Do you know your body? Really. Do you hang out with it? Do you treat yourself, your body, as you would a best friend, listening, trying to understand? Or do you simply exist within it.
More than likely you don’t give it much thought, especially if you're young. And you may be fixated on how it looks or what it does instead of how it (you) feel. Listening to, feeling good about, and enjoying pleasure in your body has more than likely been banished to your shadow—the negative and positive aspects of yourself that are unacknowledged within your conscious mind. Staying present with yourself and focussing on how you feel inside is usually something to avoid in this hurried up world, so I invite you to look into your pain. There you’ll find the starting point that when understood will lead you to your pleasure, your creativity, and your passion.
Self-care and love of self was that mysterious piece I’d read I needed to have for a better life, but no one really told me how to get it. It took almost a decade (and continues today) to really come home to my body, and I met it in a precarious, interesting way, but before publishing my memoir, From Sex Appeal to Self Appeal, I knew I’d stumbled onto something that was healing. In Stripping the Shadow, I detail how the shadow, dark side, brought me into the light.
If caring for and honoring your body is located within your shadow, you want to meet it wherever it calls to you. Extreme athletes meet their bodies when they’ve pushed beyond their limits and injure themselves. Some realize their body when they come down with a disease or have serious injuries. You don’t have to have be in pain or tragedy to connect to your body. You can start today by paying attention to small details:
- coughing - are you trying to expel something (idea or person in close proximity?)
- yawning - are you bored or ready to leave where you are?
- organ function - plumbing backed up? are you relaxed? what situation is causing this?
- multiple self-injuries - are you beating up on yourself? unsure, unsteady in your actions?
You can look deeper into yourself and your body's messages using any number of healing books today, my favorite being Carolyn Myss, writing in Anatomy of the Spirit.
Your reality starts in your head, but you live in your body. Really appreciating your body, being present with yourself, trying to eliminate the pain and frustration of it being a finite source of energy and focusing on the pleasure it can bring you, is probably not a habit, but it should be.