Roland Garros. French Open. Tennis at its best. Rafael Nadal makes tennis history. 10 championships won on these clay courts. Not an easy surface they say.

No question about it. Nadal’s the champion of the day. Hands down.

And so, there I was Sunday morning, tuned in with my handy dandy, reach around the world and watch anything, television. Courtside seat—I in Maryland, Nadal in Paris.

At one point the sports caster said something that caught my attention. Made me sit up a little straighter in my seat. I didn’t actually hear it verbatim, but it was something along the lines of “once the body doesn’t feel good, the mind starts playing tricks.”

“Once the body doesn’t feel good, the mind starts playing tricks.”

Our minds do start playing tricks on us when our bodies don’t feel good. Big time.

We’re embodied beings. Without our bodies you and I wouldn’t be having our current the human experience. Our bodies are central to our lives. They’re central to our experience of it.

Many of us aren’t really in our bodies though. We’re in our heads; we’re in our “to dos”; we’re in our past and future worries. We’re in a traffic jams. We’re in a board meetings. We’re plowing ahead, a bit out of body.

You may have very little awareness of your body unless you’re unhappy with the fit of your pants or the reflection in the mirror or the cramp in your leg.

You may be completely “offline” or you may have black out areas. You’re getting less than complete feedback or non at all.

You can’t adjust course if you don’t know how you’re feeling.

You can’t breathe into the tension in your lower belly if you’re not aware of the tension in your lower belly.

This is a big deal because you react to how you’re feeling physically whether you’re consciously aware or not.

Does this mean you have to be absolutely focused on every single physical sensation that comes down the road?

Absolutely not.

Mindfulness isn’t overfocus. It’s more like a soft focus; a gentle awareness.

If a violin is out of tune, even slightly, the music it renders will be off. The violin player tends to her violin; tunes it; cares for it. The violin is the violin player’s instrument.

Your body is your instrument as a human being. It’s a major player. Your life comes to life through your body.

Notice your body—gently, lovingly.

Sit with it.

Get to know it—non judgmentally; experientially.

Meditate with it.

Tune into it.

Talk to it. Create a relationship with it. How is it doing? What does it need more of? What does it need less of?

Make peace with it.

Intend to step more fully back into your body; back into your life.

Here’s a little experiment for you…

Take 5 minutes and close your eyes and tune into your body. Once a day. Every day. Sit with yourself. Focus your awareness on different parts of your body. Focus on your left foot, your right foot. Focus on your stomach. Your lower back. Your chest. Your thighs. What is your experience of your left foot? Your experience of your right arm? Just notice. You may feel no awareness in certain parts of your body; kind of like they’re offline. Just notice. There’s nothing you need to do. Nothing you need to fix. Just notice and keep up the practice. In time, you will become aware of every part of your body and you will come back, fully embodied.

The pay off?

A tenfold richer, more fluid, more spontaneous, more joy filled life.

Leave a comment and let me know how this goes for you. Can’t wait to hear about the ups and downs and ah has that come your way as you step into this experiment. Can’t wait to hear what you discover.