Body & Self Love
Death & Rebirth
Safety in Sensuality
[Body & Self Love] Strength As Your Lifeline
Your strength and mobility are your lifelines to greater body opportunity — to experience a wider range of positions and pleasures from the rocks to the dance floor to the bedroom to the sea.
Giving my body the gift of strength didn’t always come easy because it felt more like an insensitive and disembodied grind. I didn’t know the skill of pace and yield in a strength program that gives more than it takes. I didn’t know the concept of “therapeutic strength” until I coined it.
I got lost in the process — forgetting why I showed up to the iron week after week. Muddled by numbers and measurements that skewed the greater objective.
The simple yet powerful objective to unlock greater depths of physical & emotional freedom. To unpack the heavy baggage of body insecurity and the constraints of chronic pain.
To feel free in this body where I couldn’t help but experience deep, daily gratitude and an unwavering inner confidence because of the relationship built. That is magic. That is bliss. That is crying in pleasure because it feels so good to be alive in this flesh. Access it. It is yours to also experience.
[Body & Self Love] You Don't Deserve It
When we pose the question, why do I deserve all of this? We’re implying we need to “owe” something in order to receive. We may rationalize that it’s okay to receive because we did this or that, or maybe we rationalize we DON’T deserve to receive because we did this or that.
But it’s not a matter of deserving, it’s just a matter of receiving.
It’s not your job to operate in checks and balances to validate what you “deserve” to receive.
When we establish a deep, deep sense of inner security, self-worth and self-love, knowing that we don’t have to constantly evaluate whether or not we “deserve” something, then accepting praise, gifts and abundance is so much easier.
You don’t have to fight with your giver, questioning their motives or denying their generosity.
Because you’re never assessing what you deserve. You’re able to simply trust their motives and accept with grace.
You’re able to trust that you don’t have to reciprocate equally in order to gain or keep their love, knowing they were never asking for anything in return. Rather, from this lighter space you’ll likely find yourself naturally wanting to reciprocate without being attached to doing it to “balance” the exchange.
If you’re constantly stuck on whether you deserve it, you’re blocking yourself from actually receiving it.
Self-love starts there.
[Finding Resilience] This Journey Is Not For the Weak
It can be wildly therapeutic to reclaim our strength to re-ignite the freedom, pleasure and play we have the capacity to experience in our body. But this journey is not for the weak.
It often demands we shift the stories we cling so safely to like, “I’m too old,” “I don’t have time”, “I have too much pain”, “I’ll never get better”, “I have too many other things going on right now”, “it’s too overwhelming to start”, “I’ll do it next week, next month, next year...”, “I probably won’t stick to it so what’s the point in starting...”
Our bodies host the trauma of this continual rejection, neglect or shame, displaying the consequences from an estrangement of routine self-care and intentional physical effort.
This is where strength begins to serves a greater purpose as even the pursuit alone indicates a novel prioritization. In the pursuit of strength, we are exposing the parts of us we have often rejected or demoted as weak, unnecessary or incapable. We are quite literally creating new stories and beliefs about ourselves and our bodies through the intimate and potent act of physical exploration.
The pursuit is often more transformational than the outcome because it is the pursuit itself that manufactures rising levels of respect, connection and integrity towards ourselves.
These qualities serve to extinguish our past narratives and construct a more tuned in and turned on connection to our body, our movement and ourselves that is richer than we ever could have imagined. This yields not just a restoration of body, but of mind.
[Safety in Sensuality] Threatened By Femininity
A woman in her full embodiment can be threatening.
We are told to be sexy, but not too sexy. Enjoy your body, but don’t enjoy it too much. Share your body, but don’t share it too much.
Some women feel subjected to reduce their desirability; cover up with clothes, weight, excuses and a long slew of internal dialogue that conflate their narrative. They reject their innate sexuality, chalking it off as something they simply don’t possess. Often a protective mechanism, they fear what their sexuality will bring them. Judgement? Embarrassment? Unwanted attention? Harassment? Violation?
Other women swing to the other side of the spectrum, associating sexiness and worthiness as if the two must go hand in hand. Getting in bed with a man becomes the only way she can feel whole, until his fullness breaches and she’s left with an ever bigger gap in her self-worth. She identifies so strongly with her sexualized image that she finds herself mourning when her insecurities aren’t being fed.
These two extremes have us entrenched in cultural conditioning that tell us how a woman must look, act and behave to be accepted and worthy.
To rip off the societal shackles that constrain her true self-expression takes a level of strength that exposes her to risk.
The risk of being shamed, judged, abandoned, or harassed for embracing the parts of her that are so powerful that they’re also feared.
Full embodiment may be risky but so is the alternative, bending to conform with fraudulent beliefs on what will make us worthy, safe or acceptable. Both can be dangerous, but at least one option leaves us liberated.
[Death & Rebirth] The Body Intention
We operate in a culture that tells us our bodies are meant to be controlled, punished or pushed. Exercise is meant to be a grind, a means only to get rid of our “saddlebags” or “love handles”.
We want to feel better in our bodies, move better and have more compassion for them, yet it begs the question, what underlying beliefs are we carrying that inhibit that manifestation?
How often are we carrying around expectations for the way our body should perform and behave for us? And get incredibly frustrated when it doesn’t do what we want it to do?
How often are we disembodied, disconnected from our present sensations and experiences? “Going through the motions”?
How often do we participate in body neglect, ignoring cues and insights into what our body requires to be strong, healthy and mobile?
Where are we participating in body neglect because of disrespect or disregard for our own needs and wants? Or what we think is really possible for us? What we think we deserve or can manage?
Where are we resisting change in our bodies and the relationship we have to them because of the fear of what that may bring?
These questions grant us a greater understanding of what really drives the actions we take with our bodies, and exposes us to the power of clear body intention. To break down our beliefs and restore a new relationship with ourselves and our movement.
[Embracing Pain] Healing Through Strength
I’d turn off all the lights so I could go inside...
Entering a place of complete control, even if I was gritting my teeth. Holding so tightly in a contraction until my body violently vibrated, I craved becoming completely lost in the way my body felt within the struggle of strength.
This game I frequently engaged in was therapeutic, although it never was intended that way. This game reminded me how to stay present and aware of how my body felt, even and especially within threat. It reassured me that I had complete and total agency over my body, including how intensely I wanted to be involved with my own sensations. It taught me how to restore my physical autonomy and mend from experiences of weakness and powerlessness.
This game I unconsciously engaged in became especially purposeful when I worked in physical therapy, walking side by side with others through their own immobility and weakness. Several of these patients would even visit me in my dreams, many times reminding me that they were going to be okay.
I didn’t realize that it would come full circle. The fight I innately had for my own physical autonomy was precisely the medicine necessary to successfully and compassionately fight for the physical autonomy of others.
I still sometimes play this game in the locked privacy of my bedroom, but now it isn’t always for me.
Standing for your strength.
[Body & Self Love] Softness in Strength
I want to experience my strength without sacrificing my softness.
I want to witness my power without needing to overpower.
I want to be capable, sturdy, controlled, but with give. I want my pursuit of strength to stay humble, patient, forgiving. Kind, but committed.
I crave for a strength that penetrates beyond the physical.
I want my movement to be my refuge. I want to see, express and explore myself beyond the constraints of cognition. Shift stagnation and resistance not through word and thought but through the dialect of motion.
I want my movement to remind me that my body is free, I want my strength to remind me that my body is safe. Let my body teach me, serve me, support me