My friend, fellow coach, and spiritual mentor Hillary Lester recently posted something that hit me right in the guts. It was a letter she wrote to her body, thanking it for all it had done for her. I cried--the ugly, face-crushing, choking on snot variety of cry--as soon as I started reading it.
Coaching tip: any time you have an immediate emotional reaction to something, you're being offered an opportunity.
This opportunity came to me in perfect timing (as they always do). I'd been feeling sad about my body that day. I was frustrated with this long journey we've been on, exhausted by spending tens of thousands of dollars and thousands of hours and millions of modifications and billions of thoughts on asking the same question, only to receive limited answers. I was caught up in wanting my body to be something it wasn't in that moment, and I was disgusted with my inability to make my body comply with my mind's demands.
Hillary's post was a bald-faced call out, a hand-written letter straight from the CEO desk of The Company, aka the Universe. Like the dutiful team member that I am, I took my memo and my lumps. I asked my guides what I needed to know. They replied "you're not ready to know." I protested; I am ready to know! I want to be ready. Tell me how to get ready. In typical fashion, they replied "decide that you are ready."
OK, I am ready. I'll explore how that looks.
So I read cards about my body. I did Psych-K on thoughts about my body. And then I did exactly what Hillary did. I wrote a letter to my body. Here it is:
Thank you, for everything. Thank you for the skin that soaks up sunshine, ink, and loving touch. Thank you for the eyes that take in the beauty of this world, the ears that bring awareness of birdsong and fiddles and language. Thank you for the immense sensory experience you provide in every moment.
Thank you for the son you created, and for your grace in releasing him. Thank you for housing my eternal soul and for the heart and vision that allow me to honor and care for the souls of others.
Thank you for your patience. Though I have done this having a body thing before, the nature of my existence is that I can't remember those times with great clarity. Whatever I may have learned about caring for a body then is hard for me to access now. I know it shows sometimes, in the choices that I make, or those that I fail to. Thank you for adapting to and overcoming the poor choices, and for drawing, in your eternal wisdom, what you need from the better ones.
Thank you for speaking to me. Please accept my apology that I was not always able or willing to listen.
Thank you for holding my emotions until I was ready to feel them, my thoughts until I was ready to own them, my traumas until I was ready to heal them.
Thank you for dancing and sex and writing and music, for the smell of lilacs and pine trees, the feeling on my fingertips of dog ears and leather. Thank you for the vast depth and breadth of your ability to receive and perceive.
Thank you for movement: for workouts and paddleboarding, hikes and Spartan races, motorcycle rides and the STP.
Thank you for innately--quietly and pervasively--being everything I strive to be mentally: eternally in the present, self-balancing, made to heal. Thank you for showing me how that looks, even when I wasn't paying attention.
Thank you for your curves and your edges, your hard planes and soft spaces. Thank you for being a vessel for Divine Feminine, for grace and ease, peace and power.
Thank you for every second we have shared up to this point, and for every moment yet to come.
In exchange for all you have given me, I offer you this vow: I will listen harder. I will work towards showing you the patience you have shown me. I will feel at home with you, in accordance with the splendor of the home you have provided. I will care for you to best of my ability, and will seek a steady expansion of that capacity. I will speak kindly to and of you. I will accept your gifts with gratitude and grace. In short, I will work to embody you, my body, in all of your gorgeous glory.
Love you huge,
Photo credit: Cody C Thompson