I spent most of 2017 being pretty uncomfortable in my body.
The latter part of 2016 looked like severe anxiety that often left me absolutely breathless in between uncontrollable sobs.
I was fighting the truth that I didn’t want to be with a man that loved me more beautifully than you could ever hope to be loved, and the stress of denying and clawing against that truth (and deeper layers of my own truth in general, with my nails dug into the concrete ) shed thirty pounds off my frame with almost no effort at all.
All of a sudden (literally) I was skinnier than I’d been in YEARS.
I bought new clothes because none of mine fit me anymore as my waist got slimmer and my bellybutton came closer to my spine.
Every. Single. Day. Someone said “You look AMAZING! What have you been doing?”
“Oh you know, moving more, eating less” I would say out loud.
“Watching myself waste away in a kind of anxiety that has kept me up crying in the dark for three nights in a row.” I would say in silence.
Receiving that kind of feedback around my appearance when it was a result of the fact that I was crumbling mentally, emotionally and spiritually, was traumatic in a way that I would come to realize very slowly.
My body has been full since I started rounding the corner into puberty.
I knew Victoria’s secret by the time I was in 5th grade (spoiler alert - it’s tits).
In the slow process of maturing from a girl into a woman, I landed in a body that peaks and valleys in some very, very adult ways,
long before I came into an adult psyche.
Eventually I learned how to hold the power of that and stepped into a confidence that walked into a room before I did, and that felt so easy in its lioness-like nature.
As 2017 unfolded and I started to take gradual and agonizing steps towards true self realization and wholeness, my outward appearance began once again, to evolve. I saw myself expressed outwardly, in the fullness I felt inwardly.
Let me tell you, these curves came back with a vengeance. But I didn’t feel like a lion anymore.
And I was not prepared to love this body this way.
So I spent the year meeting my faulty programming that said that my thinner self was my better self - somehow my more desirable self. Or that my body was my SELF at all. I couldn’t understand how or why my form was changing so drastically in such short amounts of time. I tested my thyroid, I followed plans to balance my hormones through careful roadmaps and restrictions in my diet, and I felt the unruly pain of filing how I nourish my body under “good” or “bad” or “reward” or “restriction” or “can” and “can’t”. If you got real about your relationship to food, the statistics around how many people struggle with some form of disordered eating would be truly startling.
Coming into 2018, I was ready to claim my body and stop hiding. I texted my friend Jen and asked her if she’d take some pictures of me. I’d gotten so uncomfortable having my picture taken, unable to bear the sight of myself in a photo, that I needed to just bound straight into it, ready to land without shame in this suit that houses my spirit - this remarkably intelligent body. On a gloomy day just like today, I laid down my mat on a friends’ rooftop, closed my eyes, and flowed. The edges between my inner and outer landscapes blurred as I just listened, intuitively guided and just…honest. Everything vibrated with the throbbing boldness that can only be described as the glory of coming home.
A few nights prior, I stood naked before a lover after being totally ravished from spirit to flesh. “Do you love your body?” he asked me as he lay wrapped in heavy white blankets, admiring the sight of me silhouetted against a distant light. I smiled “Most days.” I meant that. Most days.
What I’ve learned is that the way to best care for this thing (for me), is to trust it as my ally. It has repeatedly revealed its ability to decay, regenerate, heal, grow, and to do all of that over and over again as needed. The lesson has been to do the work to cultivate an intimate relationship of deep intuition. To listen for what it needs for nourishment - food, movement, relationship, touch, love, release, pleasure - and to understand ALL of that as care. Furthermore, that my worthiness as a human being isn’t tied to whatever that choice looks like. Whether that’s green juice or chocolate cake, there is nothing that I need to earn. It is my right to be nourished as I see fit, period.
As becoming takes place, we are invited to acknowledge that the body is just a vehicle that allows the spirit to ascend towards higher planes of consciousness, and that it just needs you to tune in and take care from a place of trust.
Dear body, thank you for holding me - from a flower to a seed, a lioness to a cub, and back home again.