Lately I’ve spent a good deal of time thinking about body comfort, body image, and the role good posture has played in improving my comfort and self-image. I first started really noticing posture was when I began studying with Thorn back in 2007. Well, no actually it was when I first met her in the summer of 2006. When I asked her if she could give me one piece of advice to work on while waiting for a two-year training to form, she looked at me without any reservation and said, “posture and breath.” It would be until 2009 before there were any significant and lasting improvements. My low self-esteem, survival skills, and other factors had me constantly folding in on myself, rounding my back in an effort to hunch over my stomach and appear shorter. I didn’t know how to be right sized in my energy or in my body. Taking up space felt like something that should be avoided at all cost. Taking up space gets you noticed. I did not want to be noticed. I believed that the only reasons someone might notice me were reasons I should be ashamed of. I was full of shame back then.
Since beginning my studies with Thorn and falling in love with Feri, I have been returning to my body. While I have felt embodied for the last few years, I still feel like I am returning. I am not clear on what this means precisely. When was the last time I felt whole and at ease in my body for any length of time? It would have to be childhood, and even then I struggle to name an age where I had that kind of comfort. How do you “return” if you can’t even recall being there to begin with?
I feel like what I am returning to is something ancient, something written into my DNA. This part feels like there is something essentially animal in feeling at home in the body. This part can recall brief moments when I have felt this – choosing to garden in the sun with sweat on my brow, diving into the Ocean, playing in dirt, making love. This feeling of being comfortable in our own skin is a birth right. I am returning to claim it.
My teacher is always saying “open your feet.” Opening these chakra centers help move energy more efficiently and connect to Earth with a greater sense of being part of Earth. In recovery work we do step work. After all, it’s one foot in front of the other. So how will I return to my body? With my feet planted firmly on the Earth, one step at a time.
Return to strength, health, stability, flexibility.
Return to ease, wholeness, a sense of home.
Return to confidence, self-love, beauty.
The photograph for today was taken outside of my apartment. Mid-February in North Central Florida means green grass with dead leaves scattered throughout. I am like that right now, letting go of what needs to die and go back into the Earth, while at the same time green shoots press through the dirt to the light. I decided to photograph my feet because I have had a hatred for my feet since junior high. They are BIG. A good friend once told me that my feet were right sized for my body and I should be proud of them; strong and sturdy feet supporting my Work in the world. So I decided I would photograph my beautiful feet on the earth, adorned with my favorite glittery red nail polish. These are the feet will return me to my body, return me home.