I consider myself to be a great friend. I’ve been a great friend most of my life and in the recent years, I’ve develop some truly wonderful friendships. With my friends, I’m vulnerable and real. Sometimes I’m fun, funny, playful. I’m always supportive. And very accepting. I love my friends as they are. I meet them where they are and I support them in living the lives they desire to live. I love them.
Curiously, I haven’t always been this way with my body. When I was a teenager, I didn’t like my body because it was fat. A few years later, I didn’t like my body because it was skinny. When I was 38 and started to get some grey hair, I didn’t like my body because it was old. There have been many times when I didn’t like how I looked in photos. When I’ve had injuries, I didn’t like my body because it was broken.
I’ve never judged a friend for being fat, skinny, old, or injured. I’ve never thought my friends looked bad in photos. In fact, I always love photos of my friends as they remind me of these people that mean so much to me.
So I decided to try something a few years ago. I decided to take my great friendship skills and cultivate a friendship with my body. Makes sense, right? I already had these skills of friendship. I just needed to make a new friend.
How does one have a friendship with their body? I do it the same way I have a friendship with a person:
I spend time with my body, in my body. As I go through my day, I’m consciously with my body. I pay close attention to how my body feels, much like I pay close attention to how my friends are feeling.
I ask my body how it’s doing, just like I ask my friends how they’re doing. I check in with my body. I let my body know that I’m thinking of it. I let me body know that I’m interested in how it’s feeling.
I listen to what my body has to say. I listen deeply, just like I do with my friends. I listen attentively, carefully, thoughtfully. I genuinely want to hear what my body has to say. Like I do with my friends, I truly listen—I don’t just wait for my turn to talk.
I care for my body. I get my body the sleep and rest it wants. I move my body when and how it would like to be moved. I drink water as my body wants. I eat food as my body wants. With sleep, rest, eating well, and exercise, I follow my body’s lead. Just like I don’ t tell my friends how to live their lives, I don’t tell my body what I think it needs. I listen to my body and I work together with it to care for it according to what it tells me it needs. We’re true friends, each looking out for each other.
My body truly does care for me. It doesn’t ask for much. It tells me that it wants to be accepted. It tells me that it’s a really well-designed creation and it can do quite well for many years with very basic care. The big thing my body wants from me is acceptance, something I’m getting better at giving it each day.
Have you made friends with your body? All friendships start with a simple, friendly gesture. Perhaps you can make that gesture today.
Remember your mantra for today: NOURISHING MOVEMENT, NOURISHING FOOD, NOURISHING LIFE.