Spiritual Journey Thursday: At Home in the Body

Spiritual Journey Thursday is a collection of bloggers who post on the first Thursday of each month. This month the topic we’re focusing on is home and our host is Donna at Mainely Write, if you’d like to read more posts about home.

I’ve had multiple conversations in the last week about what it means to be at home in the body. Are we comfortable with ourselves? How do we inhabit this body well? In preparing for my yoga teacher training this weekend, I was reading about one of the niyamas, the spiritual and moral underpinning of yoga that deal with how we relate to ourselves. Santosha is the practice of contentment with ourselves and our lives at the present moment. It means accepting and appreciating what we have and what we are, then moving forward from there. 

There is a tremendous amount of contentment for me in being at home. I love our little space, my rocking chair on the sun porch, the pictures on my walls, the chevrolet green tile in my 1950s bathroom, the flowers on the bookshelf that my husband brings me every week. Together we have worked at making home a sanctuary. We both spend a lot of time each day with people, so when we come home, it’s important that our space is a peaceful, restful place to be.

So, how do we take these same thoughts and transfer them to being at home in our bodies? How can we accept and appreciate what we have, what we are in this moment and then move forward from there? I can offer three suggestions for you to practice.

First, I think we must identify our self talk. What do you say to yourself when you look in the mirror in the morning. Can you be at home, comfortable, accepting of what you see? Can you place you hand on your heart and tell yourself that you are loved? Try it and see what happens.

Second, we must remember that the foundation of our self-acceptance is God’s acceptance of us. I love this translation from the Message of Ephesians 1:4. “Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love.”

Third, learn to inhabit all the rooms of your body with a yoga nidra practice. That basically means walking through all the parts of your body, allowing your attention to rest for a moment on each part, giving the brain a moment to sense its connection to that part of the body. Sometimes we get disconnected from parts of our physical body. Almost like living in a house where we shut the doors to some of the rooms and never go in them. We forget what’s there, forget what the view looks like from the windows of those closed off room, forget what a lovely, little space that room could be.

Try this practice with me.

Welcome home!