It is often a shock for people to hear that I have not always felt comfortable in my own body. Whenever I share this nugget of vulnerability, more often than not I am met with utter surprise.
"But your a midwife and more than that you are so passionate about empowering women and girls to feel comfortable and stable in their own bodies?"
I am currently comfortable in my physical body and becoming more so each and every day. Dang, it has taken a lot of work on self-acceptance, self-love and digging through the depths of what got me to the feeling of disconnection in the first place. In fact, it is one of the reasons that I do this work, to share my own journey and wisdom that I have uncovered along the way AND so that I continue to walk my own walk and grow in this way. I know many of the struggles that you go through because they are my own, We are on a journey together my friends.
A few months ago I met my four best friends for our annual girls gathering. One morning one of my friends suggested we all work out. I am the queen of NOT WORKING OUT. In fact I have been known to say I hate it. I gave into peer pressure and did it with them. I felt incredible after. I felt present in my body and full of energy. In the 6 months prior to this I had been working on embracing my new body. It seems to have been rapidly changing as the big 4.0. has come, things sag, touch and moving independently of me. Rather than fighting against it, I decided I was going to let myself and my body take up more space in the world and it felt liberating. I began to love my curves and undulations. What the work out taught me was this, I can love my body, embrace my curves AND cultivate deep inner strength. I have to say that first learning to love before starting to change was an important step for me.
When I returned I decided that I was going to get strong, not to loose weight, or to be a certain size or weight, not to judge my body but just to feel strong from the inside. That declaration was met with daily work outs that I love, dancing, moving my body and doing some exercises that help me feel connected to that deep inner core of my physical and emotional body. As all things that we declare after some time I went through a slump; kids got sick, I got my period, the energy of the house and world seemed heavy and I went to the underworld for awhile. I was doing a different type of strengthening work. In the past this would have made my recovering perfectionist self feel horrible, "I can never finish anything, I will never be strong, I can't do it, another thing started and not followed through". This time those thoughts were seen with awareness and called out for what the hell they are...bullshit. I went through a slump, people got sick, I was on my period and needed a rest, I was strengthening in a different way. Now this isn't some fake think positive bullshit activity that I have done in the past. Just think happy thoughts and they will come into manifestation. No, this was a complete shift of reality, and embracing what was and not letting the thoughts that aren't true win.
I started my work out routine again and it was rough and hard. As I did it, I felt like I was in labor. I was counting, roaring and pushing myself, knowing I could do it. It didn't hurt but it was intense and I felt oh so weak and then... oh so strong. Afterwards I cried and cried. I did it. Later my husband, who had walked in at the end of the work out told me how proud of me he was. He reflected on a conversation we had had the night previously and said these amazing words, "You are just going through a slump but after the slump you come out every time stronger and more present".
He is right, it's about feeling it when it comes, staying aware within it, embracing it and coming out on the other side. When I feel empty and try and fill it with whatever I can (food, stuff, busyness) it stays empty, but when I jump into the emptiness I end up being filled up.
We are all on the journey friends. Keep being weak every day so you can see the strength. Keep embracing the pain, sharing the vulnerability and being with one another.