Posted by: Brie | November 22, 2011

What do you love about your body?

 

‘Tis the season and I am a dancing cornucopia of gratitude contemplating all we have to be thankful for.   Soft bellies warm and full on sprouted lentil coconut green curry dahl.  A roof over our heads.  A real bed to sleep in.  Girlfriend power.  The right to vote and bare our legs and shoulders.  The freedom to pursue as much education as we dare.  Admittedly, I just shrieked in a not so grateful way at the spider that just descended upon my lap Miss Muffet-style.  But she reminds me of the web of life and points to the reality that I can have as much curds and whey as I can stomach which is more than girls on the other side of the world scarcely dream about because they don’t even know where their next meal is coming from.  Most of us do.

 

A great sufi sage once said, Abundance can be had simply by embracing that which has already been given.  I decided to test this one out upon first moving to California and took a job hostessing at a mostly raw, vegan restaurant called Café Gratitude.  At the beginning of every shift my manager, Bettina, who was to become an extraordinary soul sister, would sit me down and invite me to inquire into what perception of lack I was entertaining.  “What version of what’s wrong are you watching pirouette across the stage of your brain?,” she would ask.  I would respond how something went awry with a boy or with my sister or with the state of my finances, launching into the details of all things I was not only resisting but investing a whole lot of life force energy in disliking.

 

In Bettina would swoop with her shiny white wings beating the transformational question:  What do you love about your life?  What are you grateful for?  Back I’d land in the lattice of life, affirming the bounty that is everywhere here in the west, loving every square inch of California, loving every square inch of my own skin.  Which brings me back to why I am opening this book with a chapter on gratitude.  Look at everything your body can do.  Walk? Run? Dance? Think? Feel? Write? Read?  Most of us have had the sweet opportunity of feeling the sand between our toes.  Many of us have gone or will go to a school of our choosing and use our magnificent brains.  There are big and small things at our fingertips everywhere that are deserving of our attention and appreciation, yet how often when it comes to our bodies, do we stick our heads in the sands of lack?

 

Instead of I can hold a downward dog for 90 seconds it’s I hope the person behind me doesn’t look up from their mat and see how big my butt is.  Instead of Wow – how luxurious do talc powder sand and sunshine feel?,  it’s I hate my stomach and I’m not going to get off this beach blanket because everyone will see the cellulite on the backs of my legs.  Guess what ladies?  The secret is out.  We all have it.  Anyone who doesn’t has been airbrushed.  I for one am committed to removing my head from the shifting sands of hating my body and practicing something new.

 

Want to try it on?  What do you love about your body?  What has your body done for you lately?  And yes, btw, I have just arrived home from my night out on the town, it’s 3:12 am and I am completely naked.  My body just enabled me to dance like a dervish, sweat spraying, hair flying, toes tapping, to my favourite tunes ever for an hour and a half.  Then my body walked me home down rain-kissed streets, my eyes feasting on ancient monuments alit with Québecois pride.  And now my body is experiencing the world horizontally, muscles melting into the bed beneath me.  So what if my breasts and belly don’t look like the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.  What’s that got to do with my real capacity to experience and express joy?  Who wrote that definition of beauty anyways?  No thank you,  I want no part of promulgating industries that propagate false notions of beauty to say nothing of gorging profit from female inadequacy.

 

Call on the part of you that wants to be done with this charade.  You don’t have to go on berating your body.  And you’ll be far more useful if you take this one out.  Your body is your bounty.  Without it you wouldn’t be here.  And you really are a doll.  Besides, what do you want to model for other young women?  I say let’s stand naked in the glistening truth of who we are and light the world with a new legacy.  What do you love about your body?

 


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