If we put the care of our bodies first, we would experience a revolution.
By care I don’t mean an obsession with aesthetics motivated by narrow, arbitrary cultural ideals, or an obsession with performance motivated by ego, or an obsession with health motivated by the fear of death.
By care I mean a genuine reckoning with the ways in which our culture increasingly lures us away from the direct experience of our physical reality and into mental constructs and fantasies. We believe that it is our mind where real life happens and that our bodies are simply objects to carry our brain around from place to place.
But your body is not an object. Your body is your human experience. Your body is you. Your body is your life.
Care means healing the chasm and coming home.
If this seems like woo-woo philosophy with no real world consequences, I invite you to perform this simple exercise:
As you go about your day, can you catch yourself on a train of thoughts? Maybe you’re making a to-do list, having a conversation with somebody who’s not there, playing your fears and worries on repeat or fantasizing about how you’d like your life to be different.
Come into the moment. Notice your breath. Feel your feet on the ground. If you are sitting, feel the parts of your body that are touching the chair.
Orient yourself to the world around you. Spend 1 minute looking and truly seeing what’s around you. Notice objects, people, elements of the natural world. Absorb the details of color and texture, expression and movement. Engage your other senses. What do you hear? Smell? Does this moment have a taste? What are the physical sensations in your body? What are your emotions?
Reflect. How many times a day can you catch yourself on your thought train? How much time do you spend living inside your ideas? How much time do you spend consciously engaging with the physicality of the immediate moment?
Repeat daily, often.
Try it. Report back. I’d love to hear what you discover!