Thank you all, again, for a wonderful month of tending trust! While I know this has been true of every topic covered here, I’m struck this month by what a lifelong practice tending trust around our bodies has to be – how we can make huge strides in coming to peace with some aspect of ourselves, only to circle back on the same thing from a totally different angle of fear months or years later. And how our bodies are not static things, anyway, so coming home to them, hospitably, is, in a sense, coming home to many homes, each a little softer, more lined, and more experienced than the last.
I feel so much tenderness for all of us as I wrap up this month! – for the dear flesh and souls that we all are, with so much power and so much insecurity. If I could, I’d wave a wand and bless us all (myself included!) with the feeling of being loved and beautiful and lovable exactly as we are.
Instead, I’ll leave you with a song that says so well what I hope this work of tending trust can lead us all to do. It’s called “Coming Home”, and is from Trish Bruxvoort Colligan’s album Splash. (Click here to listen if audio player does not appear below.)
Ever yours in trust,
Articles, Books, Blogs
- Dear Body Letters These are letters that readers of this blog have written to their bodies. Gorgeous, moving, honest, real. Please consider contributing a letter of your own, too – no matter what theme is happening at Trust Tending currently. The door for this is always open.
- Jen Lemen has a wonderful post at Shuttersisters titled We Are Beautiful. Only two words for this one: go read.
- Ev’Yan has a piece up this month at Sex, Love and Liberation titled You Are Beautiful. Another wonderful meditation on finding beauty just as you are. Ev’Yan’s whole site is deeply trust-nourishing – highly recommend you add it to your reader! Watch for her here next month, writing on the topic of sexuality.
- As a wonderful continuation of the two articles above, Karen Walrond has a book out this year titled The Beauty of Different. While not all about bodies, you cannot help but see yourself and your body in a much kinder, even celebratory light after reading this. Highly recommend!
- Rachelle Mee-Chapman, aka Magpie Girl, has suffered with chronic migraines for a very long time. She writes honest and practical articles about her experiences, and interviews other chronic pain sufferers at her Magpie Girl site. Clicking on the “Migrains/Chronic Pain” link in her tag cloud (here) takes you to the whole collection.
- Click here to see all articles from Trust Tending’s Body theme.
- This video that Karen Walrond made in response to a recent study on beauty has a similar effect to her book. Highly recommend!
- Breasts: A Documentary. This 50-minute film is an amazing piece – not because of any fancy footage, but precisely because of its realness. Amazon describes it this way: “Twenty-two women – most topless, all candid – reveal how their breasts have shaped their lives, from puberty to sex to motherhood and beyond.” I discovered this on Netflix years ago and it changed my life (I’ll talk more about this next month in relation to our sexuality theme). Highly recommend to all shapes, sizes, races, and genders!
Modes of Embodied Healing
One of the most revolutionary discoveries for me after a lifetime of a) feeling awkward with/in my body and b) trying to solve all my problems, find peace and discover the meaning of life by means of thinking, was the vast landscape of healing and discovery modalities that have nothing to do with thought. So much healing can happen completely apart from our thoughts! The wonder of it! (at least, for me… :) Below are some of the modalities I’ve personally explored, or hope to some day.
*Quick note: if you DO pursue one or more of these in your local area, listen to your heart as you do. There are wonderful facilitators of these, and not-so-great/safe as well. Quitting a class that took you a ton of mojo to even sign up for is not a sign of weakness or failure; it’s actually a sign of strength that you honor yourself enough to find a good fit. Even if someone you know and love RAVES about a certain class, your experience might be completely different. And that’s completely okay!
- 5Rhythms Dance This is a movement meditation practice. The 5 rhythms refer to five different types of energy flow that we all experience in our lives every day (the link here takes you to an in-depth description of all of them at Wikipedia). Music guides your body through these five rhythms in a free-flowing, unchoreographed meditation. Mountain View, California has a thriving group of practitioners that I LOVED being part of some years ago.
- Tai Chi and Qigong These are related Chinese practices that go back centuries – the former being a martial art, and the latter being a method of aligning all aspects of the body/mind/spirit for spiritual awakening. I had wonderful instructors for both whose theoretical understandings of their practices were clearly vast, but who gently and consistently encouraged me to get out of my head and my efforts at understanding all the “why’s” behind everything we learned in order to let my body experience in order to know. Really powerful reversal for me.
- Belly Dance I took belly dance classes through an adult school in Fresno, California and completely lucked out with an instructor who made all of us feel completely normal, no matter our size, shape, or coordination level. My history is so far from dancing and open displays of sensuality that I still feel proud of myself for taking these classes and tickled that they were such wonderful experiences. If you look wistfully at this type of thing at all, I SO recommend you take the plunge and do it! Grab a friend to do it with you if you feel too afraid to do it alone. Or just revel in being completely unknown on your own! And don’t be afraid to drop a class if it isn’t designed for your ability level or if the instructor takes herself or you too seriously.
- Tantra I have yet to experience this practice, but watch the videos at this link and just see if you don’t want to try it, too! (Thank you, Melissa, for this lead!)
- Reiki This is an energetic healing practice with roots in Japanese Buddhism. Typically a patient lies on their back, fully clothed, while a practitioner rests their hands gently on or in the air above the different energetic centers of the patient’s body. I don’t understand how it works, but have had powerful experiences of things “shifting” while receiving treatments – on levels that don’t feel physical, and feel more profound, somehow, than words can describe.
- Yoga I don’t yet have a practice of my own, but will start here when the time feels ripe for it (note the additional yoga options in the sidebar of that link). Marianne has also just launched a new Curvy Yoga course, in partnership with Anna Guest-Jelley, for people whose bodies are rocking curves. It looks wonderful and trust-nourishing, too!
Do you have additional resources we need to know about? Please share in the comments if you do!
Either way, I hope to see you next week as we launch our new theme here: sexuality!