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I received a voicemail today from my mom who lives a lavishly healthy wintertime lifestyle in Florida: “I just practiced barre3 (workout prgm we’ve both been into lately)! My arms are getting fat, I am getting old. I need to keep up with it three times a week. You must be teaching yoga, or something fun like that.”
FIrst off, nothing breaks my heart more than a woman denying her own body acceptance. I immediately broke down into tears. Notwithstanding the realization that her time is transitory, to know a part of her is not feeling whole, complete and beautiful shreds the inner layers of my being to the core. Outermost thought was “oh no! not my mom, the super, gorgeous, fit, smart woman that every woman loves to know because she emits such grace and happiness.” Then I became aware of oh my, how grateful to have such a role model who may have hidden her insecurities, but she did so with strength and reverence to her beauty. Then a remembrance that there was once a part of me that could not be with what I thought that I was. I could not ever be fit or together enough to feel alright.
The recovery process, from anything that provokes a sense of separation, which comes through a broken relationship, death of a beloved, life transition in which inner resources are not enough to sustain us is lifelong. We go through things so we may become whole. Sometimes wholeness is not being who we thought we were but becoming who we can be which is free from limiting thoughts and beliefs about who we are. Such as the first thirty years of my life having the perfect body and a couple years down the road I barely recognize myself after having practiced with so much vigor and intent to move beyond a childhood eating disorder which wrapped shame around my soul. I now know to the core I am beautiful in every way, not just inside or out and although the outside may be a reflection of the inside, the work is always inside.
I whispered in silence to my mom’s heart: “say what you want to be” (which she has always practiced!). Not always practicing this myself, it was a perfect reminder of the power of affirmations. I have to thank my teacher Tisha Morris for this thought! Also, more reason to remember to love when we see things around us that are not of love, that we go within and feel it for ourselves so that others may remember also. I cry deeply when your heart breaks because we are all simply made of the same thing, and while our experiences are different, we all have access to the beliefs that life can be better, we do not have to struggle, we are meant to enjoy life. If I could transmit sixteen years of recovery through you, I would say, relax, it works out and gets better, but there is work and it is always worth it.
Love is light unto your soul and beauty unto thy heart,