When is it that we might realise, ‘Ah, here I am, unashamedly and truly comfortable in my own skin.’?
For me, an unexpected turn of events in 2016, when I caught a terrible flu virus that developed into a chest infection, found me very unwell in a hospital bed having to consider the fitting of an abdominal catheter. Oh my. How would this impact my activity and importantly my life as a yoga teacher, I wondered. The virus and infection had also sadly knocked the remaining function out of my precious kidney transplant. Now that is a rollercoaster ride for sure.
Well actually, I trusted my body sufficiently. That alone was a powerful realisation for me as I lay in bed over those few days drifting in and out of a sense of utter peacefulness. That I believed it would all be ok. I could feel it. And it marked an incredible turning point in my life to living much more from my heart.
So when a number of months later, one of the renal nurses asked if I would provide a picture of me, catheter visible, doing a yoga pose, to inspire other patients making key decisions around treatment, I graciously and willingly agreed. For one form of dialysis that utilises the peritoneum (the abdominal lining), a catheter is required. It is essentially in this case a lifeline in order to extract some waste that the kidneys are no longer able to do through various fluid exchanges in and out of the abdomen.
Please know if this had been asked of me years earlier I would have said a resounding. ‘No way!.’ or certainly felt very uncomfortable about it.
My sister, who has a wonderful eye with a camera, took this picture in her garden one sunny afternoon and to me it represents me being in my element. Here I am, the tree beneath the tree. The beauty of life continues, our bodies are extraordinary. And I was content enough within myself for this image to be shared and used to show other patients and medical staff. Imagine my surprise rocking up one day to clinic for a regular appointment and seeing a number of posters up with me the tree, shining out.
When we can consider from this vantage point, one of trust and hopefulness, all the insecurities we may have around our physical form can dissolve and lessen their hold upon us and we stand tall and glorious in who we really are and how amazing our bodies indeed are.
Let’s all get body positive in 2019. Who’s with me? Heart and share this article if it’s a big yes, or indeed even if it is for now just a little yes – it’s all about planting those seeds of body positive intention.
Ciara Jean Roberts