Recently, a friend commented that it felt good to be contributing to her body's happiness. That comment struck like lightening. We contribute to our savings accounts, our retirement funds, our communities and our children's schools. But, we work our bodies to the point of exhaustion, restrict their food intake and pump them with medications and supplements when they aren't performing to our satisfaction.
Have you ever thought about intentionally contributing to your body's well being and happiness by asking your body what she or he wanted?
Neither had I until this simple, loving statement changed the way I look at and interact with my body. Our third dimensional and extremely complex organic machines are what allow us to experience this world and all its beauty. That is huge. Without our bodies, we wouldn't be able to feel the softness of a child's face nor hear the breathing of a beloved when we wake from a nightmare. We wouldn't be able to smell the autumn, see the sunrise or feel the rush when kayaking the rapids.
We demand so much from our bodies and usually give them very little tender care. Instead, we push, judge and manipulate our earthly containers.
Have you ever asked your body if it wanted to work out? Or thanked it for sticking with you through your workout and not giving up? Have you ever blessed your body for all it brings you and does for your pleasure and success? When was your last massage, the last time you laughed out loud or slept until you were ready to get up? What have you been feeding your body? Have you asked your body if it wanted to play and how?
From a Spiritual standpoint there are four major aspects of Self: the Soul and energy body, the Mind and mental body, the Heart and emotional body and the Physical body.
Most of us pay attention to our Spiritual selves through meditation, yoga and/or other Spiritual practices. We are mindful of our Mental selves (pardon the pun) through reading, Sudoku - even balancing our checking accounts! We care for our Emotional bodies by giving and receiving appreciation, sharing a hug, bursting into gales of laughter over a silly joke and feeding the ducks and turtles.
Our Physical bodies are involved in all of this, but, do we really stop to appreciate their magnificence?
Actually, here are two of the ways we negatively contribute to our Physical selves. Happily, if we make a conscious choice, we can easily turn the negative into a "positive contribution."
The first type of negativity is our constant, unconscious judgment. Our bodies are as tender and vulnerable as they are strong. They heal more deeply and respond to love faster than they do to criticism and punishment. Take some time to listen to how you interact with yourself. Speak to your body with the same love (mentally and verbally) that you want from others. Dare to
change your communication - beautiful things can happen.
The second is to not be conscious and deliberate when contributing to our bodies. Why not ask your physical body what he or she wants for lunch, rather than shoving some chemical concoction in to silence the growling in your stomach? Be aware of the pain in your body. Are you doing something to heal it or just turn off the pain temporarily? Do you actually get angry at it for not living up to your expectations?
We do not like to be left out of decisions about our lives. Neither do our bodies. Be honest and inclusive as you are developing and nurturing a relationship with your body. Ask about the timing of your daily activities. Maybe your body would like to be still for a while before doing your taxes. It could be that listening to your body wisdom could bring you insight and wisdom you didn't know was available.
In my friend's recovery from cancer, she has developed a whole new relationship with her physical container. She feeds it the cleanest of foods, takes it dancing every week, listens to joyful music, doesn't allow emotional dumping in her space and has developed a work/rest schedule that supports her being productive and healthy. She listens to her body every day and feels like she has a loving partner in living and enjoying life.
What are you willing to contribute to this vessel that gives you so much? Your body does your bidding to the best of her or his ability taking you on great adventures and though your workdays with the same love. This divine instrument deserves your love and support.
Take some time today to ask your body what he or she wants. Consciously contribute to your physical happiness. You might be astonished with what you get in return.
Wishing you and your body a beautiful, active and happy life.