"Your body is your vehicle for life.
As long as you are here, live in it.
Love, honor, respect and cherish it,
treat it well, and it will serve you in kind."
- Suzy Prudden
To respect your body means to hold it in high regard and honor it. Respect is treating your body with the same care you would give any other valuable and irreplaceable object. Learning to respect your body is vital.
When you respect your body, you are in partnership with it. You become grounded in your physical body and able to benefit from all it has to offer you. Respect carries reciprocal energy. Your body will honor you when you honor it.
Treat your body as a structure worthy of respect and it will respond in kind. Abuse or ignore it and it will break down in various ways until you learn the lesson of respect.
Viewing Your Body as a Valuable Treasure
I know a man named Gordon who views his body as a sacred temple. Besides keeping it extraordinarily fit through regular exercise and sports, he maintains excellent health by always caring for it diligently. He eats only healthy foods, would never dream of going out in the cold improperly dressed, and generally treats his body as a valuable treasure. As a result of all the love he gives it, his body never fails him. He is almost always at optimum performance. His body is his beloved partner and ready to do whatever he needs it to do.
Of course, each person's body is different. It could be considered a big stretch for anyone else to maintain the level of attentiveness Gordon gives his body. Every person's body has a specific formula that works for it. It is your responsibility to become acquainted with your body's individual requirements.
No one diet works for everyone, nor does any one sleep or exercise regimen. True respect comes from learning what your body needs to run at optimum performance, and then making the commitment to honoring those needs.
Learning to Honor Your Body's Specific Needs & Uniqueness
At the opposite end of the respect spectrum is Travis, a twenty-nine-year-old diabetic who refused to take his disease seriously. Travis is a wealthy, handsome jet-setter who loved living in the fast lane. He indulged often in vodka martinis, stayed out late frequently, ate red meat and rich, sugary desserts, and eventually became addicted to cocaine. Despite his doctor's warnings, Travis refused to change any of his unhealthy behaviors. He would not accept that his illness made his body's requirements different from those of his friends.
The downward spiral continued for months, peppered with severe bouts of illness, until one day Travis crashed. A friend found him collapsed on the bathroom floor and intervened, saving Travis's life. Travis's lesson of respect was learned at a painful price, but he finally moved through the denial, neglect, and abuse and learned to honor his body's specific needs and uniqueness.
As Travis illustrates, learning to respect your body is challenging in a world filled with excess and temptation. Going along with the group and indulging yourself is sometimes a lot easier than respecting your boundaries.
Indulging yourself now and then is fine -- in fact, at times it is even healthy -- as long as you are not compromising your own special requirements. If you know spicy food makes you sick, but you love it anyway, how many times do you need to indulge and compromise your body's truth before you learn to respect its limitations? Not too many, I hope, for your own sake.
Treat your body with deference and respect, and it will respond accordingly. Listen to your body and its wisdom; it will tell you what it needs if you ask, listen, and take heed.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Broadway Books,
a division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.
If Life is a Game, These are the Rules: Ten Rules for Being Human
by Chérie Carter-Scott, Ph.D.
Ten rules for being human convey a universal wisdom to benefit all. The author explains there are no mistakes in life, only lessons that are repeated, offering insights on self-esteem, respect, acceptance, forgiveness, ethics, compassion, humility etc. Learn to create a more fulfilling life using the inner wisdom.
About The Author
Chérie Carter-Scott, Ph.D., author of the bestselling "Negaholics", is a corporate trainer and management consultant. As chairperson of the Motivation Management Service Institute, she has worked with over 200,000 people worldwide, leading seminars on self-esteem, communication and leadership skills, and team building. This article was excerpted with permission from her book "If Life is a Game, These are the Rules", published by Broadway Books, a division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. The author's website is http://www.drcherie.com