Our bodies are our best friends, and no companion offers us more in life. Our bodies carry us everywhere that our consciousness guides us. You are the captain of your ship. Humanity controls the path of the fleet and we are only as strong as our weakest vessel.
We may choose to sail the wrong way from time to time, and we can’t control the weather, the periphery of life. What we can control is how we navigate it, approaching new situations with grace and might.
I used to consider my body the enemy. I felt powerless. It was something that brought me so much pain — I’m talking about body image and self-love here. I hated everything about my ship, which at the time I viewed as being myself, that my body was me rather than my mind. It was easy to focus only on my physical aspects of myself because it was typically what people noticed first about me. I felt pain in my heart as a result of my low self-esteem. I didn’t care for myself because I hadn’t seen my body do me any favors, I tried not to acknowledge it at all.
When we neglect parts of ourselves while feeding the others, we aren’t maximizing our journey, our voyage. To truly have an impactful journey, to fulfill that trip, there must be a marriage between ourselves and our bodies. After all, what is a captain without her ship? If she lets her vessel deteriorate from under her, then she is left with nothing to command. Her companion is no longer there to take her to his destination. It is vital to us to cultivate a strong connection and relationship between these two, for a captain is not a captain at all without her ship.
There is an Indian proverb or axiom that says that everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but, unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person. ~Rumer Godden, A House with Four Rooms
When I find myself neglecting my ship, I can feel it in all facets of my life. I go about my day with less drive, less gusto. When I’m unkind to my body it becomes more difficult for me to make decisions. If I’m smoking, not working out, getting poor sleep, or just not embracing the usefulness of my vessel, I suffer. We have to ward ourselves, and this wasn’t a fact I was cognizant of until my mid-twenties.
As women (everyone really) we often allow our vessels to command us. We allow our identities to be controlled by things outside of us. Our appearance is a great example of this and something most of us focus on intently. The exterior is rarely a representaton of what is going on inside and we must dig deeper in order to realize our full potential.
You cannot expect to neglect the mind or spirit and have the body prevail. The captain is the navigator and essential to the mission, she gives her ship purpose. An unmanned ship is a liability. Without an anchor in times of distress and without someone to care for it, it will drift further and further until it’s unreachable.
When you can’t change the direction of the wind — adjust your sails – H. Jackson Brown
Of course, life throws us turbulence. We can be in preparation of that mentally, but it is important to use all resources available. We are co-creators in this life, and we have the capacity to heal ourselves and overcome so much if we learn to listen to our bodies and souls. It’s about reaching new heights and an understanding of what we need and want; the joy that’s felt by stepping out of the box and embracing a new challenge.
These challenges can be physical or mental. I challenge myself to meditate daily. Often I fail, but I improve all the time because I try to increase my awareness. I notice how much better I feel after meditation, how clear my head is. This shift can transfer over to physicality as well. The first time I did a 5k I thought I was going to die (or barf) but it drove me to try harder. I loved the feeling of going that extra quarter mile.
When you start slow and check in regularly, you can discover things about yourself you never imagined, and this monotonous voyage can turn into an expedition.