I have not had much success in my body befriending mission and I therefore decided, a few weeks ago, that it was time for a change in approach. If the visuals are still too much to handle and mirrors remain a little tough, exploring my body, from a new perspective, might possibly start to help.
So I decided to try something totally off the wall.
Today, I had my first proper massage. I left it too late to cancel and spent the first fifteen minutes feeling self conscious, and stupid, and full of self disgust –
And then, just when I’d determined that once was enough and I wouldn’t be repeating the mistake, the masseur tugged me, just below my left rib, and as I tried, desperately, not to giggle, some of the discomfort and fear was instantly revoked. I had forgotten that I am really ticklish.
Body image is a serious subject – but my approach has been far too solemn.
It got me thinking – when my left foot provoked the same reaction – about the interface between ourselves and the world. How our skin, quite miraculously, responds to the outside environment; and how a simple thing – like a tickle or a soft touch – can shift the emphasis, and make my body slightly easier to be in. It can even, dare I say it, make me laugh –
Which is kind of cool.
So I have decided to keep an eye out for these unique moments and make it my mission to identify times when my body can make me smile (like when my feet go off without me if I’m walking quickly down a hill or that funny Pilates move where you roll, like a kid, on your back).
And, I am going to notice the occasions when the outer can positively change the inner (like the first stroke from the side if I’m swimming underwater or the sensation of cool sheets on hot skin), and my body stops being such a barrier between me and the world.
Because it can, as I have been reminded, in even the most awkward of moments, provoke a range of emotions -
Including laughter, and a smile.
What realisations or experiences have helped you to make friends with your body or view it from a new perspective?