The Cook Awakening

This Body, As It Is

July 6, 2014
Posted in: Integrating Lifestyle Changes, Life on Life's Terms, Living with Health Challenges

People sometimes ask me what kind of training I have to do the counseling work that I do. That question always makes me want to laugh and cry.

Yes, I have training in multiple spiritual, psychological and coaching modalities. Personal healing and spiritual awakening has been a central focus in my life since my late 20s. But, I didn’t embark on this path to heal others. I was crawling through the muck of my personal story, and was sick and tired of suffering.

It has not been a straight line, this healing path. There’s a saying that we travel in spirals as we heal, revisiting similar issues cyclically. Each time you find yourself seemingly going over the same ground, check in and see what’s shifted since the last time you were here. Are you catching the patterns faster? Do you have more awareness about the process you are in? Is there are part of you that is not quite as caught up in the story as it plays out? This is progress. We heal, sometimes slowly, and sometimes more quickly. But, movement is happening. Can you give yourself credit for that?

Painting - Out of Purgatory

Out of Purgatory, acrylic on paper

And, teachers and healers can play vital roles in this process moving along more quickly. Sometimes we need help moving stuck energy. (Yes, that’s my shameless plug. Call me. 😉 )

I hold an ongoing intention to love my body. Exactly as it is, lumps and bumps, scars and bulges. I have trained myself to be watchful of thoughts of self-improvement for purely cosmetic reasons.

I’ve been dancing most mornings for the last few weeks. I have had an ambivalent relationship with my body and movement most of my life – love to dance in general but find it difficult to get myself moving to do it. Something has shifted for me through retreat and prayer the last number of weeks, and I’ve been dancing because I’m feeling an internal imperative. I WANT to. It helps move stuck emotions and old toxic beliefs out.

As I dance, I definitely have the thoughts, “Maybe I’ll lose weight. Surely I’ll lose weight! I’ll get more toned.”

So, both are happening. I’m enjoying the movement, the effort. I have this determination to reclaim my body – from incest, from illness, from a lineage of passive women, and objectifying men. AND – I’m hoping I’ll lose weight. I hold that last thought as lightly as I can, but I know I’ll be disappointed if, after some months of sustained body awakening, I don’t.

My internal experience of this body is so whole and right these days. When I look in the mirror I feel like I’m looking at someone other, not myself. Not quite the shame and dismay I used to feel, more like a cognitive dissonance. Who is that? Where did she come from?

I’ve had a couple sessions with Sarah Lambert of Body Insights recently, and something she said has been powerful for me. “The body is the past. When you look at it, you are looking at your past. Can you love who you’ve been in the past? Own it?” So, that is my practice now. I feel more and more that by pushing away my fat, I actually keep it in place. For it to change, I need to receive it. I need to receive ALL of myself. Like a gift. Like a prayer.

I touched my waist while I was dancing this morning and I felt beauty. Softness. I knew that this body, exactly as it is, offers comfort to those who take shelter in it – my loved ones. It may not offer an electric, sexual “WOW!” to random strangers glancing at it from down the street. I have glimpses of that fact being just fine. Shaking the belief that my value only lies in the ability to generate that “WOW!” My kids don’t look at me with judgment. My husband used to but has moved into understanding that his reaction is culturally derived, and this body is the shape it is for painfully valid reasons, not laziness. My family and loved ones all lean into and onto me with ease, comfort, intimacy, familiarity, and so much love. I’m having windows of feeling that, too. Love for this body, exactly as it is. No need for validation or justification.

What if I don’t lose weight? Can I continue to love myself? Believe my internal experience of wholeness over the image in the mirror as compared to the photo-shopped magazine covers I do NOT buy?

I don’t know. I continue to pray. I continue to receive.

This is another loop in the spiral. Ever higher.

This entry was posted on Sunday, July 6th, 2014 at 10:23 pm and is filed under Integrating Lifestyle Changes, Life on Life's Terms, Living with Health Challenges. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


6 Responses to “This Body, As It Is”

  1. Lasara Says:

    I love being part of your process. <3

  2. Durga Fuller Says:

    I love you, lady!

  3. Nicki Says:

    This is powerfully beautiful.

  4. Durga Fuller Says:


  5. Cynthia Towle Says:

    Very good writing. Remember genetics plays a a part too. You look happy and that really matters!

  6. Durga Fuller Says:

    I am! <3

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