I’ve been having the same conversation with strangers all week. After a performance, class or just in a bar. It goes something like this:
“Wow, I love what you do, but, how do you do it? How do you like yourself that much, all the time? How can you be so at ease with your body?”
There’s a lot I could say here, and I’m still on my own journey to acceptance, but I’ve learned a few things. It’s about positive reinforcement, not negative. It’s about my body as an instrument, not a broken vessel.
But here’s what I always come back to. Some days it’s easy and the words flow smooth as silk from my tongue. Some days all I can do is manage a whimper through gritted teeth, but I do it, regardless. My heartbeat mantra is three small, simple words.
You are enough.
Say it out loud. Look at yourself, in the eyes, in the mirror and say it. Say it as if you believe it, even if you’re not quite there. It’s true.
We spend so much time, energy and money “fixing our flaws” or trying to “lose those last five pounds.” But, as one of my favorite short stories says, “What is left of a woman when her last five pounds are gone?”*
You have a right to take up space.
You should eat healthy and workout and be a productive member of society, but you should do those things out of fullness, not out of lack. Lack begets lack. Fullness begets fullness. Let’s stop operating from a point of fixing something that’s broken, and start giving, to and from ourselves, because we’re already whole.
Full hearts and strong bodies,
*”When She is Old and I am Famous” by Julie Orringer