As you begin the New Year, and after having perhaps indulged in numerous abundant feasts, I invite you to examine your physicality with new eyes. And while doing so, I ask you to stay connected to the miracles of your beautiful body. Focus less on the “calories” and more on the function.
Like a child, or an animal, examines things and revels in their newness, I ask you to remove the fog from your lens of the past and see - really see - as if you have sight and understanding for the first time in the present moment. Remove old judgment, old stories and broken records of beliefs that no longer serve you, and open your heart to the endless possibilities of meaning and gratitude.
Your body is your life’s vehicle. Not only is it a means of transportation, it houses your priceless existence and allows you to experience all there is. It performs miracles every single day, in every single moment. It works with you, not against you, and protects you from harm. The body has so many incredible jobs. Your safety isn’t its only responsibility, albeit an important one. Your body is the epicenter of your world. And through it you have physical senses and opportunities for indescribable joy, fulfillment and pleasure.
There is a reason that a mindful practice of an everyday chore like doing the dishes can be so rewarding and exciting. When we take the time to fully experience the moment with all of our senses, we begin to feel and notice things we never did before while “sleep-walking” on autopilot. Like the sound of the water running, the feel of it on our skin, the scent of the soap bubbles, the way the food melts away and runs off the plate into the sink like a rock being picked up by the river and carried away, the peace and tranquility that can be found by getting lost in this too-often-considered “mundane” or “tedious” household activity. Time stops, stress melts away and we are brought back to this very moment in time - which is all we ever have.
Your body allows you to experience extreme and unlimited physical pleasures. Not just the obvious ones like sex or reaching orgasm, but so many often-overlooked ones; simple ones, extraordinary ones and everything in between. You are gifted the great blessing of physical intimacy and connection: hugging, touching, holding hands, kissing, holding a newborn baby, tickling a child, petting an animal. You are able to taste food and drink, different textures and flavors and temperatures. They all relate to your mouth in unique ways and you get to decide if the relationship is one you enjoy or not. You are able to smell perfume, the grass after its cut, a bonfire, the salty beach air. You can read a book, be awe-struck by the sight of a mountaintop or canyon or the great Northern Lights, and you can watch your kids play and having fun. You can resonate with powerful music, listen to the birds chirp and the calming sound of the rain as it falls on the rooftop and hits the windows. You can interact with others, hear what they have to say, and speak back. You may be able to carry and birth a baby, breastfeed or snuggle a little one to sleep.
Your body is so amazingly equipped to serve you, it’s a mystery how anyone can feel bored. New experiences are available to us in every new moment, and it’s our choice how to spend that time. We can run, meditate, sleep, eat, play, work, sing, read, watch a movie or TV, write, draw, paint, play sports, dance, stretch, swim, drink, climb, make love, sit, stand, headstand, do flips or do nothing but be ever-present.
What matters most is the joy you are experiencing, the newness you are reaching for, the activities you are reveling in and appreciating maybe for the very first time because you never stopped long enough to actually see and hear and taste and touch and feel. How many calories you consume is a far cry from what’s important. Sure, you want to be healthy and feel good. That is necessary for longterm health. But to nitpick the size, shape, color, and condition of your physical body against what you feel it “should” be, is to greatly underestimate and overlook your life’s most precious, valuable, and unlimited source of freedom, expression, joy and fulfillment.
Your body is the gift that just keeps on giving. This holiday, and always. In every moment. Open yourself to new sight, allow it to offer you the abundance you intended to enjoy, and surprise yourself at how amazing, exciting, new, juicy, delicious and rewarding life can continually be in every moment.
Let's bring in 2017 in the very best way possible.