I have a sacred relationship with my body, but it wasn't always this way. Before the age of 35, I had no concept of what it meant to embody my body.
I took her for granted, completely oblivious to the glorious complexity of her inner workings. Sure, I knew all about the biological systems, but I was at a loss of the machinations of my own soul and how it was intricately intertwined in this beautiful physical domain.
Now I have lived in this body for 42 years, and for much of that time, I know she has suffered my ignorance with grace and resilience. Today, we are both relieved that I finally know better.
Here are five truths I know about my body today that I wish I'd known years ago:
1. She speaks.
My body talks. She tells me everything I need to know, all the time.
She lets me know when I need to move and when I should slow down. She is not shy about the need to pause and take a breath. She will ask politely for more greens and less sugar. She stiffens when I am frightened and relaxes when the coast is clear. She can smell danger and feel pleasure. She loves the sound of rain, and she has never been a fan of shellfish.
She asks for what she needs and she is not afraid to yell if I don’t listen.
2. Change is normal.
While I seem to be aging fairly well (thanks, Mom!), I am no spring chicken. My body has changed a lot over the years.
Gravity has started to win. My skin is not as taut as it once was, and my laugh lines show proof of a smile before my mouth does. But I am not interested in defying age — I'd much rather embrace it.
I am not the same woman I was 10 years ago, and that’s not a metaphor. It's fact. My body changes because she is constantly replenishing and renewing herself. And like everything in the universe, evolution is not optional but necessary.
3. Feelings are meant to move.
In the past, I spent a lot of time holding on to my feelings. But I've learned that emotions and feelings are signals that need to be addressed and acted on.
My feelings tell me what I really think about people and circumstances. They offer an added layer of dimension to my life experience. But when I hold on to them, their memory gets stuck in my body, causing inflammation and tension. And if I hold on for too long, I get sick.
Sometimes I pretend I don’t feel anything, but that’s never true. Numbness is an illusion. Just because I'm not always acutely aware of how I feel doesn't mean those feelings aren't affecting me. But when I am fully present, I can feel everything.
Feel. Process. Release. Repeat as needed.
4. Hair comes and goes (and grows).
My mother taught me to shave my armpits in my youth. As I got older, I also shaved my legs and my bikini area. These days, I shave when I feel called to do so, but sometimes I just let it grow.
Though the growth on top of my head has slowed, the little hairs that have sprung up on my chin are unwelcome. I pluck those suckers on a regular basis, but maybe someday I'll let those grow too.
The truth is that hair grows because it's supposed to. It's not there for no reason. But you and I have the right to do with it what we please ... or not.
5. My womb is a sage.
Life begins in the womb and as it turns out, the gateway to life is also the gateway to creativity.
For a long time I thought my intuition spoke through my gut, but I was wrong. My intuition actually communicates best a few clicks south. The space where my uterus once lived is also the space where my soul communes with the source.
When I tune in, I can hear my inner GPS loud and clear. When I get still and focus my attention on the energy in my womb, I can feel the presence of my ancestors and the language of the cosmos. My womb is wise and it's tuned into the frequency of truth at all times.
Your body has truth to tell too. Your truth may be different from mine because we are all unique. But I am willing to bet that your body is eager to share, so listen up.
You will live in this body for the duration of your time here. Get cozy and pay attention.
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