I saw a picture of myself the other day, unfiltered.
I didn’t like it at first glance.
I looked, well, different than the me I remembered, or at least, the me I wanted to remember.
I saw something unalike than the athlete who was exercising two to three times daily, and something that varied from the me that hadn’t found yoga and was “just” a runner.
I looked vastly changed from the new mother I was, twice.
I looked unrecognizable to the me I was when I when I got married, and when I got divorced.
It was like looking at pictures of different people.
Because it actually was.
It’s the same person, but not.
Those are different versions of me. They are not me today, and they are not me tomorrow.
Some of them are good. Many are not.
All depict something other than my body, they illustrate something that was happening on the inside and showed up on the outside.
The relationship between body and spirit have a direct and distinct correlation.
Our interior, emotional selves control the functions of the body and tell the exterior physical being what to do, be, and project.
The way my body looked in each of those images is wholly related to what was going on in my life, and in my head.
Times when I was stick thin I was unhappy and trying to control my life by running away from it, literally.
Times when I was overweight I had thrown myself so fully into caring for other people, into taking on their hurts, pains and troubles and stuffing my own down deep (right along with the lasagne) and I actually grew in size.
When I was working out like a madwoman and consequently fitter than I’d ever been in my life? I was happy, but I was in also self defense mode. Protecting. Seeking validation. Hard on the outside to look tough on the inside. Holding on to strength like it was oxygen. Dismissing grace. Feeling worthy primarily through blood, sweat, tears and bruises. My value measured in medals and PR’s.
The times in the middle, just right shots, those are times when things were running pretty seamlessly for me. Life was balanced, well rounded. Neither too full nor too empty. Those are Goldilocks moments.
However, they were often right at the start of something new and big and different, happening just before a guest name Change arrived. Because you know, as the story goes, the bears come home and our golden haired heroine has move right on out of her cozy little comfort zone.
That’s when things shift, even my squishy parts. During the transition. The expansion. The adjustment in slope.
My body takes on a new form when my life does too.
Right now? Right now I see equal parts soft and hard. I see things I like, and things I’m struggling to accept. My muscles are still there, but there is a layer of cushion coating them. My yoga practice has never been better nor felt more fluid. I feel powerfully gentle, and slower.
That is new.
There are areas of my life that are building steadily and I want to keep feeding them. Yet they are quickly overshadowed by those that continue to invade my creative space with their obligations and constant presence.
I’m somewhere in between here and there. In this body and space I’m leaning out again while generating a wider range of motion and a newly developed affection for smooth and shapely surfaces.
I’m strategically deciding what kind of fat to cut out, how, why, and when to do it, and exactly which muscles I wish to continue flexing.
I’m checking my ego in with my car for a tune-up and leaving the house with my heart not simply on my sleeve, but sliced into pieces to give away to the world.
Leading with love. Power AND grace.
The picture shows what I know is happening to me. I’m growing and changing. Again. Softening and standing taller all at the same time.
It’s almost time for a new profile picture, I suppose I’d better start looking for something to wear.
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