The Sacred Business of Your Body (aka Creating a Sacred Livelihood)

The Unofficial Guide
to the 13 Nia Principles
~ Practical, Nia-or-Not Applications for EveryBody

(Wondering what the devil the Unofficial Guide is and why I’m writing this series of posts? Click here!)

p11 CEO parking

Principle 11 – The Sacred Business of Your Body

Excerpt from the Official Nia Headquarters Description:

This principle introduces you to Creating a Sacred Livelihood, the business of your body and life. When you do what you love, you live into your greatness. Creating a Sacred Livelihood is about living into your purpose and into the unique way you exist in the world. Your purpose is a powerful compass. When you are aware of your purpose, everything you do naturally guides you into living into your greatness. Using your time, consciousness, and life force energy to share your purpose as a healing gesture is the highest expression of a Sacred Athlete.

… Make every action in life personal, a creative and sacred act. Commit to consciously transforming your body and life with love and recognize that you are a teacher to the world. Seek your destiny, walk your talk, and discover what is meaningful and sacred to you. … Awaken your inherent power to change, to be better and happier, and you will awaken others.

Unofficial Practical Nia-or-Not Application for EveryBody:

The Sacred Business of Your Body emerges from the ten preceding principles … and then adds purpose, the why.

Officially, Principle 11 is about the sacred business of becoming a Nia instructor. Unofficially, Principle 11 isn’t about launching your Nia practice into the world (although it can be) but is simply a useful way to see your life practice with clarity. No matter who you are or what you do, everybody is the CEO of the Sacred Business of their own Body.

If you were the CEO of a business, you’d create a mission, a north star by which all your company’s decisions would be guided. Your body and your life are two of the most precious assets you have so why not become CEO of that Sacred Business? With Principle 11, you have the opportunity to get crystal clear about what your mission is and – most importantly – WHY.

Most of us are pretty haphazard with our Body Business: we feed it and move it and heal it as best we can given available time, energy and resources. Most of us don’t think about it that much. We have an idea of eating better or moving more or stopping smoking or meditating every day but without a “big picture” view, it’s easy for life to distract us with all its hullabaloo and shenanigans.

Principle 11 offers a chance to look clearly at what is most important to you and set your intention — your mission — from there. Look at the big picture of how you want to live in your body and life and WHY you want to do that. Observe the choices you make and the WHYs behind them to see how they line up with your mission.

Just like the Witness from Freedance in Principle 4 and X-Ray Anatomy in Principle 10, Principle 11 invites us to see ourselves clearly AND to release judgment and criticism and have the flexibility to change when we need to. Principle 11 is about being both honest and kind to ourselves.

I’ve been the CEO of the Sacred Business of my Body for a while and I’ve given my mission a good deal of thought and energy. But I’m sort of like IBM: I started out with a certain approach that worked for a time but needed tweaking and eventually and overhaul when I saw that my mission had to shift.

For years, my explicit mission was health and fitness for my physical body but the WHY, the unwritten subtext was largely motivated by anxiety and self-punishment. I would often find myself in patterns of over- or under-eating and over-exercising that would leave me feeling depleted, depressed and inadequate. Principle 11 allowed me to witness how I felt, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. By focusing on the purpose behind the choices, I can get honest with myself especially when insecurity and anxiety are driving my mission.

Principle 11 helps me notice when the WHY behind my choices is fear rather than love. I’m always reminding myself that I need time under the sky in the air and time with the people who fill me up. That extra yoga class this week or that third piece of chocolate? Am I reaching for that because I’m worried or afraid? Or because it would really feel nourishing?

Today, I wrote down my mission for your Sacred Business of Your Body. In all the years I’ve played with this principle, I’ve never done this before.  I notice that it makes my mission much clearer to see the words in front of me and feel how it feels to read them. Give it a whirl.  Write yours down and see if it’s true for you, too.

I’ll put mine in the comments below and in the comments on the Focus Pocus Facebook page. If you’d like to share yours, please do. Your willingness to share may both clarify your intention and be helpful to others as they create their own. Remember, it’s a starting point not a destination. It’s always a rough draft written in pencil, always a business plan in flux.

So ask yourself: how do I want to be in my body and my life…and why?

  1. Susan’s Mission: The Sacred Business of my Body and my Life is to be expansively aware, fiercely honest and gently compassionate with myself and others; making choices from love rather than fear that lead to vibrant and holistic health and well-being.

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