As we begin the New Year with the best of intentions, if we hope to be “successful” at whatever we are resolving to change, we must become intimately aware of what is motivating us. Especially when it comes to resolutions that include the body.
For example, if our resolution is to lose weight or to exercise more, and the underlying motivation is to control the body, force it into looking a certain way, or if the unconscious sentiment behind your actions is fear, loathing or disgust of your body, your intention will be doomed from the start. This is not something a lot of us tune into because this is not what we think about when it comes to making changes in our bodies.
Whether we know it or not, we are deeply influenced by the western perspective based in invasion and control (think surgery, pharmaceuticals and all of the programs that seek to exert dominion over the body). But is this actually what our bodies most need, or what it is that brings them into balance? When we are willing to pay attention, we see that the answer has to be no. Look around at all the failed attempts to cure lifestyle-related illnesses by this approach, and it becomes obvious this is not what our bodies most need in order to to be well.
The truth is, you are one, whole living organism with every single part of you touching and affecting every other part of you. There is nothing going on in your mind that your body doesn’t know about, and nothing going on in your body that your mind doesn’t know about. When we deny or ignore the inseparable and seamless reality of who we are when it comes to our bodies, we miss out on more than we can imagine.
If this is true, and for just a moment imagine that it is, do you think you can trick your body into something? Do you think you can deny it what it needs and it won’t notice or care? Do you think you can hate it or be afraid of it and it won’t know how you truly feel about it?
Deciding to go on a diet is easy. Committing to a new program is nothing compared to what it takes to get to know how you actually feel about your body, and what it is that drives the choices you make. Make no mistake about it. It is a gigantic, lifelong endeavor to find your way back to recognizing that how you feel about your own body, and what you do to it, is how you feel about all of life. Including your own.
Ultimately, how you feel about your own body is how you feel about yourself.
This is deep and potentially scary to contemplate. It is no small thing to come face to face with the realization that how you feel about your own body reveals your sentiments towards yourself; how valuable or precious you believe you are. Or not.
And that is why you cannot B.S. your body. Because it is you, and you, know how you, feel about you. Even if you have lost track of this consciously, somewhere deep inside is the knowing of when your actions come from a place of love, and when they come from a place of trying to get yourself to conform based in reasons that are less than loving.
So as you step forward this year, or any time you are looking to make a change, check in with yourself asking “What is driving this desire for change?”
It’s important to note that we sometimes do make a change out of fear, like when we get a scary wake-up call related to health. While the fear may be the shock we need to jumpstart a much needed process, at some point, it will cease to carry you forward in a life-affirming way if that remains your sole focus.
While arduous at times, learning to value yourself will always win out over behavior modification. Meaning, that while the body might momentarily seem to be submitting to the stick of the “carrot and stick approach,” it will be short-lived, unsatisfying, and worst of all, missing the very point of your existence.
If this resonates, you might consider checking out an upcoming program I’m offering called The Healer Within.