by Madelaine Fox
Reflecting on how my thinking has changed and expanded over the years, I am reminded of a boss I had some time ago. I see myself at my desk, coughing and sneezing counting down the hours before my holiday starts. “Ill again” mutters my boss as he walked past my desk, “must be holiday time”. I remember laughing it off, I was in my twenties and of course felt invincible.
Over the years I have suffered from many ailments. Headaches, food intolerance, severe indigestion, random aches and pains, the list could go on. My GP could not provide solutions to these problems so I looked elsewhere for answers. For instance, changes to my diet and for some time life would go back to normal but the solution was never long lasting.
In the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2009, London working hours were long and commuting on the tube was an everyday battle. Busyness and stress were worn like a badge of honour which I no longer wanted to wear. I needed to have more control of my life and my investigation led me to Ayurvedic medicine (a system of healing originated in India). The Doctor was interested in my symptoms of course but also asked lots of questions about my lifestyle. What job did I do? Where did I live? How did I get to and from work? How many hours did I work? Did I meditate? I began to see that I needed to be in charge of my body and that my lifestyle was impacting me negatively. It became clear that I had a choice to live my life in a more positive and holistic way.
I knew that physical fitness and exercise had an impact on my resilience, but I also knew that there had to be more to it and so I started an exploration of the mind-body connection. We have come a long way since Descartes declared in the 16th century that the mind was completely separate from the body. Yet essentially many of us still live outside of our bodies.
What is our body telling us that we are not paying attention to? How can we listen to what our bodies telling us so that we can take care of our needs and choose how we respond to the world? The Body Never Lies is a workshop taking you through an exploration of my experience and research into how the mind and body interact. We will explore how we can reconnect with our internal and physical experiences which will allow us to make more positive choices in our responses to the world, helping us to reduce the level of stress and its long term negative effects.