While in training to be an Equine Facilitated Experiential Learning co-facilitator, I learned a valuable tool that I have used in my own life and have shared with many friends, family and clients, too. This tool is especially useful if you are feeling vaguely disconnected, unclear about what’s “your stuff” and what’s “someone else’s stuff” or before doing any sort of personal growth work. The reason it’s so helpful is because it almost instantly reconnects you to your greatest source of wisdom: your body.

The tool is called the Body Scan. There are probably as many different ways of doing a body scan as there are people who use them, but here’s the way I was taught. I hope it will be as useful to you as it has been to me and those with whom I’ve shared it.

Here are the basic steps:

  1. Close your eyes and stand with your legs about shoulder’s width apart, with a slight bend in your knees.
  2. Starting at the top of your head, notice if there are any sensations that stand out to you. The idea here is not to try to make the sensation go away, to release the thought, or to get into a meditative state. The goal is simply to observe what’s going on in your body.
  3. Continue traveling down the front of your body, then up the back of your body.
  4. Which of the sensations that you noticed stood out the most to you?
  5. Keeping your eyes closed, go back to that area and see if there is a message there for you. This part may seem a little wacky, but just try asking the question without judgment.
  6. Listen for an answer from your body. Everyone “hears” the answers differently. Some actually hear or see words, other people hear music, see snippets of movies, or see colors. Again, don’t judge the response you get, just go with it.
  7. Now, go back to that sensation and see if anything has shifted. Generally speaking, if you notice that the sensation is diminished, this means that you got the message to your body’s satisfaction. If it has intensified, it may mean that there is more information there for you. If it didn’t change at all, you may not have allowed yourself to hear the message at all.

The more you practice using this tool, the better you’ll get at it. I use it everywhere — from meeting people at parties, to deciding what direction to go in my business to starting out my day from a place of connection. Your body is always ready and waiting to provide you with the insight and answers you need. You just have to be willing to hear your own guidance.

So, give it a try! I’d love to hear back from you about your experience with this powerful tool.