Most mornings I take a shower, a hot shower followed by a minute of cold. Yesterday, as I got ready for bed after watching one of L’s shows (Selling Sunset) with her, I tried to think of ways I could celebrate my early mornings on the weekends. I don’t need to move through my morning routine as quickly as usual; no kids lunches to be made, coffee to be served a bit later, no bike ride to and from school, no dishes (always dishes, but sometimes it’s kids’ lunch dishes). Me time!
So, I started off with a run around Serenbe. I have yet to venture out on the trails in the darkness although it is definitely in my near future. I need to do some more knee strengthening during the day, so I ran on the streets this morning. After about 5 miles I returned to the gym (left my phone there on purpose) and stretched a bit. Took my time, meditated a bit, and turned off the “interesting” music.
Soon after I walked home, I got out my journal and jotted down some thoughts from the past day and morning. One of them had to do with shame, body image shame in particular. Both personally and with friends and clients, I’m having to deal with the reality of people LIVING around me, including myself, being fearful of showing their body. How can we practice self love of “the skin we are in” if it brings up gossip, predatory comments, workplace harassment, or job security issues? I’ve heard the rebuttal, “Just don’t show your body when you are in public, keep it private.” This is one answer that supports one perspective. I agree, we can and should celebrate ourselves in the privacy of our own homes as often as we like. This idea works well if you are part of AND AGREE WITH a religion that requires a certain full coverage attire. In more Western cultures, we live rather public and communal lives.
- What happens when we go to the pool?
- What happens when we are out on runs?
- What happens when we are out shopping on a warm sunny day?
- What happens when we are at the beach, lake, or in the middle of Joshua Tree?
- What about social media or blog posts that show you celebrating you?
As a society, the shame (aka. a Baggage Brick) we dump on other people about their body is a weird kind of accepted assault. If we are going around giving people Baggage Bricks in the form of body image shame, there is something truly wrong with us, not them. There is something internal that we’ve yet to come to terms with when it comes to body image that we are projecting on others. Even if you don’t believe men should wear short shorts or women should wear crop tops, your opinion about them and how they appear doesn’t actually matter.
I could go deeper – but the locals are starting to wake up.
After my run, stretching, and journaling, instead of taking a shower, I ran myself a bath. It was both a celebration and self care as I dumped eucalyptus epsom salts into the hot running water. I sat in the bath until I was nice and wrinkly, read some blog posts, started this post, and at one point found myself trying to see just how much of my long body I could get under the water. LOL, some limb always popped up! Towards the end, I looked out over my brown body and somewhat hairy legs and smiled. There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with this view. So, I decided to share it.
I refuse to support body image shaming. I have a VERY VERY VERY difficult time watching shows like Selling Sunset by the way.
I celebrate all pieces of me and my body that are constantly evolving. I will continue taking pictures of myself clothed and nude. I will wear short shorts to the pool because they are comfortable to me and I will wear more tank tops this spring summer….heck maybe even go shirtless more often. It’s not a show off, it’s me celebrating me.
I celebrate you, your body, and all pieces of you that are evolving. I support the actions you take, the experiences you make, and the clothing you wear (or don’t) that is in celebration of you.