I found it only fitting, after my flashback post from last year at this time, to step back into that place & see where life has me on this journey now .
I'm still very much on the same vulnerability rocking , shame shaking, self love seeking, worthy and grounded ride .
I remember that day oh so well...
Since this moment and that picture much has changed within me, surrounding me, and in my intent in my life.
It has taken straight up intentional and looking at,
and trudging through some tough and heavy territory
but I have felt, seen, connected and trudged through much more than I ever imagined I could or would in my lifetime.
It was a pivotal place to begin my soul grind journey due to the relationship I have with the gym life.
It dove me right into self love, feeling all the feels, and choosing to face some real realizations about my negative self banter and places where Shame hangs out for me.
The gym & I have some mixed feelings with one another.
During my high school years I went to the gym so much.
It was the way to escape from some of the pain in my home and a sacred place for me- to get out my frustrations, sadness, and to sweat and compete against myself, it was also my time ...my time in my headphones and the time in my head ... my safe haven.
Working out also was the way I coped with some depression I faced during this time, that I wasn't channeling in healthy outlets.
I remember my mother mentioning to the staff at my residential care Facility that "you gotta let her work out... that's her thing" so, even at my time there ... I went as much as I could to defeat the problems I couldn't Channel or allow to be Channeled verbally .
In college, I began working out heavily.
The first university I attended was very small with a workout room that had two treadmills and every chance I could I would sprint those or attempt to run the hilly land that surrounded me,
as I once again felt that's the only space I belonged in and could find relief.
At the following university the gym time become toxic.
I was being compared and contrasted,
I was being poked and prodded,
I was gaining some here and was told I could lose some there
and simply if I didn't look the part I was replaced with the next best bod or threatened that it would happen.
Now there wasn't just gym equipment or a sacred space it was a zone that
only if I
stayed long enough,
sweated hard enough,
and looked good enough
was I going to continue to be in a relationship,
be considered sexy or worth lying in bed with
or have the privilege of being able to be taken home or put on the arm of another.
I was someone's property and my body was no longer solely my own.
I began to not just work out at the gym,
i began to worry at the gym,
I realized how good others this was
and how I didn't have that
and I wouldn't ever get to that point or wouldn't or couldn't ever rock that here or there.
I was competing in a room, continually raising what I needed to work on next and feeling more insecure each visit to try to meet someone's unmeetable standards.
I began feeling guilt not going, worry when he went and I didn't go, wondering who was in the gym who could do more, be more and appear more, wondering if I should work out extra to make up for it, wondering who replaced me due to me not making it....
so instead making sure I was on my best behavior so hopefully I at least would be in good favor so maybe someone else wouldn't be "taking my spot" that evening or the next.
This is when my self confidence depleted,
my self worth was shot,
and my comparison game was on steroids
and I couldn't even look at my dearest friends and help but notice what he probably wanted in them instead of me.
Women became competition instead of friends and I completely lost my love for the gym.
I hated it.
I worked out all the way throughout my pregnancy --
but this was not about health ,
this was about me completely freaking out because my body was changing and morphing
all to carry a precious human being
& my six pack, toned legs and arms and fit self was not present any longer.
Instead of feeling like I could make gains in the gym & try to compete with the best of them
I was wearing oversized tsshirts in a university gym
with a growing belly,
sweating after 2 minutes walking on incline on the treadmill
and getting "awe your pregnant ?" From all the fit college bods who were planning their crazy weekends.
All while being told and being whispered things, texted or called on to be told things , I wouldn't want any to hear or need to process about their sacred bodies.
I had such a hard time with my body & feeling as though when the moments became closer to his sweet birth that I just bared the thought of being in some places in public .
At some points, so sad that I couldn't figure out why some loved their bodies this way, or any way, and desperately yearning for that.
I couldn't fit in clothes and I was constantly being forced to pretend my body was the same 115 pound small frame.
When zippers began to break and jeans got holes in them and when I began to be left at home or drunk called in the early morning hours .... my body was the Shame zone for all I knew . The gym was a place for this to reside .
I began to loathe it , knowing that my intention was not for myself yet for someone else's
and abusive manipulation
and treatment of my wonderful body
and most importantly the beauty of its changing and forming to hold a human being.
This behavior stuck around for quite some time
as I lost my baby weight way too fast due to stress, worry and the words and feelings expressed saying I needed to rush the process
and the continual shame I felt and told myself when I saw my postpartum body not changing as fast as I felt it should.
The fact is my body was beautiful.
My truth is I always knew deep within my soul I was too hard on myself and that I needed to love on myself,
and be healthy and free to find out how that works all over again .
I needed to fall in love with my body, mind, soul and journey all over again and feel through it all.
I was worthy of this and my body was so not deserving of anything it has been through, that I have put it through and what it has been put through.
I needed to majorly love myself & discover how to do so.
So, I began back in the gym ... and fought much inside those walls.
- I found a lot of myself was lost and bewildered behind these walls and I had to feel through all that.
I can walk into a gym now and love myself through every moment, even when banter rears its head, and I can listen to it and not let it rule my life, make me shrink or make me feel any different...
I just have to choose grace instead of criticism and not shame but some big love.
This chapter in my life is more about how I can exercise and stay healthy and not primarily be in the gym space.
Yet to expand what my mind constitutes as exercise and how to love and care for my body in a way that also brings me life, joy and happiness ... as well as some major love for myself.
So, this led to walking, hiking, recently some fitness meeting art, which I hope to do more of, and one of my favorites is my bag.
I fell back in love with processing, my sacred time, loving sweating again and staying healthy in this space... for ME and to live intentionally, in the moment, and to enjoy loving and taking care of my body in a way that serves me.
I love myself and self love has transformed the way I think, the way I love, the way I process and the way I look and feel about others,
I have confidence and feel mighty and powerful and that I also have a unique beauty, the kind of beauty I am now able to love and see so clearly in others...
yes, I have days and moments that Shame plays with me and that comparison bites me but I truly and authentically love who I am and all I am for who I am and have never been more confident in my skin.
I do what I want physically, when I feel I want to and completely rest and go periods of not indulging in fitness when I feel other pieces of my heath are priority and more important and fuel my fire more at that time …
in those moments of sweat and working on maintaining a healthy lifestyle ...
I rock at having grace and loving myself through it finally.
This reading in the book I'm reading Radical Acceptance sums it up beautifully ....
"Perhaps the biggest tragedy in our lives is that freedom is possible, yet we can pass our years trapped in the same old patterns. Entangled in the trance of unworthiness, we grow accustomed to caging ourselves in with self judgment and anxiety, with restlessness and dissatisfaction. We grow incapable of accessing the freedom and peace that is our birthright...The way out of our cage begins with accepting absolutely everything about ourselves and our lives, by embracing with wakefulness and card our moment to moment experiences....it means feeling sorrow and pain without resisting. Clearly recognizing what is happening inside of us, and regarding what we see with an open, kind, and loving heart is what I call radical acceptance."
I radically accept myself as
but in the empowered
and love filled and powerful form of a healing woman .
I hope you love yourself so fiercely that you can feel it deep in your being.
I hope that you see your unique beauty as magical and that you radiate soul deep.
I hope you choose love continually over and over again and choose to quiet the smallness and the negativity that doesn't serve you.
You are worthy of this .
The Soul Grind