I never really thought much about my body except for the flaws I saw and felt – or the flaws others ascribed to me, or worse, that I assumed they ascribed to me by ways others (mostly men) have responded to me, but that may have had little to do with me.
I had decided I wanted to live several years ago, coming from the brink of suicide – and I wish I could say from that resolution on it’s been clear skies and calm seas – but what has stayed with me are many overt and subtle ways I treat myself, and my desire toward self-care and love.
I’m of two minds here, as I sip my delicious mocha (made by me with left-over brewed coffee from this morning, high quality hot chocolate mix, dry powered-milk, and close to a tablespoon of half and half.) I understand that the sugar is not good for me, but the drink warms my insides, warms my hands as I hold the mug, enlivens my senses through touch, feel, taste, and enticing scent, along with the four Trader Joe’s, Triple Ginger Snaps, and a quarter cup of unsalted cashews…
What is the measure between how much shit am I putting in my body, vs. how much the satisfaction increase my happiness? I feel I’m snacking fairly healthy – understanding I’m likely eating GMO wheat, and refined sugar, along with the maligned dairy products of the half and half, powdered non-fat-milk, and the butter in the cookies.
I’m more conscientious about what I eat – and I’ve always been careful – and I try to find non-GMO products, but even organics can have GMOs in them if the seeds were GMO but grown organically.
Balancing mental/emotional well-being with best-practices for physical well-being, especially being impoverished, is a tough job. This time of year (cold winter) I love comfort food, and my body would like a thicker layer of fat as nature intended, thank you very much, so my habits are a constant challenge between healthy eating and feeling consoled through food.
Paying mindful attention to my body is a great help in feeling better. I usually just towel off after a shower, put on lotion, brush my teeth, get dressed, and go, but being mindful about this ‘chunked’ process has had some positive effects.
It’s silly to anthropomorphize my limbs, relating to them as though they have a separate life without me, or maybe just feeling like I need to appreciate all that still works well in my body, but as our largest organ, I notice how often I’ve taken my relatively sound, healthy, skin and my limbs for granted, and this new mindfulness toward my body’s individual parts leaves me feeling more connected to myself, and with less pain.
That could be the drugs, though. Hmmm.
I do PT exercises for chronic pain, and that does alleviate about 80 – 90% of my daily pain, but when depression kicks in it’s tough to engage in what’s good for me. I always feel better when I’ve exercised, so it’s worth pushing through my Eeyore persona to channel Tigger.
If you start trying body mindfulness, I’d love to hear your thoughts about it. Cheers!
© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current