Do You Live In Your Body (Or In Your Head)?

Do You Live In Your Body (Or In Your Head)?

I’ve been thinking about how as women, we stand at this strange crossroads in our collective journey.

For all our progress, here we are back to fighting for some of the same rights to our freedom as women before us have already fought and won. The patriarchy we live in is insidious, and it will take our collective power to birth a world where everyone is truly free. Because patriarchy thrives on inequality and subordination.

I’m fully committed to helping us reclaim our power, and to use it in whichever area and for whichever vision we feel called to do so. Because feminine power is located in areas that we’ve been judged for, denied access to, or become disconnected with, in a head-centric world.

And so this month, our membership theme is Presence. We need to relearn how to be present with our bodies and emotions because they orient us and guide us to what is important.

Our topic this week is Be in your body. Because you’ll be surprised how little we occupy the space of our bodies, even though they are a huge source of our power.

I learnt to disconnect from my body a long time ago. For me, it was a deliberate decision; I was barely thirteen and not ready for the way the boys in my tenth-grade class ogled at my changing body. It made me uncomfortable, ashamed, as though I was wrong in some way.

Dieting provided some relief because it helped me manage my expanding breasts and hips. And before I knew it, I was in a full-blown eating disorder that liberated me from their looks for sure but it trapped me in an inner patriarchy for more than a decade.

Maybe you can relate through your own struggles with food and eating patterns. Almost all of us are hiding a collective shame around our bodies because we never learnt to own them. In fact, far from it. And so we begin to see them as objects.

Many of the women I work with tell me that keeping on the weight helps them ward off the looks that make them uncomfortable. Or it happens to be the underlying reason that keeps them from losing the weight they want to or sticking to their health goals.

When we learn to occupy our bodies, we can see them as something so much more. As, literally, the vehicles of our souls. They help us connect through touch. They help us feel joy and longings and pleasure. They carry and cradle our babies, and they help us do the work we need to do or feel called to do in our lives.

When this realization dawns on me every so often, I can’t help but smile at this body, gently massage my tired feet, or buy a heavenly smelling cream for these well-worn hands. How sweetly they support me from morning till night.

What about you? What is your relationship with your body? Are you loving it? Are you living in it? Because even when shame or fear isn’t part of the mix (although it almost always is), there’s the fact that in this rational world, we mostly live in our heads.

So this week, let’s try spending more time in our bodies.

As you’re reading this, I invite you to feel your feet on the ground. Take a breath and watch it move through your body. See if you’re seated in an uncomfortable position and re-adjust as needed. How does that feel?

Multiple times a day—or at least once a day—place yourself in your environment. Look around you and sense yourself within the larger space. Pay attention to your sensations. When you pick your coffee mug, feel it in your hands. When you put on your clothes, feel the fabric on your body. When you have your dinner or a snack, take a moment to feel your taste buds come alive.

You are presencing yourself to the moment by being present in your body. The wonderful author Geneen Roth says that when we see people who have a presence, it’s because they are present in their bodies.

Before I go, a word of warning. Your inner critic may not like you loving your body, or spending time in it. You may find yourself getting hooked by what you don’t like about yourself, or feeling you’re wasting your time by slowing down. It’s okay. Let that voice be. Do not spoil the moment by arguing with it.

Instead turn your attention to what you’re loving and allow yourself to take it in.

This post is taken from the weekly emails in the Goodbye Perfect Membership. To learn more and sign up, please click here

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