If your body could write its own autobiography, what would be the stirring climax? The moment of white-knuckled terror? The heart-warming conclusion? If your body’s story was made into a movie, would it be an action-adventure film? A romance-comedy? A disjointed black and white experimental film that only an art student could love?
Let’s start with the good stuff. You and your body have been on some amazing adventures together. What are your best memories in your body, your most enjoyable experiences of embodiment?
Three moments stick out for me, among many: (1) the feeling of power surging through my entire body the first time I successfully hula hooped with two hoops in my backyard garden. I felt so alive, every part of my body working together to keep both hoops up and moving through their graceful circular paths; (2) playing with yoga poses on a wet Encinitas beach during a spectacular sunset, when my mind stopped thinking and my whole being just savored the delightful experience of embodiment; (3) my first orgasm, with my third lover in college, the feeling of “Wow, Body! What was that?” and the delicious moment of “Oh, this is what everyone’s been talking about! I finally get it!”
Write down your most enjoyable experiences with your body, with play or athletics, finishing a marathon, swimming with dolphins, getting a mind-blowing massage, eating a sun-warmed strawberry straight from the field, enjoying a sense of well-being and ease on vacation or with a loved one: any time you’ve deeply appreciated strength, agility, freedom, or fun in your body. The magnificent act of creation called childbirth inspires many women to feel empowered and even humbled by their body’s incredibly capacity for transformation. Sex and feeling sexy can evoke an overwhelming sense of gratitude towards our bodies and a deep appreciation of our own aliveness. When have you felt most at home in your body?
Look at the list, and hold each experience in your mind and heart. Remember what it felt like to be in that moment. Invoke the feeling in your body… your body remembers. Offer your body a sense of gratitude for that experience, no matter how long ago, or how fleeting the moment was. Thank you, Body, for making that moment possible. Thank you for being on this journey with me. Thanks, Body. You rock. Repeat to yourself whatever words of gratitude feel most resonant. Do the same with each experience on your list. Let the words of gratitude settle into your body and heart. Savor them.
Reminiscing about the good times and thanking your body for making the wonderful moments in your life possible helps you realize that you already have the foundation for a good relationship with your body. Instead of getting stuck on feeling your body is a rusty ball and chain you drag around, you can remember that your body has already proved itself to be the shiny sports car of your dreams. Enjoy the good stuff now.
...Because tomorrow we'll cover remembering the times that our body has left us stranded on the side of the road.
Next post: When your body stabs you in the back… wait, is that possible?