I am generally content and able to view my life as is, something beautiful. Or as Pema Chodron says, “Looking for alternatives. . . keeps us from realizing that we could stand with pride in the middle of our life and realize it’s a sacred mandala.”
When I focus attention on spirituality or creating something, my physical body becomes irrelevant, other than a vehicle that needs nourishment and care to function. As soon as I shift focus to body, that’s where I feel less sacred mandala-ish and more lower frequency emotions, sadness, frustration, shame.
Facing the demon. I am now for the third time working toward losing 40-50 pounds. Why? I keep thinking life at an optimal weight will help me feel more at ease inside my body. Each previous time I reached goal, I discovered I did not feel much different, other than a bit more confident in public. I’ve participated in big-name diet programs before, but daily tracking intake & activity in one of the many free online programs has worked for me (SparkPeople, Cronometer). Tracking increases awareness.
This time, I am giving myself a diet of daily self-compassion in addition to nutritional diet and see if anything shifts. Because clearly if I have felt little difference at various weights and strengths, it is the mind I need to retrain.
Daily Self-Compassion Diet
- Each night, write down every judgmental thought about my body.
- Write an alternate compassionate response to each judgment.
- See if I can obsess about what I like and work toward a list longer than the judgments.
- Sit in meditation for 5 minutes with clear intention to: 1) Practice feeling completely at ease in body scan awareness for 5 minutes, 2) Ask the question, “Where and how do you feel the discomfort about being embodied?” and allow any answers given be my guide to what I need to do to shift to a more integrated sense of inhabiting a body.
I am writing about the topic of body and self-compassion on Women’s Day because I believe in Western society, some breed of warped body-mind relationship is endemic to our culture. Shifting the way I experience physical self will allow me to finally feel deeply at home in the home I was given. It’s empowerment.
Here are a few humbling examples of truly inspirational women to celebrate their legacies.
- Wangari Mathaai – First African woman to win Nobel Peace Prize
- Berta Caceres – Honduran Environmental Activist
- All the women at forefront of the DAPL movement and spearheading protection of indigenous rights and lands everywhere.
To honor A Day Without a Woman, I will wear red and be in solidarity with all those striking.
We recognize that some of the 82% of women who become moms, particularly single mothers, may not have the option of refusing to engage in paid work or unpaid child care on March 8th. Many mothers have always worked and in our modern labor force, almost half of all households are women-lead, yet motherhood remains the number one predictor of poverty and a woman’s earning potential is diminished further with each child. We strike for them.
Best talk on self-compassion in context of parenting, for all you parents out there. Or really anyone who wants to work on more self-compassion.