Have a Love Affair with Your Body!

This might be your best invitation all month, maybe even of the year, because life is experienced in your body - nowhere else! All too often we treat our bodies with less than loving care. It is more often neglected, and at worst, disdained. As I progress in my 50's and my body ages, instead of whining about what may not seem to work, I am appreciating this body that enables me to enjoy life's treasures - like the ability to hike up a steep mountain, for instance.

On a rigorous mountain hike in Colorado, I had a revelation, in the form of a reconnection with my body. I want to share it with you. While hiking, I heard a heavy pant below me and immediately thought a companion might be having a heart attack. Far from it. Another hiker was running, yes running, up the mountain trail with his dog. Of course the runner was in amazing shape; but his dog caught my attention even more - blind, with a maimed rear leg!

Marveling at this moment, I basked in "awe" and deeply appreciated my own body. A love affair was ignited! Hiking my legs moved me steadily along the path. My muscles burned and rested and tensed. Unlike the dog, I had eyes to witness the glory of the mountain terrain: a fairyland that changed from open dry prairie to damp woodlands, to a roaring stream and rocky hillside. My arms and shoulders enabled me to carry a backpack filled with sustenance and warm clothing. My lungs, unfamiliar with the high altitude, exerted breath, energy and life throughout my system enabling me to climb higher and higher. And, my voice, oh my, the ability to express authentic sounds like laughter, joy, and even fatigue.

Home at sea level, I continue my love affair. Here's what I have experienced. Even though menopause has rearranged my hips and added a few pounds, I still feel sexy and alive. Look in the mirror and appreciate your curves, bumps and seasoned limbs! Even though firm muscle has transitioned to loose skin, I revel in movement and inner strength. Regularly I carry heavy loads of firewood from the basement upstairs to burn in our fireplace and ease the winter cold. Even though my hair, once blonde and shiny, now shimmers a silver glow, I embrace my locks with wonder. How cool that my hair is maturing along with me - matching well-being. My skin - weathered from years of sun - offers wisdom spots that remind me I have lived a truly rich life.

Really, it is time to pause and take a tour of your body and recognize, without a doubt, how generous your body is and all of the capacities your body holds that enable you to live fully, engage in activities, and be in relationship with others. If there is ever a place or situation to allocate financial resources, please consider your body and your health - physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Your body is the vessel that contains your life journey. There is no other vessel for you.

How are you investing in your body? Your body will tell you what it needs.

First, start your love affair. Then, see how your body responds and provides you with information. Listen to what aspects of your body are calling for more loving attention: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Then, commit to that loving attention. Here are a few ideas: morning walks in nature, appreciations standing naked in front of a full length mirror, fresh organic food from local farmers, rigorous work-outs at the gym, body massages, facials, counseling, meditation, education - start a list that elegantly aligns with your new love affair.

Loving my body... and yours,

Be Moved...

The Body Knew

Poet: Tim Seibles
Source: Writing from the Body by John Lee

Long before there were words
long before there was patience
the body was twiddling its thumbs

Long before this haze of lies this
swirl of stupid things
said and done
the body knew

Long before the animals ran
from men before the lands
were named before the clouds
rose up and flew
the body knew

The body knew the tongue
would come up with something to say
that the ears would listen that
the words
would come like ants
that soon the brain would grow
hard and heavy
The body knew the body

would be forgotten
The body knew the body
would be used to take the brain
here and there to make
Money to make relationships
to assume the countless postures
of idiocy - to sign the contracts
and treaties to stock the stores
the homes the schools the offices
the streets the prisons the battlefields
the body-bags the body knew

it would be lost
under fabrics that soon the belly would
hang and the back would be stiff
that the days would pass the months would
pass the years would pass
the body knew

it would be rated "X"
because the body knew words
would be used to deceive to
decorate to pack the space between bodies
until reaching out meant climbing the
mountains of things said
The body knew

the brain would be a bully
that the face would be a canvas forever
painted with words that love could never be
what they said it was that a word
was always a mask
The body knew the body

Would dream of headlessness the way
A breast dreams of bra-lessness of
Blouselessness of sunlight and weightlessness
The body knew that someday
it would have to move to forget to
dance to forget that it knew
what it knew
that it knew