Energy, health, beauty — want ‘em?
We are in an era of abundant calories, ubiquitous drugs, and sedentary urban and suburban lifestyles plagued by wasted leisure time. The many aspects of the physical you, the body, are often taken for granted. But scratching below the surface of your awareness of your body, you’ll find much more than you realize.
What would you like to change or improve? Flexibility, strength, comfort, longevity, nutrition, exercise, sleep, beauty, oral health, and digestion?
Over the span of your life (certainly not all at once) you may want to consider things like:
- Food – the food you eat for fuel, pleasure, and longevity. And where and how the food is sourced.
- Exercise – the exercise you do for joy, health, and to create more physical power and energy.
- Flexibility and balance – the freedom you feel that your body can move easily the way you want it to.
- Sleep – the sleep you get to recover and prepare, and for comfort and energy.
- Beauty – taking care to groom, polish, and treat your body as the only one you’ve got.
- Longevity – living long and well.
- Rhythm, movement, physical expression – the pure pleasure of having a body.
I’ve considered all of these things and more. I am a tourist in my own body. A very engaged and interested tourist.
I have lists and journal entries, and emails to friends and family, that are much longer than this, all about my maniacally detailed body goals. I have sports and athletics goals including what marathons I want to run and what times I want to finish in. I also want to run a 5:00 minute mile and forever work on my soccer, basketball, and surfing skills. And do an Ironman triathlon, run a 100 mile ultra marathon, and increase my vertical leap. And on and on.
I’ve also gone in depth on my endurance goals, strength goals, oral health goals, other health goals, and goals on energy, beauty, posture, diet, and comfort. I spend time working on standing straight, breathing deeply and slowly, and relaxing my eyes. I ask my dentist a zillion questions. I experiment with different vitamins and supplements. I’ve taken dance classes, yoga classes, kick boxing, and mixed martial arts classes. And I’ve only scratched the surface. It’s a lifelong project to which I’ll return consistently.
Not everyone needs to do this so thoroughly, though. One of the reasons I like doing this in depth exploration, is because it’s just that, an exploration, a kind of adventure into a new territory to see, explore, and discover. Of the few things you always have with you every moment, your body is pretty important.
Your body is with you every day, all day. It can be your best friend, or your worst enemy.
Ultimately, your body is your partner in achieving your goals. What kind of partner is your body?
One of the exciting things about our bodies is that we can actually have a lot of control over them and see pretty quick changes. The first step is to be curious. What can you control? What do you want to change? How do you want your body to look, feel, and perform?
Be bold. Be honest. And dream big. What would your ideal body be like in everything from posture, comfort, and sleep, to energy, strength, and flexibility? If your body were your best friend, how would you treat it?
I believe that the body is NOT a temple, or a vessel. It is, in fact, the soul itself. Or part of the soul. If your body is your soul, how does that change the way you’d care for it?