Embracing my Body

Embracing my Body

2. Embracing my Body

“People often say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realising that you are the beholder.”

- Salma Hayek

Softly my hand brushes down my big, round belly, embraces the curve in the mid section of my body and loves to stroke around it’s ever changing shape, this magical curtain between the outer world and the house of this new life waiting for the right moment to be expelled out into the big adventure of life.

I can tell you the story of body rebellion, being at war, fighting against my natural cycles and changes, which most probably almost every woman can tell you. We all have our own ways of not collaborating with the intelligence of our body, to be rather engaging into control, withholding of desires and indulgences and starving our impulses in order to fit in… to a particular pair of jeans, a top, this dress for this one occasion, this particular circle of peers, life style or a picture that we have of ourselves.

For me personally I’ve been always a rather anabolic type of person, I would go for a gentle swim and run in a chilled manner and bulk up like a bodybuilder… with the same struggle which I hear them having: that little bit of water under the skin which can make them - and so I viewed myself - look “big”. Depending on the perspective and what your goals are that anabolic body type might seem awesome.

In my case: I hated it. And of course, we always want that which we can’t have, right? I would have loved to be tall and skinny with those long legs and skinny arms, exactly what we get set in front of our eyes everywhere we look in advertisements. It didn’t matter to me that I could do a pull up, or was naturally talented to lift weights or push through physically straining exercises without a problem. I wasn’t focussed on sportive goals, I was focussed on wanting to look different. Therefor I hardly got to see my gifts.

From intellectual conversations, through genetics, body types, body images, a slowly changing general publicity “fit being the new skinny”… Meditation, practices of self acceptance, loving friends and family, great thought, books, healing… it got better step by step over the years but nothing helped me still feeling somewhat inappropriate at times. And then something happened.

I realised a couple of unfamiliar behaviours:

  • I just wasn’t spending too many thoughts - not even to speak of actions - on controlling my weight gain in this second pregnancy.
  • I would even go with my daughter for Ice Cream and enjoy it without any second thought.
  • I didn’t spend any thought on my “recovery plan”, neither how I want to look at a certain time postnatally.
  • I’m not even having big movement goals for after pregnancy other than indulging into sweet self care and embracing the parts of my practice I missed the past weeks.
  • I just generally don’t spend any thoughts on controlling this body anymore and finally truly dropp into permission to let it do its work… even though I wasn’t very trusting, in the past 32 years it was always doing a pretty awesome job keeping me oxygenated, nourished and moving pretty awesomely. A part of me feels I can just flip the coin and for the next 32 years just do it the other way round and go into humble service of this magical vehicle.

It’s a little bit more than a week ago that I watched “Embrace” with my husband and it stirred up the conversation again. It was an awesome moment for both of us to realise how big of a shift happened for me. He asked me after the documentary: “So how do you feel about your body at the moment?”

and I replied:

“I feel grateful. I feel like I can trust my body, I really enjoy experiencing the world through it and I think it’s doing pretty amazing job being resistant and healthy, always strong and in service, growing a human, keeping me going, telling me when to stop and actually I feel…”

There I stoped and couldn’t find the right word.

“Do you feel sexy?” he asked with one of his cheeky smiles.

I pondered upon the word and uttered: “No, sexy is not the right word, because for me sexy has something to do with sexuality and with sexuality the co-dependancy of two lovers seeing something in each other… no, another word, much deeper, not dependant on the outside… I feel: beautiful.” By speaking the word I felt the resonance in my cells and glow in my eyes. Yes, finally I feel BEAUTIFUL in it’s deepest sense of perfect imperfection, the beauty of my big strong arms which have always been lifting me up and carrying my daughter. The beauty of my big strong thighs which are carrying now this second child and are connecting me to earth in the moments I need to root, this big round belly which has been growing a second time so wide to make space for a new life and still looks so cute and beautiful…