Do you love your body? Or hate it?

Do you feel beautiful? Or are you your worst critic?

Is your body a battleground? Or your home?

So many women war with their bodies. Hate their bodies. Shame their bodies. And are afraid to inhabit it. So many struggle with dissociation, addiction, eating disorders, and sexual inhibitions, abuse, and dysfunctions.

Your emotional life reveals itself in your body. Maybe you have to drink to have sex. Or eat a side salad when you’re out with your girlfriends then come home to gorge on ice-cream. Or dissociate when you’re intimate. Maybe you don’t let your partner see you naked. Maybe you don’t like to see yourself naked.

The previous post talked about seven adornments to become a whole woman. In this post, see if you find something to become more whole in your body.

The four horsemen

There are four structures that keep your body from being whole.

Most religions have damaged women’s self-image and body-image. They split the sacred from the earthly, so condemn Nature and women’s bodies—houses of the soul—to eternal sin. Is a leopard prowling on an African prairie sinful? How can an animal’s body desires be natural and beautiful but not those of a woman?

Patriarchy also splits by perceiving women and the feminine to be inferior, less than, and less valuable than men. How did someone decide that? How did women’s power get stripped away? In every culture, women are subjugated and wounded physically and emotionally.

Media’s commercialization of women defines beauty as external, youthful, and asks you to measure up to an outer image—to the one that sells. In a world with thousands of species of flowers, is there only one feminine model of beauty—that of models on magazine covers?

Each of these three—religion, patriarchy, and  media—serve someone else, not you as a woman!

Finally, your own beliefs, self-limitations, and internalizations are your worst handicaps. Are these blinding messages true for you today or can you embody your own authentic ones? For you can shift the trapped past for yourself, and in so doing, transform the circle of women.

Your body sacred

Your body is a work of art.

It is sacred, as your soul’s house and temple.

In Tantra, India’s feminine spirituality, the Earth, the trees and rivers, animals and plants are all sacred. So too, is your body.

Your body lives, pulsates, and breathes. Your life-force, Shakti, is sacred. So too, are you and your body.

As a woman, you are the Goddess. You have, create, and nourish life. Every part of your body—from your arms to your belly to your thighs, your yoni to your breasts, your third eye to your toes—is sacred.

In one beautiful Tantric ritual, a woman reveres her body by touching its fifty sacred sites while chanting a mantra to each one.

Your body whole

A whole woman is at peace with her body. She takes care of, nourishes, and adorns it. She finds it beautiful and cherishes it. She enjoys and plays in it. She accepts it for what it is. As she ages, she seeks its endless mystery and change. She discovers and opens into increasing portals of sensation, pleasure, and beauty within her.

A whole woman feels beautiful outside and inside.

It is the time of the Divine Feminine, in which you are being called to embody the fullness of your femininity and womanhood.

♥ Will you question primitive and tribal beliefs that keep you small, in fear, shame, or guilt?

♥ Will you unify and integrate what is split and divided in you to become whole?

♥ Will you emerge into your full radiance, power, and heart?

How to become whole

To be whole in your body, you must first know how you feel about it, towards it. Are you warring against it or are you one with it? You need to heal—to bring peace to your body and nervous system. You need to reclaim and give life to what is repressed.

Second, you must discover and know your body. Feel it. Enter into it. And travel its sensory roadways as far as you can go.

1. Heal and reclaim your body

  1. Be aware of your internalized messages. What were you told by your mother, your grandmother, your culture? Are these messages true for you or do you want to create new truths of your own?
  2. Heal your battles against your body. Whether repression, shame, trauma, religious or cultural beliefs, rout out what’s false, ease what you struggle with, and reconnect with your body’s truth, beauty, and wisdom.
  3. Listen to your body. What is it saying and yearning for?
  4. Learn to appreciate, care for, and love your body. Substitute negative self-talk with positive self-care, appreciation, and enjoyment.
  5. Tune into and connect with your life force. What makes your body come alive?  Is it yoga, sunning yourself on your deck, or dance? Give your body more of what it loves.
  6. Cultivate your sensory awareness. Feel into and inside your sensations, instincts, and drives. Your five senses are incredibly powerful and subtle.
  7. Do your inner work. It takes effort to free yourself from the web of your past but is so worth it. Try therapy, body work, dance, or sand play to shift a scrappy legacy into a living legend.

2. Fully embody your body

You have vast capacities for pleasure, bliss, and ecstasy—for much more than you currently experience.

  1. Listen to, discover, and trust your instincts and drives. This is your body’s truth and wisdom. Follow it. Let it guide you as you navigate your life.
  2. Open to life energy and vitality. So many women constrict their bodies and don’t allow the full play and stream of Shakti, the life force. This causes stress and disease. When you open and allow life energy to flow, like when you breathe deeply, exercise, and eat nourishing food, you increase your capacity and creativity.
  3. Open more to your senses and pleasure. You’ll be surprised how much pleasure you can feel and how much more there is to feel. Pleasure is good for you—for your health, vibration, and aliveness. Your five senses—sight, heaing, touch, taste, and smell—are portals for ecstasy, light, and information.
  4. Evolve your sensory awareness. Know your body. Feel it. Enter into it. And travel its sensory roadways as far as you can go. This doesn’t need to be sexual—you can sit by a lake or a flower or on a sidewalk in New York and experience what Wilhelm Reich called orgone energy and Tantra calls cosmic sensuality.

In what other ways do you become more whole in your body? I’d love for you to share them here.

[ Click here for the Introduction, Sexuality, Power, Love, and Voice + Creativity posts of this 8-part blog series. ]

[Images: Christian Schloe; Alex Bramwell]