• Resilient Practice

How to Love your Body

How do you feel about your body?

When it comes to the human body, we in the modern world are constantly fed images of what is “desirable” to look at.

We are also given a huge amount of information about what is deemed to be “healthy” in terms of exercise and diet.

We are bombarded with current trends and quick fixes. Some of them are backed by science and expert opinion. Most of them are designed to make money from us.

It is no wonder that we are chronically disillusioned with our bodies.

In her publication “The Joyous Body” Clarissa Pinkola Estes asks us to see the body as a faithful companion and consort that walks with us throughout the whole of our life.

She encourages us to appreciate that, from the moment that we were born, until we die, our bodies strive to work for us and that they should be loved and respected as our oldest friend.

Is it fair then to take in all of the images of perfection, the “how to achieve this” and “you really should be doing this” articles and use them as ammunition in the name of changing and improving what is already a perfect fit for us?

We all have some knowledge about how to stay healthy but what about the diet of negative thinking that we are feeding our sense of body image?

The negative effects of constant criticism upon children are well documented. Why then would we inflict them upon this part of the Self which is essential to our life on earth?

Constantly telling the Self that we are not good enough, healthy enough, young enough or thin enough is not nourishing at all.

Those of us with a degree of self-awareness might dress up our criticism by saying to the body

“I love you just as you are but it’s time that I began a particular exercise regime or a new trending diet.”

What if our oldest, most honest companion could speak to us? What would we learn?

In fact, our bodies speak to us all the time.

The human body is a miraculous creation.

It is filled with millions of sensory receptors which are constantly supplying us with masses of information.

Most of this information does not make it into our awareness but the body does not need it to. We unconsciously respond all the time, making fine adjustments to stay healthy and maintain the status quo.

Our bodies do this without our needing to think about it at all.

How would it be if we really listened?

Try this:

Find a comfortable place to sit with your spine straight.

Take your awareness to your breathing.

The tidal in and out of your breath.

The rise and fall of your chest and abdomen.

Allow those breaths to slow and deepen and feel your body begin to relax and let go.

Let go of any tension that you have been holding within your muscles.

Tell your body to let it go

Your body is listening.

As you sit completely still, what can you feel?

What information are you receiving?

Can you feel your breath? Your heartbeat? The weight of your body in the chair?

Sensation of your clothes against your skin?

Thank your body for the information and let it know that you are listening too.

Now step into the shoes of your observer self and take a trip around your body.

Move steadily and gently through your head, neck, torso, and limbs noting all of the sensations that are felt.

Be aware of any area of the body where you feel pain or vulnerability.

Be aware of where you need to heal.

Thank your body for the information.

Know that, even when you seek help with healing, that healing comes from your body.

As you sit quietly, ask your body what obstacles there are to your healing.

What are your barriers? Your attachments?

Ask your body to help you to remove and release these now.

Visualise them dissolving.

However you see this happening is right for you.

Feel a sense of freedom and liberation from that which has been holding you back.

Now give your body permission to heal.

Notice what happens as you do this.

Sit comfortably in the silence.

Spend a few minutes relaxing before you bring yourself back to full awareness with a new, profound love and appreciation for your body.

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