I remember in my twenties how much I wanted to be thin. It didn't matter how I got there, just that I was size 2 or less. My mind had become indoctrinated when I thought that "thin is beautiful". Taming my body was a constant struggle. I hated and resisted my body.
It was about dieting, exercising too much, or worrying about what I was eating. Not to mention, I've always felt a little uncomfortable about my physical body. During this time I had severe back pain and started practicing yoga. It felt like an uncomfortable exercise to me, but I stuck with it.
But also during yoga I pushed my body beyond its limits. If I exerted too much, I injured myself from a spine injury during a hot yoga class. Even in meditation, I forced my body to sit for long periods of time, no matter how painful it was. It only added to the aggravation and compression in my spine!
In spiritual practices we are taught to control, deny and even transcend the body and its desires. It is as if our body is an obstacle to the way. "You are more than your body," we are told.
We learn not to trust our body's impulses or desires. We learn to suppress what we feel. This only separates us from our body and it is the real potential.
What if your body was part of the path to enlightenment?
It wasn't until I left all forms of yoga and meditation that I finally woke up and began to appreciate my body for what it is. Learning the simple practice of relaxation helped me develop a deeper connection with my physical body. I began to understand how much wisdom my body contained and how it could heal on its own – if I let it.
When I stopped pressing against my body, it began to relax. It gave me more information. I could hear the messages flowing through my body. Then I felt more comfortable in my skin and understood the meaning of embodiment. We are more than just an intellectual understanding of spiritual concepts, we need to embody them and live them in our daily lives.
My body came into balance on its own. I stopped aspiring and dieting. It was effortless to maintain a healthy weight. As I paid to my body I became much more confident and connected.
Our bodies are beautiful divine instruments. They reflect our consciousness. You are the vehicle through which we create. When we take the time to actively listen and love our body and accept it for what it is, it receives nourishment and energy. Our bodies can serve us, especially when we listen.
If you want to go further in any aspect of your life, it is important to have compassion and love for your own body. Do you have body hatred or shame? Maybe you are uncomfortable with your body and that's fine.
I invite you to listen to this lecture on Youtube about why the body is important for the development of yourself and your meditation practice.
If anything, I hope this message inspires you to love, appreciate, and honor your body. It's going to decay, it's going to die, but right now it's yours.
Lots of love, sure