The human body.
A truly miraculous machine. The daily processes it goes through and functions is performs to keep us running, to keep us ALIVE, are awe inducing.
Our bodies are the only true home we’ll ever have. They give us our place in the world and keep our true essence safe and protected. With all out bodies do for us everyday, you’d think we would revere them, treat them with respect, and do everything we can to take care of them properly.
Unfortunately, most people, especially women, spend their whole lives trying to disconnect from their bodies. They want to change them, make them like those they see in the media or at the gym, and berate them on a daily basis for living up to unachievable aesthetic standards.
The negativity we feel towards our bodies engulfs our spirit, clouds our mind with hateful judgements, and makes living with ourselves utterly impossible. We try to separate ourselves as much as we can from the one thing that gives us life and in doing so we stop ourselves from living fully. Think about it! How can we truly embrace all life has to offer if we can’t accept (or at least TOLERATE!) the one thing that’s allowing us to experience it.
On a recent podcast I was listening to the guest who was being interviewed was asked what one piece of advice she would give to people struggling with body image and self acceptance. She answered simply “live in your body”. What an idea.
She didn’t preach body love or that you should feel great about every part of your body everyday. Simply, LIVE IN YOUR BODY. Accept it for what it is and acknowledge it for what it does. Reconnect with the subtle messages it gives you on a daily basis. Too often we try to quiet the sounds our body is making and we actively ignore the sensations it wants us to feel.
Well, I have a proposal. What if we tuned in, turned the volume up, and experienced what it’s really like to inhabit our bodies?
What if we…
let our thighs squish together as we plopped down on a chair without criticizing them for touching?
felt our hearts race at the end of an exhilarating run and were thankful for all it allows us to do?
performed self-care instead of self-harm?
felt our stomachs expand after a delicious, full meal without judgement or jumping to conclusions about the food?
let our mouths and our stomachs enjoy food instead of viewing it as an unwanted necessity of being human?
allowed people to really hug us…a huge, all-encompassing bear hug instead of trying to hide our size and shape?
let our arms jiggle as we waved to a friend without feeling self-conscious or having to justify their appearance?
honored when we’re tired and let ourselves sleep or take a nap?
lived with inevitable bloat that everyone faces at one point or another without feeling the need to cut out a food group or claim an allergy?
felt the shake of our muscles as we lifted a weight and were reminded of that feeling of strength next time we had to lift something heavy in our everyday life?
wore clothes that really flattered us instead of trying to cover the parts we’re ashamed of?
looked in the mirror and smiled instead of looking mournfully on everything we’re not?
ate when we our body said it’s hungry and drank when our body said it’s thirsty instead of waiting for prescribed eating times or restricting to certain amounts?
patted and rubbed our bodies instead of picking and scratching at the parts we don’t like?
caressed our wrists instead of checking them for size?
acknowledged our stomach’s growling and nourished it with food instead of trying to quiet it with water?
focused in on our breath and let its rhythmic flow calm us in a way that no one but ourselves can?
embraced our laugh lines and smile marks instead of trying to cover them up with thick makeup and injections?
unclenched our bellies and stopped worrying about how much space they’re taking up in the world?
touched our bodies lovingly and spoke to them like we’d speak to a good friend?
Because that’s what they are. Our bodies are our greatest companions. They’ll always be with us and they always have been here for us. It’s time we stop trying to detach from them and learn to embrace the beautiful life that we’re able to live inside of them.
Do you find yourself trying to disconnect from your body’s physical and mental sensations?
When are you most present in your body?
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