- Posted by Lisa McDonald
- On June 14, 2016
- 0 Comments
The most important thing we can say to ourselves each day is, “What do you need today, beautiful?” Treating ourselves with love and kindness and listening to what our body tells us each day is such an important component of well-being.
I just finished a fascinating book called Wild Feminine by Tami Lynn Kent. Her understanding of the female body is fascinating and empowering. She explores the creative energy flow in a woman’s body—the place she believes where spirit meets physical form, and the home of our intuition. She says, “Our female bodies need us now more than ever, and we too need the wisdom, the wildness, the passion, the joy, the vitality, and the authenticity that we can gain through this most intimate of reconciliations.”
The word reconciliation struck me in this quote. So many of us have become disconnected from our bodies and sadly are often at war with our bodies. What if we became allies with our body? What if we treated her like a dear friend and listened to her, loved her, trusted her, and nurtured her? What if we had gratitude for all she’s been through and all she’s done for us over the years?
At times, I still struggle with releasing hard and fast rules that are ingrained within me that I tend to force on my body. Some of these are around particular foods I feel I should be eating and the portions of those foods. Some are around exercise and letting go of some ridiculous notion in my mind of “exercise that counts.” Pleasurable movement of any kind and any duration counts!
For example, it’s taken me a long time to let go of a certain amount of time or distance that I have to achieve on a walk for it to qualify as “beneficial” in my mind. Now, what I try to do is listen to what my body needs…there is no set walk that needs to be done. Some days my body wants a long, fast paced power walk. Some days my body wants a much shorter leisurely walk. Some days it wants to just stretch, other days it wants to bust out ten pushups, still other days it wants to dance like there’s no tomorrow! It’s all good.
It’s the paying attention to what brings our body pleasure on any given day that matters. Toss out what you think you should be doing. Our body is made to move and loves to move…if we are sensitive to her ever changing desires, this will be a very enriching and nourishing part of our lives.
With food, sometimes we have in our minds that list of foods we read about and think that our body needs to be healthy. Though there is wisdom in much of this information, we must listen to our ever changing body and trust what it needs at different times. Like everything else, it is ever changing and this keeps things fun! For example, some days our body wants more to eat than others. Trust that. Some days our body doesn’t feel like a salad. Some days we feel like something hardy, some days something light. Some days, good quality dairy is just what our body wants. Sometimes, our body needs a break. Sometimes we desire the satisfaction and steady energy of a thick whole grain slice of bread. Other days, our body may need and want to feel leaner and desires a big salad with a nice piece of fish….very often it’s the day after we’ve nurtured our body with a good hearty slice of bread or pasta. It’s an ever changing and shifting rhythm….like everything else in life.
Many people ask me if a particular food is good or bad. What I try to explain is that if we stick to real, whole foods, there are no “bad” foods….there are just foods our body will want/need or not want/need at different times. Doesn’t this feel liberating? Remember Michael Pollan’s quote, “There is no such thing as junk food. There is junk and there is food.” Stick to the food and rotate according to the ever changing needs of your body and all will be well. Make it always a pleasure. Let’s not force ourselves to eat what we feel we should be eating. Let’s trust the wisdom of our body.
When I talk about intuitive eating, many say they love how this sounds, but feel they need a little more structure! The body loves a general rhythm…but here’s the thing that makes all the difference. We must allow for flexibility within that rhythm. Strict adherence, as we’ve talked about, is a masculine strategy. We, as women, need to honor our cyclical nature, our rhythms. Have a general and consistent structure and flow but endlessly vary as necessary. Think of the feminine as the river, and the masculine as the river bank. We need interplay between the two. This allows for variety, surprises, unexpected delights all of which keep our senses alive and engaged which is the essence of our feminine nature.
When we consistently allow this pleasure and sensuality into our lives, we are most vitally alive and radiant in health.
Let’s inhabit our beautiful body once again and savor this new found intimacy.