What was one important lesson that you learned about yourself this year? Was it gradual or a sudden epiphany?
I think I gradually learned many important lessons about myself throughout this year. I’d say the first runner up was the realization (moment-to-moment)—yes, I am a mother. A good mother.
Another close finalist: I am figuring it out as I go and that’s okay. “It” being motherhood, partnership, my career and life in general.
But the single most important lesson that I have learned is how to be at home in my body.
Body awareness and acceptance articles have been prolific and popular for a long time. Why? Because people read and write a lot of them. Why? Because we all have body awareness and acceptance issues. We can all relate.
Why do we all have these issues?
Perhaps it’s some combination of incessant exposure to ideal bodies in the media, societal expectations and the voices of our mothers making passive aggressive comments about our weight.
How did I do it?
In the end, becoming at home in my body was a byproduct of having been pregnant. My body bounced back after childbirth pretty well. I have no stretch marks, which I attribute to massaging macadamia oil into my skin almost every day during my third trimester.
I guess having been present in my body as it ballooned up with child and since has taught my what the female body is capable of—and has made me grateful for my physical abilities and mindful of how they are constantly in flux, both in yoga practice and moving through daily life.
However, I don’t think you have to go through the experience of pregnancy to feel at home in your body.
Another thing that has helped a lot is getting comfortable being naked in front of my husband. In my younger years, I was only comfortable being naked by myself. I would be naked for sex, of course, but promptly clothe myself again or at least hide my body under the covers.
My husband happens to be skinnier than me, and we’re about the same height. So being with him has helped me get over worrying about being fat. I am a little fat compared to him, and I always will be.
Which brings me to my next aid in feeling comfortable in the skin I’m in: accepting my body type. I am never going to be thin.
This doesn’t mean I can’t strive to tone up and eat more mindfully and healthily and put effort into exercise. I can (and do) do all those things, but I can still be perfectly content with my body just as it is in this moment.
I’m at home in my body. Thanks to openness. Thanks to yoga. Thanks to mindfulness. Thanks to maturity. Thanks to marriage. Thanks to motherhood.
It’s good to be home.
#reverb13 is a means to reflect on the year that has passed and set intentions for the coming year. For the first two weeks of December, I’ll post a daily writing prompt. You are invited to participate, as privately or publicly as you wish. To share what you’ve written, add a comment.
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Editor: Catherine Monkman
Image: courtesy of author
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