I was taking a bath recently and a question popped up.
Do we ever fully experience our bodies as a home that’s just for us?
For women especially, how we feel about our bodies has a lot to do with how others experience them.
Are our bodies viewed as desirable? This question leads us to experience our bodies as we imagine others do.
When was the last time you wore a bathing suit without considering how you’d look to others?
Does the thought of being fully naked with the lights on in front of your lover scare you? Maybe you don’t even like to look in the mirror at yourself. (This work is ongoing. I struggle with all these things too. These questions are not meant to criticize but to bring deeper awareness to the relationship we have with our bodies).
How do you think our bodies receive these messages of “not enoughness”?
If we’re negotiating the worthiness of our bodies based on the perceptions of others, what does this mean for how our bodies show up for us?
It’s giving conditional love…
Even healthy habits like exercising may be more of a reflection of creating a pleasurable experience for others rather than feeling into the power, pleasure, and magic of inhabiting our own flesh.
Many of us have never fully come home to our bodies. During our limited time on earth, we have been gifted these bodies to be our forever home. And if we don’t feel at peace there, there is no peace anywhere…
How can we reclaim this relationship to our bodies? How can we partner with the body to get more out of life? To feel more alive?
A simple way to begin is to start by listening. And by doing what feels good in our bodies. Based on my experience if you create space for the body to communicate, it will. Practices like yoga, breathwork, meditation, solo walks, baths, body oiling, and dance are all wonderful ways to explore and begin the conversation.
Remember the body talks in sensation, not words (though sometimes it does!). So some measure of stillness will help the communication come through.
Even small acts of appreciation for the body for showing up for us despite our conditional love and inattention will go a loooong way. Be tender to your body. Talk sweet to her. Entice her as you would a lover ;-)
Perhaps the next time you apply body oil, take a few minutes and let it feel real good. Spend some extra time on those places where you hold tension. Maybe take a few deep breaths while there. Your body will let you know what it needs.
Recently, I’ve begun taking more baths and doing mid-day dance breaks. I’ve also started to take walks at sunset and do short 5 minute vinyasas during the day. It’s like a friendly hello to my body. When I do these things I can feel my body let out a long, deeeeep sigh. She likes allllll of this and rewards me with better sleep, digestion, and a more open heart and settled mind.
When the body starts to feel safe, loved, and appreciated by you, the conversation will inevitably deepen allowing even more nuanced communication, healing, and power.
What is your body telling you? What do you want to do just because it feels good?