Close Menu

Being What is Needed: Listening With My Body And Senses

Being What is Needed: Listening With My Body And Senses

by Cris Nakano

For me, being what is needed starts with listening. Listening deeply, not with my head, but with my body and senses.

This type of listening did not come easily to me – a life-long habit of listening with my head was (and still is) a difficult habit to break. I had to learn to slow down, breathe, and be still. And yet, in the beginning, all I would hear were the thoughts in my head: the do’s and don’ts, the worries, the fears and the long list of everything my head wanted me to do.

With time and practice, the silence in between the thoughts opened me up to another type of listening. I call it “listening with my body and my senses” and it revealed a new world to me. I had to unlearn habits and relearn truths long forgotten, make sense of a new language I felt little equipped to understand and develop new ways of connecting and relating to the world inside and around me.

As I explored this new frontier, I noticed how listening to (and with) my head keeps me in the past and in an imagined future, molded by a life of habitual thinking and doing. Listening to (and with) my body and my senses opens me up to what is present in the here and now. My head pushes me to do things and follow clearly defined values and rules that the habitual me identifies with. My body and senses allow me to “be” rather than “do” and are guided by what feels right, what expands inside and beyond me and gives me and the world around me more breathing space.

In some ways, it is not an easy journey – I feel often called beyond my comfort zone and into spaces of not knowing, where at times I feel raw, exposed and lonely and find myself grasping and resisting. If I can ease myself into the discomfort, invite breath and gravity in and listen to what is present and wants to emerge, something shifts, tears flow down my face, and I feel held by the wind, the trees, my fellow humans, the birds, our common livelihood and the universe.

This is the path IZL has introduced me to and helps me practice: a path of listening and healing myself, the other, earth with.

If IZL has provided you with resonance like this or in some other way, please consider donating to our end of year “Being what is needed” campaign.

Cris Nakano
IZL Board Member
Director In Europe 
ZL Instructor and Coach

Cris Nakano is a ZL Instructor and coach and a member of the IZL Board of Directors.