Category Archives: body

The Body Beatitudes

Ever stop to think how amazing our bodies are?

Deepak Chopra points out that “skin replaces itself once a month, the stomach lining every five days, the liver every six weeks, and the skeleton every three months.”

The body is constantly renewing itself.

Photo Courtesy Google Images

It sheds the old to make way for the new.

Struggling with a negative body image does not allow us to give our bodies the gratitude it deserves.

Polluting it with unhealthy substances over time breaks down the body’s performance.

Neglecting its needs is self-abuse, not self-love.

Let us reject the negative images of the body and bless it, for as we bless our bodies, they will bless us in return.

Let us honor our bodies for the temples that they are.

In the words of poetess Robin Morgan:

Blessed be my brain
     that I may conceive of my own power.
Blessed be my breast
     that I may give sustenance to those I love.
Blessed be my womb
     that I may bend so as not to break.
Blessed be my feet
     that I may walk in the path of my highest will.

How do you honor and bless your body? Your comments are always welcome.

(Excerpt from “The Network of the Imaginary Mother” from Upstairs in the Garden:  Poems Selected and New, 1968-88 by Robin Morgan).

A Spiritual Approach To Illness

Jesus’s admonition to “love your neighbor as yourself” not only applies to the people around us but to any thing close to us.

What about illness?  Dis-ease?  Afflictions? Are these not our closest neighbors at times? As much as we try to eat healthy and try to maintain ourselves through exercise, sometimes the immune system breaks down and is overcome by bacterial or viral invaders. When illness becomes our closest neighbor, it is closer than any family member or friend.

So, how does one treat illness as a neighbor?

In the Orient, the body is viewed as a finely balanced unity of interdependent parts. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Our body is a living entity made of mind, body, and spirit. There is no separation; all three are one. Each part blends harmoniously with the rest of the body. When one part is out of alignment, the rest of the parts do not function as optimally as they should. What can be done to get back into alignment?

We can take a spiritual attitude toward illness. When we do, we make friends with it.  Instead of becoming adversarial toward it, treat it as a part of your being.  Seek to cooperate with it.  Pain is the body’s way of telling us that it needs love and attention to become whole again so that it can work harmoniously with the rest of the body.  If we hate it, it will hate us back, bringing more pain and suffering.  Many times, working with an illness rather than against it leads us to a change of heart.  We begin to see it as a messenger rather than an enemy that has come calling about some kind of imbalance that needs to be integrated back into our lives.  Integrating it means accepting it and approaching it with a loving attitude. Since the body, mind, and spirit harmonize as one, illnesses can lead us to discover that most of the causes stem from some kind of emotional upset, imbalance, or trauma.

For example, maybe you contracted (attracted) a sore throat. Instead of hating it, try visualizing light around your throat area. Tell your throat you are grateful for its function in your body. It allows air to pass through to your lungs. It allows food to travel into your stomach. It allows you to communicate. Tell your throat you love it and see it in your mind’s eye as healthy instead of inflamed. Thank your throat for its message and tell it that it’s time for the soreness to go to the light for healing and transformation. Note any “messages” that you may hear.  Since the throat represents communication, maybe there is something that you need to express but haven’t, either to yourself or to someone else. Illnesses allow us to reflect on our lives. When we are honest in our reflection, we find the emotional cause behind the illness and the emotional healing that comes. As we release it in love, healing will occur much more quickly than if we continually focus on the pain.

Does this mean not to go to the doctor?  No.  Sometimes a doctor’s advice and medication are needed. And we have the choice to participate in our own healing, or not.

Illness is a powerful teacher. Nothing gets our attention quite like it.  As we cooperate with it and work on integrating balance back into our lives lovingly, we take control of the healing process in a powerful way.