JoAnn and I saw “Secretariat” on the weekend. What a terrific movie. Highly recommended.
One of many touching aspects in the movie was the strong bond of mutual trust and respect it depicted between “Big Red,” considered by many to be "the greatest racehorse in the world," and owner Penny Chenery, played by Diane Lane.
At a certain point in the movie, after Secretariat has just won a big race -- with another race coming up -- there was a real question whether it was right to continue training the horse hard for the next race or let him rest for a while.
"I'm going to ask him," says the owner. "He'll let me know."
And so that's what she did. You saw her hold the horse's head in her hands and comfort him. You saw them look deep into each other's eyes and hearts. And you saw actress Diane Lane -- who incidentally gives a terrific performance throughout this movie -- finally acknowledge to herself what the horse has told her.
Our own body is also a magnificent creature
Our own body is also a beautiful, magnificent creature possessed of extraordinary resilience and potential. A creature that gives and gives and gives until it has nothing more to give.
It seems to me we are bound by an invisible agreement with this universe to love our body, believe in our body, and listen to our body in exactly the same way as was portrayed in the movie “Secretariat."
There is such a fine line between asking for what is right and reasonable -- within our body’s capacity -- and simply imposing our own self-centered will and purposes without any regard for its well-being.
Your body is your best friend
Your own physical body is the best friend you will ever have. Hard things, sometimes terrifying things happen in this world, of course, over which we have no control.
But there is one thing over which we do have control. And that is to respect this noble creature which has brought each one of us to this moment in our life.
We can take a few moments, in quietness and stillness, as actress Diane Lane did, to consciously enfold our body and express the gratitude that we feel for it.
"Do you feel up to this?"
We can ask, like Secretariat’s owner did, "Do you feel up to this?"
Sometimes, of course, there is something we need to do whether our body is up to it or not. But we can still ask its permission, can't we?
We can ask questions like: "How are you doing? What more can I do to care for you and help you that I'm not doing?"
We talk about dog whisperers and horse whisperers and so forth and it is exciting and truly magical.
But the greatest "whispering" of all is the whisper of deep, sacred communion between ourselves and our own body, with its capacities of mind and heart.
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