I remember a point in my career where I overheard a conversation between two of my patients discussing their ailments. They were comparing their laundry lists of surgeries and aches and pains while moaning and groaning about aging. I kind of tuned it out, as this is a typical conversation in a healthcare setting. I tried to ignore it and let them vent until I heard one of them say to the other: "if you don't have your health, you don't have nothing!" This made me turn around and kind of chuckle out loud. I don't know if by reading this, you can catch the irony, but basically, they were complaining, yet answering their own problems. If they focused on what WAS healthy on them, if they focused on all the good their body could still do instead of focus on what it couldn't do, they would FEEL healthier. By feeling healthier, instead of feeling defeated by their body, they would be changing their perception to WANT to do what they could to improve their body. They focused on the FEAR; the idea that their bodies are no longer 21 years old, the idea that they are falling apart. They were/are letting everything happen TO them.
Very often we look at our bodies in disgust, or in comparison to others. We complain about our imperfections like too much weight where we DON’T want it or not enough weight where we DO want it. We don’t like that our arms aren’t toned or that our feet hurt when we try to walk or run. But how often do we reflect on the reason that is happening? How often do we look at those imperfections and take accountability for what has happened? Have we fueled our bodies with the right foods or have we convinced ourselves that ice cream and pizza truly ARE part of the four food groups, and yet still expect our bodies to look like Cindy Crawford or Giselle Bundchen? (I mean, really, who does?) Have we taken care of ourselves through exercise and activity or do we give in to snooze alarm and the DVR and the couch and then wonder why our arms have that “wave wiggle” or why we get out of breath with a flight of stairs? How many times do we put our bodies down, but never actually take accountability of how they got in such a condition?
Don’t you find it odd that we are willing to put the correct gas in our cars, get annual tune-ups, change the breaks, rotate the tires to get even one more year out of that car in our driveway, but rarely our WILLING to do this to our OWN BODIES, our daily vehicles?
Every morning, most of us wake up, get out of bed, take care of ourselves and our families, work, go to school, take care of a household, possibly both inside and outside. We move. We walk. We breathe. Our heartbeats. And we don’t even THINK about how it happens. Seriously: did you ever stop to reflect on all your body does for you every day without you even thinking about it? And let’s go one step further: how often do we appreciate that fact? How often do you THANK your body? How often do you look in awe at what your body does every day? Because truly it is freaking amazing! We are so quick to focus on what we don’t like about our bodies and on what’s WRONG with our bodies instead of acknowledging what is still pretty darn great about them.
I came across a quote last week that read: "our bodies are our spirits having a human experience" (Course of Miracles). I LOVE this quote. If we don’t take care of our bodies if we continue to focus on what we CAN'T do, then what kind of human experience are we giving our spirits? What are YOU willing to focus on to start living the life you love?
Let's take control of our bodies...at least of what we CAN control. Let's take control of our thoughts, our actions and our emotions and therefore our experiences. I know I am ready to make this human experience the most positive and loving one that I can possibly have. Are you ready to join me?
Let’s make this promise to our bodies today: "Body, I thank you and I appreciate you. I am truly in awe of what you are able to do. I recognize that I may not have been the best caretaker before now, but yet you try your best not to let me down. From now on, I promise to take care of you with loving thoughts, words and actions. I may forget. I’m not going to lie. But I promise that now when I see you in the mirror instead of looking with frustration, or even at times disgust, I will change my focus. I will send you love and gratitude. I take accountability of what I have done to you and for you and, even better, take accountability of what I will NOW do to you and for you. I recognize you are my one vehicle to take me through this life, and I am ready to ride in glory.” Feels good, doesn’t it? Check that; it feels great. Shifting your perspective is the first step. Shifting your actions is about to follow. So get ready to ride baby. It’s your life. When you take care of your body, you are not just moving through life you are able to actually enjoy how you are moving through it."
So, let’s start with enjoying your day. Take the time to look around you. REALLY look around you and appreciate exactly what your body is experiencing in THAT moment (what you are eating or drinking and how does it TASTE? How you are moving and how does it FEEL? Where you are walking and how does everything around you LOOK, SMELL and SOUND?). And when you find yourself COMPLAINING about your body, STOP IN THAT MOMENT, and ask yourself, in the wise words of Miss Janet Jackson: "what have you done for me, lately?"
And recognize that YOU can change that.
Article by: Julie Spencer