The Sacred Text of Our Body’s Wisdom
By Patrice Ficken, M.Div.
St. Irenaeus, a second-century theologian once said, “The glory of God is a human being fully alive.” This journey of reclaiming our birthright of aliveness and deep connection to ourselves and all of life is at the heart of Full Body Presence developed by Suzanne Scurlock. Her teachings offer practices and skills to help access our body’s inherent knowing and wisdom.
I have come to think of listening to my body’s wisdom as a lectio divina practice. You may be familiar with this ancient art of reading sacred text as living Presence; noticing what words or phrases “shimmer,” drawing us into closer contemplation, deeper conversation and insight.
Getting in touch with our body’s wisdom is akin to this process. We listen to the “sacred text” of our body’s unique vocabulary of primary sensations such as warmth, coolness, colors, images, vibration, textures, and sounds. As we bring our attention to what is alive and shimmering within our field of awareness, we listen deeply for the insights and wisdom this sacred text holds for us. As we grow with this practice, we can know with greater confidence and ease what choices are right for us. Whether at work, in relationships, eating, exercise – we can find the guidance and clarity we need, by tuning into our own inner landscape.
As a spiritual director, bringing in this dimension of listening to the body’s wisdom, often yields rich and surprising insights. Often, in the course of a session, I will ask a directee if they are willing to drop in and feel what is being activated in their inner landscape. As the body is listened to at this deep level, the heart of the matter often reveals itself, new ways of seeing emerge.
As we develop the capacity to “be with” everything that comes into our experience – including difficult emotions and physical states – we learn to trust our inner wisdom more fully. It is there and has always been there – just like the blue sky is always there, even when obscured by clouds.
Patrice Ficken, M.Div. is a certified Presenter and Practitioner in Healing from the Core and an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. She will lead “Full Body Presence Overview” on November 2, a new Mercy by the Sea day program. Patrice is the founder of Soul Care Connections and currently works in private practice as a Spiritual Director, integrating Healing from the Core in her companioning work. Having recently completed its three-year curriculum, Patrice is a “Scholar” of the New England School for Celtic Consciousness founded by John Philip Newell.