It’s easy, when we talk about spirituality and living a “more spiritual life” to forget about the body.
We use expressions like, “we are a spirit having a human experience.” Or, “focus on the essence not on the form.” The emphasis is always away from the corporeal body because it isn’t really who we are.
Many of us who have struggled with weight or body image issues, certainly know this to be true.
There were years when I saw my body as the enemy – it was fat and ugly. Why would I want to be in it? I wanted to dissociate from it entirely. It was definitely not me.
Even today, working with people on stress management, I address this issue. Because we quickly dissociate from our bodies the minute we feel threatened. This can be from stress, anxiety, fear or trauma.
It’s as if we leap right out of the body and hover over it somewhere where it feels safer.
I happen to believe that we are spirits having a human experience but our job here on this planet isn’t to negate the human part, the corporeal aspect, but rather to embrace it.
Which was why I was so pleased when I recently heard an affirmation of Deepak Chopra’s in which he states: “The body is the garden of the soul.”
When we find that our consciousness has left our bodies, what can we do?
1. Become Aware
Unfortunately, the world we live in just seems to get faster and faster all the time. When our minds get sucked into that vortex, of do-more-faster, it sends both our bodies and minds into stress.
See if you can begin to become aware of the triggers that launch you right out of your body. Is it a particular person? Your job load? Is it feeling like there is simply too much to do?
Often times it isn’t so much what is happening around us as it is our response to it.
How can you see and experience the chaos swirling around you at home, at work and in the world without taking it on?
Think about commuting.
That causes people lots of stress. What can you do to make that time more enjoyable? Could you listen to uplifting music? Maybe even a CD course? How could you shift that experience so that you arrive cheerful and grounded rather than anxious and disassociated?
Once you begin to recognize the pattern – when you are leaving your body because of stress - you can take action!
The fastest and easiest remedy is to breathe.
Take a deep breath and bring your awareness into the body by pulling your energy back down into it.
As you breathe, you can even close your eyes and feel yourself returning into your body through the chakras. Start at the top of your head, your crown chakra, and work your way down your spine all the way to the first chakra, located at the base of the spine.
We often fly out of our bodies because someone or something triggers a fear response in us and we instantly feel unsafe. But we’re actually not terribly effective when we’re floating in orbit. In this place, we are often unclear, and unable to get focused.
Instead we have to ground ourselves back into the body. This enables us to take clear, concise and thoughtful action.
3. Care For Your Physical Body
I used to think my body was the enemy but after years of working on myself, I overcame my eating disorder and the negative thinking around that. Now I have learned to love and appreciate my body.
Which is why I resonated with Deepak Chopra’s affirmation: “the body is the garden of the soul.”
When I think about my body as this sacred vessel that houses my soul, I want to treat it even more respectfully. That means feeding it quality foods, giving it exercise, rest, relaxation, and pampering.
Being a spiritual person means that you honor your body and care for it as much as you do your psyche. Your body is here for you, to take you through your days on this planet. It’s a vital part of who you are. The more you honor the body and keep it healthy, the happier and more relaxed you will be.