I Am My Body

A Mantra

I just wrapped up teaching my Body Unit to the 1st-8th graders. We begin each class with a mantra from the activity book I created: 

“I am my body.

My body is good.

My body is wise.” 

It’s a simple mantra that hopefully instills a sense of worthiness and trust in my students and their bodies. It’s a mantra that helps me regularly as I am navigating my middle-aged body, living with a chronic illness, supporting friends and loved ones with sick and aging bodies, and witnessing my boys’ ever-changing bodies daily.  

My Body Is My Home

I have a complex relationship with this home of mine. I am made of power and flexibility, and it has consistently lived in my legs and tush. My core has always been solid and volatile – a place where I learned to fight, flee, and suppress my sadness and rage.  My upper body has without fail been more fragile and susceptible as this is the space where my heart lives and breathes. I often need to remind myself that my power can live here too. “MY BODY IS (INHERENTLY) GOOD.”

While visiting the hospital for my bowel obstruction this summer, I experienced a new phenomenon that left me temporarily stunned. A resident doctor entered my room and told me that THEY (the doctors) will follow MY (the patients) lead – that I know my body best, and I will know what the next right step is for my healing. I did not know this permission to trust my body was what I longed to hear. I have been working hard on teaching this to myself, and I needed her words to encourage me to believe that: “MY BODY IS WISE.” 

As I inch near the age of 50, I feel the shifts of change and age settle within my home. My core is thickening, forging a more profound connection from the power of my lower half to the growing strength of my upper half:  connecting the intelligence within the earth into my feet, traveling through my center into my heart and mind – where intuitive wisdom from the heavens lies. My arms and hands reach towards myself and others with a gentleness that is very much needed in this world right now. 

Choosing Loving-Kindness Towards Myself

I often get caught up in the spiraling thoughts that society and my culture have thwarted upon me –  the immense value placed upon my outward appearance being nothing short of PERFECT. It is in these moments I decide to care for and nourish my body by acknowledging and honoring the following:

my body’s limitations,

my body’s desire for pleasure and comfort,

my body’s innate ability to communicate with me,

my body’s connection to my heart, mind, and soul

my body’s strength and vulnerability

my body is the one thing in this world that belongs to me and only me (a privilege not granted to so many)

And I intentionally choose to speak to my body, my home, with acceptance and loving-kindness

I am my body. My body is good. My body is wise. And I am just right exactly as I Am. 

Carry On

Then, I put on a pair of high-waisted wide-leg jeans, a simple and fitted turtleneck, adorning sneakers on my miniature feet, a dash of rosy pink on my cheeks and lips, with the final embellishments of hoops and bangles. 

The ink forever etched in my forearm reminds me to Be Still and Know I Am. 

And I Carry On. 

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