This past weekend I was in New York gathering with a group of over 300 women remembering how our bodies are the embodiment of the divine.
In addition to the sun and moon and earth and trees, these limbs with blood and love coursing through them are also perfect manifestations of God/Goddess/Source, etc. I love remembering this and I love feeling it even more.
Then imagine my reaction when a beautifully pregnant friend of mine expressed to me yesterday how hard it has been to live within her changing, growing body. Her discomfort with having no control around what it needs and wants and watching it morph in front of her eyes is almost too much. I felt pissed and sad, then hopeful that perhaps in our lifetime we can reimagine what it means to live in these vessels of the divine feminine. Perhaps we can remember how insanely wise, magical, and wild they are…perhaps.
In the meantime, my friend’s changing body continues to change and we all continue to live in a world in which a growing adult female body is rarely celebrated. We have very little room for the idea that getting bigger means getting wiser, more luscious, more sensual.
For us, it simply means bigger, cellulite, and jiggle.
It was all I could do to withhold a rant about how miraculous her body is, but she didn’t want to hear it (I threw in a little at the end…). So how do we balance this remembering of our divinity when our bodies live in culture that has not yet remembered that all bodies are worthy of worship and reverence because they are divine?
In my opinion, this is where we are all adventurers and courage is essential. No one is holding our hand here. We change the world by changing ourselves, so this means radical self-care and self-celebration even when it looks ridiculous and flies in the face of what’s normative. My response to my friend was: “No more complaining about your body. Brag. Celebrate.”
She is under direct orders to go to dinner with a friend and not once complain about her body—this is such an overworked muscle that we inherit from Special K commercials, movies, and maybe our own mothers.
We have to find another way.
So today, I encourage all of us to use the atrophied muscle of self-celebration, of pleasure. Sense how good it can feel to speak to your body with not only kindness, but reverence. It will feel like faking (my friend’s concern), but so what? Almost everything feels like faking when we first try. This is part of learning a new skill and growing a muscle that our world desperately needs if we are, in fact, going to change it.
My dream is that when my daughter’s daughter is pregnant, while she feels the normal discomfort of carrying a baby, the world will celebrate her every curve and dimple and pound she gains. She will be able to do her work as a growing mother and won’t even have to think about whether her body is too big, growing too fast, etc. because the culture she lives in trusts that her body knows exactly what it is doing.
She will be held by others who see her divinity and it won’t be so hard for her to remember.
So for today let’s remember our divinity for our daughters even if we can’t do it for ourselves.
Loving your body and mine,
Author: Kathryn Holt
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Arwen Abenstern – KWP at Flickr