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Photo: Mike Baird, flickr.bairdphotos.com

Photo: Mike Baird, flickr.bairdphotos.com

My theme for this month is to engage practices that support me to embody spirit as fully as I can. Since I want to start from the truth of what is when thinking about my themes, I have a confession.

The truth is, much of my life I haven’t wanted to be embodied. Since being diagnosed with asthma as a toddler, being a body seemed problematic. Mind was a rich and wonderful place to roam; body was a necessity to be hyper vigilant about controlling, lest I end up unable to breathe or find something new going wrong. I thought my mind was on my side, whereas my body was likely to betray me, as it seemed to when I developed an autoimmune disease.

The result was that I ignored a lot of my body’s needs—still do, even after all I’ve done to increase my self-care. I’ve improved dramatically, but still see ways that I treat my body more like an annoyance than a loved and cherished being.

My year theme is inspiration, and as I considered the question “What inspires me about embodying spirit?” I was immediately struck with the tie between these themes and my health issues. One of the meanings of “inspire” is to affect by divine influence, and another is to inhale. Older meanings of the word include “to breathe on” and “to breathe life into.” Experiencing lifelong problems with breathing, perhaps it’s no wonder embodying spirit was also a problem.

Embodying spirit to me means living more fully, allowing as much of spirit to come into this body and world as I can, and to fully live out the purpose of being me. This inspires me. So does seeing how fully I can receive what is already here for me, to be nourished by movement, the sun, the food I eat, breath, touch, sound, beauty. I want to continue to increase my capacity to listen for what my body needs and consider how its needs directly relate to bringing spirit/soul more fully into the world.

Ultimately, it comes down to love. (Doesn’t everything?) Can I learn to love myself, including my body, unconditionally? Can I love my body through my frustration at food allergies and not being able to eat what I want? Through times I have difficulty breathing? Through the process of aging? Even though I don’t have hair? Can I love my body regardless of whether I get healthier or sicker? Can I end the basic separation inherent in these questions?

My practices for this month:

  • Checking in regularly with heartspace/gutspace
  • Letting go of attachment to experience
  • Choose to do things and connect with why I’m doing them in the present (as opposed to future feedback, result, or outcome)
  • What would nourish me?
  • How am I showing up?
  • Of course, checking in with previous habits

What’s your favorite way to embody spirit fully?

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