Our bodies, minds, and souls are tightly interconnected to create our ultimate human experience. One profoundly influences the other as we continue to shape and reshape our belief systems, which then influences how we feel and act. While I don’t see them as separate entities unto themselves, I do believe they each need their own attention because there are specific ways that we can nurture each of these elements to create a sacred synergy among them. Because people tend to view their “body” as a primary focus in self-care, let’s focus there.
Many of us are dealing with body issues. It could be a particular disease you are battling, fatigue, or random aches and pains, whether from an injury or something more chronic. If your health fails, it can overshadow everything else that’s going on in your life, including any sense of happiness and your level of stress. If you have a genetic predisposition for a particular disease, taking consistent empowered action with your health and wellbeing can actually help you defy your genes and reduce your risk of some diseases.
Perhaps you are struggling with body image and/or how you wish your body could look or perform. I believe that most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel and function. As our bodies age, many of us start to believe that whatever is showing up as “signs of aging” are supposed to be there because we are aging. You accept what is at a certain age and simply chalk it up to aging. In reality, our bodies can “age” so much differently if we intentionally care for them. The ultimate way to live would be to love your body and yourself enough to want to take care of it.
While it might not feel like it at times, you have tremendous control over how your body looks and feels, simply by the way you care for it. That control is rooted in your beliefs about your body and what ailments you are nursing. Are you the ailment or do you have an ailment? There is serious power in how you answer that question. People can begin to identify with their symptoms as something that IS them, not something that they HAVE. What you believe to be true is your reality, and your reality is different from any other person’s on the planet. So, let’s get real and take a look at what is actually influencing the way you look and feel.
- How are you truly identifying with your body?
- Is it a priority to take care of it or does it feel like a burden?
- Are there things you can do to create a different relationship with your body? If you are human, the answer to that last question is YES.
If beating yourself up with the inner critic in your head actually led to change, you’d already be perfect. Give yourself a break for a moment, invite yourself into open-mindedness, and allow yourself to see things with a fresh perspective, so you can begin a new journey with how you treat your body. This can be a difficult task, given our lifelong conditioning, but it’s the most powerful way to move forward. Make a commitment to the idea of seeing your body differently or at least be open to seeing it in a new way. Become a partner and ally with your body and begin the journey of feeling at home in it. Identify and release the internal pressure we put on ourselves and the external pressure we receive from society with what we see in the media, magazines, movies, TV, and other cultural expectations. If you need healing in this area (and most of us do), allowing yourself to see your body with new eyes actually opens you up to a different access point for healing. After all, loving your body only when it is perfectly fit is like only loving your children when they behave perfectly.
While there are many ways to measure “health,” true healing is subjective, based on your own internal experience and how you notice where you are in the process. If you feel stuck in some way when you consider how you feel about your body, healing your thoughts and taking new actions is the most powerful antidote. The two most impactful choices you have when faced with any roadblock are to change your actions or change your mind. And guess what? You get to choose.
RELEASE THE ‘TOO BUSY MINDSET”
For many people, a big part of their resistance to caring for themselves and their bodies is that they are too busy. It’s an epidemic. The first critical step in recovering from busy-itis is to stop using that word. When you believe you are too busy, you will always be too busy. It’s a frantic mindset. This is where a shift in perspective is crucial. Make a choice to change your mind about being so “busy” all of the time. Choose a different story. Use a different word. I like to use the word productive instead of busy. That changes the busy mindset immediately. Equally important is not to perceive your self-care commitment as overwhelming. Change your perspective and see it as a gift. The profound act of self-care on YOUR terms is not only a gift to yourself, but also for every single person impacted by your existence. Truly caring for yourself changes everything. It creates a different filter from which you experience everything else in your life. Once you get into the swing of things, you’ll actually create more space in your life to tend to other things that nurture you.
I SELF-CARE DARE YOU!
– Send Your Body Some Love –
List five things you love about your body, as is, right now! Send your beautiful body a dose of gratitude.
As a revolutionary in the art of self-care, Shelley Hunter Hillesheim founded A Nourished Life where she is a self-care coach, published author, inspirational speaker, workshop leader, sisterhood builder and maverick for ambitious, driven women. She rescues depleted high achievers from overwhelm and helps them create the spaciousness and simplicity needed to nourish themselves with sustainable self-care habits.
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