(BeWellBuzz) You may think this is funny, but hear me out. The benefit of paying attention to your “insides” is tremendous: you’re getting to know you. If we have little to no clue about how our body communicates; or, if we’re in the habit of ignoring our body’s cries, how in the world can we expect to be healthy?
It’s no different than a CEO who cares nothing for his or her employees. He/she expects them to operate like machines and never bothers to connect personally with them. Eventually, the workers rebel. But, if he/she vests in taking care of each one, not only will his/her life be enriched, but the company as a whole will thrive as a coherent, cooperative organism… like a healthy body.
As we develop intimacy with ourselves, we’ll be rewarded with visible health.
Tune In and Respond
Have you ever looked at someone close to you and just felt that something was off? No one else noticed, but you were so in tune with him that he couldn’t hide it from you. Even the slightest twitch in his eye gave him away. You just knew.
It’s the same way in the relationship between our mind and body.
Before deficiencies even get close to being serious or injuries take root, you’ll know when your body is saying Stop or Help! So when your body is craving certain foods it’s actually craving a certain nutrient. Recently I had a craving for sweet potatoes. I didn’t cry out for a beta carotene pill. I didn’t dream suddenly of carrots or paprika. I wanted a specific whole food that is complete with its synergistic vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and whatever else it contains that we’ve yet to discover.
The more I tune in, the more I hear; the more I hear, the more compelled I am to respond to my body’s needs. At some point it stops being a chore to make the healthy choice, and graduates to agreement and desire. I say, yes dear body, I hear that you desire broccoli; and yes, I desire it, too.
Healthy or Religious
Our culture has become obsessed with rules. Natural health is now a religion with violent opposing denominations. Some swear that whole grains are the bane of human health; others say they save lives. “Caveman” dieters say vegetarians are nuts; vegetarians promise they aren’t nuts they just eat nuts, and paleo isn’t a diet but an evil virus. In order to promote one “super” source of nutrition, media denounces another.
I hear a voice crying out from the wilderness saying, STOP! Can we agree that we each have a unique path to awesome health? You ski I skip. You dive I dance.
Evidence shows that various lifestyles promote health for various people; yet, the industry is addicted to exonerating one way as the only way, and virtually crucifying any view that differs.
Maybe I’m preaching to the choir but I have to say, THIS. IS. RELIGION.
And relationship is the antithesis of religion. Whereas the latter compels us through fear of consequences, the former compels us by love. Religion imposes rules and condemns the rule breakers; relationship forgives honest mistakes and honors the effort to improve. Relationship is way more fun! It awakens desire in me. Isn’t it easier to eat nutritious food when you desire it?
The Most Excellent Way
Of course, we’re talking about a good and not a dysfunctional relationship with the body. Good relationships require one invisible ingredient above all ingredients. It may manifest in various ways, but the source is always the same:
The most excellent way to care for your body is to diligently love your body. Love will safeguard you from doing yourself harm.
Any unloved parts of your body will be susceptible and break down, just as an unloved person crumbles. But love will dictate that you invest the necessary resources to equip your body with the best. You’ll happily sacrifice a fleeting pleasure or replace an old habit.
Remember these three golden rules:
- Love every cell and crevice of your body. Say, I love my thighs, my stomach, my brain, my body, until you mean it.
- Honor healthy cycles and processes, such as menstruation, sleep, fever to kill a virus, pain as an indicator of injury.
- Respect the authority of natural law, that if you pollute it, it decays; reckless nutrition leads to reckless health; and attentiveness is preventative.
Finally, loving yourself is extremely vital. Naturally, as you do unto yourself, so will you do unto others.