As you are receiving this post, I am putting the finishing touches on my 4-day Yoga’licious overnight retreat in Ojai that begins tomorrow!
This retreat is one of my favorite offerings I lead, because as women we can very much get caught up in the busyness of life and forget that self-care, slowing down, and having periods of rest are essential to our well being (more on that another time).
No matter what you’re up to this week I invite you to carve out some time and space for BEING and slowing down; your nervous system, brain, and body will thank you!
In addition to inviting you to carve out intentional time and space for yourself this week, I wanted to share an article with you that I wrote a year ago. I share a personal story about a time when my body image gremlins came in last year, and what I did to shift back to presence and self-love. If any part of you has been self-loathing lately, this article is a for sure read!
Enjoy, and sending lots of love from Ojai,
That night my thighs jiggled in the moonlight…
Last year, right around this time, I was in Charlotte (North Carolina) with my soulful, wise woman business mentor, Joanna Lindenbaum. I was attending a 3-day retreat as part of a year long program with her and my other mastermind sisters.
The evening of day one we pulled up to what I can only describe as one the most beautiful houses in the woods that I have ever been too.
Think Firefly’s, frogs singing, gorgeous big trees; it felt like I just stepped into a fairy tale book!
We began in circle that evening, knowing that each one of us was going to have the opportunity to reclaim our brilliant genius queen selves and all we uniquely stand for, in service of contributing to a culture of self-love in our world.
We each had a turn to stand at the edge of the pool (in our bathing suits), supported by our sisters, and declare what we were claiming… and then make it “official” by jumping in the pool.
The time came to strip down to our bathing suits and adorn our bodies with body paint before we took the plunge into the pool. (BTW, just in case you were wondering, it was a totally G rated moment, although we know how to get down and express ourselves, lol).
Being such an advocate of women loving their bodies and reclaiming their own experience of beauty I thought to myself, “this will be easy, I can totally stand in a bikini in front of my fellow sisters and NOT hide who I really am behind clothes, personas, or words.”
Well, as soon as I stood there only in a bikini and began painting my body I could feel the old voices of body shaming creep in.
The voices that started saying, “your thighs are so big and jiggly and cellulitey”, “your stomach is not so flat anymore”, and “you better cover up your big butt.”
As the voices came, I gave them my friendly attention and curiosity, AND the most magical thing happened.
I heard the voices and I kept painting and adorning myself anyways.
I heard the voices, and didn’t cover up my BIG bootie.
I heard the voices, and when we marched over to the pool, I grabbed a tambourine and began to dance fervently with my fellow sisters, thighs jiggling in the moonlight and all.
I felt so liberated and free in that moment…
an unleashing washed through my entire body, as I felt free to be me.
It wasn’t because of anything external or how my butt looked in a bikini, but because I felt that connection with my essential Self that went so way beyond what I looked like in that moment.
And here is the cool thing, I looked up, and all my sisters were cheering me on, loving me, and seeing me in all of me (body, essence, spirit, soul).
As I kept dancing, my experience of my body became one of celebration and celebration of the other women.
I realized at that moment that even though my self-critical voices had shown up earlier in the evening, I could choose in that very moment to celebrate myself NOW, and not when I “get there” (plus, I didn’t have to make the voice bad or wrong either).
Just like I shared in my story, my invitation and practice for you this week is to take time each day to celebrate yourself and your body exactly as you are in this moment (not when you “get there”).
You might adorn your body with oil or lotion, speak sweet words to yourself, or even place a hand on your heart each day honoring and celebrating your body and this breath exactly as it is now.
Anything goes, as my version of celebrating my essence may look very different than yours.
I suspect as you embody the energy of celebration, you will feel a liberation similar to the one I felt on the evening of jiggling my thighs in the moonlight.
As you try on a culture of celebrating yourself this week, I would love to hear from you how you are celebrating yourself this week and what is resonating for you?