Sunday, February 26, 2012

Body as Wonderland


I've tried to stay away from just blogging other people's articles, and just link to them on Caution! Reality Check's facebook page... however this one was so amazing I had to post it here.

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Eight Things I Learned from 50 Naked People
by Kate Bartolotta

In the past year, I’ve touched more than 50 naked people.

Don’t worry though—the fancy parts were covered—I’m a massage therapy student. They have you start on friends and family, other students and then the general public. Some people are silent during a massage; others can’t stop talking in a nervous attempt to clothe themselves with something, even if only words.

Despite our obsession with sex, American culture doesn’t really encourage nakedness (physically or emotionally). And if all the pleasantries and social constructs we use weren’t bad enough, we add social media into the mix and distance each other even further. When we’re naked and silent, all of that falls away. What I learn from what a person tells me is miniscule compared to what I learn by feeling his skin, muscle and bone. By watching him move. By listening to his breath. By feeling his pulse. So, in case you didn’t know:

1. Your body doesn’t lie. You might say, “I’m relaxed!” or, “That pressure is great, you can work deeper,” but your body may tell a very different story. What goes on in your muscles, with your breathing, with your pulse is the truest you: the you that even you might not know yet. It’s a good thing to get in touch with. You’d feel much better if you listened and let your words match up to what your body was saying.

2. When you stretch, you open up space. This is physically true, and emotionally true. When you physically stretch (or allow yourself to be stretched) you create space and allow for greater movement, greater vulnerability and more growth. It’s the same when you stretch yourself emotionally, too. Your physical and emotional selves aren’t separate––stretch one, and you usually stretch the other, too. It isn’t always comfortable at first, but it’s a wonderful thing. Surrender to it. You won’t regret it.

3. That thing you’re embarrassed about? That you don’t want anyone to see? That you tense up and hold your breath over? The part of you that you wish were different? It’s ok. Let go. Enjoy it. It’s part of what makes you so beautiful.

4. Everyone has body hair in various places and amounts. There’s no one right amount. It’s all good. Same goes for moles. Even models don’t look like they do in the pictures. Smooth and hairless is a Fifth Avenue invention designed to create discontent (and sell grooming products).

5. Everything you’ve experienced is stored in your body at a cellular level. Each cell is a record of all of it. I’ve felt it in your skin. Being born. Being held. The time you fell off your bike and weren’t that hurt but very scared. That brutal sunburn on your shoulders at 14. The time you fell out of a tree and broke your collarbone. The first time you felt deeply loved. The person who hurt you so badly you thought you were broken for good. Your muscles remember it. They remember it like it happened 10 minutes ago.

Your successes hold your shoulders high. Your losses pull your chest inward. You hold your sadness in your throat, your anger in your jaw and your fear in your belly. Your happiness rises and falls in your chest. Love rolls in and out on the tides of your breath. It’s all there, all the time. {You can release the parts that hurt, if you want to. Yoga and massage are the best ways I’ve seen.}

6. Your weight is the least interesting thing about you. I promise.

7. Your skin, however, is fascinating. Every line, every freckle, every scar tells the amazing stories of your life. Please don’t Botox, bleach or sand it all away. They’re all beautiful.

8. Your body is a f*cking wonderland. You are amazing just as you are, right now.

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This article was just amazing in my opinion. I went to a massage therapist for my birthday a few weeks ago and she just rocked my world. She was gentle were I needed her to be and just beat the day lights out of me in other places. At one point she was shaking my limbs and stretching me out so must I thought she was going to bounce me right off the table. The LMT massaging the BF (it was a couples massage so we were in the same room) put the boy to sleep! Talk about relaxed. 

It took me years to be comfortable in my own skin. For years I hated my body. I hated the way I looked in and out of clothes. Then I started working and making an effort to embrace who I was on the outside as much as I loved and embraced my inner self. Sure there are still times, under awful dressing room florescent lighting, that I look at my thighs or stomach and catch myself thinking horrible things. But as soon as I catch myself I remember that this is ME not someTHING or detached from my self. If I'm going to love me I need to love all me... cellulite and big belly all. 

I think the reason I loved this article so much is because it reminds us that our body is with us through everything. It's the one constant in our lives and holds all our memories in our cells. If we try to lie about our body, our body stands up and smacks us upside the head reminding us of our reality. 

We all have freckles, blemishes, love handles where we'd rather not... but this is what makes us each perfect. 

Makes each of our bodies an amazing wonderland. 


2 comments:

  1. I liked this, thanks for sharing!

    I'm currently researching women's eating behavior. I wanted to agree that weight is not interesting, but for me it it's a starting point to dig into someone's story about how they treat their body. If they fuel it and move it and those two actions bring health (physical and mental), then all is well to a degree. If one or both of those actions is out of whack, it may affect body weight.

    Definitely a great article to share-food for thought!

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  2. Aww, I love a good post that makes us feel better about our wobbly bits! :-)

    Emma


    http://www.thepolkadotte.blogspot.com


    p.s - thanks for stopping by my blog! I've not decided on a dress yet as the wedding isn't till next christmas (I like to plan REALLY far in advance!) I'm waiting for the perfect one to jump out at me :-)

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