The body is wise. What comes to you when you say these words? How do these words land? Where do you feel these words in your body? Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Notice. Notice where you feel, “The body is wise. MY body is wise.” Do you feel accepting? Does a part of you want to resist the words? Do you feel open, calm, or comforted? Or do you feel anxious, disconnected, or torn when you hear the words? It’s interesting what you can notice when you take the time to sit with yourself.
Over this last year, I have delved into Dr. Clarissa Piccola Estes’s book and audiobook, “Women Who Run With Wolves” and “Joyous Body.” Both books speak a language that feels old and familiar, yet new and enchanting all at the same time. Dr. Estes speaks of the body as a wise being of its own right. The being that holds all of our adventures and misadventures. The body informs us, heals us, acting as the sensory being who loves us and is loyal to us for life.
When I let these words settle over me, there is a spark ignited inside of me. It is a spark that has not come on until these last few years. One that as I enter middle age, I can see a vast land of acceptance and beauty that is held in the body. When I am reflective on my teens, twenties, and early thirties, I was blinded to this knowing. There was much life to live and healing that I needed to have with myself and my body.
The statement of the body holding all of our adventures and misadventures assures me that I am on the right path of becoming a somatic experiencing practitioner and understanding the body in the way it holds trauma. This summer, I spoke of having all these puzzle pieces I know I am meant to put together. I am no longer searching for the pieces, as I have in the past. They are now spread on my table waiting for me to see how they all fit together. Healing from dieting and learning to trust the body again, with intuitive eating. Understanding the body and trauma, and finding healing within the body through somatic experiencing. Finding a spiritual and higher connection with self with Dr. Estes’ work. And what it is like to be a woman and mother in this culture, healing my wounds, trauma, and negative beliefs, and finding true self-acceptance.
I have witnessed in my own body the wisdom that exists in it. When I trust in my body, I have found comfort and quiet within. The noise of how my body must look and be no longer takes up the space that it once did. I have shared that I deeply lived in diet culture. I pushed, tested, and punished my body. I lived for a long time, very disconnected from my body. I saw my body as something to be managed, in a way, separate from myself. This original relationship is what lead me to a career as being a dietitian. But my journey to healing, not only my relationship with food and body but my healing with my relationship with myself, shifted my approach.
The agreements, the rules, the safety net, the misimprinted connections, and ways I have lived by, I have looked at and have experienced healing. I continue to look at them and continue with the healing process, for it is always unfolding. When it comes to my body, it was undoing what was taught to me in my childhood, as well as in the culture we live in. There is such pressure and objectification of our bodies as women. We are judged and criticized based on how our body looks and whether it meets societal standards. It was undoing the worthiness that got tangled in who I AM and am meant to be in this world.
When I step into the wisdom of my body, the keeper of the adventures and misadventures, I am met with gratefulness. There is a bigness that I am overcome by. My body holds so much. It holds all the pain, the heartbreak, the sorrow, and the grief. And it holds all the joy, love, creation, passion, and freeness. It holds everything. When I feel into that. When I close my eyes, take a breath and let the greatness of my body settle inside of me, and become curious, there is so much openness in my heart. So much intrigue and vibrancy to feel into this new relationship. But there is also a sense of sadness and a bit of regret. Sadness and regret that I could not see what I see now. But I am met with compassion, that I have learned what I have in the time that I was supposed to.
Life is our greatest teacher. I hold gratitude for my struggles with my body and self-acceptance. It has allowed me to become a wounded healer, who can shed light and grace to those I encounter every day in my practice. Even when the stories are different, there are threads that do connect us as women. Women who live in the culture that we do, who are sent the messages that we are. I think you have to be in a place where you are willing to let go. Willing to not follow the rules, the plans, the “shoulds” and trust and follow where your body leads you.
As women, we hold intuition. We hold divine feminine energy. We hold knowing. We hold love. Let us remember, that as women, we are incredible beings. Our bodies hold wisdom. Deep wisdom that comes to us as we collect more years in our life. The wisdom that leads us to appreciate the ever-loyal companion our body truly is.