Give your body an hour a day.
If it’s not worth an hour a day,
your body can tell you
and not much
anyone else can do.
What?! Give my body an hour every day?
Your immediate internal response may have sounded something like:
- You don’t understand, I’m a busy person. My children/spouse/friends/employer/community/parents, etc. need me!
- That’s ridiculous — nobody has time to give their body an hour every day.
- I’m a stay-at-home mom, are you kidding me?!
- Spending an hour with my body would be self-centered and indulgent.
Or maybe the inner perfectionist, black-and-white thinking part of you became reactive, believing that an hour a day meant that every day you had to lock yourself in a room and spend an entire, continuous, uninterrupted hour with yourself.
Notice what comes up for you from this one simple suggestion.
Your level of reactivity or resistance may mirror the extent to which you struggle to nurture and care for the body.
Before we get to what it means to spend an hour with your body every day, go inside and ask, “What do I imagine would happen if I attended to my body for an hour every day?”
For most women, it would change everything.
If we’re not willing to give the body time and attention, how can it speak to us? And even if it is speaking to us, how will we hear it if we’re not paying attention?
Most of us have had — at one time other another — a mystery ailment or pain that didn’t improve despite our best efforts. Maybe we took ourselves to our general practitioner, then a specialist, and then to an acupuncturist or other alternative health practitioner and . . . . nothing changed.
These experiences are invitations to take the time suggested in this reflection. In situations like this, it’s almost as if the body is saying, “I’m not going to feel better until you take the time to really be with me.”
This is body wisdom.
In the same way time spent with another person is an indication of the quality and intimacy of the relationship, if we are not willing to take time with our body, we are telling the body that we don’t value the relationship.
When you think of the times you wanted — or maybe even demanded — another person’s time or attention, did you also hold yourself to the same standard of giving time and attention to you? Sadly, the answer for many of us is no.
If I expect from another what I am not willing to do for myself, I am out of integrity.
Are you worth an hour a day? Yes!
Here are just a few ideas about how you might spend an hour a day with your body:
- Engaging in any pleasurable physical activity you enjoy
- Spending 5-10 minutes outside in the sun
- Taking a leisurely, mindful bath or shower
- Setting a timer several times a day for stretch or dance breaks with music
- Applying oils or creams to your skin
- Sitting in a sauna
- Lying still on the floor or bed, tuning into your breath, waiting for an impulse to move, and following the impulse
- Taking a movement class you enjoy
- Brushing your hair
The best list is your list!
Invitations for reflection, exploration, and action:
- Create a personalized list of activities you can do for your “Body Hour.”
- If you’re new to tuning into your body, record your sensations, thoughts, emotions, and any images that arise when you spend time with your body.
© Vicki Tidwell Palmer (2021)
Coming Home to Myself: Reflections for Nurturing a Woman’s Body and Soul (©1998)
By Marion Woodman and Jill Mellick
(Reprinted with permission)
*This post is from the Coming Home to You Series. Visit this page for the backstory of the CHTY Series.