My Body Spoke, but I didn’t Listen… for a very Long Time

By Ingrid Ward, West Auckland, New Zealand 

My body began speaking to me very loudly from an early age with symptoms that included a blocked or runny nose, lots of itching in various parts of my body, and digestive disturbances like diarrhoea and bloating. But I can hardly ever remember these reactions or symptoms being put down to food, except for the hives being blamed on a certain variety of apples and the swelling of my lips and mouth on eating crayfish: when my body spoke that time it was listened to immediately, as the reaction was severe. That was the last time crayfish was eaten, as to eat it again may have had a rather scary outcome.

In the 1950’s when I was growing up, food intolerances or allergies weren’t spoken or written about very often, so there was very little information to help people know about the intricacies of their bodies, and we certainly didn’t get taught much about the body at school. You just ate the food that you were presented with and anything that the body tried to tell you by way of subtle (or not so subtle) messages was likely to be overridden, as most then didn’t understand that food could be the issue behind many of the body’s ills.

So on I went eating what I was given without question and not surprisingly the suffering, along with the messages from my body, continued. I can remember suspecting that milk was the culprit behind the runny nose and excess mucous issues, but milk, in this little country of 10,000 dairy farms, was considered to be liquid gold and essential for the strength of our bones, and to say you didn’t want to drink it was almost sacrilege. Those bottles of warm milk that waited for us at school every day were my worst nightmare with my body speaking so loudly after each one, not just with nose issues, but with headaches as well. With the continual nose issues and sore throats, my tonsils finally gave up and at age eight they were removed, but I continued to drink milk and so my body kept talking. I have a feeling that I slowly began to accept that everything I was going through was actually normal, so I stopped talking about it. 

Then there was the regular Sunday afternoon headache that I know now came from the cream that was placed in huge dollops over the special Sunday dessert. The messages usually began several hours after the ingestion of this eagerly awaited delight, but it was ignored as jelly and cream was too lovely to cast aside.

The digestive issues, including regular bouts of diarrhoea, were more often than not put down to contracting a ‘bug’. The only reason for this that my very puzzled mother could come up with was that I was not washing my hands enough, but having to wash my hands every five minutes was not something that a young child wanted to do, so I didn’t. I know now from the knowledge and wisdom I have acquired over the last 17 years that this digestive reaction came from the gluten in the bread I ate, but that discovery was a long way off.

And the itching! Oh, that continuous scratching until my skin was raw from being raked by my finger nails, itching which my body was trying to tell me was from sugar! But who would want to give up the sweet stuff? After all, everyone else was consuming it so why shouldn’t I? Mind 1 – Body 0!

Looking back, I can see that there were times my body struggled under this continual abuse as I was regularly stopped in my tracks with an illness or disease. That makes sense as it would have been exhausted trying to process products that it couldn’t deal with so it had to stop me somehow to recharge, but sadly its wisdom continued to be overruled by a mind that had its own agenda; a mind with a high IQ that was considered to be a marker of intelligence.

It wasn’t as if the people around me were un-intelligent either. Just like me, they hadn’t been brought up to understand their bodies, just as those before them also hadn’t been. The doctors that I saw regularly were naturally considered to be wise and so we expected them to have all the answers to our questions, but none seemed to know how to decipher what my body was trying to say. In retrospect, that was understandable as the fact that certain foods could cause health issues probably hadn’t been a part of their training.

Over the years I had a moment or two when I began to get a sense of what my body was telling me and took dairy, or bread, and sometimes a little of the sugar out of my diet, but even though I started to feel a whole lot better, it didn’t take long before they found their way back in again, usually as a result of what was going on in my life. The dairy, gluten and sugar-filled food had become a comfort, a way of numbing myself and a way of filling up the emptiness that I was living with and, without the food, I didn’t know how I would be able to exist.

Then at aged 50, I finally got it; I had one of those light bulb moments that turn your life upside down. I came across a book that could have been written by me: the story of a woman’s life that totally mirrored mine, and the moment I finished it, I did not hesitate to change the way I was eating, and what I now know to be my true intelligence, the intelligence of my body, was given full reign. Out went the dairy, the wheat and the sugar, and over the next few months, up went my energy levels and the quality of my health, and slowly, but surely, down went my weight. I could almost hear my body sighing with relief! It was finally being listened to.

But although much happier than it had ever been, my body was still whispering in my ear and it wasn’t until the gluten was finally removed and I began to address the many emotional issues and the exhaustion that were behind my eating patterns that my body’s whispers became less and less. These final pieces of the puzzle were supplied when, in 2005, I began to attend presentations by Serge Benhayon, founder of Universal Medicine.

These presentations contained bucket loads of light bulb moments, as well as many confirmations, especially around the foods that my body had tried for years to tell me that it couldn’t deal with; finally I was listening to what I now know to be true  intelligence, the intelligence of my body.

I know without one iota of doubt that if I had been brought up to know my body as I know it now and how to understand its messages, to respect it as the all-wise and wonderful vessel that it is, my life story would read very differently and that would have been so very welcome. But as the saying goes: “Better late than never.” Now I know that by finally acknowledging the innate wisdom of this amazing body of mine, I no longer allow myself to be led astray by my wayward mind.

With the wisdom of my body leading the way, my mind is brought into line, so that the two may work in harmony as one, allowing space for my soul to express through me as whole body intelligence.

Read more:

  1. Listening to your body. 
  2. Intelligence – is it embodied or embrained? 


673 thoughts on “My Body Spoke, but I didn’t Listen… for a very Long Time

  1. The body speaks loud enough for us to hear under all circumstances, we do not really need to learn to listen to it as most of us know very well what is good for us and what not, what we need to look at is why we override this knowing and why we at times willingly sabotage ourselves and choose those things we know will not feel good in our body afterwards.

    1. Yes, this is a very good question, what is it that means on one day we can so easily eat the wrong foods without any care for the impact it has on the body. I know for example that if I let my body get cold or I don’t get the rest I need then I am more likely to end up eating foods which I know will leave me feeling pretty rubbish the next day.

  2. I so agree Caroline that “most of us know very well what is good for us”, so then the most valuable answer to discover is why do we live in a way that ignores this knowing? What is it within us that rears up and denies the truth of what we feel even though how we are living is making us sick? Such a life-changing answer that will be and probably a different one for each of us.

  3. Love the title Ingrid, we often don’t listen to what our body tells us, until we have no option than to stop and listen, and then wonder why it took us so long to actually listen to all the common sense our body is telling us.

  4. We have never been taught about whole body intelligence and when I heard what Serge Benhayon was presenting on having a whole body intelligence it made complete sense that this is what is required for us to be living in unity and harmony with ourselves and everyone.

  5. We live in fear of illness and disease without doing anything to change the way we are living, we don’t want to take responsibility for our choices or give up on having our desserts. If we listened to our bodies, none of us would be smoking or drinking and our diets would look very different.

  6. Our body is always in communication with us but often we ignore it because we do not want to take responsibility for what it is telling us, so then it has to speak louder and louder (often in the way of a cancer or some other illness) as it loves us so dearly and never gives up on us. We often do not see these illnesses as the gift they truly are.

    1. That’s the wonderful thing about our amazing body Mary-Louise, it never stops talking to us. We may, in some cases, not like what it is saying but as you say, if we refuse to listen to the messages they will only get louder and bigger and we eventually will be stopped in ways that we will like even less. To come to a place to appreciate these messages is the difference between living a life in fear and living a life in joy.

      1. yes once we appreciate the messages, our body is the same as a best friend, one that we trust deeply and know they have our back and will always be there to support us.

  7. When you first come across the possibility that things like gluten, dairy and alcohol might be bad for your health there’s kind of a moment of ‘oh yeah – I always wondered how it was good for a cow with multiple stomachs, and ok for us with 1’ – to me it shows how we actually do know but our investments in these lies make us dishonest. If we just get open then and ready to review everything – we’ll get to the truth we feel underneath. Thank you Ingrid.

  8. We can often push ourselves through many things, push ourselves to be better, push ourselves to achieve things and yet in that we override our body. Its the little day-to-day things that we ignore that have the power to determine the quality of our life and health.

  9. If we were brought up knowing that our body is our best friend and to never lose connection with it, as it is our rudder through life, how much more empowered would we be and we certainly would be ‘fit for life’.

  10. I agree Ingrid, our mind has its own agenda that takes over when we separate from feeling our body allowing us to overrule what our body is communicating and that suffers the impact of the abuse we have allowed in. Fortunately the body does not back down from letting us know its wisdom and that there is another way to live in alignment to its true rhythm and flow and will keep communicating until we learn to truly listen and honour what we are feeling.

  11. Food allergies are often seen as a curse, even though at the moment it seems to be more of a hype to eat gluten free, as we are not able to eat everything we would normally eat and well gluten-free replacements just don’t taste the same! But if we make it about how we feel in our bodies the choices to honour our bodies sensitivities is more simple and easy. It is also a constant process because I found my body changes with what it can handle and what it can’t handle all the time. So as soon as we know to listen it is a constant adjusting and experimenting of which foods feel good and which don’t. And this can change with the day.

  12. The difference when I let my body lead as opposed to my head is remarkable – in connection to my body I have access to a worldly wisdom that is way beyond the capacity of my brain alone… this is inspiring and humbling, allowing me to feel my place and part in life.

  13. I agree that most people see food allergies and food intolerances as a curse and therefore try to ignore them, as the thought of having to give up eating a favourite food is seen as way too hard; it’s all about the taste in the mouth not the long-term effect on our body. The only problem with this, as I know too well, is that the body does not stop communicating and eventually we may be brought to a grinding, and often very uncomfortable, stop, which will be appreciated even less.

  14. It is astonishing how ignorant we are about our bodies and the messages they are giving us; to treat diarrhoea or a runny nose as just a thing that happens without relating it to our lifestyle and the food we eat is something that humanity needs to change. We need to understand that whatever we choose has consequences.

  15. The body never considers it too late to start listening to it so neither should we, in fact the body always respond amazingly to being honoured and cherish irrespective of how long we have not done it for in the past.

  16. This shows how our body is a constant communicator and can truly reflect where we are at. It is not about being against our bodies but working with our bodies to respond lovingly and tenderly.

  17. “With the wisdom of my body leading the way, my mind is brought into line, so that the two may work in harmony as one, allowing space for my soul to express through me as whole body intelligence.” I had never appreciated the enormity of the potential of living by the impulse of the body so that the mind could follow in line until I heard Serge Benhayon talk about it. It has been a complete revelation for me, but understanding it as I do now, it makes total sense.

  18. Looking back with what we now know it seems very obvious how my body continually spoke to me with message after message and I can now see the huge arrogance that I held and how I dismissed everything the body was patiently, so patiently trying to point out to me. The arrogance of our head is so great that we consider the intelligence of the body to be equivalent to zero.

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