Out on my eight mile, clear my head and body run, I found myself contemplating my relationship to my body and how society tends to teach people to treat and relate to their bodies. My body, like most, does not come close to fitting into the very teeny tiny (but tall) box of the media driven concept of beauty, even though my body is fit and relatively lean. I considered this, and then my attention was drawn to my movement and breath. This incredible symphony of sensation and energy, a dance of body and mind so amazing and miraculous, so full of wisdom and intelligence.
The title of my blog is The Magnificent Mess, and so much of what we experience and encounter in this world is just that, but the body really is only magnificent. If we perceive anything in this body as messy it can only be because of our lack of understanding, our own misjudgment and ignorance. The way we treat and relate to our body might be messy but the body does not own any of that. The body operates with its own intelligence, following the pulse and dance of all creation, and each body is unfolding perfectly in each moment. The body is constantly shifting and changing, adapting and responding. Life and death a constant going on, things coming and going, emerging and then receding, a universe within so complex it is truly awe inspiring. The body communicates internally in a language of its own, beyond our ability to comprehend, and science is proving that the intelligent body does understand our minds language and responds to positive messages with healing and harmonizing energy, and to negative language with disease.
When the body is sick or injured it knows so much more than the story or perception of the mind and moves to heal. We do have a choice in the way we talk to our bodies to help create healing or hinder healing. When the body is in pain or ill what if instead of judgement and internal impatience and negativity we treated the body like our own child that has fallen or is sick? We take the child in our arms and give her comfort, care and tenderness. The body will always seek harmony and balance and it will arrive there more easily when we attend to it in a nurturing and loving way.
For the rest of that run I focused on giving attention to every part of my body and acknowledging with deep gratitude all that each part does. A million thank yous are owed to these feet for journeying and dancing, running, and keeping me connected to earth. These legs that hold warriors and down dogs, strong and sturdy, beautiful. These hips that swing and sway, that have held the miracle of my children, birth and creation, sensuous and powerful. My spine, that from root to crown is a sacred river of energy and consciousness, that lets me rise up from the earth and connect to the heavens. Shoulders and arms that reach out from the jewel of the heart, to hold and hug, expressions of grace, wide and open to the world. My head that lets me see and hear, sense and feel, observe and respond. Heart and breath the keepers of the rhythm of life. Every cell a celestial body. Every part such a wonder to behold!
Take some time to bless your body and your body in turn will be the biggest blessing to you. No matter its shape or size, whether it is young or old, whether it is strong and healthy or on the brink of death, the body is a gift and a wise teacher, a temple of the divine.