Self-care and Learning To Respect My Body

It’s only in recent years when I first began attending courses run by Universal Medicine and listening to Serge Benhayon present on the topic of Self-Love that I began to acknowledge that my body is actually something to be respected and treasured. When Serge talked about all the different ways in which we numb and override what our bodies are telling us, I could feel the truth of this – it all made perfect sense. I could see how some of the choices I had been making – such as drinking alcohol, taking drugs, staying up late, working till I was exhausted and certain food choices – were all ways of living that I considered normal.

I certainly had never considered these were all choices that I was indulging in to override and numb myself from feeling the fact that I had very little self-worth and didn’t feel that I deserved taking care of.

When I stopped these activities and gave myself space to truly feel my body, I became aware of a huge amount of hardness that I had built up in order to protect myself and to not feel what was going on in my body.

It was enlightening and empowering to hear that my body is a marker of truth: if I were to stop all of the indulgences, activities which serve no purpose other than to harm me, and all the ways in which I choose to numb and override what my body feels, then it would be my best friend – supporting me to live the Love that I know I am.

This understanding was a breakthrough for me although I still found it difficult to let go of certain aspects of how I was choosing to live that affected my body, keeping it in a state of tension.

I’m much more respectful of my body now compared to how I used to be but it’s taken me a long time to acknowledge the depth of disregard I’ve had and still have for my body.

My understanding of Universal Medicine’s teachings is that self-love is the key to healing and re-awakening the truth that lies within us all.

Self-love means living in a way that is respectful of myself – making loving choices for my body. This I understand, but I found this to be a simple concept that was/is a stretch too far for me. So long have I lived in disregard that is driven by a deep lack of self-worth, I found that I have a fair amount of resistance to bringing self-love into my life.

I’ve now had to be honest about this and bring myself back to basics – self-care was initially for me a more real and appropriate starting point – and even then I didn’t find it easy to change my approach to the level of self-care I had for myself.

Simple things such as showering, bathing, the way I brushed my hair, the things I chose to eat and drink were already a part of my daily routine of self-care, however when I chose to bring more presence and a deeper level of care to these everyday activities I noticed just how much I lacked bringing any true quality to these moments.

I now have a growing awareness of the choices I’m making on a daily basis which keep me feeling racy – avoiding the stillness that I have felt at times within me. I find myself in a momentum of making these kinds of choices but my body is telling me loud and clear that it’s not happy. It’s uncomfortable but interesting to observe the patterns where I’m still disregarding my body because of external pressures.

For example, when I put pressure on myself at work to get things done, it’s so easy to skip breaks and shorten my lunch break: these are opportune moments when I can check in with myself and re-connect with my body, and by not giving myself this time I feel exhaustion and tension when I do finally stop.

Also, wanting to please others and not honouring how I feel is another great way to deplete myself. What I used to see as others putting pressure on me, I now see that it’s actually me putting the pressure on me to please!

Also I see situations that I’ve put myself in which reflect the beliefs I have about myself, people and life – these all affect my body and I’m learning to observe and slowly change the way I am in these situations.

I’ve observed how believing that I’m not good enough brings in thoughts, people and situations that will confirm that belief.

I’ve become more aware of how I hold myself back from expressing what I feel for fear of what others may think of me! When I see these patterns and feel the stifling effect they have on how I choose to express I can then stop and say ‘no’.

The choice to be true to me, and my body, can at times be a little uncomfortable but I can also make it fun – enjoying the ever-unfolding journey… when I choose to listen to and respect my body!

With great appreciation to Serge Benhayon and all of the inspiring practitioners who have consistently shown me that there is another way to be.

by Heather Hardy, Workshop Manager, Worthing, UK 

Further reading:
Before and After My Self Love Program – Forever Unfolding the Real Me
Healthy Body Healthy Mind

922 thoughts on “Self-care and Learning To Respect My Body

  1. We can be very good at numbing ourselves through:
    – Different types of food or through over-eating,
    – through over activity and busy-ness,
    – through drugs or alcohol,
    – harsh and excessive exercise,
    – burying ourselves in studies or reading etc
    Essentially these are all our ‘coping methods’ or ‘medicines’ that we use these days to NOT FEEL. We are incredibly sensitive beings and we feel energy all of the time. The simplest thing would be for us to learn to understand what we are feeling and then work with this to learn to handle it, but it seems we have a preference to deny our power to deal with these things and instead play it small and medicate ourselves with choices from the above list mentioned.

  2. Self care and respect of the body awakens it to greater awareness of what is going on around energetically speaking and from here we can then make a choice as to how to handle things. Often we struggle to handle what we are feeling and hence seek to dull out the body so that we can ignore that what is happening around us perhaps because we do not like what we are sensing or picking up on. But ignoring it does not make it go away.

  3. The first time I heard the phrase ‘self -care’ I assumed it was something women did as it was a foreign concept to me. Work hard and play harder was the mantra I was familiar with and the body was just the equipment that allowed me to carry on. The body does have a fail-safe, and the last word, it just shuts down. Listening to my body has now become my goal, for working and living joyfully is never a chore.

    1. Steve, this is such an honest and refreshing comment – many people can brush self care off as being something that they do not need to do or that they already do it and to a level they are happy with so why take it any further? I also used to see it as a weak thing, and that the ‘lower maintenance’ I was the better it was for myself and others.

      1. And to add on – thank fully that has now changed and I have realised that self care is something I can constantly keep refining and hence deepening in the way I look after myself and hence all others around me – a constant deepening of the standards that I hold.

  4. “With great appreciation to Serge Benhayon and all of the inspiring practitioners who have consistently shown me that there is another way to be.” Never forgetting a forever deepening appreciation of yourself in listening to your own body and knowing a true way to be.

  5. It’s true what you have shared about the body “…my best friend – supporting me to live the Love that I know I am.” Self care based on body awareness is so much more than just having a healthy and functional body, the intelligence of the body is truly returning us to a loving and harmonious way of being.

  6. Feeling unworthy is debilitating, the story that runs in our head is just abusive – we think that we have come up with it and therefore believe that we’re unworthy but is it possible that these thoughts come from somewhere else? From an education system that teaches us that we’re not worthy unless we’re A grade students or the athlete. Or perhaps from family systems that teach us that we’re not worthy unless we learn to tie our shoelaces before everyone else, to read before we could talk and to recite story books from front to back. Going through these systems which supposedly prepare us for adulthood is perhaps more difficult than we give it credit. It is worth considering how these have truly affected us and not brush it off as “I was only little I don’t even remember that happening”. The fact that we don’t remember it happening is actually worrying.

  7. Understanding that so many things that one takes ‘normal’ are not only not supportive, in many instances actually harmful, and are in fact all distractions as a means to not take responsibility is a profound realisation. Self-love is a powerful first step in turning this around and putting this understanding into action which leads to a whole new fife.

  8. A great reminder here Heather about the quality we go about our day in, and how we can continue to deepen the love and nurturing we have for ourselves in our everyday self care and other activities.

  9. Our body is there to support us in each moment, if we allow a greater level of cherishing and care of it, we give it and us a truly opportune way to feel what truly works for us. It’s a fine instrument, how do we use it?

  10. How sad and crazy it is that we have created a society where honouring and respecting our bodies is a foreign concept. Yet in living with such disregard it is clearly showing up in our bodies, that this is not our natural way of being as illness and disease is on the rise. There is far more power of us to live when we honor and respect our bodies and being, as then we are guided by the truth it always offers.

    1. We are a very mind focused and thoughts driven society, we make our way through life fairly disconnected from our bodies. I was like this before I found Universal Medicine and in particular Esoteric Yoga supported my return to a more body focused way of living. When I look back over my life I can see the education process was very much a part of the disconnection to my body, as it is such a long period of being mind focused and solely valuing it’s intelligence, rather than the whole body intelligence.

  11. It’s interesting to look at how we can override what we feel by numbing our body with any distraction albeit the tension and over-stimulation that we experience as a result. It just don’t make sense.

  12. What I find interesting is that in difficult times it’s often our level of care for ourselves that we drop first – and that is the one thing that helps us remain steady no matter what.

  13. ‘I’ve observed how believing that I’m not good enough brings in thoughts, people and situations that will confirm that belief.’ This is gold Heather and worth repeating again as I know how this feels and I ddin’t want to take responsibility for the part I played in this, but when I did things began to shift and change over time.

  14. I wonder do I consider my body as my best friend? Do I treat my body as my best friend? – when I put it like this there is work to be done in truly embracing what my body offers me all of the time. I still get caught in putting pressure on myself when there are demands from outside I want to abide by and please others but there is also appreciation for all the changes I have made and how the relationship with my body is growing and deepening.

  15. Thank you Heather. I’ve recently began to connect more deeply to my body and as a result I can feel subtleties that are stressing me, and now I’m listening more attentively to myself I can make changes to address these. The most important part is in the listening to ourselves and learning to respond with love and care to the body.

  16. “I’ve observed how believing that I’m not good enough brings in thoughts, people and situations that will confirm that belief.” So true Heather, what is reflected to us from the world is but a reflection and confirmation of what we already believe and/or feel about ourselves.

  17. When we start to reawaken the truth within our body it responds by restoring itself back to its natural rhythm and opens our awareness to understand and honestly reflect on the way we have been living and the impact our choices are having. Learning to respect and love ourselves takes commitment but with every step and nurturing detail the more we deepen our relationship with ourselves and express from a true quality and foundation we have built for ourselves.

    1. We seem to fight our body more often than listen and honour it. And, not many people understand how precious and amazing our body is.

  18. Just by fulfilling all the demands of all around us we loose ourselves.
    IT always Should be About including ourselves in Every choice we make with all the care.

    1. I can very much relate Willem, I have resisted self-care and self-love for most of my life and sometimes still do due to falling back into old habits. But I can certainly appreciate and see the huge benefits of deepening my self-love and self-care as this supports me in life on all levels. And, the part that avoids any form of love I now recognise is the wayward spirit that runs us.

  19. I have been learning to observe the impact of beliefs and ideals on my experience of life. They act like filters that reinterpret and re-present life to us and hence we don’t really see what is actually present at all. There was a time in my life when I championed the ‘power’ of beliefs, but now, I am making the choice to see what is truly before me and find that it is usually quite delightful.

  20. I could not agree with you more about this topic, self-care needs to be top of the to do list in that it becomes our normal way of life.
    Without perfection I’m relearning how to respect my body and listen to many of the subtle and loud signals it speaks on a daily basis.

    It starts with the most simplest thing and leads to more. Self-care starts by first making the choice to say yes to it.

  21. My best friend…. my body. That tells me the truth all the time, no matter what, that is always there to support me. Perhaps it is time to honour that, to listen, and to give a little love back?

    1. Yes, there is a great deal to be gained by honouring a true friend, particularly when it is one’s own body as it is our bestest best and true friend.

  22. I thought I was taking a good care of myself, incorporating conscious choices to be more caring and loving with myself, but now I am feeling a bit exposed – not because I have got a cold, but the way I am dealing with it seems to revert back to looking for ‘what is right’ which comes from my mind, rather than responding to what my body is asking for. Ouch. It truly is an ever-unfolding journey, continuously learning to surrender into the body.

  23. As I bring a deeper level of respect to my body and deeper level of self care, there is a shift in the quality of how I move with more delicacy from the inside out. We all have this quality within us to enjoy as we release the hardness of protection built up over many years.
    “I began to acknowledge that my body is actually something to be respected and treasured….”

  24. “but I can also make it fun – enjoying the ever-unfolding journey… when I choose to listen to and respect my body!” Yes, we can make it sometimes a bit heavy and serious even though returning to the love we are includes also joy and a lot of playfulness. It seems we have learned at school that being serious and working hard is the only way to grow but actually lightness and playfulness are important factors and without them we cannot truly grow in ourselves I think.

  25. ‘I’ve observed how believing that I’m not good enough brings in thoughts, people and situations that will confirm that belief.’ So true Heather, when we hold ourselves as less we experience life in a more reduced and small way, if we confirm and appreciate our qualities we will magnetically pull people and situations that reflect our loving choice.

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