The time has come to embark upon a love affair with your body. That’s right. Because science has become increasingly clear about how doing so helps you show up in the world in a more energized and powerful way.
Think of it like this: let’s say you’ve got a cranky boss who lambasts you with one criticism after the next, day after day. No idea you propose is ever smart or interesting enough. No effort is ever memorable enough. Eventually, you’ll stop caring about your job performance because you’ll have realized that no matter what you do, it’ll steer you straight into yet another dead end. Right?
On the flip side, if you call to mind coaches or mentors who’ve applauded your accomplishments and cheered for your unique skills, you’ll likely be flooded with memories of how they helped you blossom into a more confident, shining version of yourself. In fact, they probably infused you with a spirit of unstoppability.
The relationship with your body isn’t any different. If you stand before your reflection each morning and hiss about how unsightly or irreversibly shipwrecked you are, you can’t expect to live in a happy home. Every cell is an intelligent hardwire program, and your body is downloading the messages you’re feeding to it.
So, if you’re ready to shift your mindset into a state of celebration for that incredible body of yours, regardless of the health struggles you might be facing, read on. Because your heart deserves credit for drumming away despite so many betrayals, losses and setbacks, and that brilliantly plastic brain of yours deserves a round of applause for learning how to speak languages and play instruments and store memories that delight and protect you. So, here’s to supporting your skin and bones and organs more vividly than ever before–to creating a language of love and understanding between you and every inch of it.
You’re actually much older than your age, but in a cool way…
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. So, when your mother was formed in your grandmother’s womb, in part, so were you.
But before we move on, consider this: out of all of the multitude of possibilities of eggs and sperm which could have joined forces, you were first in line. So, looking at it this way, the time has come to stop doubting how rare and special you are?
Those arms and legs? They’re more abundant than the Milky Way.
The Milky Way galaxy is home to 300 billion stars. That’s an gobsmacking number of stars, yes? But your body is even more abundant. It alone is home to seven octillion atoms. Stir that around in your tea cup and sip on it.
You’re basically a newborn baby until you die–sort of.
Remember when I said you’re older than you think you are? Well go ahead and breathe a big, gracious sigh of relief because you’re also much younger than you think you are. Your body is constantly remodeling itself. The epidermal layer of your skin and the cells of your lungs renew themselves every few weeks. The cells of your intestinal wall 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 giving up on your health is never a logical option.
Your bones are astonishingly tough.
That skeletal system of yours is actually stronger than cement. Yes, stronger than freeways, parking lots and sidewalks. So, if anyone were to accuse you of being weak, let it roll off. Your bones hold evidence of the contrary.
Your stomach acid is powerful enough to dissolve a razor blade.
Is that an explosively empowering metaphor for everything you’ve every wanted, or what? Never underestimate your ability to dissolve the unpleasant things from your life. If your stomach can do it, your mighty will can do it, too.
That liver of yours is one hard-working security guard.
The liver is one of the hardest-working organs in the human body. It rarely ever takes a respite. This means that, when you’re busy sipping on cocktails or coffee, or munching on cheese puffs during Netflix binges, it’s working overtime to keep you well. It’s got a round-the-clock job of keeping toxins out of the holy house.
Smell that? You stink so deliciously good. At least your loved ones think so.
Each person emits a distinct fragrance. Although family members often smell similar and identical twins often smell almost identical, no one smells exactly alike. This is why, after your partner or child is away for a lengthy stretch of time, when you reunite, you might feel an impulse to bury your face into their skin, relishing in the smell that is unique to them. Or, like, say, when you feel your shoulders drop and your breathing calm upon curling into your grandmother’s bedsheets during a visit, taking in her fragrance that represents a treasure chest of unconditional care and comfort and servitude.
Your body’s design is truly incomparable.
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, yeah, you’re one of a kind, baby.
The art director of your emotions–it’s none other than your own body.
In The Hidden Messages in Water, Dr. Masaru Emoto determined that if you were to hover over a microscope and gaze down at your tears after crying over the loss of a loved one, and then later repeat the same process again after crying from gut-level laughter, you’d see remarkably different results. This is because the molecular structure of our tears appear dramatically different based upon the emotions we experience in our bodies. That’s some masterful handiwork.
Your brain is a remarkably plastic machine with a stunning capacity for learning…
Your brain, at any given moment, produces enough energy to power a lightbulb, and, every day, it generates roughly 70,000 thoughts. This means 70,000 chances to either love and encourage yourself or scare the hell out of yourself. This means 70,000 chances to improve you life or negatively marinate on what you can’t change. Thoughts are powerful and you have a world of them to use in your favor. (Psst. Deepak Chopra’s bestseller Super Brain should be on your nightstand if this topic intrigues you.)
Also, in the same way you learned your ABC’s and multiplication tables as a child, by means of repetition, your subconscious mind contains all of the information you’ve imprinted upon it. This is why, even long into adulthood, we often experience difficulty breaking stubborn beliefs and patterns we developed as children. It’s why your thoughts can be swirling about in deep, fantastical daydreams while driving 100 or so miles to a familiar destination, yet you barely recall the trip. Your subconscious mind took the driver’s seat, allowing your conscious mind to run and play about freely.
…and transformation (ahem…including body-sculpting).
Lastly, let’s talk about your brain’s neural pathways and how remarkable they are. When you introduce strange and challenging experiences, such as an unfamiliar exercise program, to your body, your brain begins to reroute what know to be possible. This is largely responsible for why, after performing the movements several times, they not only become easier physically, but mentally as well.
In fact, after extended repetition, you may no longer need to “think” about your form at all when performing the movements, because your brain will have begun to tell your muscles how to behave. How powerful is that? Fitness expert Tracy Anderson has talked about this phenomenon at length, creating an entire method around the brain-muscle connection, gifting her devotees with balance, strength and the kind of visible results that many of them never imagined were possible.
I hope you get the point–that your body deserves unabashed veneration. All of your organs have been working hard for you since the day you were born, and they continue to labor away happily in order to keep you alive. Your body wants to work for you, never against you. Your body is one mighty vehicle of joy and pleasure and transcendence. Be in awe of it, forevermore.