Friday, July 20, 2012

in defense of woman flesh

Here is my plan. I have been thinking, as I drive and shop and clean and work, that we need a plan. We need to build a defense around our woman flesh. What do you think of this?

I know - it is silly!
We need to get to know our bodies again. We hide from ourselves, most of us. I know I HATE to see pictures of myself, hate to sit in a restaurant if there is a mirror reflecting my presence, hate to be naked.

So - will you join me?

Get to know her again. Your body.

1. Look in the mirror every morning and really look at everything. You don't have to like her. Just look at her. Look at the back and the front.

2. Choose one part of your body and pay attention to it. Say, your hands - if you are artistic, set down and draw your hand. Study it and look at every spot and wrinkle and nail and muscle and bone. Write a poem about your hand. (When my mom was lying in a bed in her last moments and I was holding her hand I realized we have exactly the same hands - same size, same lines, same everything. What could that realization do to help me know and love my hands?) Choose another part, your feet. If you get brave, do a breast, or, GOD FORBID, your asspidastra. (When I was a girl if you wanted to swear you could make it a longer word and no one could really give you trouble. :)

3. Take some pictures - just for yourself, don't post them!!!! of parts of your body. Do it one afternoon when you are alone and take your big toe, your knee, your shoulder, dozens of them. Then look at them and study yourself. Be gentle. Don't look with hate. Look with love, like seeing a baby. NO one looks at a babies chubby legs or wrinkled face with hate.

4. Do something naked. I tried this this week - I spent a whole hour making my bed, cleaning the kitchen, picking up, all naked. Try to choose something to do privately if you don't want to get into trouble. I did it because I always hide. I dress in the closet and never walk around naked. But men, in my experience, have no trouble walking around naked for a bit. I put on beautiful music and just did my work and then got ready for my day. It was liberating. Interesting. I chuckled at myself.

5. There are the usual things - luxurious baths, rubbing cream on yourself, having a pedicure. But I am trying to think of new things. So one more - Take your body on a date. Instead of it taking you and you ignoring it, you take it! Take it out for ice cream and tell it to enjoy - and feel the ice cream on your tongue and in your belly and on your lips. Walk in grass and feel the grass on your feet. Tell your feet to enjoy the grass. Lie on your back and look at the sky and feel the weight of your body being pulled toward the earth and remember that you are embodied, as well as spiritual. Feel your body's presence, give it joy, be with it in peace.

So...those are my ideas for reacquainting with our bodies. I know you are reading this - do you have any other ideas? You can be anonymous. :)  Am I all alone out here?


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that this conversation is being had by intelligent women of all ages. In the last few weeks, I've seen 30-something women, 40-something women, and 50-something women beginning to talk about this obvious problem we have with ourselves. I have taught my 3 girls to laugh and be skeptical of the photoshopped images of "beautiful" women they are bombarded with and yet find I don't like the words and descriptions I use about myself in front of them. What in the world am I teaching them in how I talk about my jiggly parts, my jowls, and my sagging face: )? I like your ideas for learning to find the preciousness of your own body. I want to find a love for my big toe BECAUSE I want them to find the same for theirs.

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