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July 11, 2023

Give your body the love it deserves

“Every moment of consciousness is made possible through the body.” – Sherrie Frank

I believe the most important personal work we will ever attend to in our lives is repairing our relationship with our bodies. Think about every experience you’ve ever had, every challenge you’ve ever faced, every loving connection. Every moment of consciousness is made possible through the body. Knowing how important the body is to my well-being, it has been a mystery to me, why my body critic has been the most tenacious and impactful of all my self-defeating voices. I know I am not alone in this. After years of helping others identify their self-limiting beliefs and reading a lot of research on the subject, I’ve come to understand that at some point in our lives, we all experience some kind of shame or anxiety based on body image.

We could blame poor body image on our culture’s obsession with beauty and aversion to most body types and bodily functions, along with signs of aging or physical weakness. But, as justified as our blame might be, it does not stop the harsh voice of our inner critic because that voice belongs to us. It is our internal belief system that tells us we are not enough, feeds our social anxiety, distorts our sense of belonging, and diminishes our self-worth.

Relating with the body through our inner critic can lead us to isolate ourselves, settle for less than we are capable of or desire, and allow others to treat us poorly or take advantage of us. We focus on avoiding rejection or humiliation and lose focus on what’s most important to us in the process. The stress caused by this self-avoidance can lead to both mental and physical illness. At times it can feel scary being responsible for our body, and yet because our body is in our own hands it can also feel liberating. We are free to create a loving and respectful relationship with our body, one that supports a lifetime of well-being.

Today, I invite you to join me in looking honestly at how we are relating to our body. Be compassionate with what you discover. Let’s bring our wise counsel, conscious awareness, and undivided attention to this most important relationship. Good things happen when we do. As my gift, I’m including five relationship tips to woo the body. Yes.

Xo -s

P.S. Low self-esteem is linked to stress hormones that can induce mental illnesses like depression, eating disorders, and suicidal ideation. It is also linked to stress-related illnesses like heart disease and gut issues. Sometimes learning to care for our bodies can feel daunting. If you could use additional help getting started, La Clinica and The Learning Well offer workshops and behavioral health coaches to support you on your journey toward optimal health and well-being.


 Five relationship tips for wooing your body

Any meaningful relationships require devotion. That’s true of our relationship with our body. Below are a few ideas to begin wooing your body back into a deep and meaningful relationship with you.

  1. Our body talks and is wooed into relationship when we listen. Begin to identify the language of your body. How is your body communicating with you right now? Is your heart breaking? Do you have a gut feeling? Is your mind spinning? Do you have cold feet? Be curious about the ways the body takes in experience and shares it with you. We call this love language of the body somatic expression.
  2. Our body can only inhabit the present moment and is wooed into relationship when we meet it in the here and now. Imagine this: One deep breath brings you into the present moment with the body. In the second deep breath, the mind and body embrace. With the third breath the body and mind are one. Take time to sit with the body, breathing in the present moment. We call this love language of the body communion.
  3. Our body thrives with touch and is wooed into relationship through loving touch. We discovered years ago that babies fail to thrive without touch. It’s good to remember we are all ex-babies. Every day, wrap your arms around your body, squeeze it tight and say, “I love you, I cherish you, I celebrate you.” We call this love language of the body loving touch.
  4. Our body is rare. There is only one in the world like it, and it’s wooed into relationship when we notice and appreciate its unique qualities. Remember that everything that’s ever happened to you lives on and in the body. It tells your own unique story. Take a moment to notice the story your body is telling. Appreciate what you see and remember you and your body are in this life and have made it this far together. We call this love language of the body story time. 
  5. Our body is a sensuous animal and is wooed into relationship by creating environments that capture its senses. Every experience in life is brought to you by the body. The more sensuous the environment, the happier your body is. Test it out, offer it textures to touch, beautiful or interesting environments to see, sounds to dance to or evoke emotions, and tastes that are so good your body moans with pleasure! We call this love language of the body nourishment.

Loving the body comes with extraordinary reciprocity. When we love the body, it loves us back. I hope you enjoy the whimsy in these five steps and continue to keep your love affair with your body alive! Xo – Sherrie

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