This is not the newsletter I was supposed to be writing. I was planning to write all about my Body Positive Beginner’s Series (BPBS) which has been going fabulously! My BPBS students are amazing, authentic, REAL women and it has been an honor to help them get started on this yoga and body positivity journey.
My plan was to write all day last Friday and get everything done but instead I spent the day at Cook’s Children’s Hospital with my middle child. Luckily, it turned out not to be anything serious but it was a rough day of watching, worrying and waiting.
We sat in the admissions area for a LONG TIME (insurance, don't ask!) It gave me a front seat view to all the kids coming in to be admitted for overnight stays, surgeries, and things I couldn’t even imagine (I’m sure).
One little blond girl came in with her dad. Her birthday was the same month as my son sitting next to me. They were almost the exact same age. I felt like a prisoner wondering what she was “in for.”
A teenager came in with his mom; they had come from the cardiac specialist. Ugh, that couldn’t be good.
I saw this cute little dark haired boy who reminded me so much of my youngest. Full of energy and absolutely beaming with personality. I looked down to see his red, decorated prosthetic leg.
It was good for me to be there. For me to think about how lucky I am to have children who have no major medical issues; our trips to Cook’s limited to mostly stitches and x-rays. How often in the daily grind do I forget how lucky I am?
Don’t get me wrong; there was no pity for these kids. Just noticing reality. Their reality, my reality. (Like I always say in yoga. Just notice.)
I work hard to be a grateful person but it’s NOT my natural state of being. There are certainly days (okay maybe weeks) where I end up in a funk. Sometimes my IBS flairs up and my mood dulls down. Headaches and other aches and pains of living turn my outlook gray and I start to get bitter with my body.
I have to work myself out of those dark holes. I have to remember that even though I may not have a “model body,” I do have a body that functions in a way that helps me do all the things I want to do in my life.
I can MOVE WITH EASE in this world, carry my groceries, fit into seats on a plane, give my kids piggy back rides and flow in and out of yoga poses. Frankly, my body is amazing.
Yet remembering that can be hard when we come up against the ideals of daily society. We are swimming in diet culture. We are constantly reminded of the untrue “facts” that smaller is better in bodies and portion sizes, that every calorie eaten has to be “worked off” and that our bodies aren’t amazing unless we are working out to the point of being outrageously lean and sculpted.
I wish it was easier to be grateful for the bodies we have but (at least for me) it’s a real struggle. Everyday I have to continually remind myself of my value, or my body’s value and of my absolute luck in having the body I do.
AND, it’s worth it.
I fight this fight so I can live free from the need to restrict what I eat. To live free of hatred for this bag of bones I carry myself in. To live free of shame and in full of acknowledgement of all the wonders of my body. To be able to pass those ideas on to my children so they can live with those same freedoms. So they can realize how lucky they are.
Sometimes it just takes a little reminder, a little darkness so you can better see the light.
I need a little illness so I can appreciate my and my children's health. A little sadness so I can enjoy those moments of elation. A little rain so I can appreciate the sun. A little trip to Cook’s so I can remember I got DAMN lucky. A little reminder to use my amazing body to hug my kids a little tighter everyday.
Read my thoughts on yoga, teaching, parenting and everything in between. Shout out to Tiffany Stewart for help with the writing.