I've started going to a yoga class on Thursday evenings. It's taught by an instructor who is certified in Curvy Yoga (a teaching style that emphasizes body-positive moves for yogis of all sizes). Phenomenal, is all I can say.
Last night in our shavasana pose (a/k/a Corpse Pose), our instructor asked us to imagine our torsos to be deep pool, and to imagine ourselves diving off our own faces and into our bodies.... what did we see? Well, maybe I didn't exactly see what I would have expected. I actually imagined myself swimming within my physical body and seeing actual organs. I saw my heart, and smiled. I have done it much better than I did years ago. My lungs were strong and active. I saw my liver and the place where my gallbladder used to be. I paused for a moment to thank my liver for its work.
Then I turned to my digestive system....... a place sorely abused for many years on end. And I felt a little wistful. I reached out to tenderly touch my stomach, with a mix of gratitude and regret, fingers lightly grazing it as if I was afraid it would turn on me and say, "OH. It's YOU." I thanked it for what it did for me, and apologized to it for all the abuse I put it through.... for the times I stretched it to its limits. For the times I put food in it that irritated it and sent the rest of the system into a tailspin. I swam down through the intestinal maze and thanked it for its service to my body, for helping to keep my systems properly fed and maintained, for learning to process nutrients and doing it well, for getting rid of the things that did not serve me.
As we were coming out of the pose, our instructor said, "Ponder for a moment on what you experienced..." and the idea came to me: "I made peace with my body."
Well, maybe not my entire body, but it's a start. I saw it for what it is, at least physically speaking, how it keeps me going, keeps me alive, with so many reactions and interactions going on .... breakdowns and buildups. It really is truly amazing how the body works -- and we need to do whatever we can to make sure we honor it and respect it well. And to thank it for everything it does for us!