My body is my best friend. My body is my ally, co-conspirator, lover, protector, solace, foundation, and my home while I’m here.
I don’t care much for calling my body a “meat suit”, using it as a shame generator, container, or perpetrator. I don’t like to deride its imperfections.
It took a long time to get clear on all of that. I had to learn. And now I have to remember that in order to be able to reside peacefully inside of my body, to use it as a vehicle to traverse the planet and a tool to give and receive love, I have to give it consistent, adoration-level respect. It needs my constant care and attention.
Every single cell of my body is wiser than all the doctors in the world combined. I am grateful for that wisdom. It serves me well. My body and I are an integral system. Together we are the troops of me.
My body needs to be fed in pretty specific ways. It enjoys different foods for different nutritional and digestive needs. These change at different times of the day, week, month, or year. For this reason my body needs me to be patient with it and listen to it. My body speaks in an ancient language of emotions and energetics. If I don’t pay attention, it speaks in the more recognizable language of pain.
My body needs to move frequently and fervently. Sometimes it tells me this by making me feel sleepy, which can be confusing. It’s really similar to how it tells me that I need to lie down. That makes me have to ask it more questions, listen closer. I have to use extra clues from my mind about whether I should run it, stretch it, settle it into stillness, or a combination of all of those things.
My body doesn’t like to be forced. Ever. My body despises feeling obligated to anyone other than me. But when it feels safe and relaxed, it can be generous beyond measure.
My body is a hypersensitive conduit. It feels everything. Sometimes just taking it out into public spaces means I’ll have to rest it for a week or more so it can have time to digest the intensity other humans emanate. Sometimes places with too many options, foods, or electronics make my body really tired. Sometimes my body refuses to even go to those places. Sometimes when I get home from those places my body is confused and gives out the signal for starving so I eat everything in the kitchen before I am physically full enough to slow down and realize it wasn’t starving for food.
My body loves riding around in my car with music playing loud. Ironically, it feels safe when I drive fast. Flying through the air like that makes us feel inseparable, untouchable, exalted even. See also: Rollercoasters and dancing.
My body is sweet enough to occasionally tolerate what my mind wants. Sometimes my mind craves the experience of a French cheese plate and four glasses of wine with friends. Sometimes my mind wants a pizza or a milkshake in bed. Sometimes it wants to do anything but eat food, and instead, wants to use substances that keep me up all night. My mind still loves to smoke on occasion. Preferably pot. Occasionally cigarettes. The tactile, visible breath, the preparation; inhale, exhale, talking talking talking. My body is good enough to digest those things for me. It requires a lot of extra care on my part.
It requires that I make promises to my body that those things are sacred, thoughtful indulgences. It requires that I keep those promises.
Once, my body was the creator and incubator of another body that it birthed into the world with much blood and grief and ecstasy. I am responsible for the care and maintenance of that body as well as my own as long as it’s small. That body is part of me and also, it is not at all. Inevitably one day my body will become tiny and frail. When that happens, our roles could reverse. I can scarcely imagine such a thing.
Sometimes people generously share their bodies with me. I aspire to treat that as a profound gift of consent and discernment. It’s the way my body wants to be treated when it’s shared. Like a gift. Sharing bodies makes my body need time to separate, regenerate, and recover. Usually that means circulation, sweating and strengthening. My body needs to be strong and flexible so it can carry the tenderness, the neurosis, the magic, the loss, and the desire around with more ease. It’s quite a load.
Inner space is as powerful, and unknowable, as outer space.
Both are expanding. Both contain the stuff of starlight and sacristy.
It is my pleasure to fully enjoy this body, to adorn it, to hold it, to present it, to nourish it, and to provide for and allow it a rich, full experience in this place, right here, between heaven and earth.
*This image is my own.