As I was being photographed I felt at ease. In considering you reading this and looking at my photo, I still feel at ease. Is that strange to you? Am I only saying that because I love my body? What does it mean to love my body? Oh, ok, I’m still insecure. I don’t want to be judged, even by strangers.
This Project is still working its way through me. It’s challenging what I call body awareness, and helping me question what I think I am doing in my professional practice.
As I was growing up, around say 12, when I began to shift hormonally and I began to become aware of my body, just simply aware that it was different than other people’s, I immediately began to judge myself. To me the learning has been that I have a unique body and that it houses my unique psyche (Soul).
My body has been a source of pleasure, pain, a sense of ability and also a sense of limitation. My body has been with me my whole life, in that time it has changed, grown, aged, strengthened, weakened, toxified and detoxified, and gotten strong again. I have learned to dance, to play musical instruments, to write, to build, to make love, to walk, to run, to sing, and to experience the effects of my biochemistry through so many chemical experiments.
I cannot separate my journey of body-awareness from my journey of self-awareness. And this keeps me grounded, in my healing practice, in physical work rather than energetic. Through focusing on the physical experience I have helped guide people deeper into their own journeys of the psyche. What is so fascinating about being in a body to begin with is that we cannot separate physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and therefore all our relationships from each other. They all work together to create a sense of ourselves in the world that is ever changing and ever evolving in a nonlinear and organic way.
When I first went to Harrimon Lake in VT at 22, I saw real naked people of all ages in one place for the first time in this life. Since then I’ve been skinny-dipping on a few rivers, and I have worked on a few hundred bodies. So, I have a greater sense than many people about what people really look like as a species. But initially I was awestruck that I had no reason to feel insecure about my body. That mostly people just look like people, weird and beautiful simultaneously. That there was no one perfect body type, and that I looked pretty good compared to a lot of the older people I saw left me feeling so relieved that it felt like an awakening. Instead it was simply putting down the weight of worrying that I might ‘look weird’ in some way, or that I might be undeserving in some way due to how I look. This wasn’t an awakening, it was a healing of something that hadn’t been clear to me, and an insecurity that I was carrying, prior to hanging out on that shore. I loved it.
Why is it that we are so shut down from our bodies? When did this start? Who upholds this lack of education? How is this directly tied to the personal healing journey?
I have been on a personal journey to live in my beauty. To allow my beauty to be seen, and to be recognized as healthy in my beauty and because of my beauty. I love my body, I love my voice, I love my mind, I love the pleasure my body brings me, and the humility in healing it. The humility of coming into relationship with the earth has been fascinating, and that it goes hand in hand with the healing of dancing and making love is fascinating.
Mind and Earth. This is where we come from and where we shall return. While we are individualized we are no less beautiful. Our personal healing journey is that of all humanity. I respect that my ongoing, ever evolving, relationship to my body is part of this journey
I love the opportunity be photographed naked. I love that there is an outlet here to be seen as much more than sexual creatures when we are naked. We are so much more dynamic. And sexuality is so much more dynamic than our culture teaches us. We just are our bodies for the time we are here. We are so much more also, and until we get over our body issues and judgments we may never see the grander beauty that we encompass.