Teaching ourselves to appreciate our own bodies can be difficult. Living in a world that doesn’t exactly encourage a healthy relationship with our bodies can create many problems with self image. This inflicts everyone on some level. Yet, on the other hand, we have a huge resurgence of “body positivity” in Western Society. This can also lead to gross acceptance that can create even more damage or cycles that undermine our personal growth.
Where is the middle point?
Learning to balance our personal needs with the needs of our body is something I want to touch upon. The ability to become “friends” with the spirit of our body. Discovering the essence of our physical state and its personal needs as it cries out for attention feels hard but is often quite simple.
Putting a metaphorical ear to each want and each sensation can come from a place that we all know: Friendship. By learning to be good friends with ourselves, we start small and work our way through the pieces.
Become friends with our physical state
This is just as important as any other state of balancing we’re striving for in terms of growth. To understand what we’ve done to our bodies over the years and what we’ve neglected to do for our body in the present- and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to know what you
Re-connect and listen to what your body is telling you. Close your eyes and just pay attention.
Learning to communicate with our own physical form can teach us about the power we have and the weaknesses we have. It can increase expansion and allows for the freedom to move, be, and experience wellness daily– no matter what kind of state our body is in.
Start communicating with your body
How does one even start seeing their body as a part of themselves instead of something that gets in the way of their lives? How does one start to view their body as a friend instead of a foe? What kind of language does your body use to communicate with you? How can you learn to listen to it’s voice?
One of the first things to realize is that our body isn’t our foe. It’s not our enemy nor does it need to be neglected or controlled all the time. Crazy huh?
No self hate
By being at odds with ourselves and either hating or downing our body, we’re effectively undermining our personal growth in most areas. Confidence, self-esteem, depression, anger, sadness, guilt, and shame–these are just some of the feelings we embody when we do this. This can even lead to various cycles that keep us from experience the fullness of what our body can do for us–believe it or not our body wants us to thrive!
One of the first things to realize is that our body isn’t our foe. It’s not our enemy nor does it need to be neglected or controlled all the time.
But what happens when you talk down to a friend? What happens when you stop nurturing the friendship and you start picking it apart? What happens if you throw your friend aside and stop listening to the basic fundamental needs they have to stay connected to you?
Anger, silence and damage to the friendship is inevitable at that point.
Our body is here to help us navigate and experience life. The body might seem like a vessel to some, but the body is just as much of our experiences as the rest of our existence. Aligning our thoughts with what we feel about our body can encourage change and healthy attitudes and heal our image of the body. Which leads to better choices for our body through a realistic lens–not an overly positive one that can force you to fall back into a habit that destroys you.
Accept this friend that wants to converse with you and take in all it has to say. You might feel a lot of things too.
To become friends with the embodiment of our physical form creates awareness of neglect or loss of control. It can create a ripple effect into your daily life where you learn to respect yourself and the bodies of others too. It creates potential and the ability to see that potential in yourself, no matter what ails your body.
Learning to talk to the body is hard but with patience (I know, it can be very hard to cultivate patience) it can be learned. Stopping to take the time to listen to what our body says, even during small encounters, will reveal to us a lot more about our emotional and mental state. The senses are always willing to share information with us if we listen to it’s language. Start with the simple.
Think for a moment…
- When you’re hurting, the body tells you it’s in pain.
- When you’re hungry, the body tells you it needs food.
- If something is cold, you put something warm on because your body told you it needed warmth.
- When you’re tired, you feel it in your body.
- If you’re sick, the body informs you. (Sometimes even ahead of time!)
These are just a few simple ways of the body communicating with us. With simple signals like this, it’s all too easy to ignore
The body has needs
Just like the mind, emotions, and our essence. Learning to pay attention and communicate organically through awareness will free us from the unhealthy relationship we might have with our body and put us on the path to balancing ourselves for expansion.
Once I stopped ignoring the big things my body was telling me, the closer I got to noticing the nuanced conversations of the subtle whispers.
One day I decided to make a conscious effort to make my body my best friend. Does that mean I always listen? No, but it definitely means that I’m paying attention. That’s where balancing and healing can come in. A door opens up to possibility and a new internal focus on relationship with ourselves. It’s a small step, but a very impacting one.
Follow along in my next article where I’ll explore the essence of our body and how it pertains to our environment and the subtle messages we can pick up on when we listen patiently to our physical being.