Wise Ones, I have been deliberating about whether to write this or not. Yet it is at the forefront for me at this moment and I have a hunch it is for some of you too.
I talk a lot about connecting to our bodies and the wisdom they hold. I teach Sacred Sensuality in the Priestess Path and I work with people in a therapy setting, helping them to connect with their body felt sense and using the body as an entry point for healing.
I love the things my body can do. I love to move and dance and sweat and stretch!
And, I have shame about my body too.
Maybe it originated from being the biggest/tallest girl in my classes. Going through puberty early.
Maybe it has something to do with being called the “chubby” one. Or some of the comments I’ve received from men over the years (ex: “you're so beautiful, it’s too bad about your body”. No joke. Someone actually said this to me. Or the time one of my earliest serious boyfriends left a note on the chip bag in the cupboard that said “Don’t eat these, chips make you fat”)
Maybe it’s the media, or the culture of rock n’ roll I grew up listening to (hair bands and hard rock = a certain flavor of what sexy meant).
I am not small. Never have been. I’m 5’11” and usually around 200 lbs.
My weight has fluctuated throughout my life. I have struggled with my relationship with food (I eat super clean 99% of the time, but I like to eat A LOT, especially when stressed!). I love to exercise, but can easily get caught up in the “I’ll do it tomorrow” trap when I’m busy and overwhelmed (which is of course when I need it most)
Why am I telling you this? And what the heck does this have to do with magic anyway?
I believe in the very fiber of my being that our bodies are sacred, we are made of stardust and the elements run through us. The very fact that each of us is here is a miracle in and of itself.
And the abilities we have to move and feel in our bodies (however these exist for each person) are a universe of possibility and experience.
Yet somehow there are moments (like when my jeans feel tight) that this no longer applies to me. I can see it and feel it and say it for every other person, but for me, this is not true.
My critic kicks in with one of those familiar stories about my worthlessness. Like somehow the way my jeans fit determines my value as a human.
Since the pandemic started I’ve had a difficult time maintaining a weight in my body that feels good to me. I’ve noticed that with the onset of perimenopause this has become even more challenging. And I’ve been working my relationship with food, movement, and myself.
Right now as I type this I am 20 pounds heavier than where I feel my best (and not just because of the way I look, but because of how I feel!)
So my critic has been making occasional appearances, sometimes for days, sometimes for moments. And I keep moving and eating and working this edge.
When I had the pleasure of chatting with Angelina Caporale for the Witch Next Door podcast prior to the Cauldron Conference and heard she was offering Boudoir Goddess Photo sessions while in town I signed up. Talking about sacred sexuality was so inspiring!
I got really excited.
Then I got scared.
The shoot is this Friday. I’ve got my outfits picked out, my professional makeup appointment scheduled and complete trust that Angelina will make this experience comfortable and magical too.
I’m still nervous.
But I’m not scared anymore.
I know I like theatrics and hamming it up in front of the camera. (I mean who doesn’t like to revel in the glam?)
I know I will have fun.
My work is around letting myself truly celebrate and honor this miraculous body I live in without the critic’s voice in my ear.
After all my body is strong, and sensuous, it lets me connect with the world around me in a tactile way, to truly experience connection.
My body has held grief and love and laughter and despair, it has felt the sweet touch of my nephews little fingers and the sharp bite of my puppies teeth.
My body has run miles and miles and miles and danced and sobbed while doing burpees (that last one was just this morning lol), my body has tasted the most delicious of foods, smelled heavenly scents, experienced orgasms and sensual touch and has also felt pain, and injury. It has bled and blistered. It tells the story of my growth and travels through roadmaps of stretchmarks and saggy skin and varicose veins and sun spots and wrinkles and strong strong muscles.
So this Friday I honor and celebrate my body and my sensuousness and sexy self with a photoshoot that is really just for me (and maybe my husband too).
It is a ritual.
A ceremony celebrating desire, seduction, sensation, and the power of these things inside of my skin.
I’ll let you know how it goes (part two).
In the meantime, I invite you to celebrate YOUR sacred body.
Maybe through movement, anointing yourself with amazing scents, writing a poem about your beautiful form, savoring something delicious, letting yourself be nourished by touch or dressing up just for you!
Emily Morrison MA, MFT