Making Amends… With Your Body?

In the Jewish tradition, the period between the high holidays of Rosh Hashanah (which starts Wednesday night) and Yom Kippur (which starts Friday night, October 7th) is a time when we seek to make amends with people we may have wronged. Essentially, it’s a time of seeking forgiveness and repairing relationships.

A few years ago, I started to think about this time as a time to repair my relationship with my body just as I try to repair my relationships with others. I started to think about the ways that I may have wronged my body. Had I pushed it to the limit working late night after night? Had I expressed my hatred for it when my favorite pants felt tight? Had I resisted movement that would have made it felt good? Had I yearned for it to be anything different than it was?

"The Platonic Kiss" by William H. Rau (image courtesy of the Library of Congress)

So much of the time, we treat our bodies as if they weren’t a part of us. We take out our frustrations on them. We seek to change our bodies through dieting and over-exercising when then don’t meet with our approval. And even if it’s our norm, it needn’t be our norm forever.

Even if you’re not Jewish, you can see this time of the Jewish New Year as a time to make amends with your body. Try this meditation when you have a few minutes:

Get into a comfortable position, either sitting, with your feet flat on the floor, or lying down. Take a few deep breaths, allowing yourself to feel calm and centered. Now think back over the past twelve months, and think of the times when you’ve felt ashamed of your body, denigrated it, made fun of it, or otherwise harmed it. Take a few moments to feel what you feel in your body when you think back on those memories and experiences. After you’ve spent some time feeling what that feels like, tell your body (either aloud or in your mind) that you would like it to forgive you. Ask your body what it needs from you to forgive you, and promise to take those action steps. Begin to feel that feeling of forgiveness within you. Take a few deep breaths and begin to move your body to come out of the meditation.

As you can see, this not a typical New Year’s resolution which gets forgotten a month later. This is much deeper. This is an attempt to heal a rift within you by listening to your body and asking for its forgiveness.

I hope you’ll try it and let me know how it goes in the comments section below or on my Facebook page. And happy holidays to those celebrating!

Golda is a certified holistic health counselor and founder of Body Love Wellness, a program designed for plus-sized women who are fed up with dieting and want support to stop obsessing about food and weight. Go to http://www.bodylovewellness.com/free to get your free download – Golda’s Top Ten Tips For Divine Dining!

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