Eat cookies, smash the patriarchy.

Hello friends,

Simple but not easy message today:

We don't have bodies.

We ARE bodies.

This idea that You Have a Body?

It's got to go.

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It may seem like semantics,

but let me tell you:

the idea that our bodies are vessels

or temples

or machines

is woven into our culture.

*

A few months ago, I was having a tough time

recovering from a terrible cold.

I remarked to my therapist

that I was having a difficult time focusing

and getting motivated.

She is excellent, and reminded me:

My body is not separate from my mind.

They are absolutely connected.

If my body struggles, of course my mind will struggle.

My body isn't a vessel in which my mind and soul travel.

My body/mind/soul are me.

*

The next week, I traveled to California - 

still feeling less than 100% -

to lead a big workshop.

As I made three appointments

at the hotel spa

(Three?! Who do you think you are?)

I felt a twinge of guilt

at what felt like overindulgence.

Yes, I'd just traveled across thousands of miles

and three time zones.

Yes, I was about to work all weekend.

Yes, I was still struggling toward wellness.

But I've been taught that my body should need less.

Less food.

Less rest.

Less time.

Less space.

Less of my own attention.

I've been taught that I should be able to Power Through.

I've been taught that my body 

is to be controlled.

Made pleasant to others.

That it's more for Everyone Else

than it is for me.

*

To be honest, that logic helped me make and keep

those three spa appointments.

I wanted to show up well for my students.

I wanted to look good.

I wanted to please them.

Happily

after my massage and reflexology and facial,

I remembered what I remember every time

I am generous with my embodied self.

Every time I sleep well and plentifully,

or take time to eat good meals while sitting down,

or put exercise at the top of my to-do list,

or just luxuriate in being embodied on planet Earth,

I feel honored.

Loved.

Vivacious.

My body isn't a vessel

to be steered

disciplined

whipped into shape.

It isn't a temple

to be made hospitable.

My body is not a container

for me, or for anyone else.

My body is me.

And yours is you.

*

Finally

there's the issue of trust.

Immersed in a world that does not trust women's bodies,

does not authorize our choices,

it makes sense we feel we must control ourselves.

Maybe we don't trust ourselves around food.

Maybe we don't trust ourselves to feel feelings.

Maybe the idea of allowing our whole selves

more felt desire

more allocated time

and more physical space

is terrifying.

Expect to feel uncomfortable

when you're being generous with your bodymindsoul.

That's how the racist homophobic ableist patriarchy likes it.

And in the name of declaring women's worth,

in the name of women's integrity and autonomy,

be generous with yourself anyway.

*

How will you do that today?

I really want to know,

so write & tell me.

natalie millerComment