Tonight, I commenced my bath by lighting a candle from Pure Light (one of my dearest friends, Shannon — who I met in junior high — started the company a few years ago to deliver toxin-free coconut wax candles to the world. They are lovely!).
And, I ended my bath with an anointment of Ayurveda body massage oil. Combine all that with bubbles and hot water and it was therapeutically mind numbing.
And it is there, in the bathtub, where my best ideas find me.
My “thinker” shuts off, the distractions fade away, and intuition kicks in …it’s a place where I let ME talk to me.
Here’s what ME was telling me tonight.
I wish someone would have given me the book A Course In Weight Loss when I was twelve. Not that I needed a course in weight loss when I was twelve. I was like the tallest girl in the class and string bean bony. That’s beside the point.
What I needed was a constant reminder that my body was beautiful, that it would grow and move and change, constantly (and I mean constantly!). And that is okay, even better, that is perfect.
I am well into the book now, around Lesson 8.
It’s not a quick read, as it includes lessons, and mantras, and reflections and well, work! This is not for the faint of heart. But, it delivers on the heart and gets to the heart of it all when it comes to love, fear and fat.
Sometimes, even more than you remember.
Case in point: in the lesson called, “Love Your Body” Marianne asks you to call upon the very first time you hated your body.
Here’s the unbelievable part to me:
As I read those words I had a flashback zoom right into the center of my brain ~ I can remember the exact moment in time, in full technicolor slow motion, when I felt hate towards my body.
It was junior high.
A friend of mine (let’s call her Iggy) was over at my house and we were getting dressed to go to some super fabulous, can’t miss junior high function.
We planned our exact outfits down to the color and stripes of our shirts and matched our brand of jeans. The brand was Guess jeans of course! We methodically pegged and rolled up our pant legs to make them skinny (That’s right you youngin’s! We had skinny jeans too!).
In the middle of standing up to inspect my pant leg rolling skills in the mirror, Iggy looked at me and said:
“Wow! You are really hippy Jamie!”
And, no, she didn’t mean, “laid back, with long braided hair and rose colored glasses”. She meant, large in the BUTT. Hippy, as in, you need LIPOSUCTION to get through the doorway, girlfriend!
At least that is how it sounded to me. And, I carried those words with me all through my teenage years. It took me decades to come to terms with the fact that I was a woman with, (don’t say it!) curves.
So, last night, when reading A Course In Weight Loss, I landed on this line:
“Since all negative emotions derive from fear, and you hate your body, you must fear something. What is that? Do you fear ridicule?”
I thought, yes! You’re right. That is exactly what my twelve-year old self feared – ridicule, and the potential ousting from some group of twelve year old girls who lived to look, dress and act exactly the same.
While sitting in the bathtub taking really good care of my body tonight, I pondered this and thought: If I had a book like this, when I was a girl like that, would it have made any difference?
It’s kind of ironic now, but I didn’t understand when I was twelve, walking around with hate and loathing for my pint size hips ~ that in reality I was a skinny little thing, shining and brilliant.
Learning to let go of the power of words spoken by others – well, it is a long process when you’re a teenage girl. One I was reminded of now, twenty-five years later, as an adult woman.
I do know this:
Words can be hurtful and violent.
They stick to you like glue, for years, without the messenger ever comprehending their power.
But, even more so, I believe this:
Words can be medicine.
They can heal and soothe and fortify.
Sometimes it just takes a good book and a warm bath.
May you have plenty of both!