Written by Sarah Tinker
I should rename this blog ‘Your body already is your biggest ally’. Every single cell in your body is routing for YOU and wants you to be well and to thrive. When we learn to tune into our bodies and the language that they speak to us, we begin a whole new relationship, with ourselves.
I used to think that my body betrayed me. It would embarrass me in front my boyfriend, or my seemingly perfect girlfriends, and I would be mortified. I blamed it for everything, but mostly I blamed it for my unhappiness “If I could just look like [insert name of current most popular model/popstar] then my life would be great”.
According to YouGov.co.uk, at any given age at least two in five women say they’re displeased with their body. The negative feelings appear to peak between the ages of 35 and 40: 58% of women are unhappy, including one in five who are very unhappy.
One of the many problems with mainstream media, and society as a whole, is that it teaches us, and continues to perpetuate the point, that our bodies are mainly for show, and to give other people pleasure. As women, we are all too familiar with this narrative [insert rolling eye emoji].
But lets for a moment take it back to our wild women roots, what are our bodies for if not experiencing our senses? Why have we sold ourselves short in thinking that we are just what we look like, or what size we wear? Why have we lost the art of discernment that our bellies so clearly point us to when something is not right. Why do we ignore all the signs that our body gives us that tell us we should rest during our menstruation? Why do we think we know better?
In my experience, my detachment from my own body and focus on the superficial, had its roots in learned behaviours in childhood, particularly around pushing down negative emotions, something Dr Gabor Mate talks about consistently and beautifully in ‘When the body says no’. Unpicking this has been a messy and sometimes painful, but doing ‘the work’ never ceases to bare fruit. Getting back into my body meant I had to feel again, but it also meant that I could enjoy my body with a new freedom. Embodied practices helped: Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, dancing around the kitchen (the madder the better). It also helped to take a detox from what I was feeding my mind; out with the diet culture in with the body positivity Insta accounts!
I love this reminder from Clarissa Pinkola Estes:
“Practice listening to your intuition, your inner voice; ask questions; be curious; see what you see; hear what you hear; and then act upon what you know to be true. These intuitive powers were given to your soul at birth.” Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype.
Leave a comment