“Uncle Jason, Uncle Jason,” Julia and Jack squeeked through the phone they hijacked from my Dad. “We got fish!” proclaimed Julia. “Mine’s Abbie. Jack, what’s your fish’s name again?” “Miles!” shouts Jack.
I’m sweating from head-to-toe, spending a glorious afternoon picking blueberries. Not sweating like doing a workout, just that light sweat from every pore you get on a sultry August day. I move slowly, staying as cool as I can, enjoying the perfectly simple task. Then it gets a bit dark overhead. And darker. And darker. We all look at each other playfully, without words agreeing that we’re definitely staying out here in the rain.
I’m standing in water a little over my ankles at the base of a waterfall. I’m holding hands with my friends and we’re saying the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address: Greetings to the Natural World. The cold water runs over my feet and legs as I stand with my eyes closed and feel the presence of the natural world all around me and the presence of my friends right there with me.
These are a few ways I’ve been using my body recently—to connect with the world around me. Can you see that when you stop to consider it? Our bodies are how we connect to the world around us. And this is why I care for my body. Because it’s the vehicle through which I access the world around me, which I love to do. It’s how I look others in the eye, it’s how I walk through the woods or along Maine’s rocky coast, it’s how I savor a meal with a friend, it’s how I listen to music and sing and dance along, it’s how I converse with my clients, it’s how I enjoy a great yoga class. It’s no less than how I access life. So I care for it well.
With this in mind, I offer you two questions: What’s your body for? And how might you care for it today?
How might you care for your body lovingly? Like you might care for a child in your care? Not berating yourself. No slave-driving yourself. Not denying yourself. Not bad-talking yourself. These shame-based ways and workout-till-you-puke and extreme-dieting approaches they propagate don’t serve anyone. Ask yourself what your body is for and how you might care for it today. I’m certain you’ll find some satisfying answers unique to you that you just might be excited to act on. I can help with the details of how to care for yourself, but it’s best if the main ideas come from you. They’re in there. Go see what you find.
Remember your mantra for today: NOURISHING MOVEMENT, NOURISHING FOOD, NOURISHING LIFE.