Explorations of mind, paths, and life

Bodiful Appreciation

Posted on June 12, 2009 - Filed Under self reflect

Something about the way I am seeing the world lately has altered my awareness about my body and senses. A few months back I had written about the power of touch, and that dull numbness that creeps in and consumes my ability to be conscious of the ways in which I connect with others… THAT event was a fulcrum for this new place of awareness. My senses almost lap up the world. Eating, textures, even the pressure of the seat I sit in now, at Starbucks, is mindful.

One distinct shift is that I find myself appreciating my body much more than I ever have. This comes at a time when I am no longer a tight 20 year old. Things are changing, but I notice the soft curves, the way I hold myself, the way my feet grip the ground when I stand or walk, the muscles in my forearms, the suppleness of my skin, how my skin responds to clothing, warmth, the air outside, the sun. I have been wearing skirts more frequently as an expression of femininity I haven’t had in years, finding my natural beauty each morning when I wake up with mussy hair and sleepy eyes. It is as if I am just seeing myself now, in a way that is content and familiar, even warm.

Even the way I see others. My gaze is stronger, my eyes open, and parts of me spill out with a sense that I know, right now: I know me, I know you. I make eye contact with others that I don’t know, and notice how their eyes respond: blankly, eagerly, with a sparkle or sadness. I am noticing my reactions to others when that connection is made.

I notice how people smell, not that daily “you’ve been sweating like a tomato in a brick oven” kind of smell, but rather that earthy natural smell that makes everyone unique I am noticing that even hugging a friend lends itself to a moment to draw them in and know them. No, this is hardley a “Gizmo” adventure, however, I am noticing the subtle connection of knowing another through smell, and it makes me smile.

I’ve become aware of the ways in which we emotionally slice away at pieces of ourselves to feel adequate or beautiful. We cover, remove, insert, paint, modify, criticize, cover, squeeze, fill, hide so many pieces of what makes us who we are. We compare who we are, scaling our beauty by that of another, and with it sour our sense of self. In how many ways have I done this? Although I haven’t modified my self in drastic ways, I have considered what I WOULD do to feel more at home in my own body, not realizing that if I am not at home now, I may never be. The shame that is carried over our bodies and how they are shaped, how they look, and the ways in which our sense of beauty is peppered by the eyes and words of strangers has become more evident.

So, I carry a story in who I am, how I am shaped, how I move, the way I use my eyes and my voice. My scent, the way I walk, the way my face shifts with every moment as I read the world and respond to it. All of it a reflection of the self, my sense of who I am, and as I grow, a deeper appreciation for all that I am. In this deeper appreciation is also a growing appreciation for others, and the ways in which they share the self.

We don’t criticize the flaws in a flower, or complain about the curve of a river. Do we argue how the sun sets or the way in which a bird calls? Yet, we dissect each other losing the flavor of what makes us all unique and connected.


2 Responses to “Bodiful Appreciation”

  1. detrious on June 15th, 2009 3:21 pm

    I love being able to connect with you 🙂

  2. Anonymous on June 16th, 2009 12:10 pm

    Hi Evelyn,
    I have a very practical question for you. I am working on a thesis and am using the MLQ as one of the means of measurements. I saw your work and read your interpretation of the sample scores.
    I found tons of info on the MLQ but missing the vital information on how to interpret the scores.
    Could you lead me in the right direction to find this info?
    Thanks so much,
    [email protected]