My inspiration for this blog comes from a quote below from Adrienne Rich – The will to change begins in the body, not in the mind. It’s worth repeating twice.

There is so much that can be said here, I’m not sure where to begin.

The will to change begins in the body. For many people, that sounds counter-intuitive (pun intended), because most of us think of will-power as mental will-power. But, if you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you already know that you can have all the will in the world and still find yourself slipping up in the middle of the night before you even become aware of what you’re doing.

The truth is this: if the body is not in line with the mind, the body wins, every time. Some liken the body to a big usually happy elephant, and the mind to the tiny person on the elephant trying to steer it in a given direction. That only works if the elephant is ok with being steered and wants to go in the same direction as the little person. Otherwise, that little person is at the mercy of the elephant, and not the other way around.

Some liken the body to the hidden part of an iceberg. The hidden part is under the surface of the water, and is vastly bigger than the part above water. It represents the automatized knowing that we have accumulated throughout our lives. It’s also where the young part of ourselves resides. Our child within us.

That child reacts, never responds. He or she reacts immediately and unconsciously to whatever stimulates them, good or bad. If she’s hungry, she demands food, right now! If she’s sad, she demands comfort, right now! If she doesn’t want to go where your conscious minds wants to go, she will resist, and you will eventually lose.

There’s really only one way to successfully make change happen, and that’s to bring your inner child willingly along with you. And that means paying attention to how your body feels about anything you decide to do.

Do you want to work until a project is finished, even if it means staying up all night? Make sure your body is well prepared – with sustenance and plenty of naps or rests. Do you want to finish preparing your taxes? Make sure you have some treat waiting for you once it’s done.

If you end up failing at making a change, it isn’t your mind that’s lacking. It’s your body letting you know that you haven’t considered it’s needs, and need to.

Need help quieting the struggle between what you want and what you need? Reach out here to book a therapy appointment with Maryanne Nicholls.

The surprisingly charming science of your gut

Quote of the Week

The will to change begins in the body, not in the mind”

― Adrienne Rich


If you like this article, and would like it delivered to your in-box every Monday morning, sign up here.