blended family.
Now, I'm sure any one of these struggles might sound familiar to you. That is where Emily Hall came in for our listener. Emily's 10-minute meditations on listening to your body really helped this listener feel more like herself. Emily Hall is a registered nurse, as well as an energetic body worker with a background in multiple healing modalities
Emily Hall, who's based in the Twin Cities, is here to talk about exactly how we can listen to our bodies to better cope with the stress of life these days. Emily, it's really a pleasure. Thanks. Welcome to the program.
EMILY HALL: Thank you, Cathy. I am absolutely thrilled to be here.
CATHY WURZER: Can you explain what the heck listening to your body is all about?
EMILY HALL: Yes, I certainly can. Listening to your body is simply tuning in and becoming aware of how your body is speaking to you holistically. And holistically, of course, means physically, mentally, emotionally, energetically, or spiritually. For example, physically, your body speaks to you by letting you know what foods are right for you in your digestion in that process, or through movement and what is right for the frame that you live in.
Mentally, emotionally, our body speaks to us in the relationships that help us thrive or those self-care activities that are right for you. And then energetically, our body really speaks to us in the truth that we are each these beautiful, unique individuals out there. And as we sort of tune in and go inward, we can discover ways to sort of bring who we are on the inside out into that world around us.
CATHY WURZER: Who we are on the inside and bringing it out into the world. Sometimes, many times, on the inside, you're just roiling with emotions. So let's talk about that. I know that you're a believer that we should not mute our emotions. We should acknowledge and then feel and work with them. Is that right?
EMILY HALL: Yes, it's true. I believe that every single emotion that we have rises for a reason within us. So if you are feeling sad, there is a reason you're feeling sad. If happiness is rising within and encouraging you to laugh or smile, there's a reason for that happiness. And so while some of our emotions are very comfortable to be present in, others are not. They're no less important.
And so when I speak about this or work with an individual, it really is to support an understanding that all of our emotions rise for a reason. We should absolutely seek out support systems to understand how to support them and ask what's asking us to pay attention, and to know that every emotion is important. We should not mute it or ignore it, because these are an important part of listening to your holistic body. These are little clues into how your holistic self is helping you be the best version of who you are.
CATHY WURZER: I hope this makes sense when I ask this question, but if you can't name the emotion right now-- if you're feeling something in your body, i'm. Just going to say heart palpitations or something in your body-- is that emotion that you're experiencing or something else?
EMILY HALL: It's a little bit of both. And I love that question because that really is that physical. So you're experiencing that physical symptom of heart palpitations. And if we just tune in briefly and become aware, we most often can identify, is this because I'm nervous about something? Is this because my body feels off and maybe I should seek some physical support through a doctor or physician?
And so when your body gives you those physical clues, it is linked to a more holistic answer. Does that help?
CATHY WURZER: Yes. Yes. Thank you for that. Let's talk about balance while we still have an opportunity to talk here, because there's so much to ask you about. How do you see life balance in this day and age? Because it's really hard to find.
EMILY HALL: I think this is one of my favorite questions, Cathy. Oftentimes with balance, people mistakenly believe that balance comes through action. So if I have a certain amount of exercise a week, if I am certain to get this many hours of sleep, if I do this self care or that, I will experience balance in my life.
And it's true that while exercise and sleep are important, balance really comes from tuning in to what's right for you. Because if we're trying to incorporate all of these various activities in our life to create balance, most often what happens is an even a greater state of overwhelm. So when I look at balance, I want you to focus on the fact that it's really about awareness, where you can take a few moments to sink in, and look at your date, and create a space that feels right.
So one week, you may have the ability to exercise three times. And the following week, as you sink into your awareness, you may realize you can only get to the gym twice. So balance is really much more about stepping into an awareness, listening to what is right for you, and then choosing the actions that are best associated.
It's about creating actions after the awareness so we can be flexible. Because balance is not about rigidity through the actions. It's about flexibility and being honest in our awareness about what is right for our life in that moment.
CATHY WURZER: I mentioned our listener, and she said you have really helped her with the series of meditations dealing with specific emotions. We have about two minutes left. Shoot, can you lead us in a meditation that could help us listen to our bodies and then work through some more difficult emotions?
EMILY HALL: Sure. Absolutely. So I think we'll do just a quick single-word meditation. And this is a short meditation that will help you listen to your body at any point, because you're just choosing a single word. You can do this for 10 to 30 seconds or 1 to 3 breaths.
And we're going to incorporate our holistic self. So I'm going to have you place your hands on two parts of your physical body. So if you're listening right now and you're not driving, go ahead and place one of your hands right on your heart center-- so the center of your chest.
And the other hand, we'll put on that core of our body, right in the center of our stomach. And the word I'm going to help you choose today is, calm. And so as we get ready, I'll have you picture the word, calm, in your mind.
And for this brief exercise, when we Inhale, we are just going to inhale calm, OK? And so go ahead and sit up straight and close your eyes. Place your hand on your heart and your chest. And just picture that word, calm. Or you can whisper it. And just Inhale deeply on the count of three. 1, 2, 3. Inhale through your nose and then exhale.
And one more time, we'll do that. So picture that word calm. Or just whisper it out and go ahead and breathe inward. And exhale out. So this brief exercise is not going to dramatically change your day or life, but it will be present with you in the moments that you need to pause or go inward.
You can choose any word to support you. You could choose patients if you need that or joy. And you find these moments in your day-- with your morning coffee, at a break at work. I know I do this often after I buckle my kids in the car seat in the past and walk around before I get in my car. I just breathe in patience. And so this is just a simple 10 to 30-second meditation that you can do to help you shift that moment that you're in.
CATHY WURZER: Emily, that what a gift that is. Thank you so much. You're going to have to come back because there's just a lot to talk about. I also want to ask you a little bit more about the energy body work that you do. It's just so very interesting. And thank you for what you're doing.
EMILY HALL: Thank you, Cathy. I appreciate being here.
CATHY WURZER: Emily Hall is a registered nurse and energetic body worker based in Minneapolis.
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