I’ve recently been inspired to talk about these bodies of ours… these beautiful, sacred, wise and sexy bodies of ours! So in the coming days and weeks, I’d like to share some of my thoughts. This feature could come in two, three, or three hundred installments! I don’t know, I’d just like to see where this dialogue takes us. I don’t pretend to be an expert on the subject, just a woman sharing her experience, and my hope is that you’re inspired to share yours with me.
So to begin, I will admit that I have a tenuous, almost antagonistic, relationship with my body. It’s tough for me to say that. I want to say that I love my body, that I love it without exception. But the truth is that since I can remember, there has been lots of taunting, rude self-talk,the occasional bout of starvation, constant exercise, and a few spells of adoration sprinkled in. I’m always aiming towards loving myself, but the internal journey; the daily reality of what that journey looks like is not always pretty. I am not obsessed with my weight, but as I write this I am aware that it has always been up there on my list. How I feel about my body is inextricably tied to how desirable and “kick ass” I feel. On a good day, my kick-ass-ness is determined by:
1.) My spiritual connection (which covers a lot of ground: my connection to others and nature, esteem-able acts, service, willingness, openness, laughter, my ability to show up and participate in my life, wonderful food, self-care)
2.) My clothing (my armor and protection)
3.) My body
4.) My hair (I have pretty much mastered my hair at this point, lol)
However, depending on which mirror I happen to walk past, and the lighting it’s accompanied by (and I love to walk by a mirror) how I feel about my body can trump even God if I am not mindful.
That being said, I think it’s impossible to talk about our bodies, without considering its placement in a larger, societal context. For as long as I have been on my journey to celebrating my body, I have thought about how culture and history have played into my perception of what is “ideal”. Especially since so much of my frustration with my body has been about, well, my ass.