How to love your body as though it is a miracle. Which it is.

Artist Unknown
Artist Unknown

We have such a conflicted relationship with our bodies in our culture, don’t we? We are either over feeding them or starving them, not exercising at all or exercising too much. We neglect, abuse and hate our bodies and then we wonder why it wears out, creating disease as it falls to bits. We spend more time, money and love on our cars and houses than our body.

But listen – all of the great spiritual masters say that our body is sacred, that our body is our temple. What does that mean? It means that our bodies are the gateway to the Divine, the doorway to the Infinite. It means that our body is the house of the soul. Without our body, we would not be able to have this Earthly experience. Let me tell you, this life we are living, it is a privilege. In order to be on Earth at this time, we put our hand up, we waited for the perfect time. There is potential to learn big lessons for your own soul here, as well as to assist humanity and the Earth.

To do this, we need a body. Our bodies are not designed to be perfect, because that is impossible here. I am telling you though, our body is what we make it. We can look at our body as a heavy, restrictive suit of meat that refuses to comply with our desire for perfection…or we can look at our body as a walking, talking, listening, smelling, touching, seeing temple of light that is a complete and utter miracle.

Imagine for a moment that your body is a child. If you are not well, then your body is a sick child. How would you treat your child? Would you say nasty things to your child, not listen when she tells you that she is hungry, thirsty, tired and cold? Would you do your very best to ignore her, snapping at her when she tries to tell you how she feels? You know you wouldn’t. Yet, we do all of these things and worse to our bodies each and every day.

Just for today, treat your body like a beloved child. Wash it carefully. Feed it mindfully. Move and stretch. Use your five senses consciously, as if hearing, smelling, seeing, touching and tasting are miracles, which they are. Bring your awareness into your body throughout the day; breathe. When your body tells you that is tired or hungry or thirsty, listen. It will serve you well if you love it and look after it. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

23 comments

  1. “All of the great spiritual masters say that our body is sacred, that our body is our temple. What does that mean? It means that our bodies are the gateway to the Divine, the doorway to the Infinite. It means that our body is the house of the soul.”

    So insightful. I’m so glad I read that today.

    And I love the accompanying picture.

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    • Thank you for your appreciation Georgia – I’m so glad that you enjoyed it and that it was useful to you. Hey, and thank you so much for sharing my articles on twitter. You rock 🙂

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  2. I agree so much with your sentiments, especially that last part about loving it so that it serves you well. I think too, that when we stop focusing on what we look like and more on how we feel, eventually the two start coming closer together. Case in point: after having some atypical aches, pains, and wheezes over the past couple of weeks, I decided to step up the exercise and eat better. I wasn’t aiming for anything specific, I just wanted to feel better. I’ve now heard from several different people that I look slimmer, fitter, and healthier, when I wasn’t even trying. It’s all about the balance and self-love. 😉

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    • Yes! Exactly, Lillian :). “When we stop focusing on what we look like and more on how we feel, eventually the two start coming closer together”. We know what we need to do, the things that are good for us, and what we need to do to nourish our bodies. We just go down the totally wrong track when we obsess over what we look like. It’s all about how we feel. How can we learn to feel better? It’s all about balance and self love 🙂

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  3. It certainly does make sense. For me I became accustomed to my body. The longer I’ve had it the more it suits me.
    I remember in my younger days, most unfortunately in the 1980’s, being influenced by the fashion and media of the time as to what body and looks were de rigueur. Such self inflicted mental & physical torture! I tried every diet going, did Jazzercise classes & water arocbics etc, got perms, wore contact lenses… none which were about me… because I looked fine. I was young, healthy and fit just the way I was.
    Thankfully I know now that I am who I am… not how clean my house is, what I do, where I live, how much money I earn, how I look or what someone else might judge me to be. I’m nice to me everyday… sometimes too nice but I can live with that. Years pass quickly, and I realised life’s too short to worry about appearances. There’s so much of the real deal to be enjoyed on our own terms.

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    • “For me I became accustomed to my body. The longer I’ve had it the more it suits me.” Dale, this would have to be one of the great benefits of age :). I imagine that the 1980s coincided with you as a young woman – oh most fragile and easily led creature :). I’m not sure how I escaped the body obsession, but I never tortured myself in the ways that I hear other young women did and do. Not that I was happy with my body – no! But not unhappy with it either. I am definitely happier with my body now and I am sure that it is happier with me as well :). It’s about self knowledge isn’t it? Really knowing yourself so that all the things that are not you just fall away. Thanks for your wise comment Dale xo

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  4. Makes beautiful sense and I love what you’ve written here Sara. It’s a gift, a privilege, an honour to be here. To be lucky enough to have functioning limbs and a beating heart…I don’t take that for granted not for a second.

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  5. This I must admit is wonderful reflection of what we do to our body and what we should be doing to body. It is a philosophy so much strongly embedded in our religious thought process, in fact the picture is someone who has deep understanding of Indian religion and philosophy has done it, the letters are in Sanskrit, one of the most powerful language of India with deep history but today it has lost its relevance and the current govt. is trying it’s level best to give some impetus to foster the richness of this language.

    Indeed, we have now take our body for granted and we treat is just like any machine and try to do breakdown maintenance most of the time and have totally forgotten or ignoring the preventive maintenance which is so vital, we consume more than our body needs and we put more stress that it can take up. We forget to take cognizance of the fact that it houses the soul and soul needs nurturing and care.

    By the way love the new avatar of your blog, it looks slick and chic…it is a perfect analogy of living behind the body and the same soul getting inside into another beautiful body.
    Sorry for the delayed visited, was little tied up.
    Hope you are enjoying your online course.
    😀

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    • Yes Nihar, you spotted correctly my interest in the Hindu religion (although I am a mere dilettante – I also love Buddhism and anywhere else wisdom resides). We westerners are familiar with sanskrit because it is the holy language of yoga. We do breakdown maintenance on our bodies – so true! Only yesterday a colleague was telling me that when he became sick half way through his university degree with vertigo. “It was strange he said; all I wanted to do was lie down, lie down.”
      “Wow,” I said, “that must have been difficult. Were you overworked?” He snorted and then told me how he was working 5 nights a week as a teacher and then driving over an hour each way to go to university, and he was exhausted. I just shook my head. We wait until our bodies scream at us, and only then do we make changes. Tsk!
      Hey, and thank you so much, I’m glad you like my new look! ANd…I am loving my studies, so much!

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      • I agree Sara. So much in each religion but in essence the underlying message remains the same. Hindu and Buddhism religion have some very strong and powerful preaching and if rightful practiced makes a hug difference in our life and living…Yoga and Sanskrit, indeed a wonderful combination of language and practice…the more we read and understand the past written these language, the more insight we get about life and living.
        Yes as you narrated about your colleague, the same exactly what happens to us and we ignore and we realize only when the body gives up.
        Cheers to your new avatar of your blog and I am sure we will see newer dimensions coming from you after the study course.
        take care!!!

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  6. I’m so glad I read your post today — it’s really gets down to the bones of the matter. 😉 I’ve been thinking a lot about the body recently, the relationship between mind and body. Your post gave a refreshing perspective… thank you. x x

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  7. Ok, my friend Sara. You reminded me of how I’ve let my once strong and lithe body fall into disrepair. I want you to know I had a fifty yard race with my three-year-old grandson and whipped him, but I wouldn’t have a prayer against my ten-year-old granddaughter. And here I was, the second fastest runner in the big city of Chicago in high school. It’s just what you’re talking about. How shall I start? I better lie down and think about it. Thanks for the action-provoking post.

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    • 😀 You make me laugh, David! I hope I am not being sexist here (tell me if I am), but it is my observation that men are the very worst at listening to their bodies. It’s like they’re deaf, so the body has to shout really loudly to be heard. Ouch. I am sure you don’t need to take up running again (except against your three year old grandson of course) and you probably already know exactly what your body needs. If you don’t, I’m sure your lovely wife has lots of good ideas, as wives do ;).

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  8. Lovely reminder, thank you. I use the inner child paradigm often, even to myself, in just the way you suggest. Slowly, I’m learning to appreciate myself in a deeper way. xx

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    • How beautiful Ardys. I love the inner child description, because it invokes such a nurturing response in us. If we could feel that way towards ourselves and our bodies more often, the whole world would benefit.

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  9. Yes! This! Today I put on a new bathing suit and admired how flattering it was (even at over 200lbs). I felt great and went for a swim, splashing around with my kid. After a healthy lunch and visiting (sitting around and talking), I took time to feed my soul and then took a nap. Such a great day.

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    • It sounds perfect Susan. Truly inhabiting our body and loving it for the wonderful work it does for us does make every day better I think! I’m glad you’re enjoying your summer – sounds wondrous xo

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