One of the most important, and often uncomfortable places for us to be, is inside our own body.
I am asking you, please, to just be with me here right now.
I will not prattle on with platitudes. I will not tell you to look in the mirror and see that you are beautiful, because you likely won’t believe it. I never have either.
I will not go on about why I don’t feel that way, I’ve written about it enough in the past.
I am begging you, please, to try not to go to the place where you start making a laundry list of everything that you think is wrong with you. This isn’t about fat, or thin, or great hair or not, or perfect skin, or the reverse, or pretty hands, or funny toes, or… you get the picture.
This is simply about living in your human body. In the one you are traveling in.
I wish I could tell you to close your eyes, but then you couldn’t read this.
If you could close your eyes I would ask you to try your best to disassociate from your physical body in terms of appearance and just feel what it feels like to inhabit your body. Can you do that for me? Just for a minute? Here, let me help you.
I am closing my eyes. Before I did I felt nervous because I am having a hard time releasing the image of what I think I look like. So this is what I will do. If you will, read through this section, or through the whole post, and then come back and work through this with me.
Our eyes are closed. The only things we are feeling are the physical sensations of our bodies. With your eyes closed, travel, as if you were a child tracing the edges of a body in a picture, along the edges of your body with your inner eye, just the feeling of the edges of your body as if it was a cookie cutter cut out.
Don’t go there.
Don’t start into weight or perceived shape or anything that might lead you to an opinion about yourself. You are just finding the perimeters of your body so you can place yourself spatially. I am right here next to you and I don’t see anything. I simply feel my edges and if you were to reach out and try to pick me up I wouldn’t weigh anything, neither do you, we are lighter than air, we are just a shape in space. No features, no hair, a smooth outside, nothing.
We are not our physical bodies, we are what is inside. I don’t mean blood and bones and organs, I am talking about the soul. I am talking about the perfection that we are. I want you to feel something, in your center, yes, you can feel it, it is where your breath comes from. Yes, right there. Breathe in, and out, slowly. In, and out. Keep your eyes closed. In, and out. In truth, the only thing that really matters is what you are feeling inside right now. That place. That place.
Our life begins with our first breath. It ends with our last. If you believe in an afterlife, or in reincarnation, or simply something larger than yourself, maybe that you are energy, connected to everyone and everything in the universe, what part of you is connected to everything that is? It is not the outside of your body that you wear around and are judged by, that you judge yourself by. We are connected by what is inside, deep down inside, where our breath originates.
You are your breath. It is the seat of the soul. Or use any word that you are comfortable with, but please try to be with me here right now, like when you are in the theater and embrace that “willing suspension of disbelief.” Peter Pan does fly! So do you, so do I, we are lighter than air, we are just our breath, our body is what we travel in.
Are you getting this?
So for these few minutes, and whenever you can throughout the day, I am asking you to close your eyes, to release your human body, and to breathe, to find your way deep inside and just be with your breath.
You can feel it expand, and contract. It is movement, it is life, it is here, it is now.
When people obsess about the way they look (We all do, so do I.), when they are constantly looking for the next perfect diet, or beating themselves into submission in the gym (I’m not saying there is anything wrong with exercise, as long as you get the inside stuff we’re working with here first.), they are disconnected from the breath, the life, the soul, the thing we came here with, the thing we will leave with, when our human body is buried in the earth, or ashes scattered somewhere on it.
You are not your body. I am not my body. When you get that, you’ve gotten the key to everything.
When I talk about mindfulness and the body I am talking about using your body as a vehicle to reach the soul. Going from the outside in. Your body is the car you park, turn off the ignition. Take the keys out and set them down. Get out of the car. You have just left your body behind. It is the vehicle that got you here. It is not what drove it.
You drive your body. You need to feed your soul, in whatever way you can. Close your eyes, breathe, slowly and gently, in and out, feel your breath, be with your breath, realize that that place is pure perfection. Feed it with meditation, with prayer, with mindfulness — taking time to find this place and rest there as often as possible — and work, daily, at connecting with this perfection inside.
Breathing in, you are perfect, you glow, you can be seen from a thousand miles away, a brilliant point of light in the universe. Breathing out you release everything that is coming from this place into the atmosphere around you. You are creating a pure, perfect space for your body to rest in, it is at perfect peace, in repose, released from anxiety, fear, judgement. You are not your body, you are what you are feeling inside.
This is the pure, perfect practice of mindfulness with the human body, without the human body, in conjunction with the human body. Can you please say this with me, let’s try, really, go to the willing suspension of disbelief if you have to but try to be here with me now and say this. You are speaking to your body.
Thank you for carrying me. I appreciate you. I am only inside of you for awhile. I am going to take time now to find what I lose so often, so just rest there, I thank you, again.
Release the body, you feel so much lighter, find your breathe, in… out… in… out… it is all there is. It is all that matters. It is who you are, you are not your body.
Practice this as often as you can, whenever you start judging yourself, or someone else, close your eyes and see yourself, and them, as this perfect point of light, as this breath moving in and out, this is who you are, this is who they are, no more, no less.
It will take awhile for you to relax into this practice, but if you realize that it is only a place you will visit as you can throughout the day you will finally stop fighting it. I call it “Finding The Soul.” If you can find your way to your soul each day, you will find a place of peace, a place to rest. The more you do it, the more deeply you will find yourself relaxing into your life, the easier it gets to put things into perspective, you will find a kind compassion for your physical body and appreciate it for being the vehicle that you travel in in the world, but at the same time you will remember that you are so much more.
You are. So am I. Just for a moment, will you breathe with me? Will you glow with me? This is all we are, in this moment, air and light and breath, weightless, ageless, timeless, to infinity and beyond.
Thank you for being here with me in this space. I bow to you, to all the sacredness that you are. I bow to the Divine within you, I bow to the Divinity that you are.
Feel that. Know that. Now carry on with your day, but don’t forget what we’ve just done here, and every time you become aware of your breath, remember that that is who you are…