I was 7 years old but I still remember that sensation perfectly well. For some reason, I decided to pay attention to my toes that evening. There was no apparent reason for that, I just put my whole attention to them. And that’s where it started.
The more I thought about my toes, the more they throbbed, pulsated, tingled. After some time, I couldn’t control the process anymore. The feeling started resembling pain. I was silently crying in my children’s bed, understanding that I couldn’t explain what was happening to me to anyone.
What was happening to me?
Now I know the answer.
My body was feeling the attention it got. As a kid, I could intuitively bring out sensations in my body but I didn’t know why I needed to do that and, most importantly, I didn’t know how to stop it.
Each cell in our body responds to emotions we are sending to it. I am telling this to the 7-year-old me, with a ‘thank you’ for reminding me about the connection we have with one another. Today I want to promise to myself that this connection will never go away, and that I will remember about it not only when I feel bad but every day, and each day I will treat my body with love and respect it deserves.
What does it mean to love your body?
It means to talk to it. You can do it in the morning before getting out of bed, or you can do it in the evening before sleep. In the mornings, you can start with stretching with closed eyes while obviously enjoying it and remembering that you actually exist in this body. The stretch also helps not to stress out your body too much in the morning. After this, starting from your head, go over your whole body internally (don’t forget your organs, vessels, cells, tissues, skin, bones, etc.) Say to each of these parts “I love you. Thank you for serving me so well. Thank you for being there for me.” If you start your morning like this, you will see positive changes in you throughout the day.
You can talk to your body when it feels sick as well. In this case, don’t address the disease. Talk to that specific organ, part of your body. Does your belly hurt? Caress it and tell it how much you love it. Your intestines don’t work properly? Talk to them as well. Believe me, it responds.
Osho says we should establish connection to our bodies when it feels good, when it is not sick.
Just lie on the grass, he says, close your eyes, and feel what happens inside of you, how good it feels. Lie on the river bank. The water is touching your body, and this pleasant coolness is washing over each cell in your body. Body is an amazing phenomenon, one of the nature’s wonders. Sit on the sun. Let the sun rays penetrate your body. Feel how its warmth is penetrating you deeper and deeper touching your blood cells and reaching your bones. Sun is life, the source. Close your eyes while feeling all of this. Stay alert, witnessing, enjoying. Little by little you will become aware of a beautiful tune that is happening within your body, subtle harmony…
It means taking care of it. Our bodies love when they are nourished, caressed, massaged, taken care of. In the past, I didn’t understand it much, and even when I finally did, laziness got a hold of me. Only with time I started seeing the benefits of doing do. Your body likes attention. It likes compliments as well. Sometimes I like to look at the mirror and send kisses to myself. It’s not narcissism, not even close. I am just reminding my body that I am here, I am alive, I look great, I have my own back.
There was time when I was fighting with my body, starting new life “from Monday”, and one look in the mirror made me cry and overeat. When I dealt with all these issues, my body became slim pretty much on its own – without any diets and restrictions. It appears that all the body needs is care and by “care” I mean exercising, resting, loving, forgiving, giving compliments, smiles, positive impulses all over the body.
I used to aim towards a flat belly, and now I understand that taking care of the body means letting it take its own natural shape, whatever it is for you. Now I am caressing my belly which finally feels accepted in its softness, and understand how much tenderness there is, how much potential. Here you can read more about what I mean exactly.
It means noticing changes in our body. Noticing changes means paying attention to when it is sad and helping it out. Osho says how important it is to be sensitive to our bodies. Listen to it, he says, it tells you a lot of things, but you are too busy with your mind and you never listen. Every time when there is a conflict between your mind and your body, your body almost always will be right, and mind will almost always be wrong because your body is natural, and your mind is made by society; your body belongs to this limitless nature, and your mind belongs to your society; specific epoch and time.
Once we’ve finally established connection with our bodies, it feels alive again. Mind and Body are not two separate matters, but one. Yes, we are not our bodies but our soul and spirit incarnated in this vessel for a reason. If we are going to talk with it in one language, miracles are unavoidable. Remember when you were seven years old. Who knows, you might have had your own experience like this. We all have it. All we need to do is to remember.