Tuesday, 5 July 2011

We are all body builders

In my gym, there are many guys with big muscles. They have consciously chosen to sculpt their bodies in this way. An act of will on their part has resulted in their bodies taking a particular form. Maybe they wanted bigger arms, so they worked on their triceps, deltoids and biceps. Maybe they wanted a six-pack, so they worked on their abs. Whatever their goals, they tailored their workout programme like a precise recipe to achieve the body shape they desired.

We don't always get to choose the shape of our bodies, of course. Sometimes people are born with bodies that are not as they would wish. Sometimes events that are outside of our control change our bodies against our will - like an accident or even violence.

But for the most part, I believe that we all choose the shape of our bodies, even if we don't consciously realise we're doing it. Every curve, every crevice, every blemish, every bulge. The shape of our body is the cumulative result of all the choices that we make in life. Our thoughts result in actions. Our actions result in consequences. These can be profound consequences to our body. They may lead to greater well being, or to disease. It's our choice.

As such, our bodies are physical manifestations of our thoughts. So we are all body builders. For the guys in my gym, their bodies are articulations of their dreams and desires. For others, their bodies might be articulations of fears, insecurities and doubts.

I used to cripple my own body with anxiety and stress - the sickness in my mind inevitably led to sickness in my body. It's all one system, after all. Now, as I've learned to take responsibility for my thoughts, I've taken control of my body. I choose to have a runner's physique. I have adapted my body to support me in the sport that I love.

As we realise that we are all body builders, we become conscious of our thoughts and take responsibility for our bodies. As we realise that we are already building our own bodies, we can consciously choose the direction that we wish to take.

What body have you chosen?