A Joyful Journey...

Join Doris Smeltzer, critically acclaimed author/educator, as she muses on topics from eating disorders to the mysteries of life. Often "Featured" are select, astute observations made by Andrea during her all too brief 19-year life…it is she who taught us: the joy IS in the journey!

An awakening shower

During an upcoming training that I'll be co-facilitating I need to be prepared with a "statement" about my body's beauty to share with the attendees (they will be asked to do the same).

As many of you know, since Andrea's death I have worked hard at seeing and appreciating my innate beauty, especially my body's beauty. After thirteen years, I can tell you that this is an on-going process (at least for me). In the beginning, I could not muster "love" for my body. I had spent so many years believing the cultural messages and pursuing the "ideal" of thinness that the thought of loving something I had abused and hated for so long seemed impossible.

Cultivating love was just too big a leap ... so instead, I worked on respect. I took time to notice all that my body could do for me (it breathes regularly, my heart beats, my eyes blink, my mouth chews, my sweat glands function, and on and on--all without conscious thought or effort from me). I could respect the miraculous functioning of my body without truly loving it.

After six years or so of continual respect it felt that I had, without really noticing, slipped into loving my body. Recent weeks have made me question the truth of this statement, however. I've been criticizing it again (internally--no outward comments) and have been curious to discover what this is about. The answer came a few days ago while taking a shower.

Soap got in my eyes and no amount of rinsing seemed to allow me to comfortably keep my eyes open, so I had to finish bathing with my eyes closed. Somehow this fact pulled me into proceeding with complete awareness (probably due to my heightened consciousness for the potential of falling). As I washed my face, the thought, "Wow, you can't feel wrinkles" popped into my head. As I scrubbed my torso, legs and arms, I felt only their smooth strength...no lumps or bumps or rolls were evident. Suddenly I knew what had been going on: my return to personal insults was about the swiftly multiplying visual signs of aging! I was shocked and then ... relieved. 

Nothing major going on...just my need to accept that my body is moving through its life-process of getting older. I can continue to take care of it by nourishing it well, moving it daily and ... yes ... loving it, "for as long as we both shall live."

[Originally posted on the Gürze Books Eating Disorders Blogs]

A special weekend...
From Africa, with love

Related Posts

 

Invest in ending eating disorders:

Shop via AmazonSmile or:

Givva
Use Giving Assistant to save money and support Andreas Voice Foundation

Automatically support Andreas Voice Foundation by shopping at Office Depot, Old Navy, and Target.

The book, "Andrea's Voice...

Silenced by Bulimia

 

Silenced by Bulimia (Gürze, 2006). read more...

Gratitude for support from:

mechnaics bank logo

Tag Cloud

eating disorders, body image weight loss personal change healing, self-hatred Austria self-compassion, Italy bulimia self-love Mothers Day Internet meme shattered love health and fitness, cellulite Mrs. Obama magical thinking Rumi, vulnerability, Health At Every Size® white privilege body body hatred crash diets, Passover models Weight Stigma Awareness Week competent eating health Cutting, public ownership, #Nuerofeedback4EDs beauty grief Easter workplace wellness Intuitive Eating social media International No Diet Day body acceptance, privacy, Kenya Alzheimers Spring Labor Day spain Body of Truth NEDAW recovery dysfunctional family, metaphors, Africa fat talk lessons learned challenges self-forgiveness self-loathing Renfrew Perspectives extended family, killer stress, wedding mental illness First Lady anorexia fat people, bittersweet Sequoia National Forest Taryn Brumfitt dancing at bus stop bride & groom Lets Move! Chimamanda Adichie memories independence Silver Creek Falls Bailey Webber self-care, binge ritual Florence weight Nigerian Health At Every Size®, breaking down walls Independence Day preferred gender pronouns Julie Wyman mindfulness, New Year Michelangelo weight stigma high school reunion fat friendly doctors, Resolutions intersectionality body positive Lindsey Averill 4-wheel drive Italians judgments only you can be you American Medical Assn., Eating Disorders Awareness Month queer body love nature / nurture, baby steps self-acceptance wi-fi healing metaphors, non-binary gender Andreas Voice, fat acceptance, black & white thinking shame,

Andrea's Voice...

Silenced by Bulimia

 

Silenced by Bulimia (Gürze, 2006). read more...

Invest in ending eating disorders:

Shop via AmazonSmile or: