I love recommending a resource for recovering resilience that is full of wisdom, wit, and practical learning, that will catalyze change immediately and sustain personal growth and transformation over the long haul.
Full: How I Learned to Satisfy My Insatiable Hunger and Feed My Soul is just such a resource. Originally sub-titled “how one woman found yoga, eased her inner hunger, and started loving herself,” the exercise excerpted below is not just for yoga practitioners, not just for people seeking to recover a healthy sense of self-worth when that’s been eroded by the relentless pounding of an inner critic, not just for people seeking to heal from an eating disorder and feel abundant enough-ness within. It’s for all of us seeking to discover our own wholeness, authenticity, to love and accept ourselves just as we are.
Full is yoga teacher Kimber Simpkins’ memoir of a challenging and remarkable journey from self-dissatisfaction, even self-loathing, to self-appreciation, even self-love. “Flawed, I feel the urge to do everything in my power to hide the imperfection, slathering makeup over the pimple. So what if I’m flawed? Being flawed isn’t a problem….I am perfectly imperfect: a living being, not a cut diamond.” Written in a breezy, even sassy style, “All mental patterns are optional,” I’ve already incorporated the wisdom of much of her teaching about choice into my workshops on resilience.
Reflect on Kimber’s choosing to feel loving kindness toward her own body, her own being; let it inform your choices about your self, your relationship to your self.
Every time something goes in my mouth, a choice is made. I choose this body that enjoys bread and ice cream and olive oil and butter, and lots of fresh organic fruits and vegetables, and coffee and Superfood, and fruit crisp, and herbal tea and milk. Every day, I could decide not to eat those things, and instead, every day, I choose to have a body which is a no-deprivation zone. Funny, in reality I made that choice a long time ago, when I first stopped being anorexic, but it’s taken me this long to decide to own that choice.
Why I Choose This Body
It tans easily.
It’s strong and flexible
It’s rounded and soft some places, firm in others… it has variety.
It has a big steady seat to sit on.
It enjoys good, fresh good.
It enjoys sunlight.
It enjoys exercise.
It’s pretty and fun.
It gets me where I want to go, with grace and style.
It enjoys water.
It all works together well.
It has a good mix of symmetry and asymmetry, which keeps things interesting.
Sometimes it’s silly and goofy.
Sometimes it surprises me with what it can do.
Within it, I can feel my own aliveness.
Looking at this list, would I ever trade this body in for someone else’s? No way. Whether my body meets some outer standard of beauty is really beside the point. It carries and plays with my son. It lets me make love to my sweet partner.
Kimber’s 52 Ways to Love Your Body will be available in January, 2016.