How to Listen to Your Body


Once I was in a class and the teacher wanted to demonstrate a “focusing” exercise. I volunteered. The exercise involved paying attention to your body, until one part drew your attention. Then you would focus on that part and ask, “What is it you need to tell me?” Before you freak out, and write me off as some new age crazy, just remember that your body was created by God, and if he indwells it, then listening to your body is just one more way of learning to hear that “still small voice.”

At that time, my lungs were a mess. I have wonky lungs. That’s a medical diagnosis I made up since I’ve been through all kinds of tests and there is no better diagnoses. The Wonky Lung Syndrome means yearly colds that get stuck in my lungs for a long time, causing chronic coughing and trouble breathing. And, the day we did this listening exercise, it was not hard to hear my lungs speaking because they were were shouting at me!

Before I tell you what they said, let me tell you that I have since done this exercise with many other people. When I do it with college students their bodies usually say, “I’m hungry,” “I’m tired,” or “I need exercise.” These are common body complaints for worn out 20 something’s living on 4 hours of sleep and cold pizza. But, I’ve had some others who have heard amazing things. One was drawn to a mole on her arm and when she refused to listen to that, she had a dream that she went to her dermatologist. So, she really did go see her dermatologist and found out that mole was a Melanoma. Good thing she listened as she had it removed and is fine.

Some people hear not only physical information, but spiritual as well. My friend was listening and she was drawn to her right foot. It’s her non-dominant foot and when she asked what the message was, she heard it say that she was supposed to step out in a new leadership position that was not natural for her.


When I finally got quiet enough to listen to my lungs, I heard “We need space.” That was true, they were hurting and I knew I needed to see the doc and get some antibiotics and inhalers a.s.a.p. But, as I continued to listen, I realized that I needed “space” in other parts of my life. I needed more space to be with God, time to listen, and space to be creative. As I listened I realized that I had not made space for creativity in my life for a long time. I used to act in plays, but the time commitment was overwhelming and I stopped. Then, I had a brainstorm. All our kids and various housemates had moved out, and there was an empty room in our house! When I told my hubby my idea for the room, he said, “Go for it.” So, I created my first “prayer room.” It was a space – a space to be with God, to pray, to listen to others, and to write.

It’s been five years since I listened to my lungs. Five years since I built my prayer room. Five years and six books later, I’m glad I listened!

Maybe it’s time to listen to your lungs!


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