As my body is getting older, I have the opportunity to reflect on all it does for me. The pain and physical challenge that I encounter more than I used to helps me also see how resilient, beautifully functional, naturally flowing, creative and generative my body is, and all our bodies are.
Coming closer to 60 (still feeling 30 in my spirit), I can notice what I took for granted before.
I’m not trying to beat up on myself here. I think we all forget to have gratitude when things come easy. And I can recognize how important it is for me to appreciate what I do love about my body, and how I get to share this body and this life with others I care about and who care about me.
For example: Hugs. When I experience a hug with someone who is genuinely kind and wants to share in this embrace, a warmth fills my entire being, and the feeling of love and connection affects every cell within me. I experience a similar feeling when I eat or drink something that is so satisfying I can’t help but do the happy dance for all the yumminess in my mouth. I feel so enlivened and grateful for the delicious nourishment. And when I walk among the trees this time of year, my feet meeting the bright leaves and brown needles that pave my path, the scent of musky decay and the sounds of crow calls above, every part of my body is joyfully engaged in the journey …even the parts that might ache a little while I walk.
This body, with all its muscles and bones, organs and tissues, its vessels flowing my blood, my lifeforce, all of my nerve endings and senses taking in the pleasure and fulfillment to be felt and experienced — it is truly miraculous!
On days where I forget, where my worries, my “to do” list, lack of sleep, hunger and fears are taking me over, my body becomes my protector, warrior and divine container doing its best to get me through. And yet, with all of its human imperfections, this amazing body remains my most loyal comrade, supporting my spirit and soul to live the best I can. I want so much to remember this, especially when my body is tired and hurting.
Beautiful, body divine, may I honor you and appreciate you, listen to and feel what you want and need from me. And may I give myself grace when I forget — when my mind is whirling and my habits are consuming. This being a human thing, it’s a puzzle of learning. Please know, body, I very much appreciate you.
Read more of the Nov. 15-21, 2023 issue.