4 Things to Notice As we Practice Attunement
Updated: Feb 9
If I type the word "attunement," a little squiggle shows up beneath it, indicating a wrong-spelling. If I look at the suggested corrections, my word processing program offers, "attainment."
What a perfect way to capture the practices we wish to cultivate and the attitude that gets in the way.
to make receptive or aware; to being into accord, harmony, or sympathetic relationship
to reach, obtain or accomplish; to succeed in achieving
When we add the suffix -ment, we change the verb to, "the act of." In summary, one could say when I try "the act of coming into harmony with-" the autocorrect (and my conditioned brain) wants to change it to, "the act of accomplishing something."
Something about attunement to our needs is that it is never finished, it is an ongoing practice. We can attain attunement in an instant but then, the moment passes, our environment changes and so do we, and the practice begins again.
So how to we go about attuning to our needs? There are many right answers to this question and the way I began was by asking myself one question throughout the day, "What do I need in this moment?"
We can practice right now, "What do I need in this moment?"
First thing to notice: what resource do you turn toward? Your thoughts? Your body? A loved one? Your calendar? A sacred text? Google?
Second thing to notice: what environmental conditions or personal practices support turning toward your body? Perhaps it's doing a movement practice to quiet the mind. Or being in a space that feels safe and calm. Maybe your body is in pain and finding a comfortable position or soothing it somehow is needed.
Sometimes answering this second question, "what supports me turning toward my body?" unlocks the door to practices and beliefs that support our attunement; that support the act of harmonizing with our body.
Third thing to notice: how do you feel about turning toward your body for guidance? This attuning to our bodies as a strategy for supporting our needs assumes our bodies are the most reliable resource for giving us accurate feedback about our needs. Just notice the feelings without judgement.
Fourth thing to notice:
If the body doesn't feel like a reliable, trustworthy resource for you, that's okay. You are welcome to use the resources with which you have built more trust and also, check in with the body. When does the body's messages align with the resources you trust and when are they different?
If you're interested in a resource to support building trust in the body, I recommend the Intuitive Eating Workbook, specifically the Self-Care Assessment on page 41. Researcher Catherine Cooke-Cotton also shares a framework and practices that support positive body image. This model largely informed Intuitive Eating's approach to peace with food.
If the body does feel like a resource you're open to attune with, what practices support your listening to this trusted resource? If its helpful to have a list, here are a few practices to consider:
Physical: adequate sleep, rest when I'm sick or tired, activity I enjoy regularly, wear clothing that feels comfortable to my body.
Emotional: making time for self-reflection, have hobbies outside of work and school, have compassion for myself and others.
Relationships: spend time with people I enjoy, have someone in my life who will listen to me if I'm upset.
Spiritual: spend time in nature, seek experiences of awe, read or study inspirational books.
Boundaries: say no to extra projects if I'm over-scheduled, set limits with family and friends, strive for balance among work, family, play and rest.
If you feel you're already doing these things but still feel stuck, the Intuitive Eating Workbook also shares disruptors you may be practicing without knowing their impact on your attunement.
I would love to hear about what supports your attunement and barriers you may be struggling to overcome. Feel free to book a consultation with me to work more intently on this relationship with your body and its wisdom.