It’s easy in this day of machines, optimized productivity, and over-scheduling to start thinking of your body as a tool to get things done. Let’s just imagine for a minute that your body is a friend. What kind of relationship do you have with your body? Do you listen to what it has to say? Is your relationship about you getting what you want, at the expense of your friend? How long would this relationship last if it were another person, say your spouse or best friend?
Your body is trying to tell you really important things all the time. The information it has for you will help you stay healthy, productive, and happy. If you don’t listen to its whispers, it will speak louder and louder until it gets your attention. (As in disease or injury) Your skill at listening and heeding the whispers coming from your body will determine your quality of life, as well as quantity of life.
Does this mean your body will rule your life? No more than a good friend would. A good relationship is about meeting in the middle, honoring, sharing dreams and goals, and having fun. A good relationship is healthy for both friends. Here are some ways to enhance your relationship with your body:
- Spend some time every day tuning in through some practice that takes you to your inner calm. That may be meditation, tea on the porch, time in nature, journaling, or some other practice. The important thing is that you create time and space to listen.
- Take a good look at your life and the load on your schedule. Rate the importance of activities according to how important they really are to you. Then look honestly at how much time they take compared to how important they are to you. If there are any discrepancies that stand out, make some changes!
- Live consciously in your body. Be mindful of being in your body, honor it, and developing more connection with it.
- Notice how your body feels as you think about certain things- those emotions are telling you whether you are on track or not. Emotions are a tool to guide us, if we notice.
- Treat your body to small gifts now and then- a hot sauna or soak in Epsom salts, extra comfy sheets, a short walk outdoors in the middle of a stressful day. Let your imagination go as you think of how to gift your friend.
- Receive regular massage and bodywork to heighten your body awareness. This is one of the most important benefits of massage and bodywork.
If you shift the perception of your relationship with your body from one of it being a tool you use to get what you want to one of a good friendship, I guarantee you will be rewarded beyond measure!
About the author: Stephanie Bish owns 'Blissful Body by Stephanie' in Ely, MN; also serving Babbitt, Virginia, Tower, and the Arrowhead Region. As a Massage Therapist, Structural Integrator, and Reiki Master Teacher, she enjoys guiding people on their path to well-being.
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