Giving Voice to the Body

By De Pree Editor

April 27, 2021

De Pree Journal


Attune, formally known as The Call to Work, helps leaders and teams grow in their ability to hear and follow God’s guidance for their daily work and life.

This particular exercise is really helpful when you are experiencing some stronger reactions to something – whether positive or negative. This exercise – especially when regularly practiced – is designed to help you grow in awareness and understanding of the inner dynamics at play, allowing you to bring them before God to speak into and shape.

To get started with this exercise:

  • Engage one or two others to try this exercise out with you, so that you can debrief the experience with one another afterwards. This type of debriefing is helpful for your learning as the experience can vary so widely between people, and because the verbal sharing will likely add insight into each person’s discernment.
  • Once your group is gathered, read through the Exercise Prompts below so you know what to expect.
  • Play the video of the guided exercise, allowing the video to walk you through each step. The second half of the video captures Michaela and Paul’s debrief to allow you to learn from their experiences.
  • After you’ve completed the video, discuss the experience using the Debrief Prompts provided below.
  • If this exercise seems beneficial for you, consider practicing this exercise a couple of times a week for six weeks or so, and assess:
    • If/how it has helped you become more attuned to your inner dynamics and to God
    • If/how you will continue to use this exercise (e.g. intentional practice for x more weeks, on an as needed basis, etc.)

Exercise Prompts

  • To begin our exercise, we invite you to find a quiet, distraction free place, ideally with a pen and a sheet of paper.
  • Take a moment to get into a comfortable position, and ask God to help you become more present to him and attuned to whatever he might want you to notice.

Bring to mind a recent situation

  • Bring to mind a recent situation that stirred some stronger reactions within you – maybe even some overreactions.  Write down a few words describing the situation. This can be anything – “I was presented with this new opportunity and my heart leapt!”, “I’m so sick and tired of being cooped up in this office”, “I can’t stop thinking about what I said, and what I should have said!” – anything!
  • Close your eyes, and try to remember what your reactions were like.  Aim to relive the experience. What thoughts were running through your mind? What emotions did you feel? What did it look like? Sound like? Smell like?

Giving voice to the body

  • Concentrating on how you felt during this experience, where do you feel the essence of this in your physical body? (I feel it in my chest – it’s constricted; I feel it in my lower back – it’s tight; I feel it in my stomach, it feels queasy)
    • Once you have a feel for it, write it down
  • Put some metaphor or imagery to the physical feeling. See if you can get a better sense for what it feels like. (My chest feels like a high-strung tennis racquet – ready to react to anything; my lower back feels tight- like it’s been smashed into a small box all day; my stomach feels like a ball of pain – like it’s enflamed)
    • Write down some of the imagery that comes to mind
  • Concentrating on this place in your body and how it feels – aim to exaggerate the feelings even more.
  • Now – what does your body want to do? (I want to jump up and start organizing things; I want go for a long, hard swim – just for the sake of pushing myself; I want to curl up in a ball and hide under the covers – to protect this thing that already hurts.)
    • Write down some of what you notice.
  • Visualize yourself beginning to do this thing your body wants to do. Notice what it feels like. Looks like. Smells like.

Attuning to God’s guidance

  • Now visualize Jesus entering the scene. Quiet your proactive mind – the part of your brain that may try to figure out what Jesus should be doing. Instead, simply observe how Jesus interacts with you. Let the scene unfold. How does Jesus move? Can you see his expression? Does he say anything?
  • How do you respond to Jesus? How does the interaction play out?
  • Begin to interpret the guidance you most sense God has for you.
    • Write down your best sense of this.
  • Begin to think through a response. What are 1, 2 or maybe 3 near term, actionable next steps you can take to follow the guidance you sense from God.

Debrief Prompts

  • Please provide at least a few minutes for each person to share about their experience answering one or more of the questions below.
  • Please aim for openness and authenticity as you share. These experiences can be so different for different people, and one of the things we want to do is to normalize open dialogue around what works and what doesn’t work for each person.  It’s totally ok to share anything that speaks from your experience – the good, the bad, the awkward and the ugly.
  • Debrief questions:
    • How would you describe your experience?
    • What insight, if any, did you gain from a self-awareness perspective?
    • What insight, if any, did you gain regarding God’s guidance for you?
    • What was helpful?
    • Not so helpful?

De Pree Editor


More on De pree

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *