Posts Categorized: Body or Aging

Blessing this Face Through the Years

I once owned a mirror that unfolded into a triptych framed in lights.  They called it a make-up mirror. I put it on a small vanity table and called it my altar. First thing every morning I switched it on before leaving for work. It was the only time of day I was still. For two minutes I was not a teacher, mother, wife, daughter. Lists and complications dropped away and I became a canvas, silently ready for the blessing of line and color. Read More>>

Much Ado About Spots and Aging

My personal practice lately has been to well and truly observe the heyday my mind has with this aging body generally and this aging skin, particularly. My judgmental mind, the mind that believes all the images it sees of smooth, airbrushed, youthful beauty, moves so easily into comparison. Look at those … (fill in the blank – wrinkles, cellulite, fat, veiny hands, floppy upper-arm wings). Read More>>

What if There IS a Real Problem with My Body?

Yesterday I got the results of an MRI. My knee has a couple of meniscus tears.

So here’s the dilemma: I’m preparing for a four-day retreat to inquire into one question: What if My Body Isn’t a Problem?

I notice that I keep thinking this knee…and the way it can catch or slightly lock…is a problem. I’ve been thinking that this is so for some time now.

I’m a big fan of walking my talk (in this case, I’m limping my talk), so this puts me in a bit of a pickle. Read More>>

Happiness, The Blue Arrow, and This Body

I recently heard about signs scattered around New York. Big blue arrows, pointing to one word. Happiness.

Sound familiar? It does to me. Pretty much the way I’ve lived a whole lot of my life in this body. The loop goes something like this: If I get this (name the ailment or condition) taken care of, THEN I’ll have happiness in and with this body.

A whole avalanche of conditions could fill this page. You have your own, but here’s a sample from my mind:

Something is too big (Fat knees, big thighs/hips, belly. Depends on the day).

I’m too sore from exercising. I’m not sore enough.

I could injure myself.

My feet hurt.

My knees are creaky.

I have to pee. Now. Read More>>

The Hour I First Believed

My body for so long was my secret shame, the taboo subject. I remember lying on the couch, looking at my seven-year-old legs and declaring to myself that they were too fat.

I had become a believer. In that specific moment, all the judgments I’d absorbed from the world around me just popped into my head, a full-grown bundle of beliefs that I’ve carried most of my life.

My religion had simple rules: it was good to be thinner. Read More>>

Help Me to Believe the Truth about Myself, No Matter How Beautiful It Is

This is the prayer we used to close my woman’s circle for the past 11 years. I had learned from the Sufis, but it was written by Marina Widerhehr. Last week was the group’s last circle. We shared “popcorn shapshots,” images of the precious and not-so-precious moments that have united us: the weddings, funerals, illnesses. The laughter and tears.

Since then I’ve noticed my own popcorn images: photos of me in the full bloom of my twenties and thirties. In the radiance of my forties and fifties. I noticed that only when I look at the snapshots from this distance am I able to see the beauty that I was. When I was younger my mind was way to full of the mosquito beliefs brought to me by my inner spin doctor. You’re too fat. Your eyes are too close together. Teeth too big. In a nutshell, There’s something wrong with me.

Default Self, Default Body

I’ve been on a big binge since I returned from Geneen Roth’s residential retreat last week. I’m binging on self-observation, doing deep inquiry into the very archaic patterns I slide into so easily when I’m not paying attention. The one I created when I was almost too young to remember.
My default self has a life of its own. One of the biggest defaults I experience is believing that I made a mistake when I’m confronted with unexpected events. Yesterday I got through half a session with a client who called on the wrong day because I assumed I’d made the mistake. I recovered with time enough to (barely) make it to my strength conditioning class, which was originally on my schedule. Missing this would have been staying with my default body.