I recently met a young woman who owns her own small coffee and tea shop, she lets the hair stylist across the street use her as a “hair model,” trying new techniques and styles. On the day I met her, she recently had a small shape shaved into the hairline with a short asymmetrical cut. It was bold, brave, and beautiful. And I was inspired. I’d already been considering a full shave of my head, a clean start and new beginning, and now I was thinking about all the possibilities. I still have a full head of hair, but each day I’m closer to a change that more fully expresses my true self.
I’m also fully embracing the health at every size premise (HAES) “that the best way to improve health is to honor your body, adopting health habits for the sake of health and well-being (rather than weight-control).” The thought of spending any more of my free time at a gym or “working out” is completely distasteful to me. It’s not enjoyable and it doesn’t feed my creative spirit. Instead, I choose to dance (I can’t be any more awkward than this guy), to laugh ’til I have to run down the hall to pee, to participate in the famed “balance beam olympics” (water version), and to move around while I’m standing in long lines at concerts (most recently Lady Gaga). I want to find joy in movement and defy anyone to tell me that they find more joy in going to the gym than in spending time with friends or family laughing and moving naturally and healthily.
Finally, there is a video that’s been circling social networks lately. Tanya Davis’ How to Be Alone. As someone who long ago embraced the joys of being alone, finding an amazing sense of self and freedom in alone, I’m excited that others are sharing this video. Too much of society equates alone with lonely and the two could not be further in likeness from each other. “Society is afraid of alone though. Like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements. Like people must have problems if after awhile nobody is dating them. But lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless, and lonely is healing if you make it.” There is another video of Tanya Davis’ poetry that hasn’t circled quite as widely through my social network (There’s a Flower in My Pedal). There is a line in the poem “just like everyone else, this year I got married“, the video then flashes to the words “to myself“. I love this thought and want to embrace it and live it out. I can’t think of a more beautiful thing than to love and honor ones self enough to make the kind of commitment one professes to make when they marry someone. We live in a time where the meaning and importance of marriage is twisted by groups and individuals mostly concerned about politics and religion. Some take it for granted, while others are going to the highest court in our nation for the right (a topic for a different blog).
Perhaps all of our energies would be better spent focused inward, accepting ourselves for who we are and committing to living that life to its fullest expression. And in that practice of learning to accept and respect ourselves and our own differences, perhaps we will learn to accept and respect others. Perhaps we could learn to stop judging ourselves so harshly and will then be unable to find faults in others as well.
I’m giving it a try. Perhaps you will too.