As some of you know, death has been on my mind lately as a loved one of mine is in the process of dying. To help myself cope with this I have been reading books on spirituality, life, and death (I admit, I'm a self-help book junkie).
In his book, Mind of Clear Light Advice on Living Well and Dying Consciously, The Dalai Lama interprets, analyzes, and expands upon a poem that the Buddha wrote about death and dying. This week I read this quote:
"Understand that this body, which you sustain at any cost, will someday desert you."
I'm not trying to be morbid or suggest that we all become Buddhists, but after reading this I immediately felt differently about my body. Instead of being so critical of myself I felt like I wanted to be kind, generous, and show love to my body starting RIGHT NOW!
To me this quote raises the question, "If I were to lose my physical body tomorrow, how would I treat it today?"
I'm willing to bet you would chose to make it feel good. Your body feels and functions its best when you give it enough exercise with movement, strengthening, and stretching; when you allow your body sufficient rest and recuperation time; when you sustain it with healthful foods; and when you respect it via the mind and soul. Here are some examples/suggestions:
Sitting on the couch watching reality TV might be tempting, but how do you feel after an hour of channel surfing compared to an hour of hardcore personal training session or a relaxing stretch session? Just getting up and taking a walk around the block will help keep your body functioning for the rest of your life!
Comfort foods like ice cream, pasta, cookies & cakes, or anything you've ever restricted from your diet might be the first thing you want to eat when you give yourself 'permission' to indulge. Take a moment to examine and visualize how you really feel after you've eaten them...probably not as fulfilled and satisfied as you feel after you've eaten a balanced meal made from all whole foods!
Taking 5 minutes for meditation or getting an extra hour of sleep could be of more value to your body than cramming in a few more emails or checking your facebook every night. Tune in to the true needs of your body and allow yourself to rest when you need. Or treat yourself to a massage ;)
MIND AND SOUL
"I'm fat" or "I hate my thighs" could be the exact thoughts that are keeping you from your goals. What if you substituted those thoughts with "I love my body" or "I'm healthy and fit"? Your mind is powerful and pretty soon your body will adjust to align with your thoughts!
My intention is to uplift you with these thoughts and encourage you to engage in activities that make you feel great at this very moment. Feel Good Right Now!
The Dalai Lama...Buddha...regardless of your political/religious affiliations, you've got to admit these guys are awfully wise!
I'm interested to hear your feedback...make comments or email me your thoughts.