Our lifestyles pose a constant threat to our bodies. We are surrounded by forces that apply stress on us. From physical forces like gravity, to the cellular stresses of environmental toxins, and even to the emotional strain of careers and other responsibilities, our bodies are working hard for our survival. Often, we feel that we are victims of these stresses rather than being in charge of them. The goal of body care is to find options and create choices in order to balance the effects that these lifestyle liabilities place on us.
Initially, my goal was to find a way out of the vice-gripping pain I felt. Because I was so tight and restricted in my body, I was seriously limited in my options. It got me thinking about the general condition of life that makes people feel like they have few options. It is almost impossible to have a choice without options, and so few of us focus on creating options for ourselves. We get stuck in a pattern of bilateral conceptual thinking- black or white, right or wrong, true or false, fact or fiction. When we operate in this type of mental realm, we limit our ability to see beyond that in order to find and create other options for ourselves.
Taking charge of your body care and personal health will require that you take personal ownership and have independent and original thoughts. You must start to think critically and inquisitively. You must seek to ask more questions rather than seeking for more answers because body care should be approached with “what if” questions. It’s amazing to see how the brain responds to these “what if” questions. Questions are to the brain what candy is to your blood. It is so exciting for the brain to think and be fed by interesting, original, and inquisitive thoughts. The brain actually shows signs of excitement and stimulation when questions are posed to it. That is why it is essential to begin to know your body yourself by asking questions.
We often become stuck in a way of thinking and a way of being. This “stuck-ness” is a result of being resistant to and not moving through the forces or stresses that we encounter. There is a grace with which we need to approach our bodies and our lives.
Very few things in our world grow spontaneously without cultivation. Cultivation is the process of trying to acquire or develop a quality or skill, and cultivation requires learning. It has been fascinating for me to study and learn about neuroplasticity. Until recently, it was generally accepted in neuroscience that at a certain age, a person’s brain stops developing and becomes solid or fixed, meaning you are who you are and nothing can change. But recent research is revealing the opposite. Not only are our brains not fixed and finished developing, but our brains are constantly changing themselves in relation to the experiences we have. If our brain is malleable, and not fixed, if it is composed of tissue and operates a system that circuits the body and is constantly renewing itself and changing, then we as people are able, not fixed. This means that we are able to acquire an attitude of cultivation, learning, and growing, which is important not only for our brains but also for our bodies.
This incredible fact forces us to rethink our current perspective of health and body care. We don’t have to wait to get sick to learn how to fix our bodies. Our bodies don’t have to be victim to our genetics. We are able to choose and have options, and we can do this prior to when our bodies break down. Body and self-cultivation is preventative, providing unlimited access and potential to a life that is healthy and vital. If you can change your mind, you can change your body.