Love, in its natural form, is effortless.
What would it take for me to love myself unconditionally?
To accept and embrace all the ways that my body feels and moves... to allow sensation, not to hide from any one feeling.
Instead of questioning or doubting my body, instead of despising it in any way, to wake up in the morning and see myself in the mirror for the first time and to say, how incredible, this body.
To be proud of myself as I am. To be content.
This is a daily practice: peaceful awareness.
Awareness of my body's energy, and a willingness to work with whatever today has brought me.
I have the ability to release the habit of shaming my body. Of comparing myself, or saying, 'I'm not good enough.'
I can choose, also, to enjoy my body. To indulge every sense, and to linger in the experiences of bliss. Embracing my sexuality, my vulnerability, my very humanity.
Anyone can tell me I am beautiful. Anyone can say, I admire you. You are lovely.
What matters is that at the end of a long day I can stand in front of the mirror and say, I am beautiful and feel that resonate, from the crown of my head all the way down to the soles of my feet.
I love myself.
Placing my hands over my belly, feeling my own strength. Breathing all the way into the solar plexus, deep into the core, even down into the root chakra.
Noticing the balance of muscle tone with softness throughout my body. Curvaceous hips, soft skin, a receptive quality. Embracing my identity as a woman.
Expressing my identity. Showing my most naked, vulnerable, true self -- the authentic me.
It is both terrifying and exhilarating to be present in this way.
To exist in my most natural state, which is love.
An uncomplicated, unconditional love.
As powerful as the vigorous current of the river, as solid and unchanging as the boulders in the creek bed.
I have been given this one wild and precious life.
I choose to live it, awake and alive, in this beautiful body.
Note: This post is the start of a series about body awareness and acceptance. As someone who has struggled to love and accept my body, I'm choosing to write about this topic as a way to understand my own experience, to love myself unconditionally, and to inspire love in others.
Photos by Jobi Otso.