The Body and My Relationship with it

All through life I have had this body that I have been carting around. An amazing body that I have not really ever stopped to appreciate deeply. This body is my vehicle, my means of getting around from point A to point B, a very useful and practical thing indeed. But have I ever stopped to feel that there is so much more to appreciating this body and all that it can really be, and more importantly, all that it can be a vehicle for?

Well, let’s find out…

For most of my life I have seen my body as just a ‘thing,’ as mentioned before, “something to cart around and get around in.” And most of the time I find myself getting frustrated with my body – why can I not move faster, be less clumsy, get more things done; why do I have to stop to feed, care for and sleep this ‘thing’? Why can I not eat and drink certain foods without the body reacting or getting sick?

This has been my approach for a long time – a resentment of my body for not fitting a picture that I have had of how I should be – an approach that sees the body as a vehicle to be used and quite frankly, abused, in many ways. And I’m not talking here about having a history of drug or alcohol or physical abuse to share. In fact I was not one to drink much at all – I had a few sips (literally, as that was all I could handle and wanted to have, just to fit in a little) out of a glass of beer or champagne on the odd occasion with some friends in my mid 20’s and then stopped the few sips completely in my 30’s, so alcohol was not my way of abusing my body. And though some of my friends in my mid 20’s were into smoking pot and other drugs that were around, this was not something I was drawn to being involved in, so drugs were not my way of abusing my body.

But I still abused my body, in a different way – I did indulge in sports and in studies. Now you might say “Is this not good?,” and it is not that sports or studies per se are abusive to the body, but the type of sports and the way I went around it was abusive. Perhaps not in an obvious way but in a way that was subtle with insidious effects that are far more long lasting, as well as laced with the reasons why I got into these pursuits.

I got into sports (tennis and running) when I was young as a means to get attention from my dad and essentially have a ‘buddy buddy’ relationship with him.

I also felt safer playing the role of being a tom-boy at school as my body was developing and I began to turn into a woman, which I was certainly not comfortable about.

So I got into sports and was especially drawn to tennis and competition tennis, which meant training many hours per week and travelling for comps. There was the hard, physical training I did, the pressure I put upon myself, and then there was the anxiety and nerves of the competitions and the gruelling flogging of myself that I was not good enough, that I had to keep pushing myself to the next level, to keep proving who I was.

From tennis I moved on to martial arts training in Jiu Jitsu, with the excuse that it was good for me to learn self-defence as a woman. I did this for a few years and then moved on to Yoga and running, pressuring myself to run a certain number of kilometres per week and to also train for many hours of Ashtanga yoga, pushing hard even though my body felt tired, run down or I had my period etc., all so that I could say I was fit and healthy.

At the same time, I also turned to studies and University Education. One degree followed another and I nailed them, with each one working hard till the early hours in the morning, sometimes only sleeping a few hours per night to ensure I passed. My first University degree was in a foreign language so I had the added pressure of deciphering the language, in addition to understanding the complex biochemistry I was studying. The rules at the time at the public university were harsh in that a pass mark was around 75% – and if you failed one subject you would have to re-sit all of them.

I also had the added pressure of knowing that if I did not pass then I would have to leave the country we were residing in and hence no longer live with my family and friends. I never once reached out to discuss this with anyone as I felt everyone had enough pressures they were working through themselves and I did not want to be an added burden. I made my life hard and worked hard, never once considering that there was a different way to do this – a way that would actually consider and respect deeply the body I was so-called ‘carting around.’

I got sick a lot, with chest infections (bronchitis), a severe case of glandular fever that knocked me out for 9 months, chronic knee pains and later on chronic fatigue. These were all the messages from my body that the way I was going about life was not working.

Finally, in my mid 30’s, I met Serge Benhayon, and though I did not make any changes initially in the way I was living, it was the beginning of being open to a different way of being. As I began to seek out the teachings of the Ageless Wisdom and had some Esoteric healing sessions, I began to build a different relationship with my body.

I began to understand how I was putting huge amounts of pressure upon myself, how hard I was on myself and how many demands I placed upon myself and my body! I was never one to eat poorly or to drink alcohol, nor to abuse myself in all the other obvious ways that we see and know in society as being abuse, but as I began to develop this relationship with myself, I came to realise that there are a multitude of other ways to abuse the body whilst making it look like you are doing the ‘right’ thing.

Essentially, I got to realise that I was living through my mind only at the expense of my body and not really embracing this body as Me, or even a part of me! Thanks to the Esoteric work and Ageless Wisdom Teachings, which come from a Livingness in the body and not from the knowledge of someone’s mind or head, over time I have come to realise that the body is a tool, but a very precious one… one not to be abused, but instead used ever so lovingly to express that which lies deep within us all, our essence.

How I live my life now is vastly different to how I lived it prior to encountering the Ageless Wisdom. I am far more caring and nurturing of my body than I have ever been, taking the time to go to the toilet and brush my teeth without rushing; making sure my posture is supported at work, in the car and at home; eating foods that feed me/support me back (yes, this actually works!); working and staying active to support myself and my family.

There are many things that I still do today that may not appear different from the outside, but there is a difference in the quality that I am doing them in – in terms of being so much more caring of my body, this amazing vehicle that I have the honour of taking with me everywhere I go.

I say honour, because I have come to realise that it is the body (and not the mind) that is our means of connecting to our Soul, and this is the blessing: to care deeply for the bridge that allows the Truth to be accessed and then lived.

But I am also realising more and more how there is a constant deepening of my understanding of the body. And so, very often I will find myself feeling like I am back to square one – abusing my body again but in this I am realising the more insidious ways that I have placed pressure upon myself, or demands on myself etc. So as I grow, my relationship with my body changes and deepens. Wow – what is next?

By Henrietta Chang, BNat, BBio, MApplSciEcol, EPA, ATMS, ANTA

628 thoughts on “The Body and My Relationship with it

  1. There are different levels in which we Can hold hardness And pressure in our body.
    To be just in our stillness present just in the moment became for most people seldom.
    It Should be our natural way which Children so us clear when they are small. They just are. Where have we left us?

  2. I have come to realise that so much of what I have done in the past has been to prove that I am ok, that I have value. Now that this way of being is unravelling, the relationship with my body is entering a new chapter, where I listen to it’s communication rather than the critical voices in my head.

  3. We have made life such that it pushes the body from many angles and does not leave it the space to simply be. While we think, because of this construct, this is how life is, that there is no another way, there is another way if we are brave enough to stop for a while and allow the body to take the lead over our thinking mind instead.

  4. The ageless wisdom that emerges from the body gives us a way of living that is gracious and not of this world.

  5. The pressure we exert on ourselves can be huge and create an enormous tension that affects our whole outlook on life. Your blog is so important in highlighting the fact that this shouldn’t be the ‘norm’ and there is another way to live.

    1. Indeed Suzie, because everybody is abusing themselves and we can call it the norm, we have to be aware that it is not normal, that there is another way to live that is honouring our being and brings back the graciousness of the love that we are back to into our lives.

  6. “had this body that I have been carting around…” Carting is so descriptive of how we humans just move around without considering exactly ‘What’ we are moving around… I have found that the modality of Esoteric Yoga has been such a pioneering way of discovering that so much more lays within our body than meets the eye… a Stillness so deep, that makes you aware and definitely not wanting to simply ‘cart’ the body around anymore.

  7. I haven’t had an obvious hate for my body as some have, but in that I didn’t realise just how much love and appreciation we can have for ourselves, our bodies, our expression in life, and didn’t realise how suppressed that expression has been. It is a Joy to be coming back to myself, to be more loving and to reflect another way that can just go on and on expanding.

  8. An amazing expose of how we are with our bodies right from young Henrietta. I can relate to the tom-boy time myself for years as a child largely because of having two older brothers. These past ten years since my 30s, as i grow to know myself and more through my female body i fall in love with myself and with my womanliness … and reflect on how come that was not the case for me (and also many female friends of mine who also fell into the tomboy-ness too), as a young girl to have been embracing the loveliness that she was and always is.

  9. ‘..I have come to realise that it is the body (and not the mind) that is our means of connecting to our Soul..’ This is beautiful Henrietta. I too realise how important it is to listen, honour and deeply care for our body, it is the gateway to our Soul and our connection to God. Our body is very precious, sacred and divine, why would we choose to abuse it?

  10. When I think about the things that I used to put my body through in the past its sometimes hard to fathom that I did these things. It shows me how far I have come in my own self-regard and self-care for my body. There are so many ideals and beliefs I was living up to that today I know are just not true and its so freeing to live without the constraints of these.

  11. The pictures we have of our body often demean us, rather than supporting us. That alone tells us that there is something fishy going on. Every single body on the planet is different. Why should we all be measured against a picture of perfection that has been decided on largely by advertisers to sell products. Rather how about we connect with our body and as Serge Benhayon has said for nearly 2 decades, let the body be our marker of truth. It is our own personal all knowing point of truth with us every day.

  12. When I first came across this idea of being connected to my body, I thought I was connected to it- or at least to the edges of what I knew was there but didn’t want to look at or deal with, i.e. A lot of anxiety that was carefully managed yet constantly bubbling away under the surface. What’s been quite amazing to feel is that the anxiety is not me, and that there is a far deeper level of connection to my body always available, but that I’d never realised before. Underneath the anxiety and whatever other behaviours and ways of being we’ve adopted over the years, there is a deep settlement and knowing of who we are that is foundational to everything else. When I connect to that, being abusive to and with my body really stands out. Then, making choices that really support my body, and that connection to steadiness, consistency and solidity, becomes very normal and natural.

  13. I can connect with the more subtle messages and quality of movement in the body, rather than leave it to illness and dis-ease to shout to me that there is something needing a correction.

  14. I have just gone back to do further studies and can feel how easy it is to study without disregarding myself when I listen to my body.

  15. “a resentment of my body for not fitting a picture that I have had of how I should be” I’ve had this feeling as well, growing up I wanted to look a certain way and I didn’t. I felt like I did not fit in or would not get loved because of the way I looked. Yet in truth it was never about the way I looked or not, it was about how I felt inside. The relationship that I eventually built with myself after putting into practice the teachings of Universal Medicine are what has without doubt transformed my life.

  16. What I find interesting and keep developing my consistency with is how one second I’m fully there in connection with my body and feeling solid then not long after that I am totally disconnected to it. Less and less this is happening but the more awareness i am bringing to my body the more I realise how much I actually do this.

    1. Same for me Natalie. Having this awareness is great and being open and honest about this supports us to learn and grow. The observation period is part of the process and as long as we don’t shut down our awareness and our willingness to learn, this can be a beautiful process of evolution and a continuous building and deepening of our relationship with our body.

  17. “The Esoteric is not secret, hidden or mysterious in any way, shape or form. It is inclusive of everyone and treats everyone as equal” – because it is, and that is, simply love.

  18. “An amazing body that I have not really ever stopped to appreciate deeply” – when I re-connected to what is inside my body, my essence, spark, light, fire, connection, being, i started to appreciate the (importance of) physical frame of my body, though it was the gentleness and (self) care of my body that happened prior which allowed me to realise all that i.e. what was within me, and hence leading to the appreciation of me.

  19. I find it fascinating how we can convince ourselves that we enjoy things that actually are abusing our bodies and go against the way they are naturally designed to live.

    1. I find this only occurs when we are choosing to seek approval or recognition, and then listening and honouring our body very quickly goes out of the window.

  20. It is delightful; how you remind us Henrietta that the body is our means of connecting to our Soul, and this is the blessing, to care deeply for the bridge that allows the Truth to be accessed and then lived. This is really a profound understanding and changes completely how we can live our lives in connection with the body.

  21. We think that we have been carting the body around and yet it is our bodies through which we can express everything we are and never stops communicating to us.

  22. I wonder what could be possible if we made the relationship we have with our body our primary focus for just a week – could it be the key to so much more than we realise?

  23. The more I get to know my body the more I understand just how much I have been reckless and abusive with it. I cannot ever remember anyone telling me to take care of my body, we seem to just take them for granted and it’s not until something major happen that we are pulled up and for some people even then the pull up is not enough. So my question has to be why do we treat ourselves in such a disregarding way?

  24. I definitely saw my body just as a thing and did not think about it more than getting me to one place or the other. How I am now is like another life, I care, listen and support it and override what it let’s me know so much less than I used to, this is so much more worthwhile a life I live now. Much much more joy, purpose and vitality.

  25. We know from day one how to play the game of hiding and holding back from not living the love we are. I also found life easier to play the role of a tom-boy at home and in school from a very young age. It felt safer to fit in life living this way yet when I went to high school this changed as I started to physically develop into a woman, most of all the relationships around me began to change. On reflection, I can see how I knew exactly how to be in life to the finest detail to fit into life including with those around me at the expense of my body and wellbeing.

  26. I have come to realise that the body is a tool, but a very precious one… one not to be abused, but instead used ever so lovingly to express that which lies deep within us all, our essence.’ I can’t but stop to consider how humanity would be if we were taught from young to know how precious our bodies are and understand what exactly they are a vehicle for – the light of our soul.

  27. Having a relationship with my body whereby I listen to what it is telling me seems very normal to me today even though it is something that is continually developing. But it has not always been the case. There was a time when I would not have really understood what it meant, but thanks to the teachings of Serge Benhayon and Universal medicine I have come to understand the significance of the messages that are offered to us from our bodies in every moment of everyday.

  28. Knowing what I consciously now know about my body, how every word, thought, action and emotion effects it, it is seriously worth making the effort to make sure that every word, thought and action is well considered from a deep quality first.

  29. Is it not surprising that there is ever increasing illness because of the way we are living? The body has to shout really loud to get us to stop, or give us a big illness to make us pause and realise it is unhappy with the way we are living. Still then, people can sometimes think how the body has let them down, rather than understanding it is trying to help us and show us a different way to live.

  30. The body is the gate to the stars, i.e. back to our divine origin, the soul. As long as we don´t want to return or delay the return we know exactly how to disturb the relationship with our body or the body itself, that is we know how to lock the door or seemingly even forget about the gate to exist. We are the masters of the relationship to our bodies, masters of destruction just as masters of connection.

  31. It can take some of us a very long time to learn life’s lessons and that can be because we analyse and come to conclusions in our head or we emote and find solutions from our emotional reactions or we suppress what we know and shut down our expression. Whatever it may be the beauty is that it is never too late to connect to our bodies and their endless wisdom, expanding our awareness and opening up to a new way of being, reaching for support, if need be, from those we trust and know come from a place of truth and love.

  32. It’s interesting how much we push our bodies, when the body is the thing we need to take special care of because it is what carries us through life. More awareness of this would benefit the whole of humanity greatly.

  33. “I have come to realise that it is the body (and not the mind) that is our means of connecting to our Soul, and this is the blessing: to care deeply for the bridge that allows the Truth to be accessed and then lived.” what a beautiful appreciation and love of your body shared here and anything less being abuse is very honest and inspiring to realise. The real nurturing of who we are feels so beautiful and warming in side to read and radiates through my whole body.

  34. The impact that sports had on me and how that choice to go into extreme hardness has been a long ingrained effect on me. Even though i didn’t go into it as professional as you did just the school level and the competition that it asked of you was now looking back on it hideous. At the time however, everyone or at least most did it and if you were semi good or great at it you certainly were liked.

  35. I find it fascinating that we know exactly what to do to trash our bodies so that we stop feeling the natural beauty of who we are. I can now understand that we are masters of this way of being. So imagine what life would be like if we used that knowledge to reconnect back to our bodies and reignite the evolutionary steps necessary to get us all out of here.

  36. Our body is our vehicle of expression if we are not relating to it how can we possible relate to the world in any real way?

  37. Appreciating our bodies and the exquisite way they feel when we choose to move with delicacy and honouring of ourselves makes it easy to say no abuse whether that is from another or to ourselves.

  38. It is the ways in which we can be abusive to our body which we hide under the guise of being healthy that we can be surprised by. Even in our established western science it is not disputed that elite sport is not healthy because of the training, stress and exertion required of the body and yet we put these athlete on pedestals as role models yet they are promoting abuse, knowingly or unknowingly.

  39. ‘I did indulge in sports and in studies. Now you might say “Is this not good?,” ‘ – It is a common perception that sports are good no matter what, and that pushing ourselves to reach a ‘higher goal’ is the way to go, rarely do we hear that we need to listen to the signals of our body and always adjust to our individual limits.

    1. A lot of people get physically hurt pushing too hard but I observe people harden when they engage in sport and I wonder how much this hardening affects them?

  40. Abusing myself through taking substances was not my thing either but I was still abusing myself through being good, polite, nice. I would say the latter is far more abusive, many would disagree but the impact of giving my power away left me depressed, helpless and not knowing where to turn many a time during my life. I am still not free from these behaviours yet but as my awareness grows they are becoming a thing of the past.

    1. Caroline I can relate to what you share, I never used substances to abuse myself, but I too got caught in the good, nice and polite, constantly pleasing. This is more abusive to our body as the poision is buried deeper.

  41. Not before we start honouring the body as the precious vehicle it is will we as a society overcome abuse, violence, corruption, obesity, checking out, exhaustion or any other dis-ease that plagues us.

    1. We do need to really start with honouring our own body and live with this truth that our vehicle is precious, before any abuse, violence, corruption etc can be overcome. We are the living reflections for society.

  42. It is crazy, all the different ways that we dull down and avoid true relationship with our body. The ways of the world are specifically designed to keep us away from the sacredness of our body and beauty of its divine nature, to delay and keep us from knowing who we truly are.

  43. When we honor and respect our body as the vehicle of expression it is and we treat it with love this enables us to take on more work as we are able to handle the load.

  44. ‘Essentially, I got to realise that I was living through my mind only at the expense of my body and not really embracing this body as Me, or even a part of me!’ – yes, Henriettta I can totally relate to this and now realise how when I depended on my mind alone I would feel driven to follow a lifestyle that was lived at the expense of the body and certainly not honouring of it. I am now beginning to understand the depth of wisdom and love that is awaiting when I listen to my body.

  45. ‘An amazing body that I have not really ever stopped to appreciate deeply.’ this is something that we are not taught when we are young and to the contrary we are taught about its functionality but not about the immense wisdom it holds or that can be connected to through it when we treat with the regard for the instrument it is.

  46. So often I have thrown up my hands and gone for the ‘everything out, total change, baby out with the bath water’ approach, when it wasn’t what I was doing that was causing the problems but the how and why. I love the simplicity of realising that it is not what we do but how and why we do things that is really significant and leads us to true revelations and opportunities to grow.

  47. I have been so caught up in my head with continual doing, with little regard for my body, forever burying what I did not want to feel, until one day it decided to speak loud and clear with a nervous breakdown, this was huge jolt, and a wake up call to healing, healing the abuse I held my body in and learning to bring love to this most amazing vehicle of expression I have for my essence to express through.

  48. ‘I also felt safer playing the role of being a tom-boy’ – It is the sad reality that we find it safer to play a role in life, rather than simply living and reflecting the natural beauty and sweetness that we all innately are.

  49. No wonder our relationships with other people don’t go so great when we ignore, override and suppress what our body has to say. What kind of relationship is that? Abusive I’d say.

  50. I resented my body for most of my life, judging it for being such a let down as it prevented me from doing what I wanted. But now I deeply appreciate that my body was telling me to slow down, take more care and not treat it so badly. And now that I am finally listening, there is great joy and insight as I deepen this most precious relationship.

  51. I love the guidance my body gives me as I deepen my relationship with it and how I care for myself. Sometimes it is subtle as in the message I need to move or to be still, other times it is loud like with an illness. It is always showing me my next step.

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