body compassion

A Love Letter to My Body

By | Body Love, Wisdom Blog | 20 Comments

belly love (2)Last week I shared my struggles with learning to love my body again. I’ve been diving into the world of improving your body image and have come to a fascinating realization: you must learn the love the skin you’re in NOW. Not when you lose 5 lbs or the zit on your chin goes away or the cellulite disappears. You have to love your body as it is NOW – perceived imperfections, flaws, injuries, and all.

This morning I looked at myself naked in the mirror and gave thanks – to the things I love about my body and the things I don’t love so much about my body. The things that I cherish and the things that frustrate me. And the latter was more powerful than the former, because it’s those wrinkles, cellulite, muffin top, and love handles that make you the woman you are today. They tell your story.

How can you give thanks for your body today? Here’s my ‘thank you.’ Feel free to adapt parts or all of it as you re-learn how to give thanks for your body – just as it is. Warts, scars, pimples, and all.

 

Hello gorgeous!

 

I love you feet. You are so supportive and keep me centered and grounded. I love that I broke my heel twice in one year and that it is so slow to heal. You, lovely heel, made me slow down when I wanted to ramp it up to the speed of light. You made me take a much-needed break. For that I am grateful.

 

I love you legs. You are so strong and get me where I need to go. I love your cellulite for it reminds me to take care of myself. I love your muscle tone for it reminds me of just how powerful you are.

 

I love you butt. I love your stretch marks for they tell the story of where you’ve been and how I’ve grown. I love the way you jiggle. You provide me with such a good cushion to sit on. And I love, love, love the way you look in jeans.

 

I love you belly. I love your extra padding – I know you’ve got me covered when I get too busy to eat. I love that you digest my food and send the energy to all the cells of my body so I can do what I want to do each day. I love your scars, for they tell of your struggles and of your triumph. Of all the surgeries you’ve been through. I love your cute little innie belly button.

 

I love you back. You are strongly, silently supportive. You help me stand and sit up straight and keep good posture. I love when you ache because you are letting me know that you need a little TLC and that I’ve been burning the candle at both ends again and need to take a break. I love when you protest so loudly that I have to call my chiropractor for she takes excellent care of us.

 

I love you breasts. Your softness, your fullness, your sensitivity. I love when you ache because I know my hormones are doing their job and my period is on its way. I love your color, how you turn rigid and pebble when you’re cold or aroused. You communicate my feelings better than I do sometimes!

 

I love you collarbones. I love the way you stick out, the way you accent my neck and shoulders. I love the way you hold up my chest and support my internal organs to do their job to their fullest capacity.

 

I love you shoulders. You are downright sexy. I love your muscle tone, your strength. I love that you protest when I work you too hard, that you tense up when I’ve been sitting at my desk for too long. You remind me to take a Goddess break now and then.

 

I love you arms. You let me reach for the stars and never hold me back. I love when your elbow tendonitis kicks in because it lets me know I’ve been working you too hard and you need a break. I love your softness. I love your sun spots and freckles for they tell of all the exciting places we’ve been.

 

I love you neck. You do such a good job of holding up our head! I love your wrinkles, for they tell your age – like rings on a tree. They tell of your life experiences, your struggles, your triumphs. I love when you ache and let me know I need to move you in some direction other than looking forward at my computer screen. I love that when you get tight, you still pop and release and feel better.

 

I love you face. I love your wrinkles, for they tell our story – of all the good – and not so good – times we’ve spent together. I love your sun spots for they remind me of when we were in Hawaii. I love that you still get acne at age 40. It makes me feel young again. I love that you have smile lines. It lets me know I’ve lived a good, happy life.

 

I love you eyes for you are the window to my Soul. And you’re gorgeous! I love your color, your openness, your honesty. For you let the world see us for who we are.

 

I love you ears. I love that you are so big so I can hear everything I want to. I love that you too get blackheads and pimples, just like my face. You let me know not to forget to take care of you.

 

I love you hair.  You are long and luxurious. I love your color- even your grey stripe that grows in width each passing year. You are sexy and soft and make me feel like the goddess I am.

 

I love you brain. You are so smart. You help me write, think, talk, and feel. I love it when you obsess and ruminate for it lets me know what I need to let go of.

 

I love you organs. You do such a wonderful job keeping me alive. I love that I don’t have to remember to breathe or tell our heart to beat. You just do it all on your own with no help from me.

 

I love you ovary, fallopian tube, and uterus. I love our struggle with endometriosis because it made me realize what a gift my periods were. I love that you sacrificed one side of my reproductive system so you could thrive. I love that you took a little 9-year break to recoup before coming back in full force. You make me feel like the powerful woman I am.

 

I love you blood. You are my life. Without you I could not live. I love that you transport nutrients where they need to go. I love that you bleed red – the color of life. I love that you pour forth from me every 28 days and remind me of what a gift you are.

 

I love you, body. I love you, Mary. I give thanks for you – for all the miracles you perform every day. I love you. I love you. I love you.

 

I hope you too will take some time today to celebrate you and your body. You (and your body) are truly a miracle.

 

Goddess bless!

 

Learning to Love My Body – All of It

By | Body Love, Wisdom Blog | One Comment

day 2 SSI recently signed up for Hannah Marcotti’s 2-week long sexy and sanguine course. I figured it would be a good learning experience for me as I work this year on loving me. When I signed up for the course, I knew we would be receiving daily prompts and lessons. We were warned to have a journal, pen, and a camera ready. For some reason, I envisioned journal prompts and taking pictures of things that inspired us. I was wrong.

On day 1 of the course I realized that we needed a camera so we could take pictures of ourselves and post them on Hannah’s private Facebook group page. Oh no. Not happening. And so I ignored those daily emails, letting them pile up in my inbox. Until the last day of the course – Day 14.

Because that’s when it hit me. By refusing to take pictures of myself, I was refusing me at my very core.

I’ve never been one for getting my picture taken. It’s not that I don’t like what I look like; it’s that I’m not very photogenic. So what I see in the mirror and what comes out on camera seem like two totally different things to me. The only time I’ve been proud of what I looked like in pictures was last fall when I was being photographed as part of a cover shoot. I loved the way those pictures turned out. But that’s what having a professional hair and make-up artist, professional photographer, and a little photo shop does for you. Pores? Gone. Wrinkles? Gone. Imperfections? Gone. The few people who have seen those images of me say that they don’t even look like me. Now I get why Cindy Crawford was once quoted as saying, “I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford!”

But she doesn’t. And neither did I – look like myself in my cover shoot. And I found myself torn about this. On the one hand, I finally loved pictures of myself. On the other hand, people who know me say those pictures are gorgeous but don’t look like me. So I’m doing an experiment. I’m putting it all out there. Next week is media influence week in my Psychology of Eating class. I am leading with BuzzFeed Video’s recent campaign of real women being photoshopped and their reactions to their pictures (similar to my reaction, they were confused about what to think). And then I’m showing my before and after photoshop shots so the students can see what I really look like (which they see every day), what I look like after 2 hours of hair and make-up (unretouched photos), and what I look like after those ‘cover shots’ have been photoshopped.

Preparing that lecture was kind of depressing, really. It made me realize that my ‘cover girl shot’ looks nothing like me. And I’m not sure what to think about that. When you’re trying to learn to love yourself and love your body maybe viewing photoshopped images of yourself isn’t the best idea.

On the plus side, it motivated me to actually start Hannah Marcotti’s challenge. I’m on Day 2. I’m journaling, I’m figuring out what makes me feel sexy and sanguine, and I’m posting pictures of random body parts on Facebook (see my shoulder shot above)! My goal is to go further than Hannah’s challenge though. I want to not just take pictures of my body, but learn to love what it looks like too – the unphotoshopped, real version of me. So I’m adding hearts and words to my skin so that when I see these images I will remember: I am love.

Join me.

day 1 SS