Befriending Our Bodies

17 March 2015 | Written by Xenia Ayiotis

Filed Under: Body Acceptance

“The body too has it’s rights, and it will have them: they cannot be trampled on without peril. The body ought to be the soul’s best friend. Many good men however have neglected to make it such: so it has become a fiend and has plagued them.” ~ Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1826

This past weekend, I had the privilege of teaching a workshop at Emoyeni Retreat Centre with an incredibly knowledgeable colleague and friend, RJ Chippendal. We were a group of about 20 very brave people all sharing our challenges with our relationship with our bodies and eating. We spoke about eating, mindfulness and about accepting our bodies. The discussions on body acceptance and appreciation got me thinking…

We often think about our ideal home and our ideal relationships. We imagine what it would be like and how we would like our partner to treat us and talk to us. How we would treat our partner, what we would do together. We can spend hours imagining what this could look like, but let’s take a moment to reflect on an ideal relationship with our bodies. After all, we live in our bodies – they carry us through life.

What would your ideal relationship with your body look like? How would you ideally treat your body on a daily basis?

Here are some ideas that inspire me…

  • To treat our bodies in a way that leaves us feeling nourished and nurtured every day.
  • To be on the same side as our bodies.
  • To befriend and have a very close and intimate relationship with our bodies.
  • To listen to our bodies and hear their subtle messages (the body whispers but the mind shouts loudly!)
  • To stop the negative self-talk, criticism and body bashing.
  • To stop comparing our bodies look and ability to others and not to be affected by the “perfect” photo shopped images in the media.
  • Ideally, to feed our bodies both for nourishment and pleasure and to feel relaxed around all types of food.
  • To eat and move in a way where eating is pure pleasure and moving is a delight and that is non- judgemental and free from guilt.
  • To speak to our bodies in a calm, kind and gentle way and not bully them into extremes.
  • To establish healthy, caring life long habits not because we should but because it actually feels good in body, mind and spirit.
  • To trust and be patient with our bodies.
  • To be forgiving when we don’t eat mindfully or when we are critical.
  • To create a relationship with our bodies that is based on kindness, acceptance and unconditional love, almost the way our pets love us.
  • Ultimately to foster a connection to our bodies where we listen to what they are saying and having a commitment to loving our bodies as they are and the courage to accept them despite their imperfections and limitations.
  • To keep our promises to our bodies.

“What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and the skin more beautiful than the garment in which it is clothed?” ~ Michelangelo

With love,
Xen.

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