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12.18.2012

The Skin You're In

I woke up this morning with an amazing sense of gratitude for my body. I hugged and squeezed myself and kissed my hands and arms....and even said "thank you body". I know it sounds super hippy and kind of eccentric but hey it's true!

As someone who has spent most of her life hating her body (and to be honest, still does allot of the time....just being honest!), it's quite rare for me to stop for a second to give my body props. I imagine that this spontaneous feeling of love for my body has to do with my fasting, which I do for both spiritual and health reasons (sidenote- fasting is really appreciated in Naturopathic medicine- the medicine I am studying). I'm writing this post, as someone hasn't eaten solid food for a few days, and won't for a few more days or for however long my body and soul see fit. I'm in awe at how fully functional I am. I can't help but remember something that my teachers have repeated throughout the semester and that is "at any given moment and in any given circumstance, your body is doing its best to help you". It's kind of like a love story. Unconditional love- which makes sense since God tells us that our bodies are temples of the spirit. Is not God the ultimate expression of unconditional love? It all makes sense. (Glory to you,  Papa.)  No matter what you do to your body, its only purpose is to serve you, preserve you, and heal you- whether you want it to or not, whether you like it or not- it just is what it is. We eat terrible foods- and our body still tries to help us.  We live sedentary lives, not providing our bodies with the movement that it needs to be at it's prime- and our body still tries to help us. We take harmful medications to suppress what we interpret as "symptoms" (aka fever, coughing, sneezing, vomiting)- when in reality, our body is genuinely trying to help us! Our body helps us on every possible level, from the microscopic to the macroscopic. Every facet of your being is trying its best to do what it has to do to love you! How poetic.

I've always struggled with my body type, always wondering, why am I so naturally.....
big. Like just, large in every possible way. You know?  Just like....broad, and sturdy and thick and strong. Strong calves, strong nails, thick hair, etc.  Like regardless of when doctors may have medically characterized me as overweight or when I've been at my healthiest weight (it's been a while), my constitution has always been just....large. I entertained peoples' input when they blamed in on genetics or just being "big boned", but it's something that I've always tried to change (and still daydream about changing on my darkest days...). It wasn't until medical school, during a class called Constitutional Assessment, where I started studying different systems of medicine (Ayurveda, East Asian Medicine, etc), that I realized that we all just have a way that we are- simple as that.  Some people are naturally thin, some are naturally happier or melancholy, some are naturally sturdy and deep, some people like spicy foods and some like bitter foods- some would be happiest when walking in the woods and others in a gym- we're all a hodgepodge of adjectives that make us- us. That unique blend of stuff is what makes you an individual. I feel like this paragraph is kind of unrelated to the first. Hmm...

So, I guess where this stream of thought is leading me to.....is....that loving your body for what it is and what it does is really important because it loves you for who you are, unconditionally. It's a little easier said than done. I definitely don't love my body the way I should. I don't know if I ever will. But, I do know that it's important and that I should and that I want to. Intent is really important, I find. Intent is the motivation of the heart and the will of the spirit. It's everything. So, perhaps if I can approach my body with good intent, the rest will all just fall into place...naturally.

K.

Love the skin you're in, friends.
Be kind to yourself.
.....and stay engaged,
N

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