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Trust your body, love your body, listen to your body

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.

Any thoughts about this post? I'd love to hear from you. Also, if you enjoyed it, please share it with others.

And while I'm at it -- how am I doing with this blog? How can I make it better serve your needs?

PS Watch for my free ebook out VERY SOON now I promise...

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom October 12, 2010 at 3:26 pm

I’ve read a few of your books (One Heart One Way, The Raven Who Spoke With God, etc) and just recently found this blog via your Facebook page. I have to say I am enjoying it immensely and look forward to “catching up” – I see you have quite a bit in the archives. I appreciate your perspective and the conscious consideration you bring.

Regarding your question about service – perhaps the larger question is whether the blog is serving your needs. And if so, I would suggest that it is then serving the larger world in exactly the right way. 🙂

So, I will be here as time permits and I will also share with my FB friends and others. Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts in this way.


Christopher Foster October 13, 2010 at 9:04 am

Grateful thanks for your comments Tom. And thanks for visiting this site.

I just had a look at your own site and with your permission I’d like to quote the beautiful words that I saw there:

“There is a sacred exploration that awaits us all. It is not to become Buddha or Jesus. It is to to be the light to which each referred when he said ‘I.'”

This is the basis for a true community isn’t it Tom? And it’s not futuristic and it’s not fanciful. It seems to me we are talking about genuineness. Just being who we truly are. Best wishes.


Lori October 12, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Hi Christopher,
I want to see this movie after reading this post. It sounds great!

I can’t agree more with your words. The sculpture speaks to me, too, great photo. As I was reading your post, it reminded me of so many challenges and opportunities we have each day and this physical body is what allows us to meet many of those opportunities. I love studying the human body, I always will. I find it to be an incredible, masterful, complex organism and I love living in this vehicle.

Thanks for another piece of beautiful writing!
Lori recently posted..NaNoWriMo You In Six Points to Consider


Christopher Foster October 13, 2010 at 8:53 am

Dear Lori, wonderful to hear from you as always. Your words always carry such a ring of genuine authenticity, authenticity of spirit. It’s a brave, thoughtful, caring spirit and it nurtures everyone you come in contact with.

So thankyou so much for these words and especially for sharing your declaration of love and appreciation for the human body and your own body. Our bodies obviously have a lot to handle in these stressful times. But as you say, they are indeed an “incredible, masterful, complex organism.” Among other things they make it possible for us to share the extraordinary adventure of meeting kindred spirits in these horrendous, magnificent times in which we live…

With love and blessings and have a wonderful day.


Gail Brenner (AFlourishingLife) October 13, 2010 at 9:01 am

Hi Chris,

I love this approach to the body. Living under “should’s” – I should eat better, I should exercise more – is harsh and unsupportive. When we recognize that the body is the vehicle we have on loan to do our true work in the world, the respect and caretaking of it come naturally and joyfully.

Love, Gail


Christopher Foster October 13, 2010 at 9:22 am

What beautiful thoughts Gail. And so important. I know I’ve tended to be “authoritarian” shall I say at times with regard to my own body, pushing it beyond its rightful limits — and the interesting thing is — I pay the price for it as well as my body. It lets me know I’ve messed up one way or another.

It doesn’t mean we have to baby our body or shy away from living a full, active and dynamic life — but the middle way works so much better than extremes of any kind doesn’t it?

Love to you too Gail. And my admiration for your clear, strong, compassionate presence in this world.

Thank you so much for sharing this Gail.


Tom October 13, 2010 at 9:47 am

Thanks Christoper. The words are a “mash up” of some lines from a book by Stephen Levine. I have wondered from time to time if I should attribute them, and I think I will do so now that it has come back into my awareness. The book is “Guided Meditations, Explorations and Healings” and I think you would enjoy reading it very much. The full paragraphs from which I’ve put those words together is too long to quote here, but they are not my words just my arrangement.

Being that light is indeed the basis for true community. There is a quote from Starhawk on the subject of community that I absolutely love, and I will share it here.

“We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been — a place half-remembered and half-envisioned we can only catch glimpses of from time to time. Community. Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free.”

For me, the Attunement community is such a place and I deeply cherish it.

Blessings for this beautiful day!


Christopher Foster October 13, 2010 at 10:09 am

Absolutely gorgeous Tom. I’ll look for that title by Levine. Many years ago I did much enjoy his book, “Who Dies?”

And those words of Starhawk’s. They make me shiver with delight … and anticipation too, because this is surely what is coming to pass. In the midst of all the rage and tumult a beautiful song rising from an increasing number all around the world. Thank you for mentioning the attunement community. I still remember an attunement I had with George Shears at Sunrise Ranch a long time ago and what a magical experience it was. Me a young fellow looking for meaning and purpose in a world that in many ways seemed kind of empty and alien.

But I don’t see it as alien anymore. I’m more and more in love with it every day.


Lori October 13, 2010 at 10:14 am

Hi Chris and Tom,
I saw your comment, Tom, and I am moved to my core with your words and the quote you added. I agree with Christopher, they made me shiver with delight. Also, Chris, it must have been an amazing experience living at Sunrise Ranch.

Thanks to both of you for bringing warmth and beauty into my day today. _/|\_ (<~~ palms together) 🙂
Lori recently posted..Shifting Sand


Christopher Foster October 13, 2010 at 10:29 am

Hi Lori and Tom and Gail,

This is so cool. Thankyou for making possible such a fun and uplifting conversation. It’s the first time it’s happened like this for me at this blog. I was telling JoAnn about it a moment ago and she said, “First olive out of the bottle.” (She has a few favorite sayings. Another is, ‘one step at a time.’)


Gail Storey October 13, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Thank you for this wise and tender post. And yes, I agree with the person who commented above that if this blog is serving your needs, it certainly is serving ours. -/\- and ;-D
Gail Storey recently posted..Porter Auditions for America’s Top Chef


Christopher Foster October 13, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Gail, how nice to hear from you. Thank you for your kind comment. It was a pleasure to meet you at Gangaji’s meeting and it’s a pleasure to continue with you in this adventure of life. What a hike that must have been for you and Porter on the Pacific Crest trail… a pleasure to read about it.


jonathan figaro October 17, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Treat your body like a temple of majesty. From this perspective, how can you not win. Great post, ever enticing.


Christopher Foster October 17, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Thank you for this beautiful image Jonathan. Yes. A temple of majesty. Fit for the royalty we truly are…


Shirls December 16, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Hello Christopher
I just discovered your blog tonight through your post on Goodlife Zen (sorry Mary, I’m not internet savvy enough to add a link) and I want to thank you for the wonderful e book The Wisdom of Serenity which is an oasis of peace. I’m looking forward to exploring further. Thank you for reminding me how it all works.


Christopher Foster December 17, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Thank you so much Shirls. Look, I hope I’m not being vain or anything, but you’ve made my day.


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