The sensation of alignment (or misalignment) can be felt most deeply within our bodies and minds. We perceive alignment through our individual qualia programs. Qualia describes our internal subjective awareness produced by the sensory experiences of sight, sound, texture, taste, and smell in connection with external elements. This constantly changing collection of qualia significantly influences our comprehension of reality. We believe that with healthy alignment comes healthy experiences, healthy relationships, and healthy lives.
Our bodies are constantly telling us what works and what doesn’t. Conflict is important for driving action, but friction can wear down our best parts. Awareness of intuition can help experiences transpire more smoothly.
The comparison between instinct and intuition breaks down into a matter of rigidity versus fluidity. Whereas instinct is typically fixed, intuition can shift and turn. Our instincts might tell us that we should help if we see someone in need. Or to run if we sense danger. Yet, a strange thing about humans is that we’re the only species to have the capacity to go against our own instinct.1 This capacity for wires getting crossed in the hardwired application of instinct can cause a series of problems based on second-guessing information we receive. As a result, instinct is often not the most reliable human companion. In comparison, intuition goes with the flow and can actually get better with more experience. Intuition is quick and subconscious, drawing on information we might not even know we’re perceiving to help us make automatic decisions in our favor.2 For these reasons, intuition is best suited to be our guiding principle.
When faced with a big decision, we should ask ourselves: How does this feel? Our hearts can sometimes answer better than our brains. To that effect, our bodies often give us directions for how best to live and what patterns we should no longer repeat. It’s incredibly important we learn how to listen and respond to this built-in advice so we do not miss out on the lessons our bodies know to teach us.
Most people agree that it doesn’t feel good to begin each day with a commute cramped in cars or shoved into packed trains. The gift of life is not to be squandered by being stuck in traffic. Throughout industrial life, the symptomatic aches and pains we feel from repeated, near-mechanical tasks are messages from our bodies telling us we were not meant to operate in this way. We do not need to continually compromise the bodies and minds we are blessed to have. Everybody deserves a better balance of physical and mental demands with physical and mental rest.
We could all do with some more time to reconnect with ourselves. We still have much to learn about our own internal systems. From a collective perspective, we’re just starting to get in touch with listening to our bodies. Mindfulness helps us connect with our intuition. In that slowed down, more intentional space, we have more room to let our emotions dissipate so we can more clearly see what feels like the best way forward. From kindergartens to university research departments, mindfulness is becoming a new standard practice for influencing our behavioral patterns, creating further positive implications for society.
Interoception is the sense used to better understand your body’s internal state.3 Most of us are surprisingly inept at describing what’s going on inside our own bodies. It’s even harder to simply find a common language to explain discomfort. This predicament makes it difficult for a doctor to understand exactly what a patient’s body requires in the short amount of time allotted between the two people. Nurses typically have a better sense of how to help patients because they interact with them to a greater degree and therefore get to know their patients better. If the medical community on the whole were to develop a greater focus on the humanity of the patient, and if simultaneously all people were more encouraged to speak about how they feel, then we could significantly help address challenges of communication going forward in healthcare practices.
The more we can gain knowledge about our bodies—and what they might be telling us through sensations as polar as pleasure and pain—the more we’ll understand how to heal more efficiently. The more knowledge everyone has, the more we can learn from one another as well (rather than solely on text books and specialists). These ultra-systematized modes of learning form just one part of the larger process of sharing knowledge about the mysteries of the body. We must continue to concentrate on supporting holistic approaches for our health.
In America, one of the monetarily richest countries on Earth, the healthcare system is designed to create profit rather than care for the sick. This arrangement has a dismal effect for people in need of care. In the U.S. more money is spent per capita on healthcare than any other nation, and yet the country still has one of the worst health systems in the developed world. This inefficiency is alarming.
How can we not afford to have healthcare for all? Similarly, how can we afford not to have proposed legislation like a Green New Deal, which is designed to confront climate change while at the same time ensuring programs like universal childcare, and dignified wages for healthcare workers? Legislative ideas like these are critical for a sustainable future. We have to direct our intentions, initiatives, and activities toward taking comprehensive care of ourselves and the planet that sustains us.
The path to a better future is inscribed within each one of us. As Joseph Campbell said, “Follow your bliss.” Your heart knows that when energies are aligned an idea can better spark creative action. Our heads are not the only parts of our body with a brain, our hearts and guts each have a brain of their own. We have processing systems all throughout our physical forms. As a result, our internal sensations and intuitions can sometimes be our best advocates. The more we can get in touch with these sensations, the more we access intuition, the more we will place ourselves in beneficial situations.
- The Power of Humility
- Healthy Habits
- Environmental Actors
- Economic Priorities
- Lessons Ahead