Get in Shape

This body I inhabit

Was—and is—designed perfectly for me

By my consciousness, genetics, choices, and environment

And many, many, tiny unseen beings.

I am not some random event.

I am a magnificent dance of precise expression.

So—why is my mind designed

To be an expert at pointing out my faults?

It is so easy for me to see the beauty

In the expression of those I love.

How do I break the habit

Of seeking the imperfections in me?

Is it in my actions?

I take many daily actions

To love and care for my body.

It takes effort, costs money,

Requires patience, support, and time.

I have had times in my life

When I wasn’t focused on my body this way.

Less support—pushing a stroller in the dark, after working all day

With two dogs strapped to my sides.

I was heavy with the burden of carrying too much,

My mind adding to the weight with self-loathing.

I had so much on me already

Wouldn’t being kind and loving to myself have been better?

Yes—taking daily action to love and care for my body helps.

Less weight, more self-appreciation and even occasional flashes of pride.

When I was heavy, I was an easy target

Now my mind looks for more specific imperfections—like wrinkles.

Same mental habit

Different circumstances.

Is it exercise?

Each morning I walk the dog or dance

Happier dog and happier me.

If I am lost in emotional waves

Zumba can nearly always help me find land.

I challenge myself with new routines

Overcoming my self-judgment as I improve my steps over time.

Still, my mind looks for my flaws—I could always be better,

Not strong enough, not flexible enough, too old…

Is it consistency and commitment?

I can be rigidly dogmatic.

I will follow the plan if I commit to it.

Resistance is less problematic

With a single-pointed approach.

The sober life

Supports a steadiness of mind.

Is steadiness of mind

The kind of life I am born to live?

The highs and lows of addiction

Are no longer tolerable to me.

But the monastic life

Just doesn’t feel sexy enough either.

Is it meditation?

When I sit in my daily practice

I find mental balance on purpose.

Carefully designing and defining

My values and focus in my life.

I set the geometry of my values inside my heart

And let it expand to protect and support me.

I literally get into a shape

To sustain me as I do my work and connect with others.

Mediation also reminds me that my mind

Is just a small part of who I am.

And while I am working

My mind is content in creating and exploring.

Then at night, or times off, especially after a long day

My mind begins its tally of my imperfections again.