Seeeesshhh it's a hard one....
I controlled my body full tilt after going through anxiety and depression in my late teens. Wanting to feel good in myself, staying thin gave me a false sense of security in those days. I felt better skinner, in control. So I controlled my food. I became extremely obsessed. Looked in the mirror a million times at day. Compared myself to every woman I met. Limited the amount of food I ate. What kind of food I ate. If I broke 'my rules', I'd mentally punish myself. So much self sabotage. It was totally maddening. Totally consumed my mind, my perception on happiness and my worth as a human being. I believed people valued me by the way I looked.
It's a LOAD OF SHIT.
People value us by our inner light, by our love and by our presence.
How did I change it?
I let go.
The pendulum had swung so far in one direction, it just had to come back the other way.
I let go of controlling what I 'thought' my body wanted and started 'listening' to what my body needed. I stood up taller. I did yoga and started to surf. And I accepted that my body has peaks and troughs, some days agile, some days bloated. I'm a woman after all. Just like the weather, ebbing and flowing.
It balanced itself out over time...
And people loved me no matter what. I attracted lovely men into my life, even when I felt chubby. I attracted generous friends into my life, even when I felt bloated. The evidence showed me that my inner light was what people experienced from me, not the way my body showed up. It was up to me to turn my inner light on or off. A choice.
I got real about the fact that I have a strong, muscly body. I'm not dainty, never will be. I'm curvy. I just got in reality about things. All this fear about my worth in the way I looked, total illusion crap.
I also realised how self indulgent it is to waste so much time obsessing over how I look. There are way more interesting and important things in life, in this world to focus on. Way more energy to use in more productive ways.
A huge point too is that no one else really cares, because they're all so focused on themselves anyway!
Keeping awareness of the big picture, it became a practice from then on and I feel pretty unconditional about my body these days.
You've got to see how magnificent your body is. How your heart has beat from the time you were in your mummas belly, to it beating when your child was growing in yours...or perhaps will be. Far out ladies, you are creating human beings! Give your body praise. Like you love your partners body, your friends bodies, your children's bodies, please love yours. Focus on its ability, its strength, it's endurance to self heal all these years. To carry you. To run you up that mountain. To swim you through that sea. To melt you into the arms of your lover. Your body is the bridge between your spirit and this physical world. Give it a bloody break mate!
There's a great quote that is relevant to much, but will work in relation to body image.
'We compare out behind the scenes to other people's highlight reels'.
So, don't compare your self to ANY other woman. Love other woman for the way they look and feel. Know that you are enough just the way you are.
Get real and remember the truth....
People value us, experience us and see us by our inner light, by our love and by our presence.
So there she goes, moving her life from one side of the country to the other, thousands of kilometres dialled up crossing the Nullarbor with her cheeky and relatively new boyfriend in tow. Oh life, you wonderful and mysterious creature, making me partake in all sorts of crazy and daring adventures!
I moved over to WA, Fremantle a few months ago. I've had some bitter ups and downs, I'm not going to lie. For so long I wanted a change, to try something/somewhere different. Now I'm here and I feel like a puppy who's just been separated from her large family and been adopted out. An adjustment phase, a time to develop more self resilience, courage and learn about love in a new expanded way. I have so many wonderful friends all over Australia. Mostly all based in the East. I have met a few beautiful people here and am on the journey of bonding with them a little deeper. I feel like I'm just scrapping the surface and that this takes time and magnetic moments. Those soul meetings can't be organised or planned. Much like meeting the love of your life, you just have to go about doing your thing and then they appear. I see friends the same way, friends are incredibly important to me. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I need people. For the reason of the reflection they bring, they help me grow, bounce off others and integrate this whole life thing. So I guess without those strong bonds at this time, yes it's a reminder that I have to bond and reflect within myself.
I see that things come in phases, cycles and there's often interesting timing to that also. I feel like I've done this shadow phase and it was years ago. But she's back. The shadow, the darkness, the night, the unknown has called me to walk her path and she's said its not up for negotiation. Buggar it. See that, resistance. That's where the pain is, in the resistance. In Buddhism, they talk a lot about non attachment. For years I thought this wasn't an accurate teaching and they'd really stuffed this one up. Oh how righteous of me! Though after years of self development, supporting others on their journey and working with people in various transitions of their lives, I have now come to understand this non attachment gig. For when we become to attached, fixed or in control of anything, we suffer. Nature is always in a state of change and so too are we. To think we can become to glued or set in our ways, within relationships, work, health, life's direction etc is a huge fallacy. One of my favourite lines out of an old Incubus song says 'to resist is too piss in the wind'. Need I say more?
So how to not resist? How to avoid strong attachment? Develop a relationship with Letting Go. Just let go, let go, let go. There's a beautiful Zen teaching called the 'Wu Wei', it's wisdom is 'effortless effort'. To go with the flow. To trust ourselves moment by moment. Communicate our needs. To listen to our intuition. To move forward or to sit back. To be open or to be still. To express or to conjure within. Again, moment by moment. To be so in the now, that the universe has full authority to move through you and line you up with all that you need. How wonderful and exciting really!
So here she goes. Day by day, week by week, I feel my inner world start to slow. Something is calling me. A deeper stillness than I've never really known before. It feels like if I don't slow and be available to listen, I'm going to miss 'it'. Western Australia's energy is different to the East. It's as though the East asks you to be 'on', 'out' and 'strong'. Here I'm feeling a slower, deeper energy. One that asks to go 'within', rather than out.
"By all means use sometimes to be alone.
Salute thy self: see what thy soul doth wear."
Big Love, Lucy Xx
We are many-storied creatures. Every morning, we wake up and tell ourselves into our story. When you study a life, as I have many times as a therapist, you realize that how we tell ourselves into our story generally determines how things will go for us. As American Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield says, “We can tell stories that lead us to greater suffering and desperation, blame and fear, or we can use stories to open the heart of compassion. We can use stories to support the generous impulse that’s there in us. We can use stories to connect us to one another.” The problem is that much of our personal story is unconscious to us, a jumble of scripts generated by the imprints of our experiences, often running and ruling us from underneath.
The places where we run into trouble and suffer in life are the places where our stories have gone awry, where things have gone badly or where we have chosen inappropriate responses or just avoided the powerful emotions and effects attending such events. Some of our most affecting experiences have occurred when we were too young, too immature or too distracted to comprehend the full import of what was happening. So we are left with distortions in our story about how life actually works, and significantly, we still may carry painfully charged emotions that were not fully experienced. These incomplete elements of our story limit our range of choices and behavior. The still emotionally-charged memories and associated fantasies from different periods of our lives can inhibit us and become barriers to the life we want to or were meant to live.
What Is Your Body Telling You?
Here’s how to use your body to keep an eye out for these 4 signs of in-authenticity.
What’s my voice doing? When we’re not being ourselves, we tend to use a high voice. We’re not projecting from our belly and chances are everything below the neck is starved of breath. Are you talking super fast? Another sign of discomfort.
What’s my body doing? Am I clenching my butt, my hands or my jaw? Our bodies are billions of cells firing at once and those cells can’t be fooled. Tension in your being is picked up instantly by your body. Do a body scan.
Am I breathing? Shallow breathing in the chest area and vs the belly will not only change your voice, it’s also a signal of fear, nervousness and playing the game of in-authenticity.
Am I in the present moment or am I being hyper-vigilant? When we’re feeling safe and authentically in the moment, we relax and respond naturally to what’s showing up. When we’re not, we’re hyper-vigilant watching others for signs that we’re accepted and okay.
When we’re in the present moment, our reactions are authentic, our personalities are real and we feel safe to shine our gifts onto the world.
Ed: Bryonie Wise
Health, Happiness, Healing, Fun, Adventure, Love, Surfing, Painting, Laughing, Friendship, Wonderlust, Magic, Mystery, Spirit, Science, Nature, Music, Ocean, Stars, Children, Yoga, Family, Animals, Earth