Marvel at the Miracle that is You – a body appreciation exercise
Body positivity is in the media these days. But how do you get to a positive attitude about your body if you’re not already there? Here’s a body appreciation exercise to help you wherever you’ve bought into the media messages that you aren’t beautiful enough or your body isn’t what it’s supposed to be.
The Church says: The body is a sin.
Science says: The body is a machine.
Advertising says: The body is a business.
The Body says: I am a fiesta.
~ Eduardo Galeano
Your body is a fiesta, a miracle. It has given you every experience of color, music, taste, texture, fragrance, and every sensual pleasure you’ve ever had. It’s a whole universe of intelligent energy. It is your best ally for healing, and your best source of diagnostic information. You get fabulous results if you treat it as such. If you perceive your body as doing less than its best, you are mistaken about its very nature. It will heal you to the best of its ability until the moment of your death.
Spend a moment marveling at how your finger automatically heals from a cut. Think about how new life forms and grows in a woman’s body without her giving it any instructions. Then there’s the guy who breaks his back and relearns to walk despite what the doctors predicted. Your body is much more than a coordinated set of physical mechanisms. It is magical — and it has a much better handle on healing than your mind does. The following is an exercise from my book, Issues in Your Tissues: Heal Body and Emotion from the Inside Out to establish or broaden positive energy flowing to and in your body. Your body will respond by moving better, digesting better, and generally feeling better.
Exercise: Marvel at Your Miracle
1. Appreciate. Think of three things that amaze you about your body. Women, perhaps the most obvious one is that you can make another human inside your body. Marvel at what a miracle it is that your body knew what to do without any mental intervention on your part. Men, marvel that each drop of your semen has the potential to create thousands of lives. If your body is not able to reproduce itself physically and you have an issue with that, please take this opportunity to marvel at all the things your body can do. If you can drive a car, marvel at that.
You do many amazing things. Take driving as an example: It takes a ferociously complicated set of operations to drive at all. And somehow most of us manage to do it.
- You have to step on the accelerator just the right amount to control the car’s rate of speed.
- step on the brake pedal just the right amount, at the right time
- turn the steering wheel just the right amount, at the right time
- shift the gears if it’s a standard transmission
- watch for the other cars (and pedestrians) plus calculate their rates of speed and direction
- make adjustments with your feet on the pedals
- move your hands on the wheel
- maybe flick the turn signal
- look in your rear-view mirror to see yet more cars and make adjustments in all those things according to the new information constantly coming in.
- and that’s just the basics!
It’s a marvel of mental and physical coordination. You were right as a teenager to be proud of yourself for learning to drive. Safely driving through traffic is an amazing feat.
Give Yourself the Gift of Loving Attention
2. Put it in perspective. Now, take five minutes and start a list of the amazing things you can do with your body. Imagine being without the use of any parts of your body – legs, eyes, kidneys – and realize what a blessing it is that you have them. I have a friend who regularly crawls on the floor, pretending she has no legs, any time she feels badly about her body. That exercise puts all the things she can do into perspective for her.
3. Notice pleasure. Now think of three things that your body does that give you exquisite pleasure. It could be smelling a hot pumpkin pie; tasting a juicy summer peach; feeling the smooth suppleness of a baby’s skin. There’s the obvious one of orgasm. I love the feeling of my hair blowing back when I’m running fast. What about drinking a glass of cool water when you’re hot and thirsty? We could drink water without also feeling pleasure – but we feel pleasure as a bonus. I thank my body daily for all the wonderful things I can do with it. See how many times today you can marvel at the pleasure your body gives you. Then thank it.
4. Cultivate the habit of appreciating your body for all the things it can do and all the pleasures it gives you. Every day, thank it for all it has done for you. You can do it at night or first thing in the morning. This simple practice will have a profound effect on your overall well-being.
5. Smile at yourself. Right now, and any time you want to feel better: throw your belly out, breathe, and smile. 😉
This exercise was adapted from my book: Issues in Your Tissues: Heal Body and Emotion from the Inside Out
For more exercises – plus stories, cartoons, and practical body-emotion insights, buy it and read it.
#bodyappreciation #bodyemotionlink #gratitude #Ilovemybody #lovemyself #exercise #bodypositive