During a chance meeting with a friend who takes very good care of herself and exercises regularly it was clear that she was very critical of her body. Her stomach wasn’t flat enough, her back wasn’t straight enough and her neck just wasn’t long enough. Oh dear! The situation was a source of constant dissatisfaction for her, bordering on unhappiness.
Last evening when Si got back after 2 days from his trip abroad he gave me a big hug. It felt heavenly! I could access that pleasure through my body. The lovely fragrance of incense, the delicious chocolate ice cream, the beautiful English countryside, the sweet mewing of the cats, the solitary pink rose in my garden, our new brown leather sofa – so many pleasures to be experienced through the body and the five senses. I feel immensely grateful for it.
In the Bhagwat Geeta, Lord Krishna describes the body as clothing for the soul. Just like the clothes we wear do not represent the real state of our physical body, the state of our physical body does not represent the truly unchangeable, pure and permanent nature of the soul that resides within it.
It is a vehicle that allows our soul to express itself.
Without a doubt, it is important to have a healthy body. However the disproportionate importance given to the idea and pursuit of a ‘perfect’ body in our society is a cause of much angst amongst young and old.
We need to look after ourselves, love and honour our bodies, be grateful for them and know that we are much more than just our physical form.