Art Journal Entry, August 26, 2014

In a burst of exuberance, the wind swept down from the mountains 
whispering stories of faraway places.

“Runaway with me and I will show you the world!” the wind called out.

And Coyote laughed. “Here is where I run free,” he told the wind.

And the wind blew on and Coyote ran free.

https://dareboldly.com/2014/08/27/a-gift-from-the-quiet-hours-before-the-dawn

There was a time when she believed if she could just be somewhere else other than where she was, everything would be okay.

There was a time when she wished for nothing more than to be someone else other than who she was.

What she couldn’t see in looking for another way of being is that no matter what she wished for, she could never be anyone else other than who she was.

What she couldn’t see was that the parts of her that didn’t fit her well in this place, would not fit her any better in another.

Fearful that she would never find her way, she attempted to jettison her past, extricate herself from being herself to become someone she thought others wanted her to be. “Perhaps if you change directions, or even just your clothes, you’ll find yourself another way,” her nimble mind whispered like the wind blowing down from the mountains, calling her to run away.

And she ran, and ran and still she found herself where ever she was at, trying to run away from the one she could never leave behind, herself.

“Perhaps if you simply stand true to who you are, stay present to what is here in this moment, you’ll find yourself right where you’re at,” her loving heart whispered into the howling of the wind.

Frightened by her heart’s calling and tired of constantly running away, she fell to the ground and rested right where she was at. And in her sleep, her heart beat strong, and her mind grew restful as the truth of who she is set her free to run wild like the wind through her dreams.

“There is nothing to fear in being you,” her heart whispered. “Who you are is who you’ve always been. Perfectly human in all your human imperfections. Beauty and the beast. Loving and loved. A child of the universe, seeking her way into the light of her own brilliance shining brightly on the path of her creation.”

Like coyote and the wind, there is always a calling to venture into another space, some distant place where what is here will not be there. It isn’t until we quit searching for somewhere else to be that we discover, everything we need to be free is here right now, because, no matter where we go, we are where ever we go.

__________________________

This piece originally appeared on my blog August 27, 2014. There is more to it if you want to read the rest — CLICK HERE

My original plan was not to write about body image this morning. But, a facetime call with my eldest daughter this morning where I shared part of a conversation I had yesterday with a beautiful friend who dropped to pick something up redirected my thinking.

My friend and I were talking about body image (why do I feel compelled to ensure you know we did it ‘safely’?) I was telling my friend how I had found some photos of me with my eldest daughter when she was born and I mentioned how I was surprised to see I wasn’t ‘fat’!

“Why did I always think I was fat?” I asked my friend. Now let me caveat that statement — I am not fond of that word ‘fat’. It is not a loving way to describe or to view myself but, honesty and speaking truth is vital to change. I can’t think of a time in my life when I didn’t think I was fat.

Now, I should also mention that much of my life I always thought of myself as very fit — which I was — but it didn’t matter how much I ran or swam or skied or climbed or worked out — I always thought I was fat!

My social and psychological conditioning as well as media representations of ‘beauty’ have instilled some really dysfunctional ideas around body image that I continue to work on unravelling — it is a huge challenge. These ideas and attitudes are deeply embedded in my psyche.

My friend replied that she too shares the same issues. She is a good 8 inches taller than me and has always been beautiful in my eyes. In her own, not so much.

It is said that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.

When we look in the mirror, we are beholding ourselves.

How beautiful do you see yourself?

Do you see your natural beauty or do you compare yourself to some media instilled measurement of beauty and find yourself less than, other than, an artificial construct of beauty?

Twiggy was the standard-bearer of my age, I told my daughter this morning. She defined beauty when I was in my teens.

Kate Moss was mine, she replied.

We are both under 5’3″ tall. Supermodel status was never in our genes. Yet, through the power of media and peer pressure and social conditioning, (and air-brushing) we, like millions of our peers, wanted desperately to emulate a way of ‘looking’ that was/is unachievable.

And there’s the catch. ‘Looking’ like someone else’s definition of beauty is not sustainable nor loving.

Being who I am, being myself as I am and loving myself from the inside out without judging how I ‘look’ and finding myself wanting – that’s the measurement of success and beauty I want to live by.

What about you?

Who/what defines beauty for you?

Do you love yourself completely, just the way you are?

It’s a tall order. To love yourself completely, just the way you are. I’m still working on it.

Namaste

9 thoughts on “

  1. Lots of thought-provoking messages you are throwing out for deeper contemplation, more than the norm. You obviously have been giving much thought to “running free” as the wind, to body image and how the times shape (no pun intended) and influence your self-image. Yet you are fully cognizant that you are who you are, so as my doctor tells me, “suck it up”. I am considered average height, stocky build thanks to my Dad, yet I was a “buyer’s model” back in the early to mid-1970s, not the Twiggy look but the European look, curves etc.
    I am happy with who I am. I accept who I am. I know who I am. I like the face that looks back at me in the mirror when I first get up. No one else’s beauty defines me or guides me on how I should look. I have my own style, my own look, my own inner beauty and that is what defines me. Do I need more? Do I need to follow someone else’s notions of what is good for me?
    No, for then I would not be me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a beautiful and empowering response Iwona! Thank you for your wisdom, beauty and your unique expression of YOU! So wise and beautiful, caring and uniquely YOU. Many hugs my friend. ❤

      Like

  2. A tall order — oh how I wish I could order tall! I am less than 5’1″ as I am shrinking. I am overweight but quite fit. I am happier with how my body feels when I am 15 pounds less than I am right now but I hate giving up ALL the good stuff in life to get there plus I can’t seem to maintain it. The face is full of wrinkles, the eye lids very saggy and the hair snow white. I look older than 62 but my mind and body are still in good shape so I will take it all in the win category today. And seems dressing up and going somewhere (which causes me to do the comparison thing) isn’t in the books I can be content with me.

    Liked by 1 person

Real conversations begin with your comments. Please share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.