Wednesday, July 11, 2012

the body as a compass

I recently read that your body is the channel for your spirit's expression in the world. The idea is that there is something profoundly reverent about physical existence. In the Western world, spirituality is traditionally associated with the mind...quiet intellect, introspection, penitence, and grace. But my body is my temple is more than just a cliché. The body is one of the first places where we can begin to express love and compassion. How we fuel, use, and nurture our bodies can be deeply spiritual in nature, regardless of individual beliefs, and is indeed, very related to what goes on in the mind. We must love ourselves before we can truly love others, and our physical choices directly affect the world, from violence to sustainable consumption.


On a more grounded level, the body is often an expression of our internal wellness. While not all physical afflictions are necessarily indicators of internal unrest, many are inextricably linked to internal distress, as when stomach pain manifests from anxiety. And a healthy mental state is often a key aspect of physical healing. This is precisely why weight loss cannot be achieved and maintained through miracle pills or a scientific exercise routine alone. Such journeys begin with self-love and presence of mind.

The health and vibrancy of our bodies are, at the least, linked to our mental processes. And for many of us, the link is far deeper...our bodies can be a powerful means for self-transformation, and transformation of the world.

7 comments:

  1. Hey! I just found your blog from your comment on my blog. I LOVE it! I just spent the last 45 minutes reading through it. I really agree with your philosophy on eating healthy yet breaking your own rules and enjoying exercise. Your photos are amazing as well. Can't wait to meet you!!

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    1. There's nothing like finding kindred hearts!

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  2. You are so right. I need to also make sure that I don't try to control my body like everything else in my life, particularly as I expect it to respond immediately. And nurturing happens over time

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    1. Yes!! Quick responses always inspire me to keep at whatever I'm working on, but I need to understand that sometimes the body needs time to take everything in and make its own changes...which is why coming from a place of honesty with yourself is so important.

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  3. I couldn't agree more! When I was anorexic my mom told me that I should start a daily ritual: standing in front of the mirror in the morning and telling myself that I love myself no matter what weight or size. It's true that you have to make peace with who you are before you can love others.

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    1. This is a great idea. Sometimes I'll catch myself picking out flaws in the mirror and then I'll suddenly think, "How is that really a flaw?!" Most of the time it isn't...and even if it is a "flaw", it doesn't make me any less lovable...it makes me human. =)

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  4. Well said Clair. So much of our physical well being is connected to our mental well being. I really do believe stress is a trigger for so many ailments. This is why I think meditation, yoga, and being mindful and present are so important. I would love to try to incorporate more of this into my daily routine.

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Thanks for making me smile. =)