Ever heard the expression, ‘your body is your temple’?
I didn’t really get this concept until the last couple of years when I started female yoga & qi gong practices that helped me connect to my body in a way I hadn’t before.
Up until then I’d spent most of my life living in my head – and hadn’t even realised it! My mind was constantly in overdrive, running the show, whereas my body was more of a love-hate relationship – I loved to hate her. Since puberty I hadn’t felt good about my body.
It wasn’t until I took up practices that tuned me into my body – particularly the feminine aspect of my body – that I discovered the well of womanly wisdom that lives inside me…as it lives inside YOU.
Ok, it may have been a little weird at first to have a conversation with my womb or breathe into my ovaries, but in doing so I’ve gained an embodied understanding of the gifts of the goddess.
What a blessing it is to be living life in a woman’s body!
Yet, if you’re anything like most women, I bet you’ve spent most of your life hating or otherwise rejecting your body rather then worshipping her as a temple.
I know I have.
Unfortunately, women have been taught since puberty that their body is the enemy. She’s too fat, too thin, her thighs too dimply, her teeth too crooked, her breasts to small, her breasts too large, her belly too round, her skin too pale, her skin too dark, her legs too hairy, her flesh too soft, her bum too big…and so on. And lets not mention the fact that she bleeds every month. I’m sure you get my point. In so many ways our culture sends women the message that the female body is flawed or must be controlled.
As a result, women are literally programmed to think negatively about their body and to wage a constant war against their body – from hormonal control to complete eradication of body hair, to constant dieting to bootcamps aimed at transforming female curves into hard masculine physiques.
The average woman has a negative thought about her body at least once per hour, and up to 50-100 times per day!
In fact, it’s such an accepted norm to put your body down that women bond by negative self-talk – when women get together it’s socially acceptable to insult their body rather then praise it.
As a health practitioner I notice this all the time. I even wrote a blog on the subject: Have you ever noticed how often women apologise?
When you’re so busy fighting yourself, you don’t have power.
You might find it interesting to consider how it serves society to keep sending media messages to women that fuel body insecurity; and how this insecurity and lack of body love might flow on to disempowered birth experiences…
Women’s bodies are powerful.
A woman’s body is so powerful political campaigns are won or lost over the topic of controlling women’s bodies.
A woman’s body holds the gift of life. In ancient times, goddess temples were built to celebrate the life giving, abundant power of a woman’s body and this helped remind women of their creative potential, strength and innate capacity to birth.
It’s no coincidence that fear and mistrust of birth has coincided with the disappearance of the Goddess for the last few thousand years – replaced by a patriarchal mindset that’s taught women that, as punishment for the sin of their female body, they must suffer during childbirth.
I’m telling you this now, not to challenge your religious or spiritual beliefs, but to invite you to open your mind to possibilities you might not have considered before:
Women are not meant to suffer during childbirth. It’s not meant to be painful or traumatic or frightening. A woman’s body was built for birth. The truth is birth is meant to be ecstatic.
Here’s what I invite you to know:
Your relationship to your physical body is integral to your power as a woman; therefore the relationship women have with their body is integral to their birth experience.
Thinking negatively about your body is a habit that keeps you disempowered.
Don’t you think its time for change?
Neuroscience reveals that whatever you focus on shapes your brain. If you’re constantly thinking negative thoughts about your body, those negative neural pathways become stronger and those thoughts become habituated.
The good news is habit is just that…habit.
You can break negative thought patterns by consciously choosing to focus on positive thoughts about your self and your body.
By choosing to deliberately seek thoughts of appreciation and gratitude toward your body you start developing new neural pathways – pathways that lead to a healthier, more connected and empowered ‘Goddess’ you. Your honour her wisdom.
Body love is not something that only happens to other women. It’s a choice available to you everyday to say f**k it and bring more woman (power) to you.
Your body is your temple, home to the goddess that is YOU.
When was the last time you looked in the mirror and viewed your body through the eyes of love and approval?
Contact me if you would like more information about Ecstatic Birth Preparation.
Body Love Action Step
Rather then focusing on how your body looks start appreciating your body for what she does.
Start a Body Love Journal and commit to the practice of writing daily about your body in a positive way, starting with appreciating what she does for you and how she serves you. Every day choose three things about your body that you’re grateful for and write about them.
The secret to your success is simple: small practices done regularly produce BIG results. Be consistent.
If you stick to this practice everyday for 30 days, you’ll notice a profound difference in how you feel about your body.
Body Love Journal
I’m so happy and grateful that my body:
- How does you body allow you to experience the world? How does she bring you feelings of pleasure?
- What about your senses do you appreciate? Think about touch, taste, smell, sight & sound.
- Imagine you were your own lover. How might a lover appreciate your body?
- Take a tour around your body and consider each part and the important role they play in your day-to-day life: your eyes, your feet, your hands, your mouth, your stomach, your breasts, your vital organs, etc. What are you grateful for?
- What parts of your body do you like? Can you spend more time focusing on these aspects and letting those good feelings grow?
- If you’re pregnant, think about your baby’s experience of your body. What attributes does your body provide for your baby, now during pregnancy and after your baby is born? How might your body feel to your baby?