this pandemic has really been a dance for me and my body.
i thought i was going to be very healthy. i stocked my home with healthy things.
then i placed another order for the things my body actually wanted and needed in order to move through isolation and stolen control and grief.
i heard crissle say not to judge my body for gaining weight during a pandemic, but instead be grateful to be in a body that has so far survived a global pandemic.
i heard glennon doyle say love and control can’t coexist, that you don’t control what you love and that’s how she knows she still has self love work to do with her body.
i did a round of sugar shift where i removed added sugars from my life for three weeks. i noticed how much better i felt and slept. i thought i would continue like that forever.
then i returned to the comfort of sugar, without much judgment.
i read lizzo talking about body normalization, and how do we normalize that there are all kinds of bodies that are beautiful and incredible. i read it while having sea salt caramels and sea salt chips, which really compliment each other beautifully, rubbing on my softer belly.
i tried to do a celery juice cleanse but was quickly reminded that i am allergic to raw celery. as i cleaned up the mess of bodily rejection, such a clear message, i reflected on all the vegetables i can eat raw, and how many vegetables and fruits i truly love.
i went to the hospital convinced i had covid-19 or an embolism, but after a variety of tests i was told i had an upper respiratory infection and otherwise am so healthy – this communicated by a stranger speaking with the slight surprise of health practitioners who assume the worst of fat bodies. i feel grateful that even my pandemic comfort kitchen is mostly populated with whole, organic foods, that i love cooking vegetables to eat with my jalapeño cheddar cornbread, that i drink like the receiving end of a waterfall.
i had a deep discussion with a friend about how sometimes the “you go fat/disabled/hairy/etc girl!!” energy can feel so inauthentic, tinged with the fear people still have around anything not socialized as normal and desirable. fear almost always shows.
i notice that i feel the ease of more bodies being normal in my mind, in my eyes. i pick up less and less on the false narratives of normalization, and more and more on how at peace people are within their skin, their capacity to celebrate their own aliveness, their capacity to grow. ah, more people strike me as beautiful.
i notice that what matters most when my life feels good is how it feels inside, how i listen to what i need and how i celebrate my aliveness…it’s intimate personal work, and i don’t have to measure where anyone else is in that work, but i have to find my own peace.
i notice that in my recent video calls, almost everyone is softer around the chin and face in ways that no angle or lighting can hide. a few are more gaunt, hollowed, shadowed. the constriction and pressure and patterns and grief is touching and changing us in ways that are visible. i find i rather like the softening, though i know better than to say so in real time because this territory is a tender one. maybe others don’t feel ease with their smoother edges…i know that just as with my own body, assumptions are rarely useful or relevant.
i have returned to my yoga practice. every morning before i touch my phone, i get on my mat. my body is fluent in yoga, so if i bend forward, the language of sun salutation flows through me. each day i leave room for my body to lead, and am genuinely impressed with what i can still do even with my arthritis, inflammation, gut; the freedom and flexibility increase with breath. i shift poses slowly, fluid as if dancing, feeling the strength and stretch in sustaining. each day the practice is a bit longer, and now most mornings include some crunches and the new-to-me practice of qi gong. i remember how good it feels to be in a body without the hypervigilance of thinking about how it looks.
i am practicing not being distressed to be alive in my body.
i am practicing hearing the old and new colliding at the border of my awareness.
i am practicing starting small while being big.
i am practicing what it is to be and do enough, based on a measurement within.
i am practicing loving my body, normalizing my body, relinquishing control, listening to my inner communications as if to a teacher, being authentic in my self love.
i am so grateful to be alive.
i am considering that this state of mind and body might just be the healthiest i have ever been.