This past weekend I watched Brene Brown's Call to Courage on Netflix. It was excellent of course! I recommend watching it. There is so much great material in it. There's one piece that's been sticking with me that isn't even the main point of the show. Near the end she mentions that women most often feel shame around their body image and men most often feel shame around their role as providers. I have since been reflecting on this.
As women I know we are so much more than our appearance. SO much more. And I know there is some good emotional material of my own to dig into here. For now though I'll say that it angers and frustrates me to think that we still live in a culture where a women's appearance is so heavily emphasized and that it is something we still experience so much shame around.
A friend of mine said "if only eyes could see souls". I agree.
As if it isn't enough to feel pressure to look a certain way and be a certain size, how about the thousands of us who just purely don't feel safe in our bodies? Energetically many of us are not grounded in our physical bodies. Our energy is in our heads most of the time, or even beyond our heads and outside our bodies completely. Whether that's for the simple fact that you're a woman and that might not feel safe to you; or because you don't fit the particular mold set out in magazines, television, runways, social media, or even family and friends. Or perhaps you have experienced physical or emotional trauma that's left part of you believing that it's not safe to be in this body. Energetically, even the experience of an emotion that we don't want to feel can leave our energy sort of hovering above us - "Nope, don't want to go in there, don't want to feel that." Not to mention the pace of life that surrounds us, the disconnection from nature, and the constant bombardment of wifi, cell phone signals, environmental pollutants, a culture that emphasizes knowledge over embodiment, etc etc.
Let's switch this up to something a little more positive. I invite you to close your eyes and take the time to ask yourself the following questions. What would it feel like to live in a world where people feel safe in their bodies? How do those people interact with you? How do they interact with themselves? How do they move? What do they look like? How do they speak to themselves? How do they speak to you? How are they in their relationships? How are they at work? How are they in their general lives? How do they treat their bodies? How do you feel when you feel safe in your body? And how do you treat your body when you feel safe in it? Does the way you feel in your body relate to the way you feel in the world?
The above paragraph is available in audio below so that you can really feel into this and notice what comes up.
For now, put your hands on your belly, take 3 deep breaths, and say to yourself "It is safe to be in this body. It is safe to be in this body. It is safe to be in this body".
How do you feel now? How do you feel in your body? How do you feel about your body's appearance?
You are beautiful. I mean it.
Natalie loves life, people, animals, plants, and trees. She believes in the flow of life and approaches each day with gratitude.