Self Love vs. Self Destruction
When your body cries out to you, how do you react? Do you curse it for always hurting? Ignore it? Or turn to “comfort foods” – like sweet, salty, fattening foods — which in reality only lead to further discomfort? When the binge fails to silence the body’s cries for help, do you switch to starving it with hopes that you’ll lose weight and will magically look and feel better?
Your body hears everything your mind says. ~ Naomi Judd
After months of self destructive thoughts and actions regarding my body’s complaints, I finally gave my body a little love in the way of 90 glorious minutes of therapeutic massage. It wasn’t a magic fix but it was a start (a step in the right direction). The thing I love most about Jana (my massage therapist, fellow yogini, and friend) is that along with the work she does on your muscles, she also gives you valuable information on what she is observing. In my case, she advises me to relax a little, rather than continually working to “hold it all together” — especially in my hips and pelvis (where I have been known to have joint instability). This information is valuable as I have been responding to the pain in my right hip and back as a signal to tighten my glutes (etc.) more. With the same intention of finding some ease and relaxation, Jana also urged me to take time out each morning & evening to sit quietly and just breathe. I left the massage in a drunk-like state of bliss and went to a nearby café for some nourishment. I caught up with a fellow yogini and commented her recent body transformation. She noted that although she did change her eating and physical activity, the main change she made was in the messages she sent to her body. Instead of cursing it for being overweight, hurting, or having limitations, she validated it for all that it gives and provides her that is good. The resulting vibrant, active, joyful energy is testament to her success.
The message we give our bodies — one of irritation or acceptance — is the message to which our bodies will answer. ~ Deb Shapiro
I thought about what each of my friends said to me and realized that I have not been thinking of my body (or treating it) in a very nice manner. I have been harping & whining about the 15+ excess pounds of weight, and feeling demoralized & defeated by the daily level of discomfort. Instead, I should be validating it as the strong, healthier-than-most body which it is. A body that allows me to enjoy a vast array of activities which I love such as hiking & yoga. Instead of hating it, I should move to loving my body. I should do this, not because I expect to see a similar transformation to my yogini friend, or even because I expect to be free from the pain and discomfort I feel, but because it’s true.
Your body is a temple, but only if you treat it as one. ~ Astrid Alauda
Indeed, my body is one of my (if not *the*) most prized possessions. Yours is too. Think about it: Where would you be without your body?