We often hear that the body is a temple. But temples generally stay put once they're built. I believe our bodies are more like vehicles and our spirits are in the driver’s seat. The bodies we’re driving now are just the latest model we’ve decided to hop into.
Every vehicle has value straight out of the lot, they change but they don't depreciate. Our models are beautifully designed and manufactured uniquely and therefore need to be maintained a bit differently. Some were built for speed, some for long hauls and stamina. Some were made to be sleek and sporty. While others were made to be powerful, carrying large loads through winding expanses. We didn’t get to choose our make and model. And it's easy to look out our windows and see another vehicle driving by and wish that one was ours. Now with advancements in cosmetics, plastic surgery and gene therapy, we have the ability to perform major remodels but unless it's necessary for our well-being, our original parts, when well-maintained, are generally the best fit for our model.
Personally, my vehicle came straight from the factory lot with defects and it has plenty of chips and scratches already. Whatever they look like, they usually have a lot more things working right with them than not. What's most important is what’s going on under the hood and how we move forward when the rubber meets the road.
When I was younger, I was no mechanic. I had no idea how to keep my engine purring. But after a few near-deadly collisions and my spirit seriously considering jumping out of the driver’s seat, I took the time to learn from some trusted mechanics and started studying various owner's manuals.
What I’ve gathered is that our bodies need premium fuel and clean fluids to run without hiccups. That fuel doesn’t just come in the form of rest, nutritious foods, and herbs but also the thoughts, words, and company we fuel our minds with.
Our bodies need to be taken for frequent spins around the block to keep all our nuts and bolts from rusting. And that doesn’t just mean exercising and stretching, but also stretching our minds with new concepts and expanding our hearts with more compassion for ourselves and others.
Sure it’s possible to run on lower-grade fuel, but if that’s all we’re getting, we’re more likely to have internal mechanical issues in the present and future. From time to time it’s good to have mechanics (wellness professionals) give us a once-over to ensure all our internal workings are still firing properly. Because when our vehicles are not running well, our spirits suffer. They start stalling out and not making it to the places we really want to go. We might blow a fuse and tailspin out of control possibly even harming those driving closest to us.
It's both parts exhilarating and terrifying that we get to choose our own routes. No one knows for sure when our road will run out. Only we can decide when to switch lanes. When to park, when to idle. When to pull over and reevaluate our maps. Who to caravan with. What bumper stickers and paint jobs to adorn ourselves with, if we so choose. No one knows exactly where our road trips will take us or what we’ll learn on the way. But I do think it’s possible for us to be joyriding with the intention of leaving beauty in our wake.
Most importantly, our spirits deserve to take in the sights of this beautiful world. They deserve to feel free to explore the terrains, going over the bumps, the potholes, the silky smooth surfaces, the twists and turns, the mountains and valleys of life. And the better we take care of our vehicles, the more opportunities they have to do that.
My hope is that when all of our vehicles putter their last breaths and park themselves in the garage for their final rides, they’ll have all the signs of being well-worn and most importantly well loved.
If you or someone you know would like assistance with vehicle maintenance and get on a road that feels right to the spirit, I'd be honored to be of service.