"Sweet Vessel BodyMine" (Inspired by the title of one of my favorite songs, by Lori B, from the album "Hurricane Child")
The body. Such a simple word… and yet, how many of us women growing up in this culture make it through adolescence with a simple and healthy relationship to our bodies? How many of us feel comfortable in our skin, happy with our shape, and full of radiant energy?
As I was contemplating the theme of this newsletter, I flashed back on a self-revelatory performance I did over 10 years ago, as a part of my training as a Drama Therapist. In the profoundly vulnerable piece, I explored the wound, the evolution and the ongoing healing path my body and I have “walked” together. At one point, I held a soft and large doll in my arms and gently rocked her to “BodyMine” by Lori B.
The song starts: "I'm a veteran of this endless siege against myself. Don't know how this war got started. I just fought like hell. Sweet vessel BodyMine... Won't you be my home? We've been separated too long..."
It was a powerful moment, to welcome my own body back into my life with gentle eyes and loving arms, while being witnessed by an audience that was there to support, not judge.
That experience marked a turning point for me. At some deep level, I was able to put to rest an ancient and painful pattern of self-objectification. A seed of self-love was planted. Ever since that evening, I’ve been learning to accept & appreciate my body as the sacred and essential vessel for my life, as the source of so much creativity and joy, and as that which connects me to all that lives and breathes on this beautiful earth.
The next time I rocked a body in my arms with that kind of love, awe and humility was at the birth of my daughter Maya Jewel. As I looked into her eyes and massaged each of her little toes, I felt such a fierce and tender protectiveness towards that tiny body of hers. Like a Mamma Bear, I so wanted to shield her from having to go through the pain of ever feeling separate from her beautiful body, of being the object of our society’s distorted ideals, of feeling unhealthfully judged or measured in any way.
Of course, I knew that I could never totally protect her from the world and its influences. I could certainly make choices when she was little about how much TV she watched or who our family spent time with. But ultimately, I’d have to surrender -- like all parents must -- to the wonderful (sometimes frightening) reality that my daughter would have her own human life, full of joys and blessings, challenges and pain.
Of course, my main job was to love her through it all… and to love and cherish that miraculous body of hers, no matter how she felt about it as she made her way towards womanhood.
But that wasn’t my only job. My other job, perhaps an even more important -- and difficult -- one, was to love and enjoy my own body. It was no longer just about me and my little self-acceptance project. It was about Maya. I needed to model for her what it was to be a fully embodied woman – alive, present and at ease in my own form. I am committed to this process of self-love and embodiment, and I invite you to join me.
May we look in the mirror and love what we see – wrinkles, cellulite and imperfections and all. May we embrace our inner and outer beauty for the sake of our children, and realize that when we look into our own eyes with love, we are admiring the diversity and perfection of Nature Herself.
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Disclaimer: Rosy is an ordained minister of Designed to Blossom of AIWP and provide something more akin to spiritual counseling than psychotherapy. The work I do is with highly functional people, for whom ‘spirit’ plays a central role in their life. I do not give diagnoses, work with pathology, or claim to be an expert offering a treatment or cure.