Embodied: Rachel's Story
It’s been a while since we visited our Embodied: Letters to Reclaim the Whole series and we thought it was high time! This time around we have a very special submission from Be Nourished Naturopath Rachel Sterry with a special addition from her fiancée, Jason. The vulnerabilities we feel around our bodies when in relationship with another can hopefully offer a tremendous potential for compassion and the tender experience of allowing oneself to be seen through the eyes of a lover. Thank you, Rachel & Jason, for sharing this beautifully intimate exchange. And many blessings on your upcoming nuptials!
This blog series is an opportunity for anyone and everyone to reclaim their most hated body part and share it with the world. We believe this is how we can create change for one another. Our hearts long to have the layer of shame seen and lifted. Our bellies, thighs, calves, and arms want to be felt and experienced. Our bodies want to be whole. And the world needs us to reclaim. If you’d like to submit your story, check out our submission guidelines. Your willingness to share your body story, your journey from belly, butt, thigh, or arm hatred to body respect, will be a gift to our community.
In the workshop that I participated in at Be Nourished last Friday we all wrote letters to the parts of ourselves that we are sometimes critical of. I came across it this morning in organizing paperwork and I wanted to share it with you…but I know that I will lose the nerve if I wait until I get home so here goes….(me taking a deep breath)…
You are whole, despite sometimes feeling disjointed.
You are strong, despite sometimes feeling weak.
Your legs not only take you everywhere that you have been, and everywhere that you intend to go, but their speed constantly surprises –
Their strength shocks
Their power impresses
Your stomach, regardless of the layers that you may judge, can withstand the punches from fists of all magnitude and velocity.
Your arms, not despite, but because of their size provide a stable base when you wish to see the world turned upside down. They lift you up and over, around and through any obstacle that may come your way.
You are a capable, embodied human.
Stand, dance, run, skip, cartwheel, swing – using all parts of yourself coordinated and completely.
Reply from Jason, Rachel’s fiancée:
Dear Rachel’s Parts,
To your face – You shine with your eyes and brighten lives with your smile. You are youthful and wise all at the same time. And, yes, your nose is perfectly balanced.
To your breastesses – you offer not only the perkiness of life, but an added pillow of firmness for my head
To your stomach – You are flat and hard as a rock. You do take punches, but can also relax and be loved
To your arms – You are strong and inspiring, your small bumps are imperfect and deeply loved and recognized as home even in the dark
To your legs – You can carry me out of a fire, squish my middle, and wrap around my body
To your feet – You are soft and small, but stable and fast
And to your heart – You are beautiful. Don’t let any image, marketing, or other stupid human being ever tell you differently. It is your heart that I love as much as your beautiful skin covered packaging.
I love you,
I put sea salt on almost everything, I love talking in accents, I often crack myself up, if I could find a way to live in yoga pants and my dad’s old soccer hoodie I might, I am an obsessive coupon user, my favorite coffee creation consists of frozen banana, cinnamon, cold press coffee, cocoa powder and almond butter, I’m addicted to the New York Times crossword puzzle, I could eat sweet potato fries every day, I bring my lunch to work in a robot lunch box, I secretly get annoyed when I pass a playground and kids are using all of the swings, my favorite iphone app is Stitcher radio because I never have to miss NPR’s Sunday Puzzle or Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, and the movie that I have watched more than any other is Pride & Prejudice.
Please visit my website www.drrachelsterry.com to learn more about my naturopathic medicine practice.
Photo: Jason & Rachel and their dog, Steve. Christmas morning. Matching pajamas.