It amazes me how much time, money, effort and care go into the cars we own. When our car needs an oil change, wash, new tires or a tune-up we rarely bat an eye to drop thousands on it. We will have this car for maybe five years before we get a new one. We spend thousands down on a vehicle, forking out large payments and high insurance premiums. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the importance of a well-performing vehicle for our freedom and means to our livelihood. What I don’t understand is how we neglect the one vehicle that not only operates our cars, trucks, bicycles and motorcycles, but that we will have from birth to death.
Why is it so hard for us to take the time to take care of our body? We feed it crappy food out of convenience, self-medicate with cigarettes, alcohol and drugs, and forgo our recommended amount of sleep to binge watch a show on Netflix. Did it ever occur to you that when we are sick we cannot work? That without our health and wellness, we really don’t have anything. Our mental health goes out the window if we are in chronic pain or not eating proper foods to sustain a healthy brain and gut. It’s really hard to control our emotions if we cannot release that stress in a healthy way; usually from something physical. And I can’t imagine it would be easy to have a great spiritual practice if we are neglecting our temple.
We take our bodies for granted. When is the last time you really tasted something and appreciated the complexities of our taste buds and the process of getting that information to our nervous system? Have you ever stopped to say thank you for the ability to see a sunset, your loved ones faces, a flower in bloom, a mountain, a full moon or a rainbow? When you want a drink from the kitchen, have you said “thank you” to your legs, feet, back, arms, hands and every part of your body that is engaged to allow you to move freely? When you get in your car, do you feel grateful that your hands can feel the steering wheel and your body can operate a machine of convenience?
We have so much to be grateful for when it comes to our physical body. Treating it well is the best way to say thank you. Stop. Notice your senses. What can you see? What is your taste? What smells can you label? What do you hear? What does your body feel like? Say thank you!
We can also say thank you by bathing our body and making it a beautiful ritual. We can give our bodies nurturing and healthy food, great sex, massages, clothes that feel good on our skin. We can be more aware of what we are putting on our skin and environments we create. A great place to start is to just be aware of ten things our bodies do for us and say “I am grateful for….”.
Your body will return the favor by giving you health and your actions will ripple outward to those you love and the rest of the world.