For the next five minutes of your life, you are going to embark on a newfound love affair with your own body. Whether short or tall, bulky or small, encased by glowing honey-hued flesh or pale and covered in bumps, you are a miraculous entity.
Your body is a living, breathing expression of life. You should be in awe of not only what it is capable of, but what it does for you despite the abuse you may have subjected it to— perhaps for decades. It deserves more than just credit; it deserves a sanctuary of exaltation.
If you stand before your reflection in the mirror each morning and declare how “old,” “fat” or “disgusting” you think you are, you cannot expect to live inside of a happy and cooperative body. Your body is highly intelligent, and it is listening to the messages you are feeding it.
Let’s say you had a boss who incessantly bombarded you with criticism day after day. Nothing you ever did was good enough, fast enough, efficient enough. Eventually, you would lose every shred of desire to perform your job well. You would learn that your efforts always drove you straight into dead end zone. But if you consider teachers, coaches, mentors or bosses of your past who applauded your efforts and embraced your uniqueness, you can probably call upon all of the ways they helped you blossom and flourish. You may have even stepped into a greater armor of confidence as a result of the support and appreciation they showed you. Think of the relationship with your body in a similar way.
You know how delicate and vigilant a mother is with her newborn baby? She is in awe of this perfect little life she created in her womb, and is as cautious as possible with everything the baby is exposed to. What we often forget is that each of us deserves that same level of attentiveness and tenderness. You were a miracle the day you were born, and you continue to be a miracle every second you have breath.
Being in awe of your body has nothing to do with narcissism or feelings of superiority. It has nothing to do with competition, comparison or self-obsession. Being in awe of your body is simply acknowledging the miracle that you are and, in turn, being inspired to treat it like the royal palace it is.
I’ve created the following list to assist you in shifting your mindset from a place of focusing on your perceived flaws to being in a state of celebration for how hard your heart is pumping blood, how brilliantly your brain is processing ideas, thoughts and memories, and how beautifully your liver is filtering toxics and hormones. That heavenly body of yours is working in your favor every second of every day.
You’re so Much More Than You Think You Are
#1 You are actually much older than your age. Yes, that’s right.
Your life, in part, began in your grandmother’s womb. When a female fetus is forming in its mother’s womb, so are all of the eggs she will ever have in her entire life. The egg which became partially responsible for you was formed inside of your mother’s fetus, which was inside of your grandmother. Therefore, when your mother was formed in your grandmother’s womb, in part, so were you.
Also consider the multitude of possibilities of all of the eggs and all of the sperm which could have united together, yet the combination which formed you survived to be among the chosen few. What has ever made you doubt how rare and special you are?
#2 The largest cell in the entire human body is the female egg. On the contrary, the smallest human cell is the male sperm. (Nothing further to add regarding this topic, thank you.)
#3 The Milky Way galaxy is home to 300 billion stars. Your body alone is home to seven octillion atoms. Put that in your blender and sip on it for a minute.
You’re Basically a Baby Until You Die
#4 Remember when I said you were older than you think you are? Well, you may now breathe a sigh of relief because you are also much younger than you think you are. Your body is constantly renewing itself. The epidermal layer of your skin and the cells of your lungs renew itself every few weeks. The cells lining your intestines are regenerated every few days. In fact, your body as a whole produces roughly 25 new cells every second. All things really are made new.
So take care of your body and give it utmost support. You are constantly recreating yourself by the way you are feeding (or not feeding) your cells. You get to be as fresh as fragrant as a field of lilies or as broken down as a junk yard. Either way, you decide.
You’re Deceptively Tough
#5 Your bones are much stronger than cement. When anyone dares to tell you that you aren’t strong, just roll your eyes. You already know it isn’t true.
#6 The acid in your stomach is powerful enough to cause the blade of a razor to dissolve entirely. Allow that fact to be somewhat of a metaphor for everything negative you encounter. Don’t ever underestimate your ability to dissolve anything unpleasant from your life. If your silly stomach can do it, you can do it, too.
Even if you feel as though something has the power to cut you to pieces, remember you have reign over any level of stress – you hold the power to make it cease to exist.
Your Liver Is Not Playing Around
#7 The liver is one of the hardest-working organs in the human body. It rarely ever takes a rest. When you are busy ingesting alcohol, coffee and junk food, it is working overtime to keep you well. It removes toxins from the body and assists in the function of the other internal organs, therefore it has a round-the-clock job of protecting you.
Consider how you feel when you are in dire need of a long-awaited vacation. You may feel as though you are on the brink of collapsing, right? Once every season or twice a year, allow your liver to have a short holiday so that when it returns to work again, it will be able to perform and function at a higher level.
You Stink So Good
#8 You have your own unique and distinctly delicious scent. Although family members often smell similar and identical twins often smell almost identical, no one smells exactly alike. This is why when your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or loved one is gone for a longer period of time than usual, you feel compelled to bury your face into their skin. This is because you are relishing in the smell that is unique to only them.
So, if someone tells you that you’re too stinky to hug, find someone who will better appreciate you and your one-of-a-kind perfume.
#9 You have a unique “tongue print” all your own. Yes, it’s true. Just like your fingerprint, no one else has the same tongue pattern you have. So it would be unabashedly true, in a multitude of ways, if someone were to label you as being “one of a kind.”
(Psst. Have a blast examining your tongue in your bathroom mirror.)
You’re in Charge of Your Emotions
#10 If you were to view your tears under a microscope after crying in mourning over the loss of someone you love, and then repeat the same process again after crying from laughter, you would see two remarkably different results. The actual structure of our tears are vastly different based upon our reasons for crying.
Do you realize what this means? If our emotions possess the power to shape the structure of our tears, consider how they may affect (and do, in fact) the structure of our entire bodies!
This is why it is crucial that you try to feel as good as you possibly can as often as you possibly can. Your state of health – and healing! – depend upon the state of your emotions. Your emotions come from your thoughts, which now brings me to my next point…
Your Brain Is a Remarkably Creative Tool
#11 Every day, your brain generates approximately 70,000 thoughts. That means 70,000 chances to either love and encourage yourself or scare the living hell out of yourself. This means 70,000 chances to improve you life or negatively marinate on what you have yet to change. Thoughts are powerful and you have many of them.
#12 In the same way you learned your ABC’s and multiplication tables by means of repetition, your subconscious mind contains all of the information you have imprinted upon it. This is why, even as adults, we often experience difficulty breaking belief patterns we developed as children. This is also why you can remain in deep thought while driving 100 miles to a destination you have driven to numerous times and barely remember the trip. You may even experience an eery feeling of wondering how you arrived at all.
You owe your safe arrival to your brilliant subconscious mind,which quietly took the driver’s seat and allowed you to safely arrive at your destination – while your conscious mind was free to take the stage and daydream, have a phone conversation, etc.
#13 Your brain, at any given moment, produces enough energy to power a lightbulb. Why not use that power wisely?
#14 When you introduce new and challenging exercises to your body, your brain creates new neural pathways. This is largely responsible for why, after performing the movements several times, it not only becomes easier physically, but also mentally. You may no longer need to “think” about your form when performing the movements, for they begin to feel like second nature. This is because exercise improves brain plasticity. Therefore, individuals who constantly create challenge and introduce new methods of movement to their fitness programs continue to achieve better results.
Your brain is a remarkable body-shaping and muscle-sculpting tool, and exercise is a remarkable brain-stimulating tool. Exercise is powerfully transformative as long as you keep it challenging. This is why it is essential to truly engage in the movements. Allow your brain to connect to the movements you are doing, and you will thereby eliminate the possibility of plateauing in terms of results.
#15 Your brain is home to your beliefs, yet those beliefs are not limited to the realm of your brain. Rather, they are assisting in the mapping of your entire life. The principles of epigenetics tell us that, although we are each born with our own biological blueprint, we are not victims of it. We can alter the expressions of our genes!
In fact, research has revealed that we possess the power to either activate or deactivate various genetic predispositions (including diseases, genetic weaknesses, etc.) by our beliefs. Examine your beliefs, uproot the the ones which are not serving you well, replace them with better ones, and thereby remap and reshape your entire life. It is simpler than you think it is, yet more involved than you think it is. For more on this subject, check out this incredible book by Bruce Lipton.
I hope you got the point: Stop criticizing your body, and instead be in awe of it. Stop contaminating it. Stop interfering. Be in awe of it forevermore.