Over the last few years of shooting boudoir, I have spent time thinking about how I want to feel about my body. I have bounced back and forth between two ideas. Should I:
- Try to come to a place of peace where I don’t really think about my body in any way – I just live in it and use it to accomplish my goals; or
- Begin to love my body and take joy in connecting with it no matter what it looks like.
The first one is appealing because when I become too consumed with how I feel about my body, I steal energy from other more important things. If I came to a place where I gave my body little thought, or I became “body neutral”, I would have more energy for more life-giving pursuits. The problem with that perspective, though, is that I actually live in my body. It’s my interface with the world – it’s how I experience life and it’s how others experience me. In other words, “I” am not separate from my body. We are one and the same.
The second one, loving myself as I am, is likely the ideal state of mind to be in. It’s a position of gratitude. It acknowledges that my body has created space for me in this world. No matter what it looks like, that is a remarkable thing. Like Dr. Seuss says in the Birthday Book, “If you’d never been born, well then you might be an isn’t. An isn’t has no fun at all, no he disn’t. You have to be born or you don’t get a present.” I was born, and so were you, and we were born into bodies that are unequalled in nature. That is a gift, even if our bellies have rolls and our boobs are sagging and our legs have cellulite. “Be thankful you’re not just a clam, or a ham, or a jar of sour gooseberry jam.” That’s such an exaggerated bit of silliness, but it’s “truer than true. There is no one alive who is you-er than you.”
So how do we choose to love and connect with ourselves as we are without wishing to be something else? I keep googling it and aside from diet fixes, and workout regimes, and botox ads, the answer that other bloggers come up with again and again is gratitude. Spend time feeling the air in your lungs, tasting the food on your tongue, sensing the blood pumping through your veins. Take pleasure in being a body alive in the world. That practice alone will transform you from the inside, and you will feel differently about yourself as a result.
The photos I have chosen for this week’s blog post are of a woman who has had her share of challenges. She carved out space and time in a busy life to celebrate the woman she is right now by doing a boudoir shoot with us. Thanks so much to A for letting us share a few of your photos!
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