Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Love your body

I've been beating myself up for the last week and a half. And I mean in the physical sense, not the mental one.

You see, I'm always doing something. My mom told me the other day that even as a small child, I was always busy. I was always on to the next thing, wildly curious, making things happen.

Lately, though, most of my activity has been in the cerebral realm. I sit at my desk, typing away on the computer, connecting with friends, writing fiction, editing books on all subjects, keeping up with the news, watching movies. See a trend? While my mind has been all over the place, my body wasn't moving much.

I found that my body wasn't keeping up. I'd actually be stymied in my pursuits by feeling, what is that again? Tired! I'd reach a limit on how far I could walk, or how long I could endure carrying something. The only thing that seemed to be speeding up was the time that elapsed before I wanted to eat something.

Hence the beating up. I was already working once a week with a personal trainer on muscle strength, but was getting little to no further activity. So, I joined a gym to take group classes.

I tried stepping, spinning, Pilates, yoga, and something called Group Power. Later this week will be Group Groove, which sounds really fun.

At the end of this morning's yoga session, in the deep relaxation part, I had a startling epiphany. I love my body.

After a few days of shock at the increased activity, today I'm feeling energized again. I'm feeling up to speed. I'm feeling activated.

I think of my body as a tool, like this new laptop, or my cute little iPhone. All these tools allow me to activate what's going on with me mentally. I use the tools to get things done. My body is one of those tools. And if I have any affection at all for my computer or my phone, which I do, shouldn't I really be grateful for and love my body? After all, it's been with me for a while. It hardly ever breaks down. In fact, the only time it disappoints is when I neglect it.

Take a look at this passage from Science and Health: "You embrace your body in your thought, and you should delineate upon it thoughts of health, not of sickness. You should banish all thoughts of disease and sin and of other beliefs included in matter" (208:29-1).

How does this connect with what I'm doing physically? Maybe it doesn't. MBE is clearly talking about a mental embrace. But maybe there's a cause and effect connection between what I think about my body and what I express physically.

What struck me this morning while relaxing in that class (when I was supposed to be emptying my mind, owell!) was that I personally have a very active mind. In order to be in alignment with my own expression of thought, my body can be expected to also be very active. Why shouldn't it? Is there any reason for my body to slow down when my mind shows no sign of letting up, even for a minute?

What this means to me is that I can not only appreciate my own mental capacities, but also embrace my body in that same concept. To embrace can mean to include. I can include my body in my definition of self as active, engaged, agile, flexible, enduring, versatile… You get the idea. My body is not some separate thing from my thought. It expresses my thought. So I can hold it to the same high standard.

So, I love my body. I just love the thing. It's my pal. At this point in my spiritual development, it allows me to get things done. So, I'm going to stop criticizing it and instead embrace it. I'm going to increase my affection for every breath, every muscle, and maybe even every wrinkle and fold. It's done well by me. I need to thank it more.

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or submit a question.
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At 10/15/2008 12:51:00 PM, Blogger -mt said...

For some scientific research confirmation on what you're experiencing, read Spark!:

At 10/15/2008 01:00:00 PM, Blogger Laura Matthews said...

cool! just ordered it for my Kindle.


At 10/15/2008 02:06:00 PM, Blogger PtCakes said...

What an energizing post! So upbeat and positive.

At 10/15/2008 06:05:00 PM, Blogger Kim said...

great post - and really relevant to where I am in my life ( sitting at my desk a lot !)

My body is my pal. I love it!

At 10/16/2008 07:34:00 PM, Blogger Kate said...

I love this...thank body is my may take me a moment or two...or three... to get this...

At 10/28/2008 01:25:00 PM, Blogger Debbie said...

I can attest to Laura's boundless energy. When we were kids, I remember spending the night at her home where we stayed up playing Clue (which I had never played before) until dawn. Then after a few hours of "napping" we were up and back at it again.

Laura...thanks for your wonderful articles. You inspire me in more ways than you can imagine. Thanks :)


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