The Language of Life
The Language of Life
What if you suddenly found out that Life is communicating with you directly, in ways that you’ve been missing?
Actually, it is! The problem is that most of us aren’t familiar with the language that Life ‘speaks’, so it’s like driving along with a couple of passengers in the back seat, speaking a language you don’t know at all. One of them pauses to warn you about a bad pothole around the corner, and later the other one invites you to a great party. But you are unfamiliar with the language, and you don’t even realize they’re speaking to you. So you blow a tire on the pothole, and you miss a party full of interesting people you’d really enjoy.
Life is communicating with us constantly, in ways that can help us make better decisions and choices on a daily basis. But it communicates in ways that most of us have forgotten or been trained out of noticing. The bad news is that there is no language app—no Duolingo or Google Translate—that can help us learn this particular language.
Life’s deeper language isn’t spoken or written. But the good news is that our body itself is a receiver, already tuned to this stream of information! And we can relearn the language.
I remember the shock when I first learned that infants are communicating with us all the time, letting us know their likes and dislikes (and who knows how much more?). It was years ago, in an Infant Massage class when our instructor told us, just before she began her massage demonstration with a 4-week-old baby, “Now you always make sure to get the baby’s permission before beginning a massage.” The class looked at each other, startled. What?! How was that possible?
But once she told us what to look for, we watched her body language as she offered the baby a massage, and then we watched that infant clearly respond to her with the nonverbal cues she had described to us—the facial expressions and specific movements of head, arms and legs that signaled ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.
From then on, our interactions with babies were so different! It was like we’d been massaging a doll we were very fond of, and all of sudden, we realize the doll is very aware and intelligent, and is actually communicating with us in far more sophisticated ways than we had dreamed possible. It really changes the relationship. To this day, I get startled looks from parents in grocery stores when their little one leans far out of the cart to keep eye contact as their cart moves on down the aisle. (Apparently, the experience of being ‘seen’ and acknowledged as an intelligent, communicative being is as surprising and wonderful to babies as it is to the rest of us.)
That eye-opening experience has caused me to wonder what else we might be missing—in what other ways life might be ‘speaking’ to us.
I thought about the hunter-gatherer people around the world, able to sense water in the landscape, to recognize the meaning of different bird calls and cues alerting them to predators and to prey, to recognize medicinal and poisonous plants, all of which can make a life-and-death difference when living in the wilderness. Where most of us would see a barren, quiet desert or plain or mountain, for people whose ancestors have lived there for thousands of years, it is alive and filled with information, communicating with them in dozens of different ways.
There were dramatic examples during the devastating tsunami which killed thousands of people along the coasts of Asia in 2004. Early responders were happily amazed to find that in one coastal animal sanctuary, nearly all of the animals had survived, somehow knowing to withdraw to safer inland locations before the tsunami struck. People reported how the elephants at Thai beaches had begun trumpeting and pulling loose from their ropes hours before the tsunami hit. A local paper, reporting on this, concluded that “Animals have senses that humans lack.”
While this is no doubt true, that statement was amended later in the week, when it was discovered that most of the “Stone Age” tribal groups in and near India’s Andaman Islands had also survived while most of the people in the area had perished, including the tribal members who had moved near the military base and adopted a more modern lifestyle. One chief said that the sea ‘spoke to him’, showing him what was coming. The India Daily then speculated that these isolated tribes, continuing a way of life unbroken for millennia “have senses that modern people lack”.
These abilities to ‘read’ the landscape or to pick up more subtle clues have not entirely died out even in our modern civilization. Those who live in close connection with land or water—farmers, sailors, subsistence hunters—still pass down knowledge of how to read the land, the weather, the water. Many ranchers in dry country wouldn’t think of digging a new well without consulting a good dowser who can pick up the presence of underground water in the landscape. A 3rd generation dowser my dad knew in Montana could walk along with his dowsing rods and show you where the water would be most accessible, and how many gallons / minute you would get at what depth. To me, that’s an example of being able to understand a specialized language, a way that life is communicating. That ability alone saved many people a lot of money and time, not digging dry wells.
Many of us have had experiences or heard stories of avoiding disaster or having extraordinary success through some ‘gut sense’ or ‘extrasensory’ perception. It may be inexplicably choosing a different route and avoiding a car accident or explosion, playing a lucky hunch, or making a scientific discovery. It may be an inexplicable sense of something wrong in a pregnancy or in our body that leads to life-saving intervention. When we’re able to notice and heed these communications, we (and others) benefit.
Even in the modern world, many of us have an instinctive sense that more information is available, even if we cannot seem to access it ourselves. People consult medical intuitives, animal communicators, kinesiologists and others with the skill and training to pick up subtle information that can improve the accuracy of diagnoses and decisions, or our relationships with pets.
My own efforts to learn some of these ‘languages’ were very frustrating, until Wholebody Focusing began to give me a feel for the subtle ways that this deeper wisdom communicates through/in my own body and senses. These kinds of knowing are communicated in a wordless language that takes form differently within each of us.
It helps to learn certain general ‘rules’—for example, to pay attention to posture, gesture, physical sensations, to images or memories that arise spontaneously when we’ve posed a question—but the specifics differ with every individual.
It’s a matter of learning our OWN language, discovering the way that our own body picks up the signals, and how it communicates them to our conscious mind. It expresses itself through our own body, our own energetic field, in ways that are unique to us.
And what is this “it” that is communicating? That question deserves a whole article to itself! For now, let’s say that it is both the innate wisdom inside each of us AND a much bigger field of information, accessible to us because our body/mind is connected with vast resources beyond the boundaries of my own individual self. Let’s dive into that further in another blog post.
Meanwhile, I’m curious to hear your own thoughts and experiences with some of life’s languages. You could post your response in Comments below to continue the conversation.