Note: The morning after the courageous Bruce Jenner has shared his personal journey of gender transitioning, this post has even more meaning. Our mind and body are not separate. We must honor both.
Whether or not you believe in a soul that transcends the body, espouse to a particular religion, are convinced of nothing or are certain there’s nothing beyond this incarnation, your body is your vessel. Without your vessel, you can’t exist. We spend so much time in our heads, we often ignore this partnership. I have friends whose lifestyle choices are catching up with them and are developing chronic health problems, are taking medication or just plain don’t feel good. How far are you going to get if your equipment can no longer travel well?
Now, I am not perfect by a long shot. But I don’t take any medication, except a couple vitamins. I exercise every day and I am a vegan. Never touch soda and I drink water like my life depended upon it – because it does. I’m a social drinker and break my vegan rule with some seafood when on holiday. That is, I would have seafood if I ever had a holiday. (That’s not healthy.) But I do recognize that without making healthy choices for my body, I won’t be able to do all I like and need to do. Garbage in, garbage out.
It seems like such common sense but most of us often treat our body like it’s a partner to our thoughts with the mind as the propeller. I blame 16th Century philosopher Rene Descartes who, to keep science and philosophical study relevant in a time heavily controlled by the church, proposed the mind and body were capable of a separate existence. It stuck. It’s simply not true, however. It is this conflated idea that, if practiced, will cause harm.
I am well aware of body image issues, particularly for women in our society, although you men are catching up to us. I could argue that the mind/body separation is to blame for that, too. If we truly valued a person for their complete selves, we would be idolizing those whose inner and outer matched. I would love to be able to have some magic side by side pictorial of an outer appearance next to the inner one. The imagination reels!