© Astrid Longhurst 2017

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Romancing Your Body

March 23, 2018

I thought you might enjoy an excerpt from my new book "Romancing your body."

 

This book was written from my own deep personal need to connect with and love my body. Refusing to love my body was the way that I denied myself the joy of being fully present in my life. From as far back as I can remember I always had a toxic relationship with my body - with myself. Actually it wasn’t so much of a relationship as more of a dictatorship. I blamed my body for all that was wrong in my life. I thought that if my body were like the “perfect” fabulous bodies I hungered for in the glossy magazines that my life would be perfect too. I refused to listen to my body. I didn’t want to hear. I didn’t want to know. I thought that if I followed the diets, hated myself enough, ran the miles, sweated the pain then I would be rewarded with the “perfect” body and therefore the “perfect” life. Like many other women I have lost and re-gained the same weight over and over again. Why? Because although we may be able to control ourselves, our appetites and our hungers for a short amount of time and lose some weight - the truth is that nothing fundamental had changed in our relationships with ourselves. The other fundamental and sacred truth is that it is NEVER about the weight, it is always and forever about our relationship with food, and more importantly with who we are. And, like many other women instead of focusing on the size of my life, I chose to give all my attention and energy to the size of my hips! I blamed my body for the life I believed I wasn’t good enough to live. I spent much of my life waiting and hiding. Waiting for my life to begin when I was slim enough, perfect enough – good enough. Hiding from the sounds of my life slipping by like the drip drip of water that wears away the stone, I made it okay in my mind that it’s an acceptable trade off – No life until I’m “perfect!” That sounds reasonable! But it’s not reasonable – it’s NOT OKAY! It never has been and it never will be!

 

Body Ghosts

Whether you’re big, small, old or young, when you don’t love the skin you’re in you spend most of your time outside of yourself. It’s as if you’ve left your body and what you see is a ghost of the woman (or man) that you could be! Rather like the poor tormented lovesick Cathy in Wuthering heights, outside in the howling winds, banging on the window to be let in by Heathcliff, you turn a cold shoulder to yourself and deny you the greatest love of all - the chance to be loved fully and passionately by YOU! And whilst you may experience the passion of being loved by another, if you don’t fall in love with yourself first, then it is difficult to give what you have never truly and authentically experienced. Not only do you then cheat yourself, but you cheat your partner too! The world is full of ghosts today. We see them in the young and the old, the thin and the obese, and all the shapes and sizes in between. People who for all intents and purposes look as if they inhabit the bodies they walk around in. And whilst some of them may be fully present, most are fleeting shadows of the people that they are yet to become. They haven’t made the connection that they are the most magnificent being this world has ever seen. They haven’t looked in the mirror and fallen in love again and again with the radiant beauty and wonder reflected back at them. They haven’t counted their freckles and exclaimed how many beauty spots they have! They haven’t seen how sexy that scar on their upper lip makes them. They’ve failed to notice the way their smile lights up the Universe or the way they move is like a magic carpet ride! They block their creativity as they hunger for the day when they will feel as if they belong and when they are good enough. What they fail to realise is that day is here, that moment is NOW! That they are and always have been good enough. The lie was that they’re not. We are so cavalier with our souls embodiment…we believe we have forever but what we fail to realise is that whilst our souls are eternal their unique expression in this body is limited.

 

You’re just not that into you!

There’s a great piece in the Television series “Sex and the city” where the girls are trying to convince their friend Miranda that her potential new love interest in her life will call. They make excuses for why he hasn’t rung, emailed or been in contact. “He’s busy, it’s a good thing, it means he respects you, he’s giving you time…don’t worry - he’ll call.” The moment of revelation arises when one of the friends, (Carrie) asks her current romantic partner what he thinks. He says it straight and cuts through all of the reassuring excuses. “He’s just not that into you!” The girls are horrified but the truth sinks in as they realise that if he WERE interested he would have called, he would have shown up and he would have made the effort!

The same applies to the relationship that we have with our bodies. It’s as if we’re just not that into ourselves as we ignore our heart’s whispers, fill our bodies with someone else’s idea of what is right for us, placate ourselves with substitutes for the real thing - whether that’s food, a real relationship or a life that we can call our own! We break our own promises again and again and all too often fail to show up in our own lives! It seems that we are just not that in to who we are! The problem with this is that hundreds of thousands of people are walking around in bodies and lives that they dislike and disown. We are disconnected and alienated from the truth of our magnificence, of the miracles we all are.

Children as young as four are becoming body conscious and can point out their “faults” I once overheard a five year old complaining about her “saddlebags” and that she wasn’t going to eat chocolate anymore. A recent survey showed that a staggering 94% of women think negatively about their bodies every fifteen minutes. Personally, I believe it’s probably more like every couple of minutes! Many focus on getting “out of their body” through food, drugs, alcohol, sex, overworking, denial, toxic relationships etc.

However, the real secret is to get IN TO your body! When you tap in to your body’s intelligence, listen to the wisdom sparkling through your arteries and strut to the sound of your synapses, you leave behind what is false and doesn’t belong to you. You bypass the “should’s” the “oughts” the “if only’s” and the “what if’s.” You swagger past what is NOT meant for you and set a starlit supernova ride for your true north. You giggle as you eat foods that make you go “Yum” and live a soul-full life in a body you love! You blow a kiss to those who cry, “You can’t!” as you blast them with puffs of love and say, “Yes, I can and so can you!” No longer a ghost or a pale expression of who you could be – you are EPIC! You are a full technicolour landscape – a glorious symphony of colours, sounds and feelings that flow through you, ideas that caress your capabilities and flood you with every excited particle of the Universe in full song. You are fully embodied, fully ALIVE, fully present and totally entangled with love. You are in the moment, conscious, awake and most of all – YOU ARE HOME!

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