Saturday, April 17, 2010

Body: I'm listening . . .

I've been in a lot of pain lately. Lower back, left hip, right trapezius.  I don't sleep well, and I wake up cranky and in pain.   I think I know what's going on--at least partly.  One problem is that I'm not practicing what I preach.  I work with clients every day encouraging them to take care of themselves, yet here I am neglecting my body. Oh, the eating part is good--almost always is.  That's easy.  What's not so easy is the exercise (time) and the wellness care (money).  And so I go without, and my body talks to me through restless sleep and sore muscles.

I know I need to exercise--take walks, do my push-ups and sit-ups, garden, rake, jog once in a while.  I enjoy all of that, as long as I don't think of it as "exercise."  It's making the time.  And I can do that pretty easily if I just make it part of my schedule.   I also know that it will relieve most of my pain and restless sleep.  So, you say, JUST DO IT!

And so I will.  Because I need to walk the talk.  Especially now that I made it public.

I read a poem recently in The Sun magazine written by Sybil Smith titled "I'm Going To Quit Smoking."  One stanza really spoke to me:

Like a faithful friend, the body went on
hoping the mind would come to its senses.
And it did, finally.
And, lo and behold, there was still a body,
a strong body there to do the work of life.
And so I discovered God was not in my mind,
but had been hidden in my body all along.
God was in the cells that healed themselves,
and in the neurons and in the muscles,
the heart, especially the heart,
that beat and beat though not instructed to do so,
that beats now without prayers or offerings,
through every sin and misgiving.

I often think about our miraculous body--how it trudges on despite the trespasses, despite us taking it for granted.  We poison it, we abuse it, we try to stop its natural functions (plucking, waxing, smothering, dyeing, medicating, relentlessly cleaning).  And still, it faithfully tries to keep the homeostasis--an impossible task considering the aforementioned.  And when it finally breaks down or causes us pain, we get angry, as if it's betraying us.

So, I dedicate this writing to my beautiful, faithful body, and I vow to take better care of it, so it can do its job in taking care of me.  And with that vow, I will now get up off my chair, step away from my computer, and stretch my tight, sore muscles and send them gratitude.  Namaste.