I used to think that who I am is synonymous with my body.
That was difficult as my body wasn’t always loveable to me – dimples on my thighs said it all. ‘I’ used to be disconnected from my body – and look down on it, I hated it so much.
On the arc I have traveled from there to accepting and loving my body, I realize now, when I say ‘I’, that I am not speaking of my body. What a liberation.
Now I look at what I am committed to in my life – like being around for my kids 10, 20, 30, 40 years from now, (or getting to have more fun and more life) and I can say, what do I have to do with this hunk of flesh and bones (body) to get it to go my way? And to be able to do what I want to do?
My body is the container for my soul, spirit, consciousness – whatever I call it, that life force that energizes this body into motion, action, experience. But it is no match for who I really am. It runs slow while I want to run fast. No matter, as long as I don’t let my body become weighted down in a stupor from bad food, alcohol, illness, I still have something to work with.
This realization helped me immensely as I followed the path towards what had become an elusive state of good health. It also helped immensely with the integration of my body and my mind with my consciousness. The way it was; my mind passed judgement on my body and didn’t like what it saw, my body was at the mercy of my own desperation, fear and self loathing – I fed the pain and grew ever more unhealthy. Once I got just that slight bit of distance, the insight that the ‘I’ consciousness is not the same as the body, I could look more dispassionately and compassionately at the container I had been given, and take better care of it. The path to a healthy reintegration of body, mind – heart and soul was through the practice of yoga – not only the physical practice but also living the life of a yogi.