15. Inside and out
In these days, people worship the body, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but unfortunately they use the body to serve one of the mind’s most common malfunctions: the nurturing of the ego.
Put simply, the ego is that annoying thought that makes you think that you always need to try to be better than the rest, and that makes you forget that what you actually want to do with your life is to be as happy as you can, always, unconditionally. Happy, not just better.
Try to not forget to listen to your body. Your body is clever because it does not listen to any type of ego. When you feel the stomach ache of the body, you need to address the causes. When you feel thirsty you need to drink. But pay attention: make sure it is the body who is sending those messages. Sometimes, often, the brain will make you think that the body needs something when it does not. The thin line that divides a message from the body and a message from the brain is something you need to discover. We are different, and for each of us that thin line is different. Be observant of your body and mind, and based on observation and experience, find that thin line in yourself.
Find patterns. Observe how you really feel in your body. Try not to pay too much attention to your thoughts, beliefs and cultural prejudices when you are observing your body talk. It is not easy, but it is not impossible. As with many things, you just need to practice, be willing to learn, and give it time, be patient.
In my case, I spent more than 25 years paying no attention to my body talk and convinced that the mind was everything. I overestimated the brain, the thoughts, the intellect. I read a lot, I came out with complicated thoughts, analysis. Complexity felt good. I got lost in confusion. I thought unfolding complex thoughts was making me a higher person. I did not even realize that it was only making me a neurotic, mental person, detached from the real experience of life, detached from my own body, and the feeling of joy of a healthy body. A body that takes care if itself by doing sports, eating healthy food and a body that is aware of itself. A body that is not satisfied with heavy digestive patterns, a body that listens to itself and tries to feel better and better, not higher or superior to anyone else.
If you are honest in your connection with your own body, you will feel better, happier, and you will not compare yourself with the rest of the people. Which will save you a lot of trouble and energy.
Dear daughter, I know you are my daughter and the daughter of your mother, and that we are raising you with our best intentions, but also with our own flaws. Among these, probably a sense of perfectionism is one of the worst lessons that we might be transferring to you. Because perfectionism is triggered by the brain only. The body couldn’t care less about perfectionism. The body only needs to be healthy. A perfect body is a healthy one. It does not matter if it is fast or slow, cute or gross, tall or short, clumsy or agile, as long as it is healthy.
I hope you will be able to distinguish what is important from what is just not. Wanting to do things “the right way”, wanting to do things “as they ought to be done” can be unhealthy if in the process you forget what matters the most: to be happy, to respect yourself and your body and your mind, and, most important, to take care of your soul within a healthy body and a healthy mind.
Praise your soul, nurture your soul, enjoy your soul.