by Katie Walls, Sydney, Australia, Esoteric Healing Practitioner, specialising in Women’s Health – Esoteric Breast Massage
The reason behind openly sharing my experiences the way I have in this article is due to the alarming and increasing trend amongst women to try and fix what we are not happy with in relation to our bodies.
Women are having 92% of the total cosmetic procedures performed. Breast augmentation is the most frequently performed cosmetic surgery on women. The number of cosmetic procedures for women has increased by 164% from 1997 to today (1) – Many young women are getting this procedure at much younger ages and feeling it is acceptable, and for some almost normal, as the procedure is commonly advertised both through the media and by other women as a positive procedure to enhance self confidence. Little information is readily available as a reference for women to instead consider and start healing the underlying issues that are making them feel that their bodies are not enough the way they are. And if their breasts are considered too small or too large they somehow feel inadequate as a woman.
I can relate to these feelings and know how consuming they can be – fortunately I came across a profound healing modality – the Esoteric Breast Massage (EBM).
I have always felt the true power of women, not the very long and often accomplished list of what we can ‘do’ but what we naturally offer. The strength of our vulnerability and tenderness if we allow it and what that quality truly offers which can melt and put a stop to much of what is not love, is not nurturing or tender.
I started to develop early in age physically; I was very tall from a young age, which made me stand out. I got extra attention from boys and girls alike that I desperately didn’t want as I just wanted to blend in ‘to be normal’. I was deeply sensitive and everything at this time seemed so magnified and intense. I hated what was happening to my body and most of all that I had no control or say in the changes taking place. I felt if I shaved off all the newly sprouting hair it would help deny the changes that were in fact happening. All that did was made things very uncomfortable as it all grew back! Because I started to develop early I felt intense distress that I would now stand out even more.
I despised my developing breasts as they reflected a change I felt I was not ready for and would literally bang them in the shower in the hope they would stop growing for a few more years. When I got my period just after my 11th birthday I was in shock. Not because I wasn’t knowledgeable about puberty, as I was. I was in shock, as I did not want to become a woman. I didn’t feel I could cope with the complexities of this change when everyone else around me seemed to be at such a different stage. I couldn’t feel any joy about becoming a woman, it just felt like something else to have to ‘deal with’. With all that I saw of the lives of the women around me, it all felt like more hard work and certainly nothing to celebrate.
I didn’t want the world to see the woman in me. I knew things would, from this point on, from my first period, be forever different. But most of all I knew that there was a big part of me that I could no longer hide from myself and therefore the rest of the world. It was this aspect that I was really reacting to and rejecting. The bit of me I could now feel so strongly that showed me I was truly tender but I was not allowing a connection to my own tenderness. The bit of me that showed me I wasn’t allowing myself to feel my vulnerability as I did when I was younger and therefore, was not connected to so much that was actually part of me. I expected a lot from myself and left no room for mistakes, it was all about getting it right, whatever that looked like, no wonder I often felt a deep sadness and emptiness because of this. I continue to see and work with this pattern when it pops up today.
When I got my first period it was my body offering me a very powerful opportunity to go so much deeper with truly feeling much more of whom I actually am. For so many more years to come I rejected this opportunity and instead despised those ‘sprouting’ / growing / changing bits of me and went about toughening up to get through life.
Not long after I got my first period I developed a symptom that had doctors baffled. My nipples started to automatically weep, that is, the whole nipple including the areola area, not just out of the nipple ducts. The secretion was the yellow healing secretion when a graze is new before the scab starts to form. The whole area became a wounded graze. This happened for around 6 months, my nipples were so very sore and used to bleed just the same as a graze when it sticks to a bandage. It was only a few years ago I was able to truly gain an understanding of what my body was showing me at this young age.
How utterly powerful is a woman’s body to reflect exactly what is going on, to be able to physically show the absolute true state of the relationship she has with herself. What my body was expressing to me at this time and continues to show me is truly amazing. The body cannot lie, I wanted to live the lie to myself, but thankfully my body continued to show me that my relationship with myself was far from harmonious.
Medically, the doctors couldn’t work it out or explain what was going on, as they hadn’t heard of this symptom before. Yet I feel this symptom was reflecting the internal wound of how I felt about becoming a woman and the loathing I felt towards myself. By weeping, the wounds reflected my rejection of myself.
As the years went on, I always felt a lot but didn’t want to be honest with what I felt and instead went about tackling life from the outside in and would find a way to ‘deal with it’ to ‘get through’ whatever was going on. This way of ‘dealing with life’ had a huge impact on my body and energy levels as I found it continuously drained the body. My breast tissue responded to how I felt and stopped growing. This suited me then, but as we know there isn’t a magic switch to turn it all back on when it suits. Strangely enough my breast tissue didn’t suddenly and miraculously develop later when I decided it was a convenient time to look like a woman!
How did I deal with not feeling womanly enough because of the size of my breasts? How did I deal with not feeling I fitted the picture of how I wanted to look as a woman and how I wanted others to perceive me and not feeling I would be enough for my partner as I was? I decided to have surgery on my breasts – breast implants; even though having this procedure completely contradicted so much of what I believed and how I lived every other part of my life. I was able to completely override everything else I felt because my breast size was such an issue for me. I didn’t feel I was enough just the way I was. I let this affect everything else, of how I felt about myself as a woman.
What a contradiction! At first I didn’t want to develop into a woman as I didn’t want to stand out and have extra attention, and then, when my body stopped developing and everyone else’s had developed, I got this procedure because I didn’t want to stand out as being any less of a woman – interesting isn’t it! No-one, apart from a couple of close family members knew about my surgery, I went out of my way to keep it all very, very well hidden as I was ashamed and felt sad about not feeling I was enough just the way I was and to be resorting to surgery of this nature. At the time I didn’t know how to heal all of this or the lack of acceptance and judgment I had towards myself.
Did I now feel complete and emanating joy as a woman after my surgery? I did not. Nothing had truly shifted. I could still feel all the feelings I had about myself. The artificial confidence the breast implants gave wasn’t real anyway, so had no substance at all.
Many years after my surgery, I came across the Esoteric Breast Massage, which is a very gentle, nurturing massage given by a female practitioner for women to help women re-connect to the true women we naturally are before we compromised ourselves to fit into societal expectations, roles and ideals of what women should be and should look like. I felt it was a modality that could support me to begin to heal much of what I had spent many years and an enormous amount of energy burying, covering up, and hiding from myself. Even before I had my first EBM session, I remember knowing this modality was something that could truly support me to go to the core of so much that was waiting to be healed around my relationship with myself as a woman, and my reasons behind having breast surgery.
Was the first session scary at first? Yes, I was anxious, as I knew I was going to go to a place within myself and would be working with an area of my body I had cleverly avoided, rejected and covered up for a very long time. But I was so ready to start letting go and living more of what was true, rather than all the hard work of living how I expected myself to be. I felt relief and joy as I had finally come across a modality I knew would help support me to reconnect to myself as a woman.
I was given an opportunity to stop, to be with myself, to feel how little connection I actually had with my breasts. To start to feel where my relationship was truly at with myself and at first it felt very confronting to start to feel much that I had avoided and hidden. The feeling of not being alone in this process was extremely powerful and gave me the opportunity, for the first time, to begin to be open to support from another woman and this felt beautiful. During the Esoteric Breast Massage sessions I began to rediscover my own essence, my tenderness and spunkiness as a woman. I can now feel the fragility and vulnerability within myself. What I used to see as a weakness isn’t a weakness at all – it is in fact one of my strengths.
Fragility gives us the ability to feel how to honor ourselves as women.
So much has shifted over the years. I have a deep understanding of why I was feeling the way I did and with that, have developed a loving acceptance of the decisions I have made along the way, especially in relation to my surgery. Would I now have the surgery I did on my breasts? No I would not, because I have connected to so much more of myself and can now feel that my breast size is no longer the issue it used to be. My breasts now feel a very important, and sacred part of me as a woman rather than how I used to feel about them as being something that was just ‘there’. Because I didn’t have any connection with my breasts when I decided to have surgery it felt like it didn’t matter if I had surgery on them, or put something into them. With the connection I now have I am no longer able to dishonor myself, or my breasts the way I feel I have done with breast surgery as I can now feel from the inside out that the size of my breasts is no reflection of how much of a woman I am.
The Esoteric Breast Massage is a pure blessing for women.
(1) Statistical information was obtained from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery