Thank you to the Mentor's Channel for the following:
"Day 4: The Body in Balance
“To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” -Buddha
Just as all aspects of nature create a symphony of balance and harmony, when the body is treated as the miracle it is, we can fully immerse ourselves in the wondrous dance of life.
I give thanks for and honor the miracle that is my body."
Giving thanks for my body? What a crazy thought! Well, it used to be, for me, and for many women in America. I've had a hate-hate relationship with my body. Many of of us raised on "Seventeen"magazine and "Cosmo" were reminded over and over that we were not pretty enough, not thin enough, not enough! And now, the "stripper" look has come into fashion in the last decade, where despite our advances toward equality, we have shoved ourselves back into the spotlight where our cardinal attribute is beauty--we women, and the men that purvey this notion--have moved us back into "things" to be objectified. 4-5 inch stripper heels, enormously fake breasts, plastic surgery and chemicals injected into bodies to keep us looking young and "attractive". It's the barbie doll look all over again. And really, is that attractive? And if so, who says we have to meet that definition? Society, commercials, friends, parents, siblings, movies, porn.... it takes years of inculcation to get a woman to despise her body, or at least, not fully accept how she looks. And those industries of brainwashing have hidden a seed within all this deleterious thinking: if you can get women to focus more on "looks", they will not have time to think about the grander issues of equal pay (we still earn 20% less than men), development of our intellect and skills (more men are in charge of our political system, which increases warfare; more men run the companies that destroy our planet and our economy, etc.), and embracing and nurturing our feminine qualities. (Author's Note: I'm not man-bashing, I love men! However, these are self-evident truths of American Society.)
It took years to learn to hate my body, it took years to undo that training. Thank goodness I have. I wish it had come sooner! I wasted much time during my 40 years focused on how I looked and "losing weight". I only started to learn (was taught) that I am more than my body as recently as 2008. Sometimes I still forget, but there is always the glimpse of remembrance behind the falsehoods.
I think about all the abuse, both physical and psychological, I have rained upon this gorgeous bod of mine. Yet, it still functions marvelously! My liver is in perfect working order, even after years of imbibing alcohol. I can still run 10-20 miles a week with these knees and feet I've been pounding on since my early 20s. (And by the way, I already see myself running into my 90s, so don't even doubt it for a minute! So if you see yourself hobbling along with a cane, it will happen, and I will be running past you, because that's what I visualize in my future!) I smoked cigarettes every day from age 17 to age 26, sometimes 2-3 packs a day! I quit one day, July 16, 1996 to be exact, and took up running. I knew intuitively that my body had healed itself. I have the strongest lungs around! So if you don't think that my body or yours is a Miracle, well, I know mine is!
I'm more in touch with my body when I'm moving it. How many of us sit at a desk and then have to exercise to stay healthy. I've found that since moving to Korea, where I walk everywhere, I'm "feeling" my body more. It's similar to living in Key West, where you walk or ride your bike all over the small 5-7 square mile island. I love all the walking, and of course, my diet is vastly different, so I can feel the changes in my body within the short time of two weeks since I arrived! (Two weeks tomorrow!) I feel great!
I'm grateful for my healthy body. Yes, I'm lucky to be disease free and injury free, I know this. And I've worked hard to maintain my healthy body with exercise and balanced nutrition. More importantly, I've learned the value of affirmations:
I am in perfect health
My body is radiantly healthy
How can it perform otherwise!
I hope you all learn to love and appreciate your wondrous bodies, miracles of science and life!
Some authors/books that have helped me along the this journey to improved body image and self-acceptance and self-love:
Byron Katie "Loving What Is", etc.
Louise L. Hay "Love your body", etc.
Abraham-Hicks "The Law of Attraction", etc.
Wayne Dyer (all)
Eckhart Tolle "The Power of Now", etc.
... asana, pranayama, meditation and the true Self.