The Body is All You’ve Got – Listen to it
Human Ken and Barbie
The body is the container of your being. The body is all you’ve got to experience the wanderings of life. The body is more important than a job, a house, a car or even a spouse. Reluctantly, the body is also more important than one’s children. If the body is unwell, it is less able to serve the family. So do not ignore or brush off what your body is trying to tell you. Listen to the body very carefully instead of worrying about what you look like.
No More Barbie Syndrome
Unfortunately, the popular emphasis on the human physique is purely visual, like an ideal photoshopped image of a dream person, someone resembling Barbie or Ken. How can one achieve such an unattainable body image? Is it possible? Of course not, unless you are prepared to undergo extensive plastic surgery, with silicon muscles, silicon breasts, and cut-down lower ribs for a smaller waistline. Unfortunately a gullible public is extremely influenced by the increasing demands of celebrity juice and advertising. The victims of such an unrealistic body image work very hard at it, suffer intense pain, and pay thousands of dollars on gym memberships and plastic surgery. And yet it is never enough, and it is so risky, often causing irreparable physical and mental damage. Then, when they stop for a while, they go back to being obese couch potatoes. Help! There must be a better way.
There is a Better Way
Let us reconsider the notion of a perfect body. A perfect body is attained not by looking at the body, but by feeling what is happening inside. For example, whatever position you are in right now, reading this, listen to your body and ask the question: Which bits of my body are working at this moment, to hold me up against gravity? Are you sitting? Then the muscles of your back, shoulders, arms, hands and neck are engaged. Even if you are lying down, your shoulder, elbow, wrist and finger joints, even your facial and neck muscles are active. Listen to your body attentively. It is switched on, working. Lucky you, your body is working perfectly. But how comfortable are you? Instead of striving towards the unrealistic image of a perfect body, concentrate on how comfortable you are. Any given daily task can be performed in a good or bad way, comfortably or uncomfortably. The secret towards achieving a near-perfect body is: Do Not Tolerate Discomfort. Here we learn to be aware of the location and degree of discomfort in the body at all times. How much tiredness, pain, boredom, are we prepared to endure before re-arranging our position? Or before abandoning a painful task for a more body-friendly one? To find out, we introduce movement notation or Physical Literacy. What’s that then?