Over the years, I have had the honor of working with individuals who, as the result of a physical disability, illness or simply due to the natural effects of aging, were trying to reconnect with a physical self that has changed. People do this in so many different ways. Some suffer greatly with their loss, others move ultimately to acceptance of a ‘new normal’, and still others push back hard in an effort to recapture what was lost. What I have found is that the path they chose was almost always linked to their own personal vision of who they were and what elements of themselves were essential to that story. If they were always beautiful, or strong, or able to take care of themselves independently, and something happened that changed that, their ability to move through it was connected to their view of what actually defined ‘who they were’.
What components of your self would you say describe ‘who you are”?
The challenging relationship between mind and body is a feature of everyone’s life and it is a relationship that shifts over time. Something happens to us and suddenly the world changes its shape and we have to confront how we are going to reconnect again. When mind separates from body, we get more self-destructive, and it becomes incredibly hard to be grateful for our bodies. Lately, when I look in the mirror and see a body that does not at all resemble the body I used to have, I am remembering something that Matthew Sanford, a paraplegic yoga teacher, said, “My body is not failing me…It’s working as hard as it can…It might get confused… but I’m telling you, its moving toward living for as long as it possibly can.”
We are all leaving our body at some point. This is indisputable. And yet we continue to seek proof that mind can overcome matter, even though we know that it is our body that ends up shutting down. This week, give yourself the gift of listening to the messages your body sends to you. And make sure you thank it for all it does on your behalf every moment of every day. Yea for living!