Meet Lottie, in all her gloriousness.
(Yay! I did it — I got a bike!)
We’ve sure covered a lot of ground here these last six weeks, haven’t we?
It’s been a really different experience for me, writing a series for you on a topic I’m currently learning myself. But I’ve really valued the experience of learning along with you and sharing my thoughts, questions, struggles, and experiences with you along the way.
As this series comes to a close, I’ve been thinking it would be helpful to offer a wrap-up on the territory we’ve covered and a bit of sharing on where I’ve landed in all this, at least for the time being. I’d love to hear where you’ve landed, too, and any changes you’ve noticed in your views and treatment of your body these last six weeks.
So, some closing thoughts:
- For me, so much of the body journey has to do with getting in tune with the truth that I even have a body. I spend so much time inside my head and my heart that it’s easy to neglect the reality of my embodied self. I’ve found yoga to be a very helpful means of putting me in touch with my body, as it keeps me in tune with my breath and the movement of my body and the stretching of its muscles. Also, being outside is immensely helpful, as I notice the feel of breeze and sun on my skin, hear the birds and the wind as I walk or ride my bike, relish the brilliant colors of the sky and trees and flowers, and listen to the other sounds of life around me.
- Viewing my relationship with my body as part of a formational process helps me be patient with this whole thing. When I think about my spiritual formation, I know that’s something that happens for a lifetime. It has seasons — times when God is teaching me one thing or another as a point of focus, and so I lean into those learning curves and allow them to take as long as they need to take. I can feel myself letting my relationship with my body take a similar course. I’m in a certain place with it now, learning certain things, and someday I’ll be in a different place, learning different things. This is a process that I’ll stay with for a lifetime. There’s no need to rush.
- God’s view of the body as good and necessarily part of the human experience has helped remove some of my antagonism toward my body. I’m becoming more loving toward it. More welcoming of it. Viewing it as something God sees as a very good gift and opening myself to the discovery of what that gift means.
- One of the most profound ideas I’ve begun to carry as a result of this body series is the idea of carrying the body of Christ inside of me. This is something I’m going to continue to meditate upon. I think it will continue to deeply impact the way I treat my body, as it becomes a way of demonstrating my love for Jesus in practical, ongoing, daily ways.
- Lastly, it’s been so helpful for me to seek out physical activity that is simply fun. I think I’ve always assumed that exercise needed to look a certain way — either running or swimming or biking or fitness classes at the gym or using a treadmill or weight machines — and it didn’t matter whether you thought it was enjoyable or not. You just needed to do it. Blech. Now I’m coming to see that different forms of exercise work for different people. I’m finding that yoga and outdoor bicycling work best for me. Yoga is a perfect fit for my temperament, and outdoor bicycling is invigorating and fun and never fails to bring a huge smile to my face when I’m feeling the breeze and the sun and am coasting along in the beauty of the scenery. The best part is, I no longer have to force myself to do exercise I dread!
What have been your learning curves in this series? How have things been changing for you in your relationship with your body these last six weeks?