See Body. Love Self. | Check Engine Soon


Have you ever had something  in your life that you knew needed attention, but you neglected  it until an emergency arose and it could no longer be denied?  I just recently had that experience with my vehicle.  At times, I consider myself to be what I call a “SUPER busy woman”.  That means I have a lot of things going on all at once and sometimes it doesn’t seem like there was enough time to get it all done.  Therefore, I must admit that some things go undone.  When it comes to my vehicle, it is probably the most neglected thing in my life.  I do the basic gas full ups (when the gas light comes on) and oil changes (a few miles over the suggested range) but other than that, I don’t do much else.  When I purchased my car, it was never intended to be for luxury.  It has always been about getting me safely from point “A” to point “B” in the most economical fashion.  I’m not that person that invests in external upgrades or pricey detailing.  I just felt that money could be spent on “other” things. It has always been about minimum investment to get maximum output from my vehicle.

So, about a month ago, when I began to see the “Check Engine” light flickering on the dashboard of my car my immediate reaction was one of annoyance.  Echoing the sentiments of Sweet Brown “ain’t nobody got time for dat” I continued with my “SUPER busy woman” routine, hoping it would cease eventually.  However, as time passed, the “Check Engine” light went from flickering, to a steady illumination.  As a sign that whatever was going on in the vehicle was NOT going to just go away, a loud, piercing warning tone would accompany the light as well.  To my frustration, the car was screaming for attention and I could no longer ignore it.  Over a period of about two months I endured extreme frustration and inconvenience taking the car from one repair person to another, trying to analyze the unrelenting “Check Engine” light and warning tone. My “SUPER busy woman” routine was completely interrupted!  Whenever I drove the car I couldn’t conduct phone calls during my commute, due to loud tone.  I missed a few appointments and had to rearrange my schedule because the car couldn’t be driven too far.  I was completely at the mercy of the vehicle.


One day, when I had cancelled my regular routine, to take the car to one mechanic, in a series of several, I decided to simultaneously book an appointment at a local holistic doctor’s office for a full physical and evaluation.  I figured that since I was already off my “SUPER busy woman” routine, I might as well get some other errands done too.  When I went in for my doctor’s visit, I received a full evaluation of my body from a traditional and holistic perspective.  After doing the evaluation, the doctor sat down with me and went over my results.  Much to my dismay, the information that she shared with me was not what I expected.  I have always had comfort in the fact that my physical body is basically healthy.  Other than, the insulin resistance challenges I have, my other vitals (blood pressure, cholesterol, heart, etc) are in great condition.  However, the holistic, integrative portion of the report gave details of underlying issues that I was not aware of.  My doctor took the time to explain to me how stress, lack of proper rest, and unbalanced energy were negatively effecting my overall health and causing damage to my internal organs.  After she explained everything to me I felt like I had been hit by a truck.  I never knew these issues were going on in my body.  I was doing the basic maintenance and living my life in “SUPER busy woman” mode.  As long as I was producing and achieving in my life, I wasn’t ever slowing down to evaluate my energy and how I was really feeling. This was all new to me.

After the doctor’s visit the “why” of everything came together for me.  I am a believer that things happen in life to teach us.  When I sat down and processed all that had been happening with my car and my body, I realized the connection.  I had been neglecting both.  I was in “SUPER busy woman” mode with my mechanical vehicle and my physical vehicle…my own body.  Both of them were receiving sub-par attention and maintenance from me.  I was doing just enough to keep them both barely running.  As I mentioned earlier, I was giving “ minimum investment to get maximum output from my vehicle”…and this applied to BOTH mechanical and physical.  Although I had been eating pretty well, and doing basic exercising  I was not really listening to my body. I was doing just enough to meet the minimum standards of care.  I wasn’t truly LOVING my body passionately.

I now have a deeper understanding of what it means to LOVE my body, not just maintain it.  There is a difference.   When you Love something you do your best, give your best, and invest your best resources for it.  I have now begun to invest in my love relationship with my body.  That means I am beginning to make daily choices to do more than “surface” maintenance.  I am investing in my energy and my spirit, not just the external parts of me that can be seen. My internal engine(mind, spirit, energy) is now getting much needed attention.   As my doctor prescribed, I have begun embracing and practicing yoga and meditation to release the stress.  I am making time to s-l-o-w down.  It’s time to let the “SUPER busy woman” go because her agenda was completely detrimental.  I understand the paralleled  lesson: we cannot afford to wait for the “Check Engine” light to come on and turn our world’s upside down, before we give attention to necessary maintenance and care.  We will be much more productive, healthy, and overall successful if we take time to be loving and attentive along the way.

What about you? Are you doing just enough to get by? Are you taking the time to invest in the internal engine of your body? What areas of you are under duress because you have neglected them?  Will you start loving your body from the inside out today?

Coming soon, I will be sharing my experiences with yoga via photos and video! I’d love to hear about yours too.  How do you center yourself and align your energy?

Ivy LaArtista is an artist, social change agent, writer, and entrepreneur who uses her talents to promote empowerment, education and self expression. As a professional makeup artist she uses her artistic talent to help women embrace their natural beauty. As the founder of See Body. Love Self. she educates about the importance of positive body relationship. As a writer and speaker she shares her life story through “Naked” words.

  • Marc A.

    Excellent post! And your use of the car analogy got the message across beautifully. I tend to take care of my spiritual and emotional body before my physical. I don’t stress very often and I often keep a pretty level headed demeanor while eating right and exercise often just seem either too daunting or tedious and often they get pushed to the wayside. I accomplish them in spurts. For every good week, there is a bad one. I, too, have begun to embrace yoga not just for it’s physical benefits but also for it’s effect on your overall well being. I’m a busy person as well but I always make time to relax or take some time to myself whether it be a deep breath or a nap or a hobby. So often we hide behind the wall of “busy” to say we can’t enjoy some down time or do something that benefits our bodies, but you won’t be busy if you’re sick or dead. So let’s be proactive.

    • Ivy LaArtista

      Thank you @Marc for your feedback and sharing your experience. I’m glad the car analogy resonates with you. You are right, if we are too busy for healthy choices, we will be too dead for them too!

  • Virginia

    Great article. I feel that as a woman we often neglect ourselves and concentrate of others. We will let our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual areas of our lives go lacking. I often try to take time for myself by reading, going to the gym, walking around the mall with nothing on my mind as a way of relaxation. We allow our whole selves to be neglected and the consequences can be fatal. Life has so much to offer us. As the saying goes: take care of ourselves so that we can be here to enjoy what God has in his plan for us and care for our love ones. Your are an inspiration.

    • Ivy LaArtista

      Yes you are right quite often we put other people and things first. It’s good to know you are making time for yourself! Keep up the lovin!

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