Is your body your friend? If the answer is yes, wonderful. If no, then how do you become friends with your body? It turns out friendship is pretty simple. Most friendships develop from three things that build on each other:
1. Shared interests
2. Shared experiences
3. Shared affection
Say you go to a yoga class that you really enjoy. You go every week, and the faces start to become familiar, you even get to know a few names. Spending a lot of time next to each other in downward dog tends to be a great ice-breaker, who knows why? Eventually through your shared interest in yoga (and your experiences in full wheel pose), you get together for tea and find out that you both love to hike. You go on a couple of hikes together and find out that you like their friends and you love their sense of humor (not to mention their amazing homemade granola bars) and they start to grow on you.
Becoming friends with your body can really be that simple, if you let it. What are your shared interests? Let’s see, you and your body probably enjoy feeling good, laughing, and relaxing, to name just a few.
You both likely love feeling strong, healthy, and alive, like a superhero without the cape.
So what are your shared experiences that help you feel this way?
1. Eating well (eating healthy food, neither over- nor under-eating)
2. Engaging daily in enjoyable movement
3. Getting enough sleep
4. Spending time with people you love
5. Serving your life’s purpose (being a parent, working hard, helping out, etc.)
Just like in a regular friendship, these shared interests and experiences naturally lead to shared affection if we let them.
You develop a sense of respect for your body’s abilities and support, affection for its quirks, and encouragement for its difficulties. So why don’t we all automatically feel like our body is our friend? I mean, we spend a lot of time with our bodies… every experience we’ve ever had is one we shared with our bodies. We should all be BFFs with our bodies “4 EVA”! Right?
But no. We indulge a little too excessively in that brutally effective friendship killer, judgment.
Judging ourselves constantly and comparing ourselves endlessly to other bodies interferes with the natural friendship we could experience with our bodies. Imagine if you had a friend who constantly berated you for not being as coordinated as their other friend, for not working as hard as this person they read about in a magazine, for not living up to some abstract standard they’ve decided upon. Would you feel friendly towards them? Would you want to spend more time with them or less? Wouldn’t your “interests” start to diverge?
Everything you need to be friends with your body is already in place.
All we really need is to remove the impediments. Let go of judgment toward your body and ask yourself these questions:
1. Can I make this experience enjoyable for my body?
2. How does my body make this experience possible?
3. Can I appreciate my body’s ability and support at this moment?
You are meant to be friends with your body. Let go of anything that stands in the way of that friendship. You and your body deserve it.
I know, I said I was taking a hiatus from the blog, and here’s a new post already. Surprise! Maybe there’ll be another one headed your way before the new year, who knows?
Love Your Body Blog Part 68