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“I love my body,” part 3 of 4

My heart got broken earlier this year–-but that very same heart kept on beating. It pumps blood every second, to my brain, to every extremity, perfectly. Every minute of the past 43 years. When I sleep, my heart miraculously never skips a pulse. I should be on my knees thanking God every day for my beautiful body.

“My body serves me well.”

In a thousand ways. I am going to record a meditation CD about this, to go along with 12 Steps to Whole Foods, in 2011. (Keep my feet to the fire about this! I have a lot of plans for 2011!) At the end of the meditation I am working on, I want you to feel awed by your gorgeous body. (Which then will translate into your making good choices to treat it with respect.)

Tell yourself, “I love my body. It serves me well” every day. Repetition is key. (Thus the need for the meditation I’m working on.) If you think what I’m telling you here is ridiculous, that’s okay. Just do it anyway.

Since you’re a woman, I’m not going to bother trying to get you to talk like a man. (My 17-y.o. son said last week:

“I poned that basketball today!”

and

“I was DOPE at practice, Mom–I’m maxing the bench press!”

I don’t know how you pone something or what exactly dope has to do with the bench press. But male culture allows, even demands, macho bravado–and confidence. Ours doesn’t.)

In all reality, if you’re a woman, I’m not going to get you to talk about yourself this way. You didn’t create the system for girls–you just operate in it. I get that.

But there are ways you CAN love your body that are socially acceptable. Will you commit to saying this:

“I love my body. It serves me well.” Or something LIKE that, every day several times, when you catch yourself thinking negatively about yourself? Say it a thousand times, until you believe it. (It took me a long time before I believed it.) Then say it, still, to reinforce that knowledge.

I think you are beautiful. I don’t care that you have stretch marks or your breasts sag or whatever. When you show up in my class or on my blog, I know you are a seeker of truth. You’re a goddess with unlimited potential. You are many things to many people who love you. You are good at your core and have a divine source, which endows you with divinity. You aren’t perfect, but your imperfection makes you relateable. I hope you believe that, let it sink deep until you begin to tap your potential.

As you do, you will find yourself refusing to engage in behaviors that abuse your beautiful body.

And if you eat something that makes you feel ill rather than well, choose not to guilt-trip yourself. One of my grad-school professors used to repeat often, “Guilt is a useless emotion.”

I agree. Do you love your body more when you pound on yourself about every less-than-optimal choice? Just because you ate those frosted sugar cookies today doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or that you can’t make good choices tomorrow. It means you’re human.

(I teach my kids: “Sin is not a tragedy.” It’s inevitable and it’s how we grow.)

During this holiday season, there are so many opportunities to abuse our bodies. So please start now in nurturing self-talk and spend some time meditating on how blessed you are to inhabit your own skin.

This really can translate into a strong desire to honor your body that transcends addiction and self-medication.

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