Today’s guest post is from Self-Love Body Coach, Mara Glatzel, who will be hosting a workshop at Green Mountain from Sept. 9-15 called “Stop Waiting, Stop Hating and Start Living” on creating the life you were meant to lead.
For days I struggled in writing this post, working to find the best words to describe to you the massive impact that writing has had on my relationship with my body, with my life, and with those I choose to spend my time with. I tabulated facts and figures. I wove beautiful metaphors about communication. None of those rang true to me, so I’ve decided to share this with you instead. This is a piece written on the prompt my body remembers… one of the 100 prompts delivered my newest offering Body Loving Homework: Writing Prompts for Cultivating Self-Love.
My body remembers the first time it felt safe under your hands. It remembers feeling strong and capable as it moved about your bedroom in your small house. It remembers being held during the night the first time that I slept over.
My body remembers the first pull of the hula-hoop as I struggled to whip it around my waist. It remembers the exact moment of perfect synchronicity – hoop and body – the moment where I knew that I could keep it there, safely tucked into the small of my mid-section, for hours.
My body remembers the feeling of recoil when it was somewhere it didn’t want to be, as if I were a snail or hermit crab retreating into the safety of my shell. My body remembers going through the motions, while my mind was safely tucked away somewhere that you couldn’t touch. My body remembers feeling used, disposable.
My body remembers the first time my hands ran over the stretch marks on my stomach. They felt soft and raised to the touch, distinguishing themselves from the rest of my flesh. With my eyes closed they felt like a map of my experiences, but when I looked down, they appeared angry and red. My body remembers shoulders turned inward and chin-to-chest in quiet humiliation when those stretch marks were mentioned in a locker room.
My body remembers the feeling of thighs rubbing together on a hot day, revealing to me their abundance for the first time. My body recalls feeling sore and broken open. I was 16. We were on vacation. My body remembers trying to hide my discomfort by walking as straight as I could, one foot in front of the other, so I wouldn’t get in trouble for being so fat.
My body remembers the cool comfort of a dress that fit just right. The shoulders up-and-back posture that comes from knowing that you look beautiful. My body remembers how that fabric skimmed my skin, cool and light in the summertime. My body remembers swelling with pride at the compliments that it received.
When we write about our bodies and our experiences in the world, we are providing ourselves an outlet for re-authoring narratives that carry pain and hurt – those moments that we hold close and use as our most damning evidence against our own worth in our darkest moments. It provides us with an outlet to examine those moments of joy that we’ve experienced, breaking them down and inviting more joy.
It is the process by which old stories are reframed and rewritten.
It is the process by which we are freed from the narratives about ourselves that we have carried.
Body Loving Homework: Writing Prompts for Cultivating Self-Love is the how-to manual for how I wrote my way to a deeper, more profound understanding of self-love and self-worth. Contained within its digital pages are 100 prompts for self-love segmented into 10 aspects of our lived experience and an anthology of reader responses for inspiration and insight. It is a book that can be read through, cover to cover, or function as the basis of a 10-week self-study writing program.
It was created with the sole intention of inviting you to turn the page, writing a new chapter of your very own.
You can win a copy of Body Loving Homework, by answering this question below in the comments. On Friday, Aug. 31, we’ll pick one winner at random:
What’s one way that you’ll cultivate self-love today?
Mara Glatzel is a self-love coach+ author of Body Loving Homework: Writing Prompts for Cultivating Self-Love. She works with women who are ready to create the lives they want — and deserve. Her blog — MedicinalMarzipan — has inspired thousands of women to heal their relationships with their bodies, and treat themselves with relentless compassion. Catch up with her on facebook, twitter, or join her body-loving mailing list for secret swapping and insider news.