Body Shape – How I Feel versus How I Look

Really loving my body shape and how I feel versus how I look is a recent new awareness for me. Lately I’ve been feeling so great and really enjoying feeling how my body feels whenever I walk or move, so much so it often makes me smile to myself, even in public!

Going back 10 years, my focus was never on how I felt but always on how I looked. Sure I would eat when hungry, or sleep when tired. Actually as I write that, I realise I didn’t eat when hungry –

  • I ate all the time to deal with how anxious I was feeling and used food to comfort me if I was feeling emotional, and didn’t want to deal with difficult or hurtful situations.
  • Sleep when tired? Actually I was exhausted, but would push myself to stay up late at nights and drive myself hard because I felt a stigma attached to being a single parent and wanted to prove to the world I could ‘do it all’. I wasn’t going to be on benefits and a drain on society: instead I was going to be a great mum, a hard worker, a sociable hostess and later when I got married, a house-proud wife!

Continue reading “Body Shape – How I Feel versus How I Look”

Ageing Naturally – The Elephant in the Room with the Emperor’s New Clothes

I often contemplate what it means to be female and middle aged these days. I recently saw a documentary that featured an American actress of great skill and immense beauty, who had disappeared quietly from the acting scene in the mid ‘90s whilst at the height of her career. So there she suddenly was, looking every inch her natural 59 years, but totally in her skin, untouched by the modern plague of scalpels, fillers and injections. It was beautiful to see and inspiring that for a change, a woman had allowed herself the grace to age naturally.

It got me thinking about why it is we want to lie about our age, by lying about how we look and the self-mutilation some are prepared to sanction let alone fund, to maintain that lie. Well the obvious answer is because our society tends to judge on immediate appearance in a split second. Society last century turned its back on wisdom in favour of youth and so today’s prevailing consciousness carries an aim to beat the system and linger in youth, long past its sell-by date.

Why so? Is it possible that we have an inherent lack of self-confidence in our appearance or a need for recognition, approval and acceptance by this thing called society that we let judge us on the basis of how young or old we look? Perhaps, but a peek under the bonnet might also suggest that it starts with us not accepting who we truly are, our inner beauty, our natural essence and the unique value these bring to everyone we meet, regardless of our age and appearance. Continue reading “Ageing Naturally – The Elephant in the Room with the Emperor’s New Clothes”

What Defines a True Woman? – Returning to Be-You-Ty

For many years (actually most of my life) I was lost to myself, trying very hard to live up to a picture (actually a variety of pictures) of what defines a true woman and how it ‘should’ be, without connecting back deep inside me, and listening with care to my body, but instead from a variety of ‘external’ pictures or fixed ways to be defined as a ‘true’ woman.

There was then a time in my life that I got caught up in a way of being as woman that I thought (with the ‘help’ of my head) was ‘natural’.

As a young child I watched my mum who was always crazily busy on this committee and that charity – doing ‘noble deeds’ but running herself so ragged, utterly unable to sit still and intensely self critical in this seeking of perfection. There was a drive and a very fixed idea of what it was to be ‘good’ and ‘nice’ and ‘proper’ – and so, sadly an absence of any tenderness to self and so for others. I actively rejected (and reacted) to this way, as definitely not being ‘it’.

Continue reading “What Defines a True Woman? – Returning to Be-You-Ty”

Finding my self-worth: Is there more to me than all that I do?

My Self-Worth – Is it in performing different Roles in my Life? OR in the being all of ME, my precious self in the world?

It was only when I reached a very low point in my life and had an injury, which left me crippled/handicapped for 6 months that I started questioning how I was living my life, and then things started to change. I really couldn’t do much, in fact nothing at all for months. It was tough to not be able to perform my super womanly duties: the sister, the daughter, the friend, the mother, the wife, the employee, the multi-tasker, the work-harder, the pleaser, and the do-gooder! Continue reading “Finding my self-worth: Is there more to me than all that I do?”