What An Onion Has To Do With Listening To Your Body..

How to get sickI was afraid she’d know what I had done.

As my mom entered my room, I wondered if she noticed the overpowering smell.

She touched my head and felt the heat burn into her hand.

The onion safely tucked away in my armpit had done its work. I now had a fever and it was enough to get me out of going to school on a day I really didn’t want to go.

(I’ll wait till you’ve stopped laughing at my ingenuity).

Fast forward to present time. The method has changed but the process remains the same.

When there’s something I don’t want to do, or when a major change needs to happen in my life (whether it be thoughts, behaviours, actions), and I ignore it, I get sick or hurt.

When I’m letting life happen to me instead of making life happen, I feel tired, listless, low on energy and totally unmotivated.

Like me, I know many of you have learned the hard way that avoiding a situation that’s not working anymore will just lead to it biting you on the bum.

If you won’t make the change, the Universe will oblige with a kick on the rear.

Have you seen that TV show – I didn’t know I was pregnant? I watched it the other day and was dumbstruck by how out of touch these women were with their bodies. They’re not alone though, it’s a common malaise in our world.

The more unconscious we are about our needs, the more we distract ourselves with wants, desires, possessions and things that don’t have anything to do with nurturing our bodies or souls, the further we are removed from our inner selves.

If you’ve ever woken up in the morning with an anxious feeling in your stomach as you prepare for a job interview, if you’ve ever sweated at the thought of asking a girl out, if you’ve ever taken an exam thinking you were going to fail, or wondered how you were going to make your mortgage payments, well, that’s not what I’m talking about.

All this is pretty darn normal and you’d have to be made of steel not to be nervous about these ‘milestones’ or important things in life.

I’m pointing to the things you do over and over on a regular basis, which twist your stomach in a knot and has you hating parts of your life or at the least, fill you with unease. Yet, you do them. If that isn’t madness, what is?

Like not wanting to get up and go to that sucky job for one more day and yet, not having the guts to do something else.

Like hating where you live, but not moving just cos you’d have to start over.

Stop being unconscious!

I’ve seen it time and again.

  • Friends who get sick after months of hating their jobs and being too scared to do anything about it
  • The girl at the store who looks like she’s sleep walking and would do well as a zombie
  • The kid who’s playing soccer when he really wants to act, cos his folks have high expectations of him
  • The wife who puts her dreams on hold to serve her family and is secretly miserable
  • The husband who crushes his musical career to provide for his kids

I’ll just bet it’s happened to you too.

The thing is, if you’re lacking energy and motivation, chances are it doesn’t have as much to do with what you’re eating or doing, as much as what you’re thinking or making yourself do.

Your body is merely an expression of your thoughts and feelings. It’s your own personal barometer telling you how aligned you are with your life’s purpose.

It comes down to this: Are you doing what makes you happy? Are you following your passion?

Wayne Dyer talks about his son Sands, in Excuses Be Gone. Sands hates waking up in the morning, is always late to classes, has low energy and is often tired if he wakes up before noon.

And yet, when he goes on surfing trips or visits his dad in Maui, he’s up at the crack of dawn, making sandwiches and hitting the surf all day long. This, inspite of having stayed up late talking to other surfers, studying waves etc.

What a difference passion makes!

Luckily for Sands, his dad knows all about following your bliss and encourages him to follow his dreams.

And how about that Louise Hay?

You’ve probably heard about or read her book “You Can Heal Your Life”. She talks about how illnesses and diseases are psycho-somatic, meaning they arise from dis-ease in your thoughts and feelings.

In her book, she explains how our beliefs and ideas about ourselves are often the cause of our emotional problems and physical maladies and how, by using certain tools, we can change our thinking and our lives for the better.

I’ve seen it in action so many times in my life.

  • When I didn’t want to be a massage therapist anymore but instead of quitting, I waited until I injured my wrist and couldn’t work  for a year to give it up
  • When I was living in the US and was tired of my life there but was too scared to leave and I sprained my ankle rendering me useless till I left
  • When I injured myself about 5-6 days in a row before I finally changed something that wasn’t working for me

(In hindsight, I was subconsciously wearing those slippers so I’d have an excuse to create change and my fear wouldn’t be able to stop me!)

REady to change your life?

Time for a change?

2 weeks ago, when I realised it was time to move on from a couple of projects that I committed to and didn’t, I got sick for 5 days.

That’s when I finally decided I’d had enough. It was time to be more conscious and aware.

So, I listen to my body and am so in tune with it that I can tell right away if I’m aligned with my life, thoughts,words and passion. And I take action right away if I’m not!

So what about you?

Do you take action as SOON as you realise something’s not kosher, or do you ignore it till you’re forced to take action? Do you wait to get sick / unhappy / pushed in a corner before you’ll take a break?

Or do you pick up the message, watch for signs and pay attention to the message your body and circumstances are giving you?

When you start making small changes as soon as you know it’s needed, it’s much easier on you than when you wait till something awful happens. I’ve been lucky and gotten away with minor-ish injuries. And I’m not waiting for a serious shock to happen before I start listening!

Be willing to get in touch with your body today. Let it express your inner desires. A good place to start is with questions like what is your body telling you? What are you ignoring? What does it want you to do?

Starting today, make that a priority.

Get in touch with your body by meditating on it, thanking it for how hard it works for you, spending 5 minutes in complete silences, weekly walks, time alone, monthly massages, etc. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend, it matters how often you do it.

You with me on this? I’d love to hear what you think. Please share your experiences! What has your body been telling you and what happens when you listen / don’t listen? Thanks!

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  1. says

  2. says

    Thank you Randy, I really appreciate that! Thanks for being here and for delurking enough to let me know hehe 🙂 Would love to hear from you again!

  3. Carol says

    Oh Tia, I laughed so hard at your onion tactic! Funny, funny, funny!

    In the past, my energy level in the late fall and winter months would drop significantly because of the shorter daylight hours. For years I have tried to ignore it, but this year when it started again, I decided enough was enough. I ordered a Philips goLITE BLU Light Therapy Device ($149 on Amazon) . . . and the difference has been tremendous! I sit with my yummy cup of coffee and the light on for 25 minutes as I read email every morning. No more lethargy . . . no more afternoon naps. Sometimes a simple little tweak makes a huge difference . . .

    One of the lessons I’ve learned in life is that there is a point in every problem where it is tiny and cost effective to fix it. Generally, the longer you wait, the higher the cost.

    Sometimes it seems selfish to spend money on things like the light I bought, but aren’t we all worth whatever it takes to feel good? The better we feel, the more we have to offer . . . 🙂

    Thank you for another great post!

  4. says

    I think you’re talking about a stitch in time saves nine, Carol! I could have just written that and called it the post.. LOL.

    Good on you for listening to your body and treating it to some healing light and energy. One way of looking at it is – what would it cost you not to have that and your comment already answers that.

    A huge YES on spending money on things that make you feel good! Look at me – 5 weeks and over $2000 already on my trip to NZ, cos I am worth it. My dad always said something’s only worth as much as you’re willing to pay for it. Whether it be $5 or $500 doesn’t matter if it’s worth it to you. Cool huh?

    From my friend Mark (@kalalea on twitter and @debsoul’s husband):

    “YOur greatest value to others is when you are joyful, happy & connected. Your greatest value to others is to be radiantly healthy. And as you are living that and vibrating that, you are a catalyst inspiring others to an awareness of that. Abraham-Hicks via Mark Gehrke”

    There. Full permission to do and be the best of you who deserves the best of you. 🙂

  5. says

    What a funny story Tia – yes you were crafty! I remember one time in high school I really was ill, but when mom said I could not go out on my date that night if I came home, I stayed. We will go to great lengths to do what we really enjoy doing.

    I had a history of falling ill during finals week in college and I’ve been known in the past to fall ill whenever I didn’t want to travel home for the holidays, but I soon learned that I’d rather be healthy in any circumstance.

    The body is great feedback. It is, as you say, the place where the Universe can finally make us pay attention. So, whenever I have something going on in my body, I ask what the feedback is.

    Love how you make powerful medicine out of everything that happens to you. Keep ’em coming!

  6. says

    I learned it from my brother who learned it from his friends!

    The tricks we got up to to get out of things … omg I just remembered this time when I bandaged my knee to pretend I had an injury so I could get out of the school marching band cos I didn’t want to wear shorts in front of a school full of boys (can you tell I had studied at a strict girls only convent school till then? lol lol lol!!)

    So THAT’s where my history of sickness and injuries comes from .. looks like I was pre-paving (creating the vibration of that experience before it even happens, for those who are wondering), way back before I even knew what it meant. Thank goodness I know how to allow change in easier, smoother, ways now. HA!

    Somehow, I know you would resonate with this post 🙂 That’s so cute, I can just imagine you weighing the consequences of that decision, glad the date won out.

    “We will go to great lengths to do what we really enjoy doing.” — if that isn’t a case for doing what we love, then what is! YES! Might as well get an early start to happiness and contentment by doing what we love as young adults instead of conforming to expectations.

    I see GenYers around that are SO successful (and by success I mean doing what they love, making $ AND being happy) already, it makes me want to hug their parents for nurturing their talents.

    So enjoyed writing this post and all the memories that are flashing by now. Off I go to reminisce. Thanks for adding to the discussion, Kathy, such a pleasure to see you here!

  7. says

    That onion trick was a great one, I wish I had thought of that when I was in junior high. LOL Since I can’t EAT unions, I’m sure having them in my armpits would have created other problems too! LOL

    Anyway, this was a great post and I have a friend whose husband is just like this post. He had a job working as a warranty telemarketer for about 6 months I think (if I were to add up all the days). This a desk job and he’s a car mechanic by nature. I can’t even tell you how many times he got sick during that time, it was unreal, and even landed in the hospital for some sort of hernia. I told his wife (my friend), “it’s the job, I swear! He shouldn’t be doing it.”

    Well, it took a really low paycheck to make him quit finally. Then within a week or two he got a job as a car mechanic doing lube jobs and oil changes and speedy stuff like that. He’s been there I think about 8 months now, not one sick day!!!! This job fits him to a “T”. He stays active on his feet, he’s working with cars (he’s certified as well), good pay, and gets his hands dirty (lol). He gets 2 weeks off soon for Christmas and he doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry, lol.

    He’s a daily reminder for me to think about doing things that make me feel good and are aligned with my true nature so I can stay healthy and enjoy my life.

    Thank you for letting me share my story. 🙂

  8. says

    Too funny, Mary! I’m sure you had some other ideas though? Please tell me I’m not the only one here doing crazy things to get out of situations? LOL!

    Thank you SO much for sharing your friend’s story! The most inspiring thing I’ve heard all day. And SOLID proof that it’s vital to:

    1) know what your passion and purpose is
    2) do whatever it takes to follow it

    Stories like this make my heart sing and make me want to be even more ferocious with people who don’t listen to their gut! Why, why, why would anyone let fear and limited thinking stop them from exploring their joy and potential?

    Er.. why, why, why, did / do I?

    This is my mission: to help people become aware and show them their potential, so they can find the strength and conviction to be who they are.

    Thanks again for sharing and welcome to the community! I can tell you’re a real source of inspiration and joy 🙂

  9. says

    Birds of a feather think together … You got me all curious and then ran away :O Hope you’ll be back to share what this brought up for you!

  10. Tiffany says

    Tia, this post came right in time. For the past few weeks I’ve felt so ridiculously tired, unmotivated, depressed; the only thing i was up to was surfing the web. At first I played innocent (“I have no idea why my body is doing this! Yikes! Poor me, someone find a disease for this illness so I can get rid of it!!”)

    Then I finally took a few deep breaths and meditated. Turns out I had some feelings of laziness and my body was revolting because I’d been paying zero attention to it. So what fixed it? I rocked out to some great music while on the treadmill and did a quick pilates video. I also resisted my urge to simply slack and ENJOYED being more active in my afternoon.

    Those fears of being tired? Gone. I woke up HAPPY today. Very happy indeed. Not an ounce of tiredness.

    On another note, I’m just realizing why my body keeps giving me eczema. It’s sprouted up like never before. Why? Because I keep loving everything BUT the eczema. I’m feeding my body “Go ahead and love yourself except for THOSE spots…THOSE SPOTS are UGLY!” It sounds so silly but I felt the lightbulb click when I stumbled upon this.

    Key to my long story? Your body isn’t just randomly breaking down. Health is our natural state. When we fill our pretty little heads with thoughts that don’t match what God truly thinks of us…well things get a little whacky!



  11. says

    Ooooooooo Great insights Tiffany! Especially around the Eczema – this reminds me of what Kim Falconer said about the 13th fairy, I know I mentioned it in some other post but here goes again – if you don’t love the “unlovable” parts of you, those parts will create havoc in your life.

    All she/they want is to be accepted and once done, she/they happily leave when the party’s over. But try to ignore her/them and she’ll/they’ll make sure your life sucks till such time you get what’s happening.

    In other words, what you resist persists. I can’t believe I didn’t think to tell you that .. yet, I’m glad you found out for yourself 🙂 nothing quite like that Eureka moment ay!

    “Health is our natural state” – You’re the coolest teenager I know! Rock on with awareness and self love girlfriend xoxo

  12. says

    Thanks for mentioning the Abe quote in your comments.

    Being connected with your body is HUGE. Our bodies manifest all our thoughts and feelings. Learning to have the awareness to stay tuned into our body and our whole self is a beautiful path to being Awake.

    Great post Tia!

  13. says

    Cheers Janette and Mark! Glad to have you resonate with it (but, of COURSE! you’re so in tune). It gets better and better each time we listen, really listen to our bodies instead of ignoring the signs. Here’s to connection with self!

  14. says

    Hey Tia,

    Thanks for the mention of my article on Dumb Little Man. It’s such an obvious thing, but nobody teaches us to listen to our bodies when we’re little (maybe because of all sorts of “stuff” about our bodies being “evil/ sinful” etc?)

    I was “lucky” to have had a skin thing that’s proved to be the perfect messenger from my body. I get a big rash all over when I’m stressed or anxious and I get the rash even before I consciously know what I’m stressed and anxious about. It’s trained me to pay attention to my body and recognise it’s messages.

    I have a friend who’s body is leading her out of abusive, dysfunctional relationships – whenever she gets into one, she gets a terrible urinary tract infection, which goes away when she ends the relationship. She can ignore the emotional pain of the dysfunctional relationships, but she can’t ignore the intense physical pain she gets. She used to tolerate the pain for years (physically and emotionally) but in recent relationships, now that she knows the message from her body, she’s listened sooner and left a dysfunctional relationship after just a few months.

    Our bodies are truly amazing messengers! Great post 🙂

  15. says

    It was just such perfect timing, Cath! I really resonate with your writing. If I hadn’t been a massage therapist for a few years after quitting corporate, it would have taken me another lifetime to be in sync with my body.

    I’m thinking “Mind, Body and Soul 101” for schools all over the world so people can get the idea at an early age… who’s going to help me?

    Learning all sorts of amazing ways the body sends messages through everyone’s stories, WOW. Thanks for writing and for sharing your friend’s story too, that’s far out. Glad she’s paying attention now.

    And hooray for us all having personal body indicators of our mental state! From rashes to injuries, they keep us on our toes so we can listen, tweak and carry on better than ever 🙂

  16. Nina says

    Tia, I stumbled upon a little hand book of Louise Hay at an airport book shop, when I was making a very crucial tough journey. The book and its ideas hit me like a bolt. Have it with all the time, have gifted it to several ppl.
    Since have re-started yoga and keeping in touch with u am getting so clued in and in touch with ME. Loving myself, really truly loving myself for the last few weeks and already seeing small shifts – in my body :)) and in others’ attitude towards me!!!!! YIPPEEEE.

    This article of yrs has me connecting some more dots.

    Love you babe.

  17. says

    Talk about divine timing babe 🙂 So glad to hear that! Yoga is one of the best ways to connect with your body, mind AND soul. It makes me so happy to know that you’re already seeing changes, stay with it and do NOT QUIT ok!? It gets better and better the more you love yourself. Yay! Mwah!

  18. says

    Tia! I love this post (though I am late seeing it!). I definitely believe that our bodies are physical representations of how we are allowing ourselves (or not) to feel. I love Louise Hay’s book. I have been blessed with some very very obvious physical reactions to some things that I can’t help but listen to.

    1. Dishonesty makes me incredibly uncomfortable. It is very difficult for me not to be 100% honest. That sounds strange coming from an actress, but that’s different. I just really can’t be any other way, though I have learned to adapt it a bit as 100% honesty just does not fit in everywhere. The other side of that is being around people who aren’t genuinely honest. I intuitively get that uncomfortable feeling and sometimes attempt to disregard it when they make me second guess myself. Eventually I learn that I was right all along. Not that I can’t be wrong…but so far I’ve learned that anyone who makes me second guess that reaction is being deceitful. I am learning to trust that more.

    2. I have hardly been involved in “serious” relationships, but I have also been blessed with only very pleasant ones. This is as a result of my becoming entirely unable to continue seeing someone the instant I feel like I am not fully interested in them. I think some other people can enjoy being together a bit longer, or they don’t sense that like I do. I sense it all the time. I used to think something might be wrong with me until the time I didn’t sense that at all with my first real love. Ever since then, I am grateful for it. Who knows how many unhealthy relationships I may have experienced without that feeling?

    I do tend to catch more colds when I am doing “day-jobs” I have no desire to be doing. As far as physical ailments for me to listen to. I haven’t had that many, but that’s because I am a self-proclaimed “fradey-cat”. Ever since I was young, I have been terrified of physically hurting myself. I never learned to ride a bike because of it. I am still quite similar to this. You’ve got me wondering again if this isn’t a manifestation of some really bad habit thinking!

  19. says

    hey Tia, your post is a really good reminder (especially the part about the tiredness etc. – this is so me …).
    I remember my wrists getting sore and showing signs of RSI whenever I resist a job I should be doing. When I realize the first signs of it, I take note, try to change my attitude, do some energy healing with my hands on the wrist (imagining energy flowing easily through the wrists again) and my wrists are all good in a matter of a day or two.
    When relationships are not working as they are supposed to or in a way that is good for me, my kidneys start to hurt a little.
    So it’s totally true, it’s important to listen to our body. And: the book by Louise L. Hay was a huge eye-opener for me too. I read the one in which all the afflictions are listed along with an explanation what they mean along with a positive affirmation.
    @JM: “This is as a result of my becoming entirely unable to continue seeing someone the instant I feel like I am not fully interested in them.” – this is also true for me, it makes relationships a bit hard because more often or not you get this intuitive hunch ‘he / she is not the one’ and ‘have’ to leave the relationship but on the other hand it keeps you aligned with your true self and who you are which is very freeing also!! 😉


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