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? 


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

  1. Yes, the body speaks very loud, and the symptoms are clear when there is any food that is not being well assimilated. When those symptoms appear repeatedly is clear that there is something to change in our diet. It would be great that our doctors would start to talk about this. In any case the main part corresponds to us, which is listen to our body and make the final choice of letting go what is harming to it.

  2. We can often see signs, symptoms and illnesses as an inconvenience, as our body fighting us or letting us down or just as a random event but what if our body is actually working for us, to help us to be more aware of something and is offering us a learning and a healing through communicating with us in this way…

  3. It may feel for you that you were slow Ingrid, (you and me both) but you are listening now and that is the learning for us all, to listen more and more to the body. There is no need to look to the past at what we didn’t do but to know our wisdom in the present how we are living.

    1. I feel that we can keep listening more and more intently to the body and that the more that we lean in towards the body to listen, the more that we will be supported outwards towards the all and the everything.

  4. “I went eating what I was given without question and not surprisingly the suffering, along with the messages from my body, continued.” this speaks volumes to me, it confirms the fact our body knows amazing amounts and its up to us to listen, yet society then makes us doubt, question and ignore our body. We are the ones that setup society so in effect we are the ones that stop ourselves listening to our body.

  5. When we take responsibility for our choices and the quality that we live in, we can really embrace what Medicine has to offer us and engage in our own healing as an equal partner with our health practitioners.

  6. ‘So on I went eating what I was given without question and not surprisingly the suffering, along with the messages from my body, continued.’ Also known as going along with the masses, saying yes to something regardless of how we feel. We are leaders of our own bodies yet we choose to be followers of ideals and beliefs.

  7. I know how we can fight pain and illnesses, but the wisdom from the body is showing us how we need to live differently. When we can appreciate that it is supporting us, not letting us down, we can start the learning journey.

    1. How wonderful it is to come to the understanding that our body is “not letting us down” when it gets sick or injured, but that it is actually letting us know that the way we are living is not harmonious and that it is ready, when we are, to support a return to our innate inner harmony. Living with this knowing and awareness why would we want to ignore even the littlest of messages as who would not want to live in harmony with their body?

  8. ” Universal Medicine.These presentations contained bucket loads of light bulb moments”.
    I found the same Ingrid and I also found myself saying at times ” I knew that “. The great joy of Universal Medicine presentations is that a lot of the time it’s just confirming what one already knows but was not allowed to express, or society’s way of living made what you knew look wrong.

  9. ‘……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.’
    Although I breast fed my 3 children, there comes a point when you wean them off the breast and onto the bottle, there are enormous pressures on mums to feed babies milk at this young age. I was made to feel like I was being very irresponsible because I chose to give them coconut milk instead, my children were clearly well fed chubby babies, yet I was made to feel that I was putting them at risk by not providing them cow’s milk.

    1. These days pressures on mothers as to how they feed their babies is huge and very emotion laden. I can’t remember it being such a pressure when my children were babies and when I was unable to continue to breast feed either of them after a couple of months no one tried to make me change my mind. I instinctively knew that this decision was best for both of us. Then when it was obvious that they couldn’t tolerate the milk formula I had to make another choice and chose to replace it with a soy formula on which they thrived. I know that these days this formula is not recommended, but now in their 40’s they do not seem to have suffered from the only choice that was available to me at the time; a choice that I definitely made with their health and well-being in mind.

  10. Our ‘ability’ to ignore or override the messages of our body is quite phenomenal when we consider that we are actually suffering some discomfort if not pain by doing so and even risking more severe consequences by not taking care of the minor ailments. It simply doesn´t make sense, especially when applying the intelligence or common sense we are so proud of. Obviously there must be a factor at play that is not spoken about or ignored just like the body´s messages otherwise the whole mechanism would be exposed for the stupidity and or abuse that it is. It is only when we are willing to take responsibility and applying a deeper care that the ignorance is no longer ignored, ie the carelessness admitted and honesty brought into the picture.

  11. We listen to others to tell us what to eat, we read books with advice written by others with certain ideas about food and the body.
    But it is OUR body, why do we need those instructions? Is it not more logical to re-connect more with our own body in what it really needs and to be open to what we sometimes want to eat away? Which feelings and emotions we like to bury with food?

  12. “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.” Beautiful and very inspiring Ingrid and so true . With the simplicity and love of learning to listen to my body also I am finding another way to live and be that makes all the difference is very beautiful and really makes sense and is well worth trying.

  13. Yes I am forever learning to hear new words spoken by my body, so to speak, as more subtle feedback becomes known to me.

  14. We all know what it feels like to not be heard. There is a sense of being dismissed, ignored or not worth it. But do we really consider that we are doing this to ourselves well before we ever do it to another?

  15. Great to feel the true way to be with our bodies as expressed in the final paragraph here Ingrid. It is all about us having a body in which our Soul can express on earth and this knowing will come from the body first, then the mind.

  16. To me what you are sharing here Ingrid is very profound
    “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.”
    By listening more to my body and less to my mind I have turned my life around completely, finding another way to live that is sustainable and so full of joy everyday.

  17. Ingrid its amazing that you are now listening to your body, so often we can go many years ignoring our own bodies powerful messages, the message of this blog is loud and clear – if we don’t listen to our bodies its to our own detriment.

  18. This highlights that its never too late to start listening not only to our bodies, our inner heart and our inner knowing. We are consistently given opportunities every moment of everyday to stop and listen and they never stop coming even if we choose not to listen. This is incredibly beautiful.

  19. The body speaks volumes to us all of the time. But most of us from an early age have learned to shut the voice down or at least mute it or turn it on the smallest volume possible so that we can carry on with those things that do not support the body! This is so counter-natural! And then the even crazier thing is that when we finally cotton on to this ‘mistake’ then we have to re-learn how to listen to the body and hence re-learn something that was so natural to us when we were first born! But it is well worth going through the re-learning! I am still re-learning each and every day and this deepens my relationship with my body and hence the listening returns in greater capacity and it is like the volume button of the body is gradually restored!

    1. Great point. This learning to not listen to our bodies is something we should study deeply and get to the root of why we would learn such a self destructive thing and on a global basis. Imagine the effect on global health if we could change this so we don’t lose the innate ability of listening to our bodies.

  20. Our body is a true marker for harmony – helping us to see the effect of what we put into it – both physically as food and drink and more energetically in terms of emotions, so that we can be more aware of the quality of living that is true for us.

  21. ‘My Body Spoke, but I didn’t Listen… for a very Long Time’ yet as soon as we do listen and start to make changes our body responds very quickly, a bit like driving with the hand brake on when we don’t listen.. and then when we do the ease and flow that comes.. when the hand brake is off.

    1. Yes our body does respond very quickly when we start to make loving choices, even though how it responds can be very challenging as it begins to release the toxins that have built up as a result of many years of our ill choices. I can remember this phase very clearly but there was no thought of slipping back into the old choices as I knew with every part of me that the healing of my body was now my number one priority, one that I was committed to 100%; nothing was going to sway me.

  22. I too remember the day of having a carton of milk at school every day – how misguided we have been when our bodies are communicating to us so clearly that our minds are not acting in our best interests.

  23. A brilliant blog for me to read this morning, showing us all categorically the innate wisdom of the body. Too much recently I have been allowing “myself to be led astray by my wayward mind”. It’s a simple choice of continued connection and commitment that then turns us all into professors of life.

  24. Universal Medicine has inspired me to deepen my relationship with my body and 10 years on I am constantly amazed at the bodies ability to discard, to heal, to respond and anticipate, indeed if we allow it we are living with a supreme awareness that offers unending support.

  25. When I recall how sick those bottles of milk I was forced to drink at school made me feel it is incredible how I came to love milk when it was disguised as cheese or yoghurt. We can fool the taste buds but we cannot fool the body which knows what it can deal with and what it can not.

  26. It is so true that living with that emptiness can only be temporarily filled with stimulating or dulling foods, substances and activities. All the while we are missing the fullness, joy and vitality and living from who we truly are.

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