What a way to start this off…

This is just something I do to calm my thoughts when I am frustrated, or to extend my self-awareness as a meditative exercise, or even just to get me feeling good when I need the boost.

First off, get naked.

No, this isn’t a weird sex thing. Trust me, while I am perfectly capable, willing, and eager to talk about weird sex things, I will generally start the post off saying that such topics will be covered in today’s discussion, so that those who don’t care to read about weird sex things can, well, not read about them. This one is not such a post. Rather, this is a Deep Thoughts post.

So, is everyone who’s still here naked? Good! Now move.

Do a little dance. Stretch. Do some yoga. Walk through a Martial Arts Kata. Imitate that one thing that you saw on TV once and thought it looked badass. Whatever works for you. Just get your body moving.

Now, instead of looking around the room, or staring into space while listening to music, look down at your body. Keep moving while you do it, and pay close attention to what is happening. See the way your muscles work, the way your skin moves. Try stretching a bit, and try to watch the tendons extend as you feel the stretch in your limbs. Watch the way your chest moves with every breath.

Then try to take in the fact of what is happening. Picture your lungs working, organic bellows pumping the oxygen into your blood. See the blood flow through your veins, carrying that oxygen to the rest of your body. The valves opening and closing, sending the fluid to every inch of tissue. Imagine your joints as hinges, as simple machines. See the muscles and tendons pull back the levers and release them once more.

How many different changes on a cellular level must have gone on in the course of evolution to make us what we are now? What vast, generation-spanning events must have cause the first of our land-dwelling ancestors to crawl from the sea, lungs filling with dry air? The great organic engine of the Human body, as inefficient as it is at times, is a marvel of genetic coding. When Darwin first began writing his books, did he sit back and try to ponder the great eons that passed in between the exodus to dry land and the first actual hominid? Our journey has been a long one, and we are still walking. We go from jetting along at a single-celled level to walking upright as the apex species of our planet, and still our feeble minds are unable to comprehend the passing of years that brought us here. We can put a number to it now, but even that is an abstraction. Time is vast, overwhelmingly so, and yet, here we are.

We are what has come out of it. Our ancestors fought tooth and nail to survive their environment, and underneath the clothes we have fashioned for ourselves, our bright artificial plumage, our shield against the elements, we are still animals like any other. Flesh and bone, at once intensely humbling and inexplicably majestic. We are beautiful, our movements capturing the results of the efforts of more species than we probably yet know about. A machine in skin, a thinking engine strong enough to comprehend this, and silly enough to think ourselves above it.

Being an animal isn’t a bad thing. We are not really separate from them. We eat of their flesh, as predators do, and although we have not always been the best stewards of this as a species, we manage population levels while doing so. We are built forward-facing, the mark of a hunter, with hands designed for fine manipulation. Move and stretch your fingers. See the tendons on the back of your hand. Why do we see the body as grotesque? There is a primal beauty to every aspect of it! Mostly because others tell us to in order to profit off our discomfort. To deny them, throw off the forced perspective. See the tapestry of you, with all of its minute flaws and minute perfections. Accept the flesh you wear, a moving meditation. Breath in and exalt in the sensation of the air moving through you, the feel of it on your bare skin. Rejoice in your senses, perceive the world as only a creature with your unique senses can. Adore yourself.

Ok, that’s it. You can stop moving. You can even put on clothes if you want. Whatever floats your boat.

In any case, that’s what I do. A sort of material-centric meditation, as well as a bit of exercise. If it works for you, I’m glad. If it doesn’t, that’s fine too. I also enjoy chocolate for all of the above problems/solutions. Try that.

In any case, you are beautiful. Yes, you.