Fighting to love my body

You got to fight…
for your right…
to feel great in your body.
It’s hard to feel good in our bodies as they are. Because if we choose to pay attention (and it’s so hard not to), there are lots of people and messages out there that tell us that we can’t feel good in our bodies. Right now. As we are.

That makes me so mad.

Storytime, friends.

I’m in La Senza. Feeling good. About myself. About my body. About my life.

I find a great salesperson. She has breasts, this girl, so I figure that she is going to be my sister-in-bras. She uses words like “sexy, cleavage, push up, tight, rounded, slim”. I am ready to buy anything. Can it really be this easy?!

I try on the first one. Oops. Horrible. Erase. Delete.

I try on the second one. LAST CHANCE! Hmm, not good. But not horrible. Workable?

Hmm. Not good. Not. Good. Is it just me or are these change rooms really small? The walls are closing in on me. I’m surrounded by photos of beautiful slim girls who can probably wear everything in this store. They don’t even have a size – their size is “anything.” They are so happy prancing around in lingerie in Rio and Paris.

The lighting. Not good. Not. Good. Or….too good? Is my stomach really that fat? Wow. I am walking around feeling great in my body AND IT’S LOOKED LIKE THIS?! I have it all wrong; I shouldn’t be walking around pretending that everything is great because OBVIOUSLY IT IS NOT GOOD – LOOK IN THE MIRROR!

My brain immediately dumps all life-sustaining actions and starts working on the most important “to do” list of my life. Start exercising one hour a day as soon as I get home. Eat only veges and protein. Stop drinking. No more carbs. Discipline. Serious. Stop drinking.

Panic. Sadness. Depression. Anxiety. Disgust. Disappointment.

Yuck. F**k. F**k. F**k me. (I apologize for all this swearing in here but it really does the best job of conveying what I felt.)

Wait.

Wait.

Wait a gosh darn second here.

No. Not f**k me. F**k YOU! F**k YOU WORLD and La Senza! Don’t you dare rain on my parade. How dare you make me feel this way? Also, brain – SHUT UP!! You are just as bad as they are!!!

I decide to fight back. I turn away from the mirror. I close my eyes and start dancing to the party tunes playing. They are not just for beautiful models in Rio and Paris. They are for beautiful me! I Imagine myself surrounded by all my friends – loving life. Feeling loved. Cold beer in hand.

The heat of my panic cools. I breathe. I come back to myself. I think, it’s only that these bras don’t fit. There is nothing wrong with my beautiful girls and I’m going to find them a beautiful bra. And I’m going to fight to keep feeling good about this treasured vessel I walk around in.

I give my girls a love rub and blow a kiss to myself when I leave the changing room.

When I reflected on this experience, I realized that it was another classic example of brain vs body.

I was feeling great – in my body.
I was not “looking” great – said my brain.

Why was I believing my brain and not my body? Why did I trust my brain more? Why was I choosing to listen to the negative voices in my head instead of reveling in the calm confidence of my body?

If your body is telling you something beautiful and your brain is telling you something negative, make your choice. I know which one I’d go with.

And if someone is trying to rain on your parade, just say “Hells no!”.

(I have been listening to the “Cowboy Tailgate” playlist on Songza. My brain thinks the lyrics are stupid but my body loves it.)

How would it feel to be in love?

Have you ever wanted to be like someone else because they seemed to be more…

successful
confident
happy
sexy

Or just more right than you?

I have always wanted to be the kind of woman who leaves the house with her make-up done, wearing the right clothes and put together in a totally luxurious and effortless way. In reality, I don’t really like wearing make-up, I don’t know what the current fashion trends are, I often have messed-up looking hair and I am currently sporting the ugliest pair of winter boots I have ever seen.

I recently realized that I haven’t been honouring who I really am.

One morning at the retreat, they had these amazing make-up, body paint and hair artists to “adorn” our inner dancers. My gut immediately said, “I don’t want this. It doesn’t make me feel excited; it makes me feel resentful and angry.” But instead, I listened to my brain who said “Just go along with what everyone else is doing because everyone else is excited so you must be wrong for not being excited too.”

About an hour later, with a make-up job that I wanted to scrub off my face and looking at a line-up at the body paint and hair stations, I thought “Screw this. I don’t want this.” So I left the room and went for a walk outside. Into the sunshine. My whole body relaxed and my gut said “Thank you.”

I realized then that I had not been sticking up for myself. I wasn’t listening to my gut (which is, by the way, bang on ALL THE TIME), I was listening to my brain. Bad news because while my brain is really good as some things, my gut and my heart and my body are designed to tell the truth. They do not lie.

I am the life of the party and also reserved and subtle. My inner dancer doesn’t like being adorned. She is all about simplicity and skin.

I was fighting who I really was. And when I stopped fighting and fell in love with this part of me, I became not only more relaxed and blissed out (which is what happens when you are not spending energy criticizing who you are…) but I became excited again about being in my skin.

Instead of trying to fight who I am, I’m going to drop deeply and delightfully in love with myself!

(sounds sinful, doesn’t it?!)

Until next time, fellow adventurers.

My mind was blown…and other retreat stories

I have been home for two weeks from the S-Factor retreat in San Diego.

Wow.

Worth the price of admission, folks.

Yup, my mind and my heart were blown. I had experiences there that shifted something inside. Some doors opened that won’t close again.

I have this fear that it will all slip through my fingers. Trampled by my daily life routine. Suffocated by the lovely grind of motherhood. Betrayed by this feeling that the value of a day is measured in the toil, not in the joy. That each day is about getting things done, production, working hard.

Man, I’m so bored of that. It’s just not fun enough.

So many things happened at the retreat. Some things I am still digesting. But let me share two experiences with you today…

(wait, let’s order a few bottles of champagne before we start…)

One experience that really shifted my whole being was feeling perfect as myself. In myself. It was more than acceptance of all that I was (the sadness, the fear, the shyness, the fierceness, the anger, the lust), it was ADORATION. The voices were silent. No nagging. No criticism. No “you should be/do/say”. No self-doubt. Just this total peace as I wandered about, not trying to fix or change anything about me. Loving who I was. I don’t think I have felt quite like that EVER. Which is a very sad reflection, isn’t it?

And I also started a love affair with what Sheila Kelley calls my “erotic creature”. My inner dancer. My alter-ego. I saw her so clearly for the first time but I also recognized her from so long ago. And I have a feeling that knowing her and letting her be alive in my life will add so much of what I want – more adventure, more fierceness, more rebellion, more UNLEASHEDNESS. (As I write that word, I know it is exactly what I mean. )

If your curiosity is piqued, I’m glad. I will be sharing more experiences with you from the retreat as I wrap my brain around them.

In the meantime, I learned this about myself. I have so much more to learn and love about myself. I have ecstasy in me.

I can go higher.

Thank you for sharing this adventure with me.