Trying to improve ourselves by repairing flaws hardly ever works out. That is because pushing away unease ultimately just brings us more things to feel uneasy about.
Mind and body are one. If you have ever blushed, for example, you are aware how quickly your largest organ, the skin, can be affected by your emotions. It only takes a few seconds to blush.
With most of our bodily goals, I think the most inspiring and effective way is to start from the mind. But rather than training your mind to gain something, the wisdom is in training your mind simply because it feels so good to feel clear-minded right here and now.
Considering the balance and wellbeing of your body, this could mean, that rather than thinking of your appearance in terms of looks or size, at least for a while, approaching it from the idea of vitality.
While it is quite unlikely that you will see a major tangible change in your body in a day or two, you can easily accomplish the feeling of vitality in such a short period of time because that feeling is about cleansing your mind mostly. It is about energy and fluids and oxygen flowing in your body mostly.
When you exercise, rather than thinking of weight loss or muscle gain, move your body to support the flow in your body. Notice the things your body can do, how strong it is at this moment in time, rather than moving it to gain something in the future.
And when you sit down to eat, rather than eating for weight loss or weight gain, or to prevent an unwanted condition, eat for fuel, eat for vitality.
It is major.
It is a totally different experience to love what you eat and love how the food supports your wellbeing than to eat those things because you are afraid of what would happen if you ate something else. Even worse, and totally unnecessary, is to choose to eat something and then feel guilty about it.
To lead a good life, most of us do not need a stricter diet or exercise routine. We need more pleasures: a deeper sense of connection to what we are doing, eating and experiencing. A sense of connection to other people.
With a clear mind, we know when it is time to rest and when to move. We know when to eat, what to eat, and how much.
We can tell if we are hungry, or if we are simply tired, bored and upset. Therefore we do not try to escape our messy thoughts by eating, but instead, we nourish ourselves with what we really need, be it sleep, a calming bath or a good laugh with friends.
Anything you focus on grows. Rather than focusing on what you do not have, practice focusing on what is good now, and you will begin to feel and see more and more things to love – in yourself and the world around you.