The left shoulder of every shirt I own is perpetually covered in puke.
My belly is a collage of stretch marks and my belly button, once a cute outie during pregnancy, is now a cavernous hole.
My thighs are sturdier and my hips wider.
I’m still wearing my maternity jeans.
But as I look in the mirror, I see my most beautiful self. My body is now evidence of my greatest accomplishment: my beautiful baby boy.
By far the most prevalent story in my life is the one I’ve developed about my body.
Since I was young enough to perceive how different I look, I’ve alternated between forcefully trying to change my shape and willfully trying to ignore it. This story has defined much of my life.
It has also tainted many of my experiences – like my wedding. The only trepidations I felt that day were all about my body. After years of trying to be a wallflower, I suddenly felt exposed, on display. Every bride is supposed to be radiant and beautiful on her big day. I just felt like an imposter. I’ll never get that day back.
I have good days and bad days, but it’s always there, this story, even on the yoga mat.
After reading Waking (INCREDIBLE book), I tried something different today. I took my mat to the very back corner of the studio and grabbed two blocks, a strap and a bolster. I decided to replace my usual forceful “you can do better” approach with a slow maneuvering. I wanted to feel each and every bone, pay attention to each and every muscle, and think about my body differently. It was humbling.
At the end, I was left feeling grateful for this envelope that surrounds me. I was grateful for how my spine moves and my legs support me, how breath travels in and out, and how my body sustains me. These are privileges denied to many.
It’s small, seemingly insignificant moments like these that erase the old ink and help to write new stories.
Be kind to yourself.