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As I lay on the floor tonight at the end of a yoga class, this thought comes into my mind;
I do this because I want to love my body.

I do this because I want to love my body. Not in the way of doing things so that I look good, love the way I look or even in the way I feel.
I think it as an act of love…for the miracle that is my body.
Love is a verb, an action.
When I began a yoga practice years ago, the room was mirrors. We were looking at ourselves in a mirror as we practiced, God help me.
At first, my posture is a bit slouched, sloppy, stiff, short…I don’t look at myself, I look down or around the room, but mostly down.
After only a few classes I feel my body respond. It’s responds to breathing deeply, to moving, to stretching, opening. I notice my feet feel stronger, more balanced. I feel taller and I begin to look at myself and this new way of being in my body… in the mirror.
After a few more classes, I gain the courage to look at myself in the eyes.
There you are! It was a moment of profound awareness as I see the spirit within myself.

The most basic form of showing love and respect….looking at someone we love right in the eyes when we want them to know that we are loving and caring for them. We are not afraid to do that. Look in to your own eyes.

I do this because I want to love my body…
I decide to make a list, acts of love and gratitude I do for my own body. This is a different list than things I like to do or things that I am grateful for. This list is harder to make because there isn’t a lot to make the list with. What do I do?
We take better care of others, of our pets, of our cars… for God sakes! This is the one body, the one life we have. There are no other chances.
As I begin to breath deeply…open my arms and fold forward, then stretch to the sky and salute the sun, again and again…I fill my body with breath, I fill my body with love.
We are not separate, mind and body.

We’ve set up our culture and our personal lives in direct contradiction to love and care for our own bodies.
We push, demand, stress in every way, feed ourselves crap that is grown in ways that destroy our planet and sold in places that destroy our sense of community. We grow up ashamed of our bodies and get fooled into believing we need to look a certain way in order to love or be loved. We need things, procedures, formulas, less, more! Take this to sleep, drink this to relax.
What are we doing and who in the world has time to even ask that question and find it’s answer?

Look into your own eyes, really look. There’s a person in there, a bright spirit. Light.

Start with this smallest gesture of love and do it because you want to love your own body and you want your body to know that you do love it.
Our bodies and our minds are not separate from each other. Practicing love and caring and gratitude for our bodies changes our mind, changes our thinking…quiets the negative talk we talk to ourselves, stills the judgment with gratitude, opens us to a beauty too big to be ignored.
Lets make choices that honor. Organize our lives so that they support…ourselves.
I do this because I want to love my body.
I do this because I want to love.

In this season, of giving, I encourage all of us to begin here.
Right here.
Look into your eyes.
I do this because I want to love my body.
I do this because I want to love.

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