I am moving in my body, to be with my body.
I am wearing very little clothes, uncomfortably exposed to nothing but the objects of my living room and my nagging ego. I witness the self deprecating thoughts and unkind comments that plague my inner narratives. They some how feel broadcasted from an outside learning. Every travel billboard and shampoo add all reminding me that I am flawed the way I am.
The movement starts manicured. Tangled with the fear of simply being me as if I will never be enough. It’s been whispered in the mainstream undercurrent my whole life. Reinforced like I don’t know already how to be a women, I have to wear the right outfits to be complimented or apply enough makeup to be recognized or behave just subtlety enough that I don’t take up too much space.
My body moves with the same restraints and calculated efforts. Never just allowing, always trying harder to be liked.
I have practiced biting my tongue so as I move my jaw is stiff.
I have practiced saying the appropriate thing to not offend or upset people, so as I move my breath is controlled and unoffensive.
I practiced being appealing to men, so as I move I constantly catch myself obsessing over how I look.
My movement practice reveals how I have practiced being and behaving in my life. And even though it’s not innately myself, it’s weirdly more comfortable than just letting myself move completely unleashed and unplanned.
I continue to wake up to this incessant placating that exists in the privacy of my own home, in my own body. This practice that I thought was meant to liberate me is often reinforcing the culturally accepted programs I laid down to be a women that fits into a man made world.
It’s in these moments I start shaking wildly. Like I have a ants crawling all over me and I need to get them off. This person I have created isn’t always the person I feel inside my heart. It’s in this moment of taking up all the space in my living room, no make up, unshaved and dressed how I fucking want, that I can feel hEr/ Me \ my whole heart banging at the walls of my internal organs to come out and be seen as myself unashamed and unabashed.
The shaking makes my breath erratic, it allows my body to come alive from the inside out, and all of a sudden I drop onto the floor lying on my back to witness the thawing of who I have always been burried under the hardened ways I learned to fit in.
It’s in this moment I drop into my heart. I greet an infinite source of compassion. And it’s considerate tenderness takes the disfiguring thoughts, gently folds them into a paper boat, and sets them sail, out to sea. To dissolve and become one with my wonder of unknown and the unseen beyond what society thinks I should be.
It is true. I am softer in my body now than I was before. And when I don’t look into the mirror, or look too closely with my eyes, I feel the most right in my body I have ever felt. I have welcomed back my luscious femininity like a long lost friend. She rubs my back gently reminding me that the eyes are trained by a shamed and objectified version of what a body should look like.
And it’s my time to set myself free.
To move for joy, for pleasure, from curiosity, towards play.
To empower, to yield more sensitivity in all my strong spots and slow down to greet the wisdom of all my weak parts.
To transform stagnant energy into fuel for a life that lifts me up somedays and gently lies me down other days.
To rhythm with my inner prism of ever changing colours.
To bless and appreciate the animal I am with the innate wisdom that movement has always been my expression to make.
To frolic, to prowl, to lift, to lunge, to run, to roll, to shake, to sway, to plunge and to fall.
To revere moving my body for the gift that it is as an offering of the love I am and the whole I have always been.
This body isn’t broken from childbirth because it’s recovering, it’s a creative goddess. This body isn’t chubby because its softer and has a bit more cellulite, it’s more tender to needs of my baby girl and the injustices of our system. This body isn’t out of shape because the muscles aren’t defined like the dehydrated dysfunctional anorexic on the magazine cover that our culture seems to idolize, it’s fit to explore the world through my baby girls eyes. From the floor, rolling around humble to our earthliness, in a squat inspecting a new wonder, reaching up to climb, to rise above for a new view point, tickling her neck folds to hear her giggles, packing her on my back in the woods to show her our beautiful home and to the sound of music, dancing together in my the living room.
When I wonder the beach with Rosie, she isn’t shaming her cute rolls, her fascination motivates her movement and she practices over and over, without a personal trainer or a set workout time, or an objectified reason to make her body look a certain way. She is not conditioned by insecurity or image yet. Her only goal is to understand the world more clearly and to be free to engage with it more intimately as herself.
As I wonder the forest with Rosie, I see the way no two trees are alike nor do I observe any two babies the same. They move, play, climb, crawl, grab, fumble and express in their own unique way.
The more time I spend really getting to know my body from this space of loving myself and nourishing my body and heart with movement for joy, for peace, for expression and for vibrancy, the more I see that the cultural programming that is being perpetuated is what is unhealthy and unfit.
So I ask myself this,
Why would I try so hard to make my body look like something outside of my honest full hearted and loving expression.
Who am I training to become, a well conditioned competitive structure that obeys a cultures sick definition of beauty?
Or I can allow a freedom of expression from the place of the inherent beauty I have always been, deconditioned from the outside and reconnected to my inner knowing I uniquely came here to uncover.
Motherhood has welcomed that little bit of giggle to my under butt. It’s has freed me from that constrictive lasso around my waist that constantly mames me if I am not sucking in. And it has encouraged a less masculine armour around my shoulders and arms that felt the need to pretend I have it all together. That maybe it’s okay to be uncoordinated, a bit disheveled and unruly, to feel my imperfect ugly so the only thing that is left to offer the world is my perfect beauty.
This, my wholehearted love in expression, moves me. I seek to move now defined by my wild and bountiful nature. To embody myself as a woman of my own creation.
Bare for all to see. This is unappologetically me.