You are a swan

swan

We all have a different relationship with our bodies. For some it’s a love-hate relationship and others struggle to look in the mirror. I still remember the first time I was told to rather wear a certain type of pants because it makes my thighs look thinner. There were (and sometimes still are) times when I look in the mirror and wished I had a beautiful skin. I can recall a time in my teenage years at school when all the girls were weighed. After that a scale changed from a measuring instrument to a judge. My relationship with my body changed from a wonderful vehicle that allowed me to participate in sport, run around and experience life to something that is rejected and not ‘thin enough’ or ‘the right size’.

In the book “ Women, Food and God” Geneen Roth accurately writes: ‘ It’s never been true, not anywhere at any time that the value of a soul, of a human spirit, is dependent on a number on a scale. When we start defining ourselves by that which can be measured or weighed, something deep inside us rebels’. I believe this is true and applicable to different aspects of our lives not just weight.

Through my journey with my body I learned that the more I let go of expectations and accept the wonderful gift of a body that was given to me. The more I was able to engage with others and the world in an authentic, meaningful and sustainable way. My energy was not focused on rejecting parts of me but rather on allowing all of me to be. This shift of focus enabled me to use the wisdom of my body to engage fully in life and not wait till self-created conditions were met (such as being a certain weight or having the perfect skin) before I can start to enjoy life.

If you look in a non-judging and loving way at yourself you will find that you are (and always have been) a swan and not an ugly duckling. That in not accepting part of your body you are denying your true story. You begin to see the true beauty of your own inner nature. You learn to love your ‘imperfections’ as they are what make you authentic.

Learning: I’m already a swan as I am now.

 Healing question: How can I love and accept all of me as I am now?

Life and death are related.

black rose

The recent passing away of my grandmother made me reflect on death. I realised that in reflecting on death I was simultaneously reflecting on life. Life and death are related. Contradictions and ambiguity are part of life. Death is as much part of the process of life as life itself.

Death might feel like one big loss or like a door that shuts in your face. However, if we can sit in the mystery and stay with the process it can open doors to new discoveries. Denise Ackerman beautifully writes that ‘holding the tensions of opposites in our lives can open doors to a new acceptance of things the way they are.’ Life is not just about focusing on the light or being positive all the time.

We experience death in all aspects of our lives. Whether it is the death of someone close, a relationship, a dream, a career, a business, it is important that we use death to pause and allow ourselves to mourn. In the mourning many questions may arise of which some can be answered and others not.

If we can accept that life is lived within this ambiguity of what we think we know and what we do not know, then it becomes easier to let that what is dead go. Part of the suffering lies in the not accepting and holding on. Before we can inhale we need to exhale. We need to put a period at the end of a sentence before we can start a new one.

The following wisdom of Augustine comforts me in times when I struggle with the questions of life:

Let us, you and I, lay aside all arrogance

Let neither of us pretend to have found the truth

Let us seek it as something unknown to both of us

Then we may seek it with love and sincerity

When neither of us has the rashness

Nor the presumption to believe that he already possesses it…

I do not pretend to understand.

Learning: Make time to mourn what is lost and grow in the ambiguity of life.

Healing questions: How can I learn to live with the ambiguity and questions of life?