I often come into contact with individuals who express to me displeasure about their body. I am told many things about how they don’t like their weight, or that they are out of shape, or that they are dealing with some form of illness. From that discussion then emerges questions about the latest fad diet, fitness program, or natural healing strategy. Does this sound familiar?
I know it does to me. I often say I need to lose weight or I hate going to the gym. The unfortunate part is that when I say these things to myself or out loud my body hears a resoundingly loud message. “I don’t love you, I am not happy, and you suck.”
For many years I have fought the never ending battle with myself about diet, exercise and my general health. I have been able to make short term changes, but things always cycled back around. When the cycle came full circle there I was again and the message stayed the same. “I don’t love you, I am not happy, and you suck.” I call this my ultimate form of insanity.
While exploring all of the tools that were available to me as I walked my path of life, there was one core piece that I often overlooked. That is the use of Essence Qualities in managing my body.
What are Essence Qualities? The are the qualities that we as individuals express from the inner core of our being. Some examples of my personal essence qualities are Love, Joy, Compassion, Laughter, Fun, and Creativity. (though the list is much longer I assure you)
So knowing who I am on the inside (My Essence) puts me in a different space and allows me to make choices for my body that serve me and fill me up. Instead of asking which fad diet will allow me to lose weight I begin to ask “Is this (Insert food of choice here) loving for my body?Does this (insert type of exercise) Love and support my body? Does it bring me joy? Is it Fun and creative? By doing or eating ____ am I acting with compassion toward myself?” Then I listen to my Yes’ and No’s.
In using my Essence Qualities as a guide post I find that having love and compassion for my body may look like nourishing it with green smoothies, and at other times my body may want to express fun and laughter by enjoying a cupcake. I find that my body may want to express movement through dancing and not a strenuous workout at the gym. I find that having compassion for my body may mean taking a break from sugar or caffeine. Using Essence Qualities as the guide post lets me tap into the inner knowing that exists in me to find the answers that I seek. Using Essence qualities lets me find a gentle path, and changes my inner dialogue to “I love you, I am happy, and you Rock!” It takes away the temptation for self beat-up by allowing open expression.
Using Essence Qualities as a tool to make choices from places me in a position of personal power and allows me to be gentle, compassionate, and loving with myself.
“If you live on the level of the Body and the Individual, you will get entangled in food, fun and frolic, ease, envy and pride. Forget it, ignore it, overcome it — You will have peace, joy and calm. In the Divine Path, there is no chance of failure; it is the Path of Love.”
Sri Sathya Sai Baba