"It is shameful not to look 20." When did you start hearing this voice? When you were 25? When will you stop listening to it? When you're 85?
This is not your voice. It is the voice of someone trying to sell you something. And what they're always selling is an ancient myth: the Fountain of Youth. It may take the form of a diet, an anti-wrinkle cream, a yoga CD, or a spiritual practice to "reverse the aging process." Whatever it is, please don't be shamed into buying.
"I want you to feel good about yourself. Buy my product: it will improve your self-esteem." This is a subtle form of shaming. You cannot feel self-harmony when you itch for a new product, another diet, one more technique for your spiritual repertoire. You can only feel self-harmony in the present moment, by relinquishing the shame of needing to be someone else.
Only a demon Barbie from the stars is without spots, wrinkles or body-fat. Look at a baby: pinch it! You too have a right to softness.
Honor your age. Bathe in the ripples of your body's stream. You are of earth, you have hills and valleys.
The play of transformation begins by loving your flesh exactly as it is.
Meditate On Your Body
Close your eyes and let all those tempting new products scroll before your inner sight. Let them go as they arise, with a smile on your face. See the ads for perfect bodies, see the yoga models, see the media images of perfect happiness as you broaden your grin and let it all run out like a cartoon. You are smiling because you know that none of these images is who you are.
With a long relaxed exhalation, let go these pictures go. Then breathe in the fresh clear air of the present moment, free of all images.
After a few breathes of release and presence, release and presence, become aware of your body.
Occupy your body, every molecule of your flesh, just as it is. Let your awareness bathe each age spot and wrinkle: not to remove it, but to welcome it as part of you. Become aware of your weight, the force of gravity that hugs you to the earth. Surrender your weight to gravity. Experience gravity as the Mother's embrace.
Be aware of your body's softness. Welcome its waves, belly, hips and thighs. Saturate your whole body with awareness. Rest in your flesh, without changing a thing.
Sense the glow of your body's electromagnetic field. You don't need to imagine or visualize: the field of energy pervading your body is very real and measurable. It emanates from your heart. Feel this glow within every cell of bone, muscle, fat, and skin; then feel it extend around your form, like an aureole around a candle's flame, the light that shines beyond the bulb.
Your mind is at harmony with your body now.