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How a Broken Toe Made Me Stop and Listen {Sort Of}

“Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live” - Jim Rohn

Ok friends, long story short, I broke my toe last week when I dropped a full jar of jelly on it.

Well, to be clear, I didn’t exactly drop it.

It was more like, I innocently opened the refrigerator door and a small child who shall remain nameless (but who’s name rhymes with ‘Matherine’), didn’t get the jar fully on the shelf after she made her lunch for the next day (high five on that though!).

I wish I could say I handled this well.

* That I didn’t scream in anticipation of the pain that comes only from a lower extremity injury.

* That I didn’t immediately worry about how this broken toe was going to impact my daily walks and workouts.

* That I didn’t limp dramatically around the kitchen and pout with a leaking baggie of ice water on my foot.

* That little Matherine didn’t cry when she realized what happened.

* That when little Matherine did cry, I was far more convincing in my assurances that it was totally fine and it could have happened to anyone who haphazardly put the jelly back, halfway in, on the wrong shelf.

Almost immediately, I got caught up in a story about what it would mean to not be able to walk in the mornings. And I went into a tailspin of how all my plans and one of my most favorite activities was gone. For good. Forever.

I told you, drama.

The next day was a dreary, rainy Thursday, so I skipped my walk and fully praised myself for being so in tune with my body and giving it time to rest and recover.

Friday was a beauty, but again, I didn’t walk and really went for it with a full celebration of myself and my deep inner listening skills.

“Look at me! Listening to my body. Giving it rest when it needs it. How amazing am I?”

By Saturday… I was over it.

Done with the resting and the recovery. Over the down-time. Finished being injured.

Did my toe still hurt? Yes

Did I go for a walk? Yes

Did I make it worse? Yes

Apparently my ability to listen and respond with compassion has a 48 hour expiration period.

And as I walked that day I thought to myself, "This actually really hurts. But I'm going to walk anyway."

And then I just kept walking.

So... there was that.

Less 'listening to my body', and more 'outright ignoring it's messages'.

But I realized something. It's easy to listen when your body is telling you something you want to hear.

It's a lot more challenging when the message is inconvenient, painful, or when it interferes with our plans.

It's a great reminder, that presence and deep listening aren't a one and done.

We need to keep coming back - with a willingness to hear what our body is saying.

Even if we don't like it.

So while I certainly didn’t handle it perfectly and I would have for sure given my body more time to rest, I’m calling it a semi-win from an awareness and learning experience perspective.

Clearly not from a physically-healing-your-toe perspective ;)

We are all a work in progress.





We are repeatedly pulled away from the messages our body is sending us.

Interrupted by our own persistent negative and critical thoughts, and the constant external stimuli in the form of social media, text messages, email notifications, comparisons, and fast-paced lifestyle so many of us live.

Listening deeply to yourself and to others is a skill.

The more you practice, the more confident and capable you will be at doing it.

Most of us are skilled at not listening to our bodies.

* Ignoring hunger cues - not eating when hungry and eating well past fullness

* Silencing that gut feeling that tells us something isn’t quite right

* Staying up way past the point of exhaustion to do one more thing or go down a random social media rabbit hole

* Waiting to go to the bathroom until we’re going to pee in our pants

* People-pleasing All. Over. The. Place. (at our own expense!)

* Drinking a bottle of wine every night even though you wake up feeling tired and irritable

* Not trusting yourself around food

* Physically pushing yourself beyond what’s safe or into pain


Let’s get some practice with the opposite.

Grounding down. Getting quiet. Tuning in.







Getting familiar with how emotions show up in your body is one of the first and most important steps toward listening and responding to your body.


1. Print the Felt Sensations of 8 Core Emotions document

2. The next time you experience one of the emotions - STOP and check in with how/where you feel them in your body

* Some emotions might be more challenging than others to pinpoint - do the best you can

* Depending on a number of factors, you may experience some emotions regularly, and others less frequently.

3. Write it down with as much detail as possible.

PS! Page 2 has some felt sensation words that will help!

4. Add to it whenever you can and refer to it often

This document will give you the blueprint for how YOUR body processes emotions.

Not what someone else feels when they experience anger or frustration.

How YOU feel it.

That awareness is so powerful.

* Recognize and enjoy the happy and peaceful moments

* Better understand your own body - maybe even for the 1st time!

* Invite calm and stillness into your life

* Meet challenging sensations and situations with curiosity rather than resistance

* Recognize tough emotions like panic, stress and grief early and deal with them before they get too far ahead

* Sharpen your EQ

Create trust in YOU.

You are so worth it.

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