Love Your Body with All Your Heart

We live in a body-hating culture, where the impossible quest for physical perfection fuels multi-billion dollar industries and takes many of us to a place of self-loathing. Instead, try this simple, loving practice to restore our trust in the body, honoring it as the vehicle for sacred, nourishing connection.

You may walk, stand, sit, or lie down to perform this loving task.

1. Check in with your body and all the sensations you are feeling. Notice warmth, coolness, tingling, numbness, comfort, discomfort, and any other sensations. Let yourself enjoy the symphony of sensation. Journey to your magnificent organ systems. Just be with your body the way a loving parent would be with a child. Sense the wonder of yourself.

2. If there is distress or pain, see if you can soften around it. Invite your heart to hold and embrace your body with love. If you have a symptom in a part of your body or feel judgmental or rejecting toward it, try to think about what it does. For example, if your feet hurt, focus on the conscious realization that the feet walk. They move you forward in life. Perhaps your feet need to be honored for all that they do for you every day. Maybe they need to be nurtured and loved.

3. Dialogue with your body. Do what feels right for you to balance your body. Really talk to it, and listen when it talks to you. Feel your body fully embraced by the compassion in your heart. See it glowing in the light of love. Try to do this task at least once every day.

Adapted from The Chakras in Shamanic Practice, by Susan J. Wright (Inner Traditions, 2007). Copyright (c) 2007 by Susan J. Wright. Reprinted by permission of Inner Traditions.
Adapted from The Chakras in Shamanic Practice, by Susan J. Wright (Inner Traditions, 2007).

20 comments

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen3 years ago

Thank you :)

Edvanir L.
Edvanir L.3 years ago

I usually pay attention to my body and emotions.

Loo Samantha
Loo sam3 years ago

thanks

Dale Overall

There is no such thing as the perfect woman or man and while the advertising industry and business focus on the ultimate perfection we can never really attain it especially when it comes to body image.

Some people end up with eating disorders that ultimately can prove fatal because society is always berating us with the image of Perfection which is generally unobtainable especially when it comes to beauty or being handsome. None of us can match the air brushed images on magazine covers - airbrushed because they are unreal. Some people end up with perpetual self loathing simply because they cannot become an airbrushed fantasy image.

Self acceptance and love can bring relief to lowered self esteem. We often show much compassion for our family, friends and leave little for ourselves.

Ignoring the ad below with the annoying flashing blue arrow pointing to the never-ending quest of the flat belly...which irritates me to no end because society wants us to believe that we are only valid if we look a certain way...we need to allow ourselves a sense of compassion. We are born, we age and then we pass on. Our time is limited and we need to be gentler to ourselves along with others.

Robert O.
Robert O.4 years ago

Thanks Annie.

Ida J.
Ida J.5 years ago

thanks

Heather B.
Past Member 6 years ago

Thanks for the interesting ideas, Annie.

Lily C.
Lily C.9 years ago

I have found it helpful, when doing this lying down, to bend my legs so keeping my feet on the ground. I can, sometimes, more easily, receive nourishing and nurturing energy this way. This may be one of my favorite tips so far. Checking in with my body is strong and deep medicine in its own way.

Maresa Tedrick
Maresa T.9 years ago

Jillian,
Aging is also denied, scorned and feared by our culture. As I approach the "Crone" stage of life it becomes more important to look within for my beauty, not because my body is less beautiful but because I must relearn to see it's softening beauty and changing abilities.

During my meditations I recall the beautiful elder women that have touched my life...my grandmother, my piano teacher, my English teacher...all beautiful, all strong and full of wisdom.

I wrote this haiku after one of these introspections:

MUSINGS November 8, 2004

Gentle valleys lead
to wells deep with wisdom,
my Grandmother's eyes.

Jillian, may your search for acceptance of the changes ahead go well.
Maresa

Kim S.
Peace Monger9 years ago

Accepting ones self is the first step to greater enlightenment. But, due to all of the media hype mentioned in other posts, we're often dissatisfied with ourselves, finding ourselves lacking according to what's said to be perfect.
I too once bought into this type of thinking!
Take a good look at yourself, see the Divine's perfection in who you are, change those things which you have power to change and accept those things which you have no control over.
Live for Today and what you can do to make the world a better place!
Nameste!
k