Your Body Container

I recently picked up Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, undeniably a classic tome. I learned about the author in a wisdom tradition lecture series I attended for six years. I saw the movie and watched a documentary about her life, but I have not read the book until now.

Reading it tickles me so. I feel connected to a time gone by; that Mary Shelley is talking directly to me, telling me a story. It’s that way reading a book written by anyone, a direct connection to their thoughts, imagination, and soul – no matter if they are living or dead.

Reading it sparks my imagination. I’m filled with intrigue and wonder. Reading it fills me. This brings me to today’s contemplation – our bodies as containers.

I’ve written about your five holes and what/who you choose to allow in them—eyes, ears, nose, mouth and genitals. The images you spend your time looking at, the words you listen to, the smells you smell, the food you eat and the person/ people you choose to be sexually intimate with, influence your view of life, love, and the meaning of it all.

Your body is a container; it holds organs, blood, veins, cells, bones, capillaries and water. It’s encased in skin, the body’s largest organ, and has many systems functioning to keep you upright and alive.

Your body also contains a mind, energy, thoughts, emotions, sensations, consciousness, and an animating force often called spirit or soul. These elements are not as easy to locate as bones and blood, but you know they’re there. You also have viewpoints, and lord knows opinions!

The thing that interests me in the idea of the body being a container is that while in our formative years, we have no choice in what we’re being filled with, the older we get, the more options we have. And the things that we continue to fill our container with are what our container is filled with. It sure can get overcrowded in there.

So I ask you, what are you cultivating within yourself by where you put your attention? What is filling your container?

As children, we’re filled with our parent’s beliefs, viewpoints, likes and dislikes – sometimes in our benefit and sometimes not so much. We think their beliefs and ways of being are the truth and are ours. As we grow we develop our own opinions and ways of seeing the world, sometimes in alignment, sometimes in opposition to how we were raised.

If you consider yourself a rebel, how proudly do you wear that moniker? What are you rebelling against? Did it begin in opposition to the negative things you were being told about yourself in your childhood home? With the need to protect yourself and survive? What would it be like to be reverent if you are proudly irreverent?

If you consider yourself a perfectionist or a good girl or boy, how did you earn those labels?

What was your container filled with in your youth that is still operating today? What were you taught about yourself, others and the world that can be examined, challenged and dissected? As I write this, so many thoughts come to mind, disliking others because of the color of their skin, gender, or preference of partner – men are better than women, sex is immoral. Every religious belief – one god, many gods, Jesus as a savior, thoughts that you don’t matter, aren’t important or must serve others over your own desires or needs. I’m sure you can come up with many more.

And how do you keep perpetuating beliefs that don’t serve you by the thoughts you fill your container with now? What actions are fueled by those thoughts that aim to prove you right?

You have choice. You can fill your container with inspiring teachings, wisdom, and knowledge from the masters who have come before you – words that compel you to grow, expand, and contribute. Or hang around people who inspire you, seek out things that pique your interest, spark your flame, float your boat. Or not.

The vital thing to recognize is this. Just as containers can be filled, they can be emptied.

Beliefs and perceptions can be identified, challenged and released. You can pay attention to what makes you feel how and make different choices.

You can empty your container and come into the present moment—a buzzword these days for sure. “Be in the present, blah, blah, blah. The only thing is, when you are in the present, it is palpable – it’s not simply words. In the present, you are where you are and not stuck in some past reality – memories, people, things you’ve done or haven’t done – you are simply here, with your true authentic self—pure bliss.

It is possible to empty your container or reduce the filled space, so you have room in there. First, you have to know what’s in there. So I ask you, what are you filling your container with? And is that what you want to be carrying?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *