What makes a body sick?
Body getting sick is not, as conventional wisdom tells us, body misbehaving. Being sick is body communicating, “Hey! Something’s out of whack, and I’m trying to tell you what!” Remember – body communicates with Spirit through emotions, sensations and function even. If body is not heard when tells you, “this hurts,” it will “get louder” and hurt more and more until you pay attention. Life is much easier when you are calibrated to the whisper than to the 2 X 4!
Along with the well documented bio-chemical reasons for body to be ill at ease, here is a checklist of things that only you can do to help your body be happy = function well.
Sleep – spirit can restore body during sleep; bodies need real rest
Water – without proper hydration, body goes into survival mode, appropriately.
It is our job, no one else’s; to make sure body has its basic needs met
Walking; physicality – “motion is lotion” for the body. Bodies need to be lived in and exercised, just like any animal.
Breathing – body goes into survival mode when it is suffocating. Too much shallow breathing puts the body in physical distress and it appropriately kicks on all the alarms. Set the timer to remind yourself to take 3-5 deep, slow, breaths every 20 minutes for 7 days, until you really are breathing more often.
Truth – validation of What Is, without editorializing
Kindness – kind words, gentle touch, smiles
Creativity – making art or thinking outside the box
Touch – holding hands, hugs, a pat on the back
Challenge – the stretching beyond preconceived limits, physical, emotional or mental; growing keeps the system enlivened!
Contribution – making your contribution to the family or society feeds you as well as them!
Toxins – whether it is the toxins of chemicals that are used to process foods or make home and garden cleaning products, watch out for and take care of your body. Bodies can’t be healthy when they are ingesting things they can’t process, or that they react badly too (food allergies – how would you know if you had developed an allergy? Go on a clear diet- no bread, dairy, meats, only organic fresh veg – as much as you want! – for 3 days. Then slowly reintroduce one thing at a time and notice how your body reacts, for instance.)
Visual Diet – the body is pretty literal. What it sees it believes is happening. This is not a lack of intelligence on body’s part, but a super-power. As recently as 10-15 years ago, we didn’t see dead bodies, murder, bodies being shot, pornography,bras, mutilation, security codes hardly at all unless in the profession. Now we are assaulted in movies with sounds and images during trailers, on TV in commercials, even billboards are more “R” and “X” rated than ever before. Watch your visual diet – be considerate of what images, terrors and toxins you submit your body to through what you look at.
Auditory Diet – pay attention to what you listen to. At one point in my life, I had to stop listening to the “sound track” of my life because all the songs were about longing, missing and lack. Longing for lost love, missing someone, lacking love. While these are legitimate emotional experiences, I was indulging in them so often, lack was becoming a standard. Watch body’s emotional response to what you’re listening to, and consider an auditory “cleanse”; just listen to what is going on inside, and participate in that. For instance, start saying something respectful and positive about yourself every 20 minutes for 7 days, and watch the world around you improve!
Being kind to yourself – self-criticism isn’t telling yourself the truth or self- improvement;
it is beating yourself up which has never contributed positively to yours or anyone else’s life. Self-criticism is not honesty; it is negating at least half the story, or more. Beating yourself up dulls the senses, makes a body feel hopeless and helpless – it is literally telling yourself that no matter what you do it’s not enough, not good enough, won’t help, doesn’t matter. This kind of self-talk makes you an unsafe place to be. It also releases Cortisol and other bio-chemicals that are meant to only be stimulated in short doses and are corrosive when chronically stimulated. But you will be changing that when you set that timer and start breathing and validating yourself every 20 minutes.
Permission – permission to be just as you are. Permission is not the same as over-indulgence and by the way, there is even a time for that! Permission to be as you are, right now, is a form of validating yourself, a form of being On Your Side. Permission means you can do that thing that’s not good for you, but often, when you have permission to do something that doesn’t really support you, you no longer feel the need to do it.
Loving Yourself – “Getting more through invalidation” works in a way, but like all forms
of manipulation, it breaks down the trust in the relationship. You really do need yourself to make a go of it in this life. Often we learned from experience that love is to be withheld until certain behavior or accomplishments were met, but all that withholding does is keep you in an experience of scarcity, uncertainty and probably agitation. Go ahead; try loving yourself for a change. For 7 days, when you set that timer for 20 minutes, when you’re taking those nice, deep, slow, cleansing breaths think of 5 things you’ve done in the past 20 minutes that you are proud of, even a little bit. “I breathed; I drank water; I said nice things to and about myself; I smiled at someone.” Actively look for your good points and great contributions to your own well-being for those 7 days and watch your inner life blossom. The outer world will too.
Laughter – laughing releases chemicals in your body that restore cells and generate a deep sense and experience of well-being. For starters, you take in more oxygen and exhale more carbon monoxide when you’re laughing! And you are a fun place to be when you are laughing and amused. Laughing is good for every aspect of your body as well as your body-spirit relationship!
Amusement – Amusement is a very high and healing vibration. Amusement is gratitude
and appreciation in action. Amusement is bringing your delight to any situation, bringing your attention to the present moment with an eye to be delighted.
Appreciation – appreciation, like amusement, is gratitude in action. “I look to like, if looking liking pleases,” as Shakespeare said in Romeo + Juliet. Appreciation is and active, ongoing participation in what you are seeing and what is going on - not from the perspective of what the thing means to or about you, but from the perspective of how great it is to live in a world where X happens! Photography is a great way to develop your eye for seeing things to appreciate, and with digital cell phones, taking pic’s is the easiest thing in the world now. Appreciation is a full-contact sport!
Seven Day Challenge –
- Set your timer to a pleasant sound.
- Take 5 deep, slow, cleansing breaths, bringing all of your attention to your body
a. Take a mini-walk down the hall or around your office as you do this:
b. Say nice things to yourself about yourself, like “I commit to taking care of myself.”
c. List 5 things you have done right and feel validation/gratitude for yourself!
No one can save you except you.
d. Allow yourself to feel good about you – right now, as is, in THIS moment.
e. Relax your focus and smile! You did good!
- Set time for 20 minutesRepeat all parts of step 2
Do this 2 minute practice every waking 20 minutes for 7 days. Keep a journal. Note changes in your mood, diet, tension levels, dreams, relationship’s with others. Just experiment and see just how powerful you really are! After the 7 days, keep the practice going!
©Delia Yeager, November 2013, A Spiritual Perspective, www.deliayeager.net
Spirit and Body, Together
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