Last night, I volunteered to serve food at a benefit for a local charity. It was a beautiful outdoor re-creation of an Italian restaurant, al fresco, complete with stone fired pizza and Italian ices. A yummy and super fun way to spend a Friday night, all for a good cause.
At almost 47, I still believe I am invincible and last night I not only served pizzas, but strung lights, moved tables, arranged heavy bags of sand to secure said lights, etc. Then, we also broke down the magical evening and loaded into a truck to go back to the rental house. You get the idea. This was not just a talk to the donors kind of night (which as a board member, I also did), it was all hands on deck. And, I was joyfully hands on.
However, this morning I woke up barely able to move. How the hell did this happen?? I am young and vibrant! 47 years young!! Or am I??
Have I truly taken care of my precious physical container for this spirit that I am blessed with in this life? Or, because physical fitness was always easy for me, have I not learned the internal and mental muscles necessary to extend my physical musculature and health into my aging years? Unfortunately, facts seem to point to the latter.
So, how do I support my body, mind and spirit now? I am no longer competing in downhill ski events or rock climbing daily. I am not teaching dance weekly and dancing 4 nights a week. I am usually up by 5am for meetings!! I am now 155 pounds instead of 125 pounds. These changes are emotionally and physically difficult in a culture and world that values a very narrow parameter of female beauty. A culture that tells women they are no longer sexy or even viable sexually as they age .
How do we change the dialogue within ourselves? Our brains are our largest sexual organ. What we believe about our physicality extends to our actual physical reality. Our minds and beliefs are our real point of change. We have believed the narrative of society for too long. How could we not!! It is everywhere, telling us we are no longer “enough”, that we were never actually “enough”. The narrative that tells us that as our bodies change into maturing woman-hood, we are barren, desiccated versions of our 25 year old selves?
I call bull shit!!
How do we believe otherwise and regain our vitality and joy by claiming our own special bad-ass woman-ness that only comes with wisdom and time??
This is one practice that will help re-wire your synapses into believing you are amazing:
Come up with 15-20 words that describe you at your best in the affirmative. Write down words that make you go “yeah!” or that completely terrify you. You are looking for strong emotion here!!
I am Beautiful
I am Capable
I am Present
I am Sexy
I am My Full Self in Every Moment
I am Enough
I Love Myself
Then, pick the top of five Write down the five on fun, colourful paper in creative ways that make you smile Post these five affirmations on your bathroom mirror, your refrigerator, your car, your office computer screen. Wherever works for you Now, repeat them to yourself, out loud, at least five times a day. You are creating new neural pathways here!! This is important work.
Now, these some of my daily affirmations, and yours may be different, or not, whatever speaks to you is fine
Remember yourself for the unbelievably special and unique goddess that you are. Even if that makes you blush and turn away. Even if you feel like a total unworthy schlep right now. This is only one moment in time. You are a goddess with unbelievable gifts for humanity and the universe. You are you, and that is all you need to be. Bumps, bruises, mistakes, sore knees and all.
I love you.
Simply because you exist. And, that you exist to the best of your present capability.
Now is time for you to love yourself.
You can do it.
I know you can, now it’s time for you to know you can.