I had the most wonderful dream last month. I was showering and someone was looking in (trust me, this isn't going to get kinky.) This person was telling me how amazing my body was (again not in a kinky way.)
When I looked down at my body, dreamland hadn’t suddenly given me long legs and lean muscles. In fact, there may have been a few more dimples.
And still this person was going on and on about how amazing it was. I pointed out that the skin on my stomach still was a little loose-not like it used to be. He said “Yes. It’s been LIVED IN twice!”
And it struck me. He wasn’t trying to minimize or say “It doesn’t look that bad.” He was in love with it because of it's story. My body grew two human beings. It helps me lift and hug and care for those beings every day. Why am I trying to tell it that something is wrong?
In that dream, that man looked like someone else, but I believe it was really a part of me asking myself to recognize the amazingness of my body. And to see that variation in shape between the stages of life is normal-healthy even!
Part of me needed me to become aware of the amazing things I do with my body day in and day out. Everything I’ve learned and every time I let myself become vulnerable, I have become more real, authentic, and empowered. That makes me more beautiful-not less. Dimples, sagginess, scars tell a story about a life lived, a risks taken, lessons learned.
My dream asked me to see that nothing needs minimized or fixed on my body. Instead, my body deserves to be cared for and nourished.
So how does this change my New Year? At a time when so many of us are focused on changing our bodies to look their best-hard, sculpted, lighter.
But what would it take we to change our minds to feed our bodies so that they work their best. What would it take to see the lies we are told about weight, beauty, and youth. The lies we are told about our value as people.
The truth is blanket weight loss through starvation or other drastic and unhealthful means hurts our bodies and puts us at risk just like extreme weight gain through drastic and unhealthful means.
The truth is what we truly deserve is an appreciation for the amazing things our body does-especially, but not only, during childbearing. Our bodies deserve whole food, nutrients, fresh water, rest, and movement.
The truth is we are worth the planning and time it takes to learn about our bodies. We can stop creating reasons why we can’t or don’t need to eat healthfully and take ownership of the fact that what happens to our body is related to what we put (or don't put) into our body.
Since having this dream, I’ve learned that dreams of showers and baths are about something that is ready or needs to be washed away. Clearly, what I've been thinking about my body is ready to be washed away.
I’m using all of the tools I can to wash away anything that keeps me from embracing my body and it’s stories. Even my Instagram feed shows me wonderful photos and empowering messages from #takebackpostpartum, #mamadisrupt, #themilkstories, #stopcensoringmotherhood, and so many more.
I’d love to hear about your plans for the New Year, why you chose that, and the creative tools you’re using to make it happen.