Back to Blog

How to develop a thriving, reciprocal relationship with your body, your life.


How to develop a thriving, reciprocal relationship with your body, your life.


While I was hiking a couple of weeks ago, I came across a little girl sitting in the middle of the paved trail. She had fallen off of her scooter and skinned her knee badly. Her mother had triaged the situation as best she could, and was holding her helmet for her daughter while the little girl breathed through the residual rush of pain and adrenaline from taking such a tumble. Though the little one’s face was still puffy, red, and streaked with dried, salty tear-tracks, her next course of action stopped me mid-workout. 

There she sat, her hands cradling her knee—petting the intact tissue surrounding the abraded road rash—talking to her wound. She apologized for going so fast when her mother had warned against it. She said that she had understood why it had to hurt, but that it didn’t need to leave a scar because she had “learned her lesson.” She then thanked it for stopping her fall. She THANKED HER WOUNDED KNEE FOR STOPPING HER FALL.

This little Buddha, in a post-apocalyptic heap in the middle of a dirty desert trail, had just exemplified the healthy, loving, reciprocal, communicative relationship with her body that has taken me a lifetime to learn for myself.

For so long, when incidents in life had knocked me off of my metaphorical scooter and caused me physical pain, I had let it make me expend so much time and energy in the peripheral weeds of guilt, punishment, embarrassment, doubt or denial, that it had only prolonged my healing. I would berate myself for being so “stupid, careless, untalented” as to have let myself make such a “mistake.” I would feel shame that I had failed at a skill that I had been practicing for some time; embarrassed for what others must have thought by witnessing it; guilty in my deservedness to be punished for such a boneheaded move; and finally, what would retard the process of healing the most, was my denial of its pain. I would avoid it, numb it, or simply stay in a fluctuating wave of frustration by its tormenting degrees of discomfort. 

This internal diatribe may seem exaggerated for a simple stumble, but how many times have we found ourselves running through a thousand permutations of conversations in our minds trying to soothe, explain away, or justify something awful-feeling that we have done or said...?

Had I known then what this little girl knew innately, I could have felt the pain of the incident in the moment—I could have cried out the physical agony, acknowledged the emotional slap of broken expectations, recognized the shock of what was once exciting velocity, momentum being instantly crushed, crashed.

Had I known then, I could have listened to what my body was telling me. I could have held loving space for its message, for its temporary struggle, for its brilliant resilience. I could have pet it, soothed it, recognized it fully for the magnificent, communicative, healing organism that it was. I could have embraced its presence—knowing that epic falls and fails happen—and in doing so, I could have invited it to heal quicker. I could have understood, as this little girl did, that the first step in changing any circumstance in our lives is to know that:


Even if it’s in a heap in the middle of an Arizona desert trail. 

In fact, we MUST know where we are, and acknowledge it. Feel it. Hold space for it. MUST be able to see it, smell it, touch it, taste it, hear it, so that we may mark it as a plot point—a GPS current location—along the map of our life’s journey. We cannot possibly open up new, efficient, magical, routes to get to the next destination of where we want to go until we acknowledge where we are. And in that acknowledgment, we give ourselves permission to LOVE WHERE WE ARE in the full knowing that LOVING WHERE WE ARE ALLOWS US TO MOVE FASTER FROM WHERE WE ARE TO SOMETHING EVEN BETTER

Let us love the perfection of our imperfections

Let us follow what’s fun to us, and be as present as possible. 

Happy trails...