21 Day Body Love Challenge – The Whole Enchilada

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“Know then that the body is merely a garment. Go seek the wearer, not the cloak.” – Rumi

It’s time to put it all together. The whole body. It’s all connected. Loving your feet and eyes but not the rest of you is like taking only your feet and eyes on vacation, leaving the rest behind, to what? Fend for itself? Rot? No, it’s a package and not absolutely loving every internal and external inch is no longer acceptable. You can still improve on areas, eat healthy, exercise, but without attaching to the outcome.

Without attaching to the outcome. A healthy lifestyle has more to do with how you FEEL than how you look. How you look is a by-product of the lifestyle.

I was at a farmers’ market recently. I waited at a local honey booth for the person manning it to return. She was a woman about my age – somewhere north of 30, okay 40, whatever – she had no make-up on, her hair was a wild mass of various shades of gray and her skin was glowing. Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes sparkled. She exuded health. In that moment I thought, I want that. None of the packaging, but what was radiating out from the inside. Life force.

Your body is your vehicle for this journey and it was assigned specifically to you. It is yours to use and maintain. How well you do that will most likely determine the length of its service.

I like to think about new parents and how they are so careful and loving with the new life now entrusted to them. How they attend to her every need, caress her skin, feed her only the best food, use just the safest, most gentle products.  They wouldn’t dream of every harming her or uttering a harsh word in her direction.

Then I like to think about the Buddhist monks who help people die. There are homes staffed by renunciates whose sole (soul?) purpose is to care for those transitioning, who have no one else to care for them. They bathe and feed these patients, listen to them compassionately, rub their backs and tuck them in at night.

What of the intervening years? Scolding, belittling, berating, abusive. To ourselves. We treat ourselves and our bodies worse than we would ever treat another. Maybe it’s because we know they’re scolding, belittling, berating and abusing themselves. So we each act as the other’s support.

It has to stop. You’ve probably seen or heard of Dr. Emoto by now. If not, he is the Japanese doctor who conducted experiments on water. He yelled at it, called it names. He spoke lovingly and positively to it. The results were phenomenal. Mean = disorganized, sharp, ugly water. Love = soft, beautiful, clear water that looked like various snowflakes. His energy directly affected the response of the water. We are mostly water.

Be a snowflake. Speak kindly to yourself. Caress your skin with nourishing lotions and oils. Feed your body with food that’s alive and water that you have spoken sweet nothings to. Tell yourself how worthy and beautiful you are. How unique.

A friend of mine likes to say, “Two the same, one is not necessary.” Why would you want to be like anyone else? Better than and less than only exists in math, not in people. You are perfect. Every single cell is a divine gift. Accept it.

“The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him – that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free. – Swami Vivekananda