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loving your body as it is

CC Image Courtesy of julien haler on Flickr

Fat.  Skinny.  Young.  Old.  Hairy.  Wrinkly.  What if you could love your body right now, as it is, without changing a thing?

Growing up, I was one of the tallest kids in my class.  I learned to slouch, to make myself smaller so I’d take up less space.  Later on, in my dating career I pursued people who were thin because that’s what I’d been told was attractive.  They either rejected me or, if we did hook up, I worried I would break them.  No one was having a good time, least of all me.

Many of us learned at a young age to leap outside our bodies and judge our appearance – do I look cute?  Handsome?  Sexy?  Am I too skinny? Too fat?  We compared ourselves to airbrushed photos of anorexic supermodels, bulging muscle men or the latest celebs, holding ourselves to a beauty standard mainstream media had set for us.  And, even those of us who escaped in our youth got hit as we aged – am I too wrinkly? Too saggy?  Too round? Too hairy? Too human?

These are our bodies – our sacred vessels and our very beings while we live, breathe and make love on this magical planet.  When we judge them, we unwittingly leap outside our lived experience into an observer self behind an imaginary camera.  And with these outsiders’ eyes we judge our bodies as being not good enough, usually followed by feelings of shame or despair.  This affects how we live and move in the world – our confidence, our sensuality, how we walk, the clothes we wear, and how (or whether!) we have sex.

What if we break this heartbreaking pattern of despair and disembodiment?  What if we could come alive and enjoy being the gorgeous, erotic beings we truly are?

I recently filmed a series of videos for PassionateU.com, one on this very topic.  I asked viewers to get naked and stand in front of the mirror, and though it felt scary to do it on video (for all time, aaaah!) I hope my boldness to get naked on video inspires people to take the leap and get naked along with me.  I did a body scan:  Am I willing to love this part of my body?  My wild hair?  My smallish breasts?  My larger-than-I’d-like-it-to-be-belly?  As my judgment melted away into love, my body began to transform – my neck loosening, my shoulders relaxing, my movements becoming less stiff and more supple.  Replacing the distance of judgment with the closeness of love,

I shifted to living from the inside out – sensual, alive, grateful for this amazing gift of embodiment.

Try it now, if you’d like, or log on to PassionateU.com and do it along with me in the video.  Find a mirror, get naked and ask yourself: Am I willing to love this part of me?  What about this part?  Or this?  Fuck judgment, comparison, and all the other bullshit that takes us away from being who we really are.  Be gentle with yourself.  Yes, you might want to make some changes – maybe they’ll happen, maybe they won’t.  Maybe they’re not even possible.  Are you going to withhold love from yourself in the meantime?  Notice what it feels like to be inside your body right now, loving it as it is from the inside out, and watch yourself transform.

  • http://www.facebook.com/auroradazzle Aurora Day

    Compassion for the self including body acceptance continues to be one of the most difficult practices I’ve ever attempted.  I do love your note to “Be gentle with yourself.”  As my lover says, “Go easy.” And so my mantra is “I like the person I am becoming” because it embraces my current self as I am today while acknowledging the continued efforts for self improvement.  I am doing my best to not withhold love from myself.

    • http://rootsofecstasy.com/ Julie Hekate

      I love your mantra, thanks for sharing! I noted a while back that my self-improvement often came from a place of self-hatred, not self-love. Ugh. Not only does that do a number on my whole nervous system, the resulting system crash prevents me from making any progress in the first place. This realization alone took me over a decade to arrive at, so yes: gentleness can be extremely helpful in these often slow transformations <3