A split has been perceived between the body, mind, and spirit. In long lineages of religion and philosophy, the body has been seen as separate from the mind and spirit and the body has often been given a bad wrap. It is seen as unimportant, as a place of sin or "weaknesses of the flesh", or the place of emotion and sensation as an obstacle to reason. Spirituality and psychology - as they may have been handed to us - often contain a disregard for the body, a mechanization, a shaming, an objectification of it, or all of the above. It makes sense that we might want to avoid the body as it is the place of pain and death, however it is also the location of goodness. For these reasons, healing as a process of increasing wholeness, usually involves a shift in our relationship to our body and physical reality in general.
The body is the foundation for everything in life. Without the physical body, no spiritual or practical efforts are possible. And so, while we may not be able to control all physical conditions, value is placed on this human life. The state of the body is the lens we look through. We see the world through different eyes depending on the interpretations and associations in our bodies and nervous system. The health of the body is profoundly connected to the psychology and understanding ecology of body, mind, spirit, and nature gives a greater potential to heal than models that see the body as something to be used. To care for the health of our physical body represents a respect and commitment to our own lives. And, taking steps to better care for our physical health often takes us into considerations that are deeply spiritual.
Though it might sometimes seem easier to take the "spiritual bypass" and jump over the hard work of physical life, there is deep work in being who you are. While you may also believe that your deepest self is beyond the details of your name, face, age, experience, gender, sexuality, location - in order to connect to that deep self, we must fully live our details with discernment and integrity. This is the responsibility of incarnation - you were born in a specific place, at a specific time, with all the perfect details.
Integrating the body and physical reality may mean exercising, eating in a way that respects you better, and moving in a way that gives you joy. It might mean taking action on what you said you'd do, getting honest as to what you feel over and over again, or cleaning up earth life of finances, relationships, space, and time. Therapeutically, integrating the body would mean extending from cognition into feeling and doing. It would mean understanding that the psychological cannot be separated from the social, environmental, and political.It might mean utilizing the subconscious and the wisdom of the body through image, feeling, brain technology, or state shift. It may be that you are physically doing the best you can and need to shift a belief or inner narrative to allow you to experience the results of your efforts.
At the heart of it, a respect for the body is respect for the mystery of life and the fact that you are here. Just as we must learn to let go when it is time, we must learn to live fully while we are alive. We must learn to act and interact with passion and courage. We must let ourselves feel.