“If anything is sacred, the human body is sacred.” -Walt Whitman
The Big Picture
Health and Fitness is not just about eating well and exercising, although both are keys to good living. Your body has so many needs, and if you get into the habit of listening to your body and responding, you can live a much more satisfying life. Yes, your body has the ability to call you! Here’s a quick intro to general self care.
Caring for your Body with Different Abilities
Not every body is the same, but every body speaks to the person who inhabits it. When some of your body’s abilities are different from what some call the norm, you are called to listen to your body and respond with care. Here’s a link to an article from Tiny Buddha with a nice outline on how to do that, and it’s written by a person who lives what he writes.
The Power of a Walk
Walking has always been with humanity from the first day we evolved into beings with legs. With all of the other ways that we commute, planes, trains, & automobiles, walking has become less and less a part of daily life. But there are huge benefits to walking. Artists walk for inspiration. Occupational therapists recommend walking more than any other activity for brain health. Stressed out people walk to calm down. Walking in your neighborhood can be a key way to establish social connections with your neighbors. And walking helps us commune with the wonderful outdoors, our first home.
Walking has a spiritual history too. People take walking pilgrimages all the time. There are places in the world, such as the Camino de Santiago in Spain, that are available for extensive walking pilgrimages. Martin Sheen starred in the 2010 movie, The Way, which is set on the Camino de Santiago. This popular movie has great spiritual depth. Just about every public park offers beautiful walking paths to make your own short version of the Camino de Santiago.
Here’s the trailer for The Way if you’re interested:
Labyrinths are another way to walk with spiritual intent. O labyrinth is a designed circular pathway that people walk reflectively to gain spiritual insight. A labyrinth is distinct from a maze in that there is only one way in and one way out; there’s no way to get lost in a labyrinth. Many churches, parks, and retreat centers have labyrinths that are free and open to the public. You could probably find with a simple google search in your area. There is one at the Ursuline Center in Canfield, Ohio, which is just a few miles from St. Joseph Church.
What about You?
Here are a few reflection questions to get you thinking about your own unique call to care for your body:
- What is your body saying to you today about what it needs?
- How will you respond to your body’s needs?
- On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with your eating habits?
- What small change can you make to move your assessment on the 1-10 scale up one number?
- On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with your exercise plan?
- What small change can you make to move your assessment up one number?
- If you decide to try to develop a new diet or exercise habit, how will you hold yourself accountable to your plan? What would it be like to have an accountability partner?
- What role does self-forgiveness play in your care for your body? How can you become more forgiving of yourself?
Love your body. Listen to your body. God, who is love, calls to you through your body every day. Responding with love is a key to spiritual growth. The button below takes you to an article by Precision Nutrition and offers ample advice and practical tools to build your practice of listening to the callings you can hear from your body.
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