Take a moment and watch this video. I absolutely love it.
My STAR word this year has been pleasure.
And I thought of my word when I watched the above video.
For me, this year, pleasure has seemed to locate itself in my embodied existence. I tend to take being embodied for granted. I don’t think much about my body, other than to wish clothes would fit differently or that my knees would still allow me to run.
Most of my life, though, my body has just been the thing that carried my mind around town.
I’ve been taking belly dance classes for a year and a half now, and that has helped me re-orient my feelings toward my embodied self. For one thing, it is fun. I find pleasure in dance. For another, I have a new appreciation for my body that can now do 5 or 6 kinds of shimmies and all sorts of other moves.
Watching this video, as people were asked one thing they would change about their body, for the first time in my adult life, I realized my answer to that question was “nothing”.
For the first time in my adult life, i’m actually comfortable in my skin. And this body I’m in has brought me pleasure and has accompanied me on this journey of life. It has given birth to three wonderful children. It has hugged, and laughed, and shoveled sidewalks, and hiked in foothills, and pedaled my bicycle, and run a half marathon, and completed a triathlon, and eaten delicious pie, and ridden a camel up Mt Sinai, wept at Auschwitz, and swam in the Dead Sea. I’m not even sure I’d change my arthritic knee because I really had a lot of fun playing intramural football in college when I got the injury that, years later, led to the arthritis.
I think I’m also more comfortable in my skin now because of the birth family journey I’ve been on. For the first time in my life, I know who I look like. I’ve seen pictures of my birth mother and birth father. I’ve met my sister on my birth father’s side, and many of her family. Now that I know whose nose, eyes, chin, and eyebrows I inherited, I’m less interested in trading them out for other features.
I just celebrated a birthday this past week. 46 years old. I’m grateful for it. I recognize we live in a culture that tells us to cover our grey hair and spend millions of dollars on cosmetic procedures. I recognize middle aged women may not get as many parts in Hollywood blockbuster films. I won’t hide my age, though, because each trip around the sun is a gift and I’m grateful for the pleasure this body has brought me for 46 years. Here’s to finally being comfortable.