Listen to Your Body
by Donna Scrafano
For quite some time I’ve read articles and books and attended training sessions that promoted the idea of how very intelligent our bodies are and how we should listen to them. It’s only the last five years or so, however, that I have begun taking this concept seriously. I now accept that, with every twitch, ache, itch, etc., our bodies are attempting to communicate something to us.
Approximately thirty years ago, I discovered Louise Hay. She was an American motivational author who wrote several self-help books. My favorite is You Can Heal Your Life. I began studying her work somewhere in the late 1980s. My career was in Human Services, in particular Victim Services, and Hay’s books were very helpful when I found myself counseling women and children afflicted by abuse.
At that time, my reason for reading such self-help books was to assist the people I was serving. I didn’t think these books were relevant to me personally. I didn’t equate my life’s situation with that of any of the women I was providing services to. I was not living in a shelter, and I hadn’t lost my home, my belongings, my family, or experienced anything like what these women had.
As the years went by, although Louise Hay’s words would occasionally enter my mind when a turn of events warranted it, I didn’t quite grasp the need to apply them to my own life. Then, about five years ago, I went through a personal challenge that I had never experienced before, and my body started reacting. I had a horrifically itchy rash, elevated blood pressure, hip and back pain, and my anxiety was through the roof. A therapist who was also a dear friend reminded me about Hay and her teachings. So, I researched Hay on Google. There, at my fingertips, were all of her recorded affirmations, books, etc. including her first book, Heal Your Body, published in 1976. I quickly looked up all of my symptoms. Anxiety: not trusting the flow and the process of life. Back issues: problems what provides support in one’s life. High blood pressure: a longstanding, unresolved emotional problem. Skin issues: challenges to our sense of individual protection. Anxiety. Fear. Old, buried things. I was being threatened. Bingo! I was able to relate to all of the causes attached to the listed symptoms.
I began a regimen of listening to Hay’s recordings, such as “Self Healing,” “Experience Your Good Now,” “Relaxing Meditation for Deep Sleep,” and a variety of her recorded books and affirmations. I would listen to one every single night as I fell asleep. In addition, I made some necessary and crucial life decisions. And then it happened, the skin issue dissipated, blood pressure returned to normal, my back and hip problems went away, and the anxiety was gone.
With the pandemic, along with our nation’s social discord and a few personal dilemmas, my body is beginning to speak to me again. High blood pressure and anxiety have reared their ugly heads. In addition, I have had three bouts of diverticulitis, and I’m, like, the fiber queen! How did this happen?! My colorectal doctor has “no explanation.” So off I went to research stomach issues according to Louise Hay.
At no surprise to me, stomach issues indicate dread, fear of the new, inability to assimilate the new. OK, body I’m listening. Again. I returned to listening to Hay’s sleep and healing meditations, I took a break from the news, I stopped engaging in political conversations, I’m eating healthier, and I incorporated something new, Reiki, which seems to be helping as well.
Louise Hay passed away on August 30, 2017. Our universe has lost a wonderful soul. Fortunately, her work lives on through technology.
Photo credit by: NY City Photographer Jakayla Toney @jakaylatoneyphotography
Donna began her journey in Human Services in 1983. During the next 35 years she held various positions and formally retired in 2018. She writes on an array of social issues. Donna's relaxation time includes walking her Lab, Roxy, having fun with her seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, writing for Silver Sage, spending time with friends and family. Her last full-time position was providing care to her father. Since that has ended, Donna is taking the time to invest in her own self care and interests.