Each one of us, I believe, wants to enjoy a healthy body. A body that expresses strength and vitality is a source of joy. Since the body and the soul are closely connected, caring for the one enhances the other. Here are my suggested “Ten Commandments” for cultivating power through the body.
The following suggestions are familiar—most of you know them and possibly follow them. Nevertheless, reminders are always helpful.
1. Keep a Loving, Attentive Dialogue With Your Body
Your body is your best friend, and your life depends on it. It is important that you cultivate an attitude of gratitude and respect toward it. Many of us treat our bodies as servants that we overwork, or strangers that we barely tolerate, or storefronts that uphold our image in the world. None of these attitudes is appropriate when it comes to the way you treat your body.
Pay attention to your body on a daily basis; it talks to you about your stresses, your pleasures, your feelings, and your choices. It shows you what it needs and what you need, and it is guiding you constantly. Learn to listen to it on every level, from the most basic (muscle stress, pain, hunger, thirst, need for rest, and so on) to the most sophisticated (the energy field and the connection between your body and your psyche).
Realize that these listening skills get better with practice and commitment. As you cultivate a loving intimate relationship with your body, you will learn its language and fine-tune your observation skills.
2. Take Care of Your Inner Life
The healthier you become emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, the easier it might be for your body to cope. When you commit to taking care of your inner life, you naturally begin to attend to your outer life—your body, your environment, your finances, and so on.
The distinction between inner and outer life is somewhat arbitrary; all of it is your life. Make a commitment to your well-being, your fulfillment, and your growth. A soul that is well taken care of brings happiness to its energetic temple.
The breath is God’s music playing through you. Treat it as you would a most precious gift. Become grateful for and mindful of your breath; learn to deepen, calm, and enjoy it.
Most of us are not breathing fully. Tensions, stress, rushing, and overload of activity cause the breath to be shallow and irregular. I suggest that you investigate the world of breathing exercises and practice a few minutes a day as part of your meditation practice, or when you walk, jog, or exercise. Treat the breath as an integrated part of the process.
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To start your investigation, I recommend The Breathing Book by Donna Farhi (Holt, 1996). The cultivation of mindfulness and the ability to be present in the moment will help you release the breath when you catch yourself freezing it, and the habit of enjoying your breath will in turn ground you in the present moment.
4. Take In Good Nutrition
If you are like me, you read tons of books about nutrition; if you’re not like me, you’ve still heard plenty about it. There are people who swear by the macrobiotic diet, and others who are devotees of Peter D’Adamo’s Eat Right for Your Type. Still others are vegan, vegetarian, or raw food believers. There is the Mediterranean diet, the Ayurvedic diet . . . and the list goes on. It can get confusing. New research appears every day, and with it different supplements that are promising to de-age, detoxify, or rejuvenate us.
My simple advice is: eat as naturally as you can, as close to Mother Nature as possible. Eat real food, if possible organic, unprocessed, clean of chemicals and additives (read labels), and lots of fresh vegetables and fruit. If you eat dairy, goat cheese and yogurt are easier to digest and are lower in lactose. Stay away from refined flours and sugars and heavily deep-fried or greasy foods. Eat three balanced meals a day, even if they’re small meals. Combining foods correctly helps with digestion.
It is important to enjoy your food. Prepare it with love, eat mindfully, chew well, and remember to be grateful for it.
It is paramount to drink lots of clean water. Taking some vitamins and supplements could be very helpful. I recommend that you see a good nutritionist once in a while to make sure you’re on the right path, especially if you have specific dietary needs.
Each food has its own energetic vibration, and certain foods are healing for certain conditions. By paying attention to what you eat and how it relates to your body, you can learn what foods are healing and strengthening for you.
5. Move, Dance, Exercise
It is the nature of the body to enjoy movement. I suggest that you always explore different ways of moving. Put on music while you’re cleaning or doing something around the house, and experiment with some freestyle movement in between the chores.
Take different yoga classes; try new exercise classes. If you like to play sports, keep up with it. Jog, speed walk, stretch, or swim. The key is variety, fun, and new discoveries.
Even if you are limited in your ability to exercise, keep exploring on a small scale. Move different parts of your body gently and mindfully; make it playful and interesting.
Moving meditations are wonderful. Close your eyes, put some music on, drop your thoughts, settle into your breath, and begin to move the body however it feels like moving. Let your body lead. Think of it as cultivating the body’s expression through movement. Remember that your body loves to express itself—if you let it.
6. Rest and Relax
As much as the body loves to move, it also loves to rest and relax. The balance between exertion and rest needs to be maintained at all times.
Many of us have forgotten how to rest and relax. We keep ourselves so busy that the art of relaxation has become foreign to us. I have to remind myself frequently to take time out. Lazy moments can be wonderfully energizing.
If you are a meditator, you know how helpful it is to completely relax the body as a preparation for a meditation. I highly recommend meditating once or twice a day, but if you’re not there yet, at least give yourself time for total relaxation. When you do, consciously say to yourself: This is my time to just rest. I’m letting go of everything: my worries, my to-do list, my obligation list, and even my want-to-do list. I’m taking time out.
Lie down on the sofa, on the rug, on the grass, or sit in your favorite big chair with your legs up, on a bench in the park, or a rocking chair. Close your eyes and let it all go. You can put on beautiful music or just let the sounds of life around you be your soundtrack. Rest and breathe. As the different lists and thoughts come up, notice them and consciously let them go, reminding yourself, I’m resting; this can wait for later. Keep taking yourself back to your blissful lazy moment. Enjoying 15−20 minutes of blissful laziness every day is great medicine.
7. Groom, Clean and Beautify
We have to admit that it feels wonderful to clean, groom, and beautify the body. Our bodies so deserve it. They carry us around so loyally and bring us so much pleasure that our loving attention is very appropriate.
When cleaning your body, I would recommend soaps and lotions that are simple and pure (just like the foods you feed your body). Beautifying and grooming mean different things to different people, so do whatever feels good to you. A wonderful bath, a beard trim, a good shave, a great haircut, nails, feet, a facial—whatever it is, enjoy it. Grooming is an opportunity to say thank you to your body. It can also be a relaxing and fun way to receive nurturance from another person.
Remember the wonderful lazy moments I mentioned before? Here is your opportunity to create one of those for yourself. Grooming is also an opportunity to experience and appreciate the sensuous nature of the body. It is all around delicious.
8. Touch and Be Touched
We all need touch; it is a must for healthy living. Find ways that are appropriate to experience loving expressions through touch. Hug the people you’re close with, and do so often. Be receptive to their loving touch. If you have a lover or a mate, explore different ways of touching each other—sensuous, affectionate, or both.
Get a massage once in a while, or experiment with your intimate partner to find ways to massage each other. Massage your own shoulders, feet, hands, or back as much as possible. Exchange back and shoulder massages with a good friend. I recommend exploring different forms of healing modalities that focus on the body, such as acupuncture, shiatsu, Reiki, polarity, Rolfing, craniosacral therapy, and so on.
If you’re a parent, simply be tactile and affectionate with your kids. As much as possible, create a place for touch in your life.
9. Enjoy Sensuous Sexual Pleasure
I’m a great believer in the power of good, healthy, sensuous pleasure. Sensual pleasure means different things to different people, so I will not bother with the details. The idea is to discover, experiment, and enjoy.
I would say, though, that it is important to engage in pleasure that is safe, emotionally fulfilling, and nonaddictive in nature. Addictive sexual activity is a way to cover up emotions or run away from them. If possible, make that distinction and orient yourself toward pleasure that is healing rather than addictive.
10. Keep Adventure As Part of Your Life
Body, mind, and soul thrive on new experiences and new adventures. Find ways to introduce new learning, new places to travel, new people, and new ways to experience familiar things. Try new foods, listen to new types of music, do something you have never done before. Keep your life interesting.
Look for and create adventure—it keeps your spirit on its toes. The brain needs to learn new things constantly in order to stay healthy, the soul loves the growth that adventure brings, and the body is energized by it.
©2014 by Nomi Bachar. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Findhorn Press. www.findhornpress.com.
Gates of Power: Actualize Your True Self
by Nomi Bachar.
An inspirational, informative, and practical guide for all who are passionate about living up to their potential and maximizing their life.
About the Author
Nomi Bachar, a holistic spiritual counselor is a self-healing, self-actualization expert and coach. She is the director of White Cedar Institute for Expanded Living LLC and the creator of Gates of Power® Method. Ms. Bachar has been working with individuals, couples and groups for the last 26 years, as well as lecturing and facilitating workshops.Alongside her counseling and training, Ms. Bachar has an extensive background as a multidisciplinary performing artist. Her artistic background includes acting, dance, choreography, producing and writing. In the last few years she has dedicated herself to empowering people through the Gates of Power® Method. Visit her website at http://www.gatesofpower.com
Watch a video with Nomi: Intro to the Gates of Power Methodology Process