OK. Here’s a good down-to-earth feeling to start with. I feel fat.
I feel guilty too. A large cinnamon roll after lunch and a bowl of ice cream after dinner. I also bought a box of See’s candies on my trip to the mall yesterday. I couldn’t help it. I wanted to taste sweetness – delicious, delightful gifts to myself. Why should that be bad?
I feel like I’m middle aged now. I’ve got that middle-age pooch in my belly. The one I thought I’d never have. Afterall, I had been known far and wide for my flat stomach! Yes, I’m being facetious in order to point out the ridiculousness that is generated around woman and her body image. In my mind I imagine that my flat stomach had been noted by all, just as I now imagine that my pooch is being noted by all. Ludicrous when you really allow yourself to feel it. You see, I couldn’t perceive the silliness of it all until I was honest about how I felt and then fully felt it. I also physically felt the changes in my belly and lived through the discomfort of letting it go – letting it fall outside the boundary lines of that perfect and socially acceptable place for bellies to be; letting it pooch. Ahhhh. Natural. What a concept.
I’m learning how to be OK with it in the privacy of my own room, in front of my mirror. I’ll still suck my tummy in from time to time on those special public occasions when I must not reveal the horrors of my changing body and when I don’t actually need to breathe. Oh please. What occasion would that be? Let it go. All of these horrific expectations of a woman’s body must go!
My body is amazing. Honestly speaking, I love it. It doesn’t match runway models. So what? My body is for me. It’s not for a man, and it’s not for the fashion world. It’s mine. It’s my job to settle in and feel comfortable with it wherever we’re at. I’ve noticed that if I don’t love my body, it stops communicating with me in subtle ways and turns to alarming announcements when something is out of balance. I prefer loving my body and hearing her memos in soft, gentle whispers when something needs to be changed in my choice of diet, exercise, rest or communication.
The body obviously has its own language – feelings and sensations. In my experience, it takes time to re-learn the language of the body – both speaking and reading – and to bring the body back into the picture as an equal partner in this Earth life. The sensory language of the body becomes more clear when I’ve done my ‘Feelings Aloud’ work. Afterall, if I don’t know what I feel, I can’t always feel what I know. I’ve learned that the body’s wisdom falls under the header of ‘knowing feeling’, and ‘knowing feeling’ is imperceptible if one is stuffing, hiding or ‘sucking in’ honest feelings. I say let your feelings and your body breathe. The resulting long-term gifts far outweigh the superficial gains of outer appearances.
I’m healthy in this now moment. I have found what my body enjoys in exercise and movement, as well as diet and nutrition. If my body needs to expand my belly for whatever reason, I say – you do what you need to do. And if I need to taste a little extra sweetness here and there, I say – I’ll do what I need to do.
Question for Channeled Guidance: When I tap into the collective pain of women, just around body image alone, I am overwhelmed. What can we as women do to feel better about ourselves and our bodies – just the way they are?