Years ago, I would sometimes look at photographs of models wishing I were as beautiful/skinny/famous/rich as they were. I didn’t exactly hate myself, but there were certainly parts of myself I liked less than others. Then I had a bout of illness and my understanding of my body changed. Suddenly I was grateful for how well it worked, and was delighted at its strength and resilience. I’d had a reality check.
As the years went by and I became more comfortable in my own skin, I had other realisations. My wonderful Alexander practitioner taught me to not hold my tummy in. My centre of gravity lowered, my balance improved as well as my posture. My Dru Yoga teacher taught me to let go and to let my body show me the way. My homeopath taught me to believe in my instincts and not supress or ignore them. My Reiki Master taught me to radiate, and to receive the love of the universe. In different ways, these teachers were instrumental in my feminist journey.
Looking at my own journey I am aware how much we women learn in our lifetime. We grow up in one environment with its clear social expectations and rules. Then we venture out into the world, where the game is different.
Now we are also part of deciding the rules and setting our own boundaries. Sometimes these transitions can be difficult. I mean, how do we unlearn the really useless and indeed harmful lessons we learned as children, such as nice girls don’t say no? How will we fare in the real world if we never set any boundaries? Sometimes learning to draw lines and set limits is accompanied by feelings of guilt and embarrassment.
Some of you may have been learned more useful stuff than I when you were little, but I believe the principle still stands. During our lives we must learn and relearn our lessons many times.
So what is my point in this week’s column?
My point is that you’re not alone.
Just as we have friends around us who support and guide us, we can also let skilled and professional therapists into our lives. Having a good therapist or two means you’re being proactive and responsible about your situation and about your future.
So on the long and unchartered road to complete peace and happiness, I’m learning to love myself. With the support of my favourite therapists. Even if you only work with them for a short time, they can have a major impact on your life. Now, with the support of my fabulous team of therapists, I have learned that I don’t need to be like the anorexic model in order to be happy or successful. In fact, I’ve got everything I could wish for right here. But I wouldn’t have realised that without the help of my therapists, who have guided, encouraged me and challenged me along the way. I am who I am today partly because of you. Thank you for being part of my journey!
Finding the community of Cycle Harmony has made a huge difference to me. I am delighted to be writing to you from the Red Tent and hope to share thoughts and experiences you recognise, or find useful to ponder upon. I look forward to working with you all in exploring what it is to be women, and hope to hear from you. ~ Vild