How’s that Workin’ for Ya?

When I say “that” I mean my body. This winter I wasn't impressed with myself. My thought patterns over the past few months went something like this:

I didn’t dedicate my life to health and wholeness so I can read about it from my hospital bed. I picture being something more like a Jillian Michaels prototype, but I realize it doesn’t happen overnight...

Apparently, my vision for physical nirvana is not in line with so called reality. A four month string of ass-kicking flus, followed by the onset of pneumonia (I have a whole new respect for breathing now), is worrisome. What am I doing wrong?

I eat vegetables—even the weird ones. I connect with nature regularly. I smile at strangers. I take my vitamins. I eat organic. I never engage in fist fights. I meditate.

What’s the deal? Should I start donating organs?

Any time my confusion scale climbs above 10, I know what I need to do: reflect! Go deep as the fluid in my lungs.

What I discover is an unrealistic ideal that demands perfect functioning all the time. If I do this, you better perform—like the elephant balancing on the circus ball. Who says anyone has to  listen to me anyway? My body is doing what it does in the capacity that it has, under the present circumstances. In other words, what business is it of mine what my body does or doesn't do?

My job is to accept my body with compassion, openness and occasional mockery. Me and my body go way back, it can take a little friendly ribbing. In all seriousness, the key takeaways for me are (and perhaps you can relate):

  1. Sh*t happens.
    We break a bone, fall down the stairs, stub our toes, pull our back hauling groceries, give ourselves an accidental black eye walking into a doorframe (really? you should be more careful!)-the possibilities are endless. It’s nobody’s fault, you’re not being punished and you don’t have to go into a shame spiral because your body isn't working properly.
  2. Sh*t doesn’t happen.
    We try to run a marathon and end up walking then hitching a ride the last 15 miles, we go to the gym but never look like Jillian Michaels or we learn to ski but never get off the bunny hill. So what? Does it help to berate our body for betraying us or would it be more fun to lift a few 2 lbers in the living room and call it a day? The point is we deserve our own support and acceptance more than anyone!
  3. As is.
    We’re like the as is section in Ikea-all our dings, scratches, bent frames and mismatched drawers make us the beautiful beings that we are. If we can get to this point of love and acceptance, you can bet that our body will rise to the occasion. Think of a child learning to read—they’ll never become a super famous orator if you say: “Your grammar sucks! You're a train wreck!” But if you say: “I think you’re amazing. Whatever you do, I’ll love you with all my heart”. Just think what might happen then...

My health is improving and aside from the extra effort to take a deep breath, I’m ok. I told my body the other day to take it’s time with whatever it needs to do. I’ll be along for the ride and I promise no more scathing remarks, only a few brilliantly timed cheap shots to keep us on our toes. I wish you and your body a long and loving relationship!