Monday, March 22, 2010
Loving the Body
These wonderful vehicles that our souls have created to have their human experience are worthy beyond measure. Our society is so body conscious, but in a way that actually harms the relationship that the soul has with the body. We are taught to focus on the body as a way to conform to the norm, and to judge our value based on its size and shape. We all know that the incredible expectation for our bodies to fit within a narrow range of appearance is unrealistic and unhealthy, but most of us are driven to conform to that expectation nevertheless. It's amazing how powerful that influence is on us.
When we are trying to fit a mold, communication between spirit and body is diminished. Spirit becomes much less able to hear the messages that the body is sending out, and the body becomes unable to hear the soul's validation of its creation. I believe that learning to listen to the body is a lifelong process, and not something that we always do easily. We need to be present to hear our body's gentle messages. With our thoughts in the past or in the future, we will not be aware of our bodies at all. When our minds are very busy, we usually take our bodies for granted.
There are many downsides to taking the body for granted. One very big disadvantage is that when we are not present and choosing to sense and feel what is happening in the body, we miss so much of the delicious experience of living. Some of those feelings are wonderful beyond words, and some are very difficult, but they all create the depth and texture of our experience.
We are not present when we are caught up in thought. I really believe that thinking is overrated! We think too much. We could accomplish just as much, probably more, if we consciously chose to review data, make decisions, and then put thinking aside and experience! There are for me no moments in my life more exquisite than the ones spent squarely in the present, using my senses, feeling my emotions, aware of my body's being.
We are also much better able to care for ourselves when we pay attention to our body's needs. In our performance-driven world, it becomes easy to focus on completing tasks and completely ignore our bodies' gentle urgings. If we do that for too long, our bodies may need a more forceful way to communicate, which sometimes happens though illness. Our bodies always let us know what they need, we have only to listen.
If we take the time to allow the gentle communion between body and spirit to take place, we find truth. In hearing the soul's infinite regard, the body knows its own sacred nature and is healed. Without that space, our bodies are disconnected from the truth and we feel invalidated.
Creating a space for body and spirit to connect can happen in many different ways. It can be something we choose to do quickly, or a practice that we dedicated more time to. A really simple way to find connection with the body is to breathe, consciously and into the body. Breathing grounds our awareness into the body. Another thing I will practice is to consciously pull all of my energy into my body, so that none of my awareness is spilling out, and I am aware of the physical space that I occupy. (I will write more about being in the body in another blog.) Another thing I have done, when I notice that I am caught up in some judgment of my body, is to just quiet my mind for a moment and ask my spirit it's opinion. This is a great tool! There is no media-driven demand for thinness strong enough to budge my spirit's infinite love of my body, just as it is, in all of its perfect ability to walk me though the days of my life, as a light-filled expression of God.
When you find yourself having a hard time appreciating your body, remember that that opinion does not originate with you, and then let your body listen to the eloquent wisdom of your soul. Love is there.
May this tool be a blessing. . .