I use to wake up each morning and roll out of bed critically assessing the looseness of my belly and the odd sagging starting in my inner thighs.
In front of the bathroom mirror I would continue my morning “hello” by bemoaning the dark circles and lines permanently taking root under my eyes. Well “good morning beautiful” to you too! Harshly judging my body had been a lifetime hobby. There were others that participated in my hobby. Family, friends, boyfriends, distorted media images of beauty all joined in on creating the internal dialogue of judgment. Oh I spread that judgment to others as well at my most miserable times.
Reciprocity of this judgmental energy fuels these negative perceptions. Someone once asked me how long would I keep a friend if I picked on her as much as I pick on myself. That simple question shifted my perspective and made me realize that I treated my body as if it was the enemy of my happiness and the block to finding love. Through meditation in various forms over the years, I learned to clear this negative energy out of my system. It was not mine to begin with, but other people’s that had their own healing to do.
As the signs of aging are a little more prevalent, I won’t lie, they are not welcome, but without looking at myself though the filter of judgment I realize how very healthy and beautiful I am and how healthy and beautiful I have always been. By embracing this body I heal the pre-teen, teenager and adult woman that wasn’t happy because they all exist in me.
Spiritual awareness must include awareness of this amazing machine that houses our spirit letting us experience this life. Daily meditation helps me to tune into my physical body as well as my energy body. Right now as I take a moment to sit and do nothing, there is a factory humming away with no misfires.
Even the cold virus that is sneaking up on me is being fought off by my immune system without me telling my body to do it. I don’t even have to know how it all works. Hair is growing while I write this blog. Cells are renewing, food is digesting, my eyes send images to my brain and I see continually, and don’t forget the breathing. Really, don’t forget the breathing. It’s easy to take for granted, but so many of us breathe shallowly or hold our breath during times of stress. Deep breathing consciously during meditation and during the course of the day, especially during times of stress, will calm and center the body and mind. Breath is the life-force. Don’t ever underestimate its healing power.
Another underestimated power is gratitude. Gratitude is validating, thus healing. As I ground my body during meditation so that it can release foreign energy I notice sensations such as a twinge in the lower back or needle pinch in the shoulder and neck, those typical stress areas. Sometimes I’ll feel some discomfort in areas I hadn’t noticed before. I focus my own healing energy and gratitude to those sore spots to move out the foreign energy that became stuck. I can feel my body answer back by relaxing and giving me a sense of euphoria. I now consciously send gratitude to my body in general and specific areas that need extra loving care when practicing yoga as well. I use to curse my body during certain asanas that focused at the core because it was so hard. It’s still hard, but instead of resisting and berating my weak stomach muscles I focus gratitude and find that I am better able to complete the asana or at least go longer than I thought I could. It’s amazing how a muscle will stretch just a little further or hold a little longer when giving it gratitude. It’s the ultimate “atta girl, you can do it.”
Listen to your body. Ask it what it wants. Are you giving it enough rest, exercise, healthy food, fun, love and gratitude? Remember how wonderful it feels to be around someone that appreciates you. Treat your body as you would a most cherished loved one, because it is the friend that is with you through thick and thin.
Catherine Zukowski is a clairvoyant energy reader/ healer, jewelry designer living in LA with her husband. She is also a regular volunteer at the Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles’ Skid Row District. www.dwcweb.org