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Happy Body

So does a body that feels good, strong, vibrant, and pain-free really affect how we move throughout our day? Does it REALLY affect how open we are to opportunity, how pro-active we are and how joyful we are? Can it be that simple?

I’m a bodyworker and I still get surprised by this. Each time.

I diligently do my “Myofascial Release Self-Treatment” every night… except for when I don’t. Except for the string of days I don’t because everything gets off-kilter and I’m up too late and I begin to fall into my self-sabotage and confusion. And then, when I’ve slipped into the dark days: the stress, the crisis, the out-of-alignment, I say to myself: “Should I stretch? Should I do a Reiki meditation? Should I get in the infrared sauna? Is it more important to sleep immediately or forestall sleep to do one of these things?”

It’s easy to get into these conundrums of self-care. It’s easy to work oneself into the place where we see self-care as a losing trade off. It’s easy to treat self-care as work. In fact, I hear clients all the time saying sadly, “I should do that… I should do this.” We’re so steeped in the work-ethic message of needing to earn, deserve, and strive that we apply it to self-care as well.

When nurturing oneself is really such a joyous thing.

So I say sweetly and compassionately to my clients: “Just do one. Just make the slightest movement toward caring for your body.” What I want to say (although sometimes I hesitate to admit that I think of the body like a cherished pet, effusively excited when we come home AGAIN from work, just like it’s the first time) is that the body knows that it is being loved and will respond so much more than the simple physical stimulus/response mechanism. Things will open up, life’s flow will suddenly become easier, more natural. Follow that one little step, and one day it will no longer be work to love oneself, it will no longer appear to be a compromise between equally undesirable choices.

Today I watered my plants, bending down and around and over and felt my body, pain-free and vibrant, realized I’d had a day when everything felt right and thought in comical surprise: Could this BE because I stretched this morning? Could it be such a simple place to start?

Can we throw off that Puritan ideal of hard work and just follow what feels good in the body…? And follow it all the way to good health, successful relationships, abundant business and simple joy in every moment. Might it even be fun along the way?