Oh how I love these words from Ojibway author Richard Wagamese, who left us earlier this year to walk with The Ancestors. His words inspire me daily, especially in his book Embers: One Ojibway’s Meditations.
“My body is a wilderness. To understand that I need to inhabit it. I need to contemplate, meditate, and reflect on it just as I need to feed, water and exercise it for optimum fulfillment. When I do that, when I allow myself to fully inhabit my body I come to understand it as a wilderness; as a wild mix of sunlight and water, blood and bone and minerals, humus from oaks and pines, the residual dreams of my ancestors, the sound of songs on distant hills, of drums and petitions to Creation, wolf song and the random particles of exploded stars. When I know my body in this way I know myself and can celebrate the immense miracle of my being. Yoga gives me that. So does breath work. Silence. Ceremony and my feet planted softly on the skin of the planet…”
I must confess that my relationship with my body has definitely changed . . . and it’s long overdue! I was always very strong and healed quickly from any illness and injury (I did a lot of extreme sports and was active as a mountain biker, hiker, equestrian, and more). I felt impervious!
And so I did not always take care of my body as well as I should have. I took it for granted. I trusted that it would always be this way . . . that it could support me, that together we would always overcome anything.
So, over the years, I ignored so many warning signs. . . Until I could no longer walk and needed two total knee replacements.
So now I ask my body for forgiveness, for not honouring its needs, and have vowed to treat it with respect.
Now I honour my body in how I eat and drink and move. . . eating “clean foods” and hydrating . . . meditating . . . breathing . . . basking in the sunlight . . . nurturing its agility through yoga, weights/resistance exercises, long walks in Nature, riding my bike and swimming. I celebrate mid-life fitness and have competed in walks and triathlons since my knee surgeries.
So that is my story, so far. I have a long way to go and much to repair. . . but I am getting there, literally one step at a time. I am reclaiming my wilderness.
How do you celebrate the miracle of YOUR being?
How do you care for YOUR body?