Are you suffering your body or enjoying it? Most people, if they are aware of their body at all, emphasize the “problems” with it. They focus on their pains, illnesses, discomforts, signs of aging, or the many other judgments about bodies.
What about you? Consider what tends to come up for you when you look in the mirror or notice your body.
What if your body is not a problem to be suffered? Could your body be a constant source of joy and contribution to your life? When you’re in judgment of your body, you impose your ideas of what will work for it, yet your body has its own awareness. Most of us try to shut off that awareness.
Take a look at your experience with body awareness.
How often do you go against what your body tells you? You…
- eat something you know your body doesn’t like
- take a drug your body is telling you to avoid
- wear clothes your body doesn’t enjoy
- go to bed with somebody you know you shouldn’t go to bed with
Afterward, you think, “I shouldn’t have done that!”
When you have those moments of awareness, it’s the body trying to tell you what will work and what won’t.
Your body warns you, “Pay attention! This isn’t going to turn out well.”
When you resist the awareness your body is trying to gift you, it speaks louder, trying to get you to listen. Pain, discomfort, and disease can all be the result of ignoring your body and it attempting to get your attention.
Would you like to enjoy your body and allow its awareness to contribute to your life?
Here are 3 tools to help:
1. Be in Communication
Noticing what your body desires and requires that will make it work better for you starts with listening to your body.
Communication begins with asking questions. You aren’t as likely to hear what your body would like if you don’t ask it! For the next day (or week), ask your body about everything that concerns it:
- “Body, what clothes would you like to put on?”
- “Body, would you like to eat right now?”
- “Body, how would you like to move?”
- “Body, who would you like to sleep with?”
Your body doesn’t communicate through words, so don’t expect to hear an answer. Remember, what is true makes you feel lighter, so even if you’re not sure what your body is saying, start to follow what feels lighter.
For example, if your body would like to eat, you might give it a couple of options and see which one feels lighter. If you’re looking in your closet, notice what clothes your body is drawn to and what makes it feel good.
As you keep asking your body about everything, you will get better at hearing how it communicates with you.
2. Be in Celebration and Gratitude
When you’re mostly focused on the faults you see in your body, it’s easy to lose sight of the many ways your body is supporting you. Everything you do all day involves your body. How can you use each of those actions to celebrate your body’s contribution to you?
- Brushing your teeth in the morning, appreciate your teeth, gums, tongue, and jaw.
- Walking down the street, enjoy the movement and strength of your legs and feet, giving them gratitude for how well they carry you through life.
- Eating a meal, celebrate your hands that help you eat it, your entire digestive system for taking in the nourishment, and your bloodstream for distributing the nutrients.
Judgment and gratitude cannot co-exist, so the more you are in gratitude for your body, the less you’ll be able to judge it.
If you try this exercise and notice thoughts arising about how your body isn’t working as well as you’d like, notice those thoughts and remember they are just an interesting point of view.
Interesting point of view, I have that point of view…
Say to yourself, “Interesting point of view, I have that point of view” and see if it shifts. Say it a few more times until the energy on the judgment dissipates, and then return to gratitude.
3. Be with People Who Love Your Body
If you aren’t in love with your body, one of the best ways to change this is to start telling people who don’t love your body goodbye! There will always be someone who is going to love your body.
As Gary Douglas, founder of Access Consciousness once said, “A friend of mine used to say, ‘the nice thing about selling cars is there is always an ass for every seat.’ And there is. Start asking, “Who likes my body?” and ask your body to find the people who enjoy it.
When you can look through the eyes of someone who has no judgment of your body, everything can change.
Who in your life sees your body with no judgment? Every day, take a look at your body through their eyes.
As you listen to your body, give it gratitude, and surround yourself with people who like it, you begin to embody the real gift that the body is.
What would open up for you if you stopped suffering your body and started enjoying it? What could you create in your life because of the gift your body is?