If you’re impatient, skip to the second paragraph.
I will be 40 in August. I’m not particularly tall or short. I’m height-weight proportional, with a healthy BMI score. My hair is an unexciting shade of brown, peppered with a little gray, but I don’t suffer from male pattern baldness. While my eyes are a complex hazel, they’re nearsighted and hidden behind a conservative pair of glasses. Just as I am not overweight or flabby, neither am I particularly athletic or toned. I think I can do about 25 push-ups without stopping. I can run short distances without getting too winded. I can walk for hours without tiring. My teeth are straight but a little coffee-stained, from years of drinking caffeinated beverages to sustain my office work activities and no professional whitening. My face is more-or less symmetrical along a vertical axis.
To concisely summarize: I am an only slightly above-average body.
Nevertheless, I am accepting the fact that I am a body. I do not have a body or inhabit a body. I am one. My body is as much me as is my mind and my spirit.
For a person as cerebral as I tend to be, forgetting that I am a body is easy — oddly natural-feeling, though that ought to make no sense.
Today, I am meditating on being my body, not just being in it. This brought to mind the Rifleman’s Creed, and, with a clever grin, I found myself adapting a portion of it for my own somatic purposes:
“This is my body. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
My body is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.
Without me, my body is useless. Without my body, I am useless. I must truly be one with my body. I must master it more fully than I have in the past to become more fully myself. I must not accept the duality of body and mind, for it is illusory. I will not …
My body and unconscious mind know that what counts in life is not the conscious thoughts we think, the noise of our speaking, nor the ephemeral influence we exert. We know that it is authentically, purposefully, lovingly being who one has been created to be that matters. I will be so …
My body is human, even as all of me is, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a whole person. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its awareness, its senses and its rhythms. I will keep my body clean and healthy, even as I am holistically, mentally, and spiritually clean and ready. I am One and accept all of myself …”
Confidence comes first with feeling outstanding in your own skin. Be one with your body and accept it, for there is no meaningful difference between your body and you. Listen to it, for it has much to teach you about how to lead again with confidence, how to inspire trust and devotion, and when to trust others or not.