Our bodies are not who we are, they inform who we are, they are our connection to the world, the medium by which we experience it, but our bodies are not us.
The body is the vessel by which we transport ourselves through time and space. Our bodies are the primary tools of engagement with the world around us, the care of them is of the greatest importance and its concerns reach every aspect of our lives.
Maintain the body, keep it in good order, our journey in the world depends on it.
Like all physical systems the body is subject to the laws of entropy. It is easy for the body to become disordered through neglect, disinterest, antipathy.
The body will run down all on its own; injuries and age will take their toll, telomerase shortening will unwind our genetic code.
We are, all of us, on a clock.
Stress, if unaddressed, will lead to disorder, and disorder will foster more of the same, spreading like a cancer throughout our lives; our bodies, our moods, our minds.
To be healthy, we must accept the responsibility to pour energy into our bodies, fuel them properly in consideration of the unique demands that each of us face, and to exercise if we desire to efforts to hold back the forces of entropy.
Physical discipline reaps its own reward. We find that the more energy we put into the care of our body the more ready our bodies are to carry us through the challenges of our lives.
The body, as with any instrument, if it is improperly tuned, will only produce discord.
We can heighten our senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch, and compensate for any structural limitations we may face in one of them by super-charging another.
We must be aware of ourselves, be in constant dialogue with our bodies.
We must pour energy into our bodies, and then conserve it harmoniously. We must do this mindfully if our intention is to spend it wisely, wasting as little as we perform the various tasks that constitute our daily lives.
Strengthen the muscles to support the frame.
Sustain ourselves through proper nutrition.
Keep replenished, hydrated, not polluted with toxins.
These are of the keys to strength and health. They are of the greatest importance, they affect our whole selves.
The stronger our bodies are, the stronger we will be emotionally. The healthier we are emotionally, the stronger our minds will be; clear, unburdened, calm, undisturbed.
Strength and health, nutrition and flexibility these are the keys to personal freedom, they are the foundation of self-confidence, and the path to goal fulfillment.
Listen to your body intently, it will tell you what it needs.
Decipher its language, you will discover the path of least resistance.
Our consciousness is tri-fold: physical, emotional and intellectual. And yet we are all material creatures. This is not a discourse on dualism; we are mechanical, chemical, electrical beings; body, heart, and head.
Our emotional faculties are the intermediary between our sensory perceptions and our cognitive selves. Our emotional faculty conditions our understanding of our experience, interpreting the stimuli we receive from the world around us, it mediates, adding layers of meaning and shaping values, intervening between the direct stimuli of our physical environment and the operation of our will which categorizes and defines it.
To be self-awareness requires that we differentiate between these three modes of perception. This self-awareness is required if we are to extract from our experiences the full value contained within them.
If we are to live in harmony with ourselves, we must care for our whole person.
Each aspect of our lives must be allowed its own room for growth and development, one cannot be subordinated to the other, ignored or shut out.
It is the nature of the intellect to make sense of the world, to seek clarity and focus while assimilating the data presented to it from the sensory stimuli of the body, conditioned by the chemical drives of our emotions.
As intellectual beings we should strive to discern the data we receive objectively, in a manner that is unattached, mindful of the fact that our minds are always subject to the persuasion of the senses and the emotional investment of our desires.
Do not allow the mind to favor the senses over the feelings they produce, or the emotions of the body to the body itself.
When determining a course of action, all of our concerns must be balanced equitably or the intellectual process we engage in will not produce an accurate assessment of the actual value of the situation that has been presented for analyses.
It would be like putting a filter over a camera lens before we take the shot, an image is acquired but it has been altered. The altered image conveys some data, but it is skewed, out of focus, and of context. It will misrepresent the truth, it will not capture what really is.
When making choices that concern our future, it is crucial that we be as clear as possible regarding the exact nature of the circumstances we find ourselves in, to see clearly the place we wish to arrive at, and every step along the way.
We make value judgements and decisions within the blink of an eye.
If we desire, we can allow ourselves to be led by the decisions of others; if we desire it, but we should not allow ourselves to be bound to those choices by our unconscious desires, by desires we have not vetted, through a careful process of discernment.
Be disciplined at all times, practice mindfulness.
When there is harmony between the physical, intellectual and emotional aspects of our lives, nothing will phase us, nothing will fade us, we will never be subject of another’s will, nor even our own unconscious impulses.
We can pass beyond the bounds of social conditioning.
By our own power we can set our minds free.
We owe it to ourselves to develop a thorough understanding of who we are. The future we would claim for ourselves depends on it.
We must pass through it like the crucible, and beyond it. The stars and our highest hopes are waiting for us.
Our bodies must be strong, our emotions tempered with reason, our reason conditioned by the understanding of the heart, if we are to be whole.
What is at stake is not just the hopes we have for ourselves, our families and friends, the fate of the world, of humanity depends on it.
It will only be in the light of genuine understanding that we will be able to accept ourselves first, and others as they are, recognizing that our relationships with them are integral to our own identity, our being, and to move forward with them, in the spirit of mutuality and cooperation, freed from fear and doubt.