Quarantine was a crazy time! In many ways the crazy continues as we re-open and look at ways to remain safe and sane.
But there was time and space to grow that normal life kept most of us too busy for…My earth shattering discovery was I, Amy massage therapist and wellness coach, was being a total asshole to my body (aka MYSELF)!
My initial coping skills weren’t the most healthy; I was eating lots of “comfort foods” (read carbs) and drinking way more than usual. There was a lot of fear in the uncertainty and I was numbing. That’s a totally human response. No biggie…but my body was so not on board with this purely indulgent shift. I felt sluggish, and stuck, and frankly mad at myself so I swung to the other extreme to “get back on track”.
Unsurprisingly, this didn’t make me happy either.
I realized I was punishing my body and (this is the part that stung) that I had spent most of my life trying to force or guilt my body into “perfection”. God, that felt heavy; after all, my life and career are dedicated to helping people find greater ease and joy in their bodies. I preach and I practice intentional self-care as the most direct path to wellness but when it came to body-image I had to admit once and for all, I wasn’t walking the talk. I still carried within me an internalized drive for a body that looked and felt a certain way and I still was beating myself up when I wasn’t “perfect”. That deep patriarchal bullshit was louder than my truest values. Fuck.
“BUT I’m a FEMINIST” !!! How could I still be carrying these thoughts? I’ve done so much work to uproot them. Sometimes, it just takes one shift after years of hard work that doesn’t fully land.
For me that shift was I decided to befriend my body.
Yep, just that simple.
I’m a great friend! I uplift the women in my life and would never degrade or berate them. My friends are smart and I trust them to make smart choices. So now I trust my body too; I ask her how she wants to move and I listen. Mostly this looks like daily walks by the bayou, dancing around my house and some yoga here and there. These things may shift over time but for now they are filling me up!
What really shocked me was how much this small shift rippled out into my life. This is the most real self-care I’ve ever done. I’m happier, more patient, and I’m less prone to pick fights with my husband.
Y’all, I’m chill as fuck and I’m loving it. Is life perfect? No but I feel so much better and really all it takes is listening to my body.
Being conscious of how I feel in any given moment and checking in with my body is the name of the game…When I pay attention, I can see what is authentic to me, what is learned behavior, what I want to keep, what I want to start deconstructing…It’s not easy work but it is simple and it is radical as fuck. Being un-apologetically loving to yourself is a revolutionary act!
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”