01/13/2013 09:49 am ET Updated Mar 15, 2013

What Does Your Body Reflect About You?

I enjoy a good tarot card or personality test reading every now and again. I am not offended by the notion that I could learn more about myself through a new lens. But years ago, when my life coach suggested my body was also a "reading," I was taken aback.

My body! I barely even acknowledged having one, much less considered it a reflection of something meaningful about me. Funny me, I didn't get that even that was a reflection. On some level, I just did not acknowledge me, and that was expressed by how I treated my body and how it presented. I did not nourish it with healthy foods or in the right quantities. I did not pay much attention to it in terms of exercise, moisturizing or adornment. I basically ignored the part of myself that was my body. I come by this honestly in my lineage to some extent. The good part of this is that I was rarely stopped by anything because of my body: I didn't often get slowed down by illness or body-image issues. The bad part was that I was nowhere near having a sacred relationship with my body, and I was headed in a very unhealthy and heavy direction.

This conversation with my coach was the beginning of me being in a new relationship with my body: starting to dream about how I wanted it to look and feel and how I wanted to relate to it, as an expression of my relationship with highest self. It was pretty mind-boggling. Some of the questions my coach asked me to consider were:

If your body is a manifestation of your consciousness, what's going on in your consciousness?

My answer: A lot of avoidance and denial of feelings and intimacy.

How are you organized mentally and physically with regard to your body?

My answer: I do what I want, and everyone should leave me alone. Who cares. (Note lack of intimacy above making sense now.)

What do you care about?

My answer: Instant gratification.

Where does this come from?

My answer: How I was raised, my politics, my inner brat, my inner chicken.

What is not possible in your life if you stay at this level?

My answer: Feeling great about myself, looking smokin' hot, the strength and confidence to do more adventurous things, deep intimacy (d'oh).

What new theory should you have about your body?

My answer: My relationship to it is important and spiritual. I can change it for the better and I can start now.

After a few awesome exercises and conversations on the questions and answers above, I started to choose new actions (made promises around food and exercise) and experienced new results: losing weight, toning up, dressing more confidently and becoming more interested in sex and intimacy with my husband. I can't say it was always easy or that I didn't go through a lot of angst while changing some of my most bratty behaviors, but it was incredibly worthwhile. As soon as I was on my way with all that, what did my coach ask me?

In what way is your personal space a reflection of you?

Time to redecorate!


P.S.-- Want a new reflection? Join our Dream Body telecourse starting January 28th.

For more by Laurie Gerber, click here.

For more on wellness, click here.