As my brain tried to zero in on my pointed middle-finger in Warrior II, his voice seemed to get louder and more insistently crude words frothed at his lips. I wanted to drop the rest of my fingers and just leave the middle one pointed in his direction. Still, as I struggled to breathe more deeply, to fight against the insistence of my brain to focus only on him and my reactions, I got the lesson for something else I was currently struggling with in my life. And focus is the key to both.
I’m not talking about looking in the mirror and appreciating what you see staring back at you. Nor I am referring to being proud of a work accomplishment, running a triathlon, or remembering a friend’s birthday without a Facebook reminder. Self-love is about something deeper than these important – yet surface – traits. It’s about giving into the feeling of satiety within your skin. It’s about loosening a grip on those thoughts of what you are doing wrong. It’s about sitting across from another person and feeling safe, warm, and easy in their gaze.
Sometimes I wonder if there was ever a time that I didn’t believe in a compass that could help direct me; I think these times existed. I’m almost saddened for the former me who couldn’t take solace in the ebb-and-flow of life, and the deeper meanings that came with depression, anger, resentment. The wish for it to all be over, and yet thinking it would be with me for the rest of my life. It certainly is hard to be optimistic when all you have in your hands are those biting, diminishing feelings.
I’m interested in how people move past their body stories, the ones deeply implanted by their mothers, or their friends, or the TV. Or all three. How they get through the rest of their life still hearing the same words leave the mouths of their fathers, their lovers, or the magazines that cover the shelves at the grocery store. Changing the story for a moment is easy; changing for the rest of our life is a daily struggle.
Here is the first review in what I call the Hand-Crafted Series that I’ll be doing through December: a look at products and gifts made by real people with a real heartbeat (hint hint – they make great gifts!). Long live handcrafting, whether it’s a candle, a book, or an opera. This one looks at the new travel e-book by Shelley Seale and Keith Hajovsky, How To Travel For Free (or pretty damn near it!). And pay close attention to the site over the next couple of weeks, because giveaways of some of the products are definitely a part of the deal. You just gotta sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Twitter and you’re eligible.
Recently, I noticed a comment made by a friend beneath a picture of her and the guy she just started dating – “I’m definitely dating WAY above myself!” I smiled sadly. I’m happy that she has found a guy she thinks so highly of, and I’m sad – for her, for me, for all the other women (and men) out there – that feel they aren’t worthy enough.