For the month of August we will be focusing on providing your body with appreciation and gratitude. The concept of thinking of your body as an instrument, not an ornament is helpful. This post uses excerpts from the chapter: Instrument or Ornament? In my book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works.
An ornament is an object displayed for its beauty. Beauty is a wonderful part of life. It brings pleasure to you and others. Although bodies are beautiful, they were not solely created for ornamental purposes. When you treat your body like an ornament, you reduce your body to being an object. If you view your body as an ornament, it makes sense that you would want your ornament to be as beautiful as it could be. This way of viewing your body makes sense of plastic surgery, obsession with body sculpting and the diet industry.
An instrument is used to accomplish a particular purpose. In this case, your body is your instrument, and its purpose is to house the spirit that will guide you to do your work in this lifetime. If you view your body as an instrument, this way of thinking will lead you towards a loving stewardship of your body.
For instance, if you were out in the sun, you would wear a sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen to protect your skin and eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. If you were on a road trip, you would make sure you had money to buy food along the way, or you would bring a cooler with drinks and snacks. If you sprained your ankle, you would not go running the next day because that would not be good stewardship of your body.
Basic, loving care of your body includes getting enough sleep, drinking enough water and eating a variety of foods when you’re hungry, and stopping when you are satisfied. Add exercise that you enjoy, loving body talk, expressing your feelings, spiritual expression, healthy relationships and medical attention when needed and you have the basics for loving your body.
Let’s focus on loving body talk, and gratitude for what your body does for you.
Have you ever taken the time to sit and view your body as a miraculous instrument? Take a moment now, and notice your breath. Can you feel the air at the back of your throat as you inhale? Can you notice a slight change of temperature as the air flows from your nostrils while you exhale? Do you notice a rhythm in your chest as you breathe in and out?
You breathe every moment of every day and night while doing a wide variety of actions, thinking thousands of thoughts and experiencing a multitude of emotions. You continue to breathe when you are sleeping without needing to tell your lungs to expand or contract. You can give honest gratitude to your body for its ability to bring life giving oxygen to your brain and all the cells in your body. Our bodies need positive affirmation. Creating a “body as instrument” paradigm for yourself will help you increase loving body talk if you find yourself criticizing your body.
The following examples are Body Love Letter submissions from the Love Warrior Community @ www.lovewarriorcommunity.com.
A 25-year-old female writes:
“I love the physical activities my body allows me to do: running, biking, playing soccer. I love that as long as I give it what it needs it gives me what I need :)”
A 20-year-old female writes:
“Dear Body of Mine,
There’s a verse in a speech-turned-song called “Wear Sunscreen” that reads; “Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.” When stripped of all the material aspects in our society, we are all equal in that we are breathing, living, thriving human beings. Our bodies are our most basic and advanced foundation for our lives. So Body, thank you for being so great. I will still love you when gravity takes its toll on you and the elements wither you away. I’ll try to keep you as strong and healthy as possible, because if you are strong and healthy, I will be too. You are the greatest instrument I will ever own.
The Self-Love Diet Challenge for this month of August is to focus on your body as an instrument. Look at your body through the lens of gratitude and appreciation. Can you find 31 things to be grateful to your body for?
All posts or comments will be “put into the hat” and a winner will be chosen by random drawing to win a free autographed book.
Blessing on your Self-Love Diet Journey,
Michelle Minero, the Co-Founder of this blog and the overarching Love Warrior Community published her book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works. You can buy her book online or at stores in Petaluma, Sonoma and Healdsburg, California. For upcoming events and book signings, visit Michelle’s Events page.
Michelle Minero is a licensed marriage family therapist who specializes in eating disorder recovery. Michelle’s book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works, was published on January 23, 2013. You can purchase a copy through Amazon. Her dream is to see a world filled with people who love themselves and their bodies.
Michelle created an intensive outpatient eating disorder program in 2000, brought ANAD (Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc.) to Petaluma shortly after and founded EDRS (Eating Disorder Recovery Support, Inc.), a Marin and Sonoma County based 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2005. In 2011, Michelle co-founded the Love Warrior Community with her daughter, Emelina, an online community that helps people cultivate self-love, self-acceptance and body acceptance through creative expression. Connect with Michelle on Facebook and Twitter.