I came across this article today and I thought I would share:
Can you accept your body on its terms?I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made a vow to myself to quit regimes that involved trying to change or decrease the size of my body.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to hide my vessel because I thought she was fat, ugly or just not good enough.
I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent time traveling — to a place in the past when she was acceptable or to a moment in the distant future when she’ll be perfect.
I realized, just years ago, that I didn’t want to take this way of thinking to my grave. I did not want to be eighty years old looking back on my life regretting that I could not accept and fall in love with the mysterious, magical, wisdom and beauty infested organism that carried me through this life.
No fucking way.
I sat next to a sixty-some-year-old Shaman on a plane once. We were flying from Dublin to Copenhagen where he’d then take a train north to his home in the countryside of Sweden. At the end of our time together, as we walked towards customs, he pulled a photo out of his wallet. He looked at the photo before he showed it to me and said, “I never knew how beautiful I was back then.”His words cast a stone right into my center and it rippled out into every part of my body.
Not in a way that it made me feel I had wasted any of my beauty on making un-nourishing choices in the past. But in a way that encouraged me to cease the moment. Could I realize how beautiful I was right now — right now — no matter the preconceived notions of what I thought beauty was, and no matter what has been pounded into me by the media or superficial boyfriends (and girlfriends)? More importantly, no matter my size or shape…right now?
Right now — not as you were ten years ago, not even as you were yesterday, but as you are right now…
This stone, a gentle seed, was the most sincere invitation to love, to become witness to my own beauty, in its present-state. And within this state of love and self-acceptance would I never again have to go on any ruthless, body-diminishing conquest to find, attain or achieve it. Through self-love, I’d just be it — beauty, in all its intuitive, freeing forms.
Beauty is an energy and it emanates from within. It’s key ingredient is acceptance. This acceptance is a healing elixir. It removes sheaths of nonsense, disbelief and falsities. More than anything, it sets us free.
We are all beautiful, but if you can’t see your own beauty, how can anyone else?
So let’s get started. Take off all of your clothes and start to re-discover what’s been carrying you every single day of your existence. What’s been whispering your name. What’s been the vehicle to serve your purpose. What’s been the source of your every breath….your body.
Here are 7 naked body truths I’ve learned so far.
#1 The touch of my own palms, pressing into any part of my naked body…is healing. My soft belly, my chest, arms, breasts — my hands, our hands, extensions of our hearts, have the energy to heal not only others, but our selves.
#2 When I look at my body, it looks back, whole-heartedly. And where attention flows, love grows. When I soften the tension around my eyes and my mouth, and when I relax everything around my brain and then look at my so-called imperfections, they all soften. All I see then, all I connect with, is my body — and my body responds with unconditional affection.
#3 Despite my accumulated messiness, shame and worthlessness, she’s still holds me. She’s always done the best with what she is and has despite the dimming of my own light due to low self-worth and not being able to see myself as I am — as we are.
#4 There’s no need to apologize. Never again do I need to apologize for taking up space in this world with my body. I have a right to be here. We all do.
#5 There’s unlimited and untapped bravery held within — and felt throughout. The nakedness of my body is liberating — and courageous. Not when it’s purposefully tantalizing or contrived due to identity confusion, but when it’s natural, authentic and unafraid of the experiencing life.
#6 There’s no need to force or control the changes that have and are taking place. I’m good enough. I am enough and I’ve never, even been more perfect or more beautiful. My body carries the story of my life’s experience in its tissue and when I allow myself to see this beauty, I embrace life.
#7 Vulnerability is strength. My naked body and all its vulnerability was and always has been thee catalyst for my most significant shifts of consciousness — always moving from a place of constriction to expansion, from fear to trust and resilience.
Progress is accepting and loving ourselves as we are. It’s truly stepping into our flesh and embracing every nook of it. The more we embrace our vessels, the less of a battle life becomes and authenticity thrives. And all we need are baby steps. Start with not being so hard on yourself when you look into the mirror, while you are in the shower and while making love. You are lovable. You are love.
The only real campaign that will truly work, shape or influence the world resides in the magnitude of your own self-love.
~ Tanya Lee Markul