What's behind an urge? Listening to the body and heart


The urges of the body

Have you considered what happens when you resist the natural urge to hydrate when thirsty, eat when hungry, stop when full, relieve yourself at the time when you feel it versus holding it to the point of strain or pain?

In my conversations with clients I often talk about this concept. Much of what is considered normal today is not natural functioning of the body, mind, and spirit.

What may be considered proper etiquette or habits instilled from an early age go against the flow of nature. Continuing to perpetuate these things can contribute to imbalances and as our bodies move further away from their natural state of being, the more likely dis-ease and problems will occur. 

For example, when you regularly suppress sneezes it will cause headaches, migraines, weakness in the sense organs and a stiff neck. Never made that connection before? All of these pathways exist in the same neighborhood of your body. 

Holding back flatulence causes problems such as constipation, bloating and fatigue as well as many other disorders from vata dosha imbalance. We are meant to pass some gas each day. Not doing so over a long period contributes to heart problems.

Another natural urge often suppressed by many clients I work with is going to the toilet. This one may sound easy enough to attend to but is often suppressed when the urge arises. The solution, slowing down the pace at which we move through life. Taking pause, consciously breathing, and noticing the body and mind are supportive reminders to take care and relieve yourself when it’s time to go.

Responding to the body’s natural urges requires a  practice of cultivating space for receptivity and presence rather than being in a state of reactivity or busyness. When the mind or lifestyle is disruptive it prevents us from listening to the innate wisdom and rhythm of the body. We go against nature – our nature. 

There are 14 natural urges of the body not to be suppressed. In all cases, a natural urge is the body attempting to expel something in order to regain balance. Here’s the thing, instead of blocking it, welcome it. It will assist in flow. Remember, the body's natural urges are just that, natural.


The urges of the mind

The natural urges of the body must be met, otherwise we are going against our body’s innate wisdom. These urges are necessary for the body to be in balance and function properly.

For example, tears and flatulence need to be released otherwise they contribute to disease. If there is thirst or hunger, it’s important to support and nourish the body with food and water. Yet when we consider the mind, there are urges that turn us away from sattva, balance and harmony. Let me explain.

The root cause of mental urges is a past memory, experience, or trauma. In an attempt to avoid the feeling of the root cause the mind looks for distraction that actually deters clearing and healing the past.

The result is a cycle of raga or attachment and addiction. These mental urges turn us away from our true nature.

Shopping when nothing is needed. Trying on clothes or ordering at home and sending them back. Gambling, drinking, overeating. Standing at the refrigerator with the door open having eaten a full meal 1 hour ago.

These actions and thinking cultivate indecision and distraction from life. It occupies a lot of time and energy and produces short term pleasure followed by a feeling of emptiness.

There may also be times when you have a feeling of discomfort that you may not realize is there. In these instances, do you ever find yourself trying to control what people around you are doing or thinking? Or trying to change how others think of you? All of this is an illusion and a form of manipulation and distraction.

Are you doing too much, to the point of potential burnout? Days and nights are full and there seems to be no end in sight for all that needs to be done. Do you fill your calendar with obligations? And can't say no when you need to or can’t say yes when you want to?

The practice is to notice when you are in these cycles and step out in the direction of sattva instead. Catch yourself and your mind in that moment, and say gently ah, I don’t do that anymore. This will shift the energy and change will follow.


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