Well, a year ago I resolved to chuck my pajamas and spend more time with nothing on.
I have to report it has made an astounding difference in how I see myself. We don’t know how much comfort we’ve taken in hiding until we stop.
I have been on a life-long body journey, with the goal being total acceptance of all that I am–which is imperfect yet compelling.
Funny story: in my quest for information-gathering I bought my first-ever scale and decided to weigh myself regularly. It worked for a few months, if giving me a number can be said to “work”…then it started to give me 280. Hmm. It then switched to weighing me in at 10. As in 10 pounds.
So I tossed that out and I now get out of bed each morning, check myself out in the mirror and say “Lookin gooood”
Whatever, it works for me.
I have NO “ideal weight” in mind. I just don’t care. I have an ideal number of logs I can chop in one day. I have an ideal amount of time I can run, weight I can lift. I have a movement practice.
So, as the year turns, I am deepening my nudie resolve. I am continuing to re-inhabit my body, the only one I have and the only one I want. I don’t regret any past version of my body, whether it was “better” or “worse”. I have faith in my body. I consider my body image in the context of culture, family, DNA, history. My body is part of the history of the world–and the future of the world too.
Yes yes yes I will work on my weaknesses. Yes I will run up a hill or lift a heavy weight…because I LOVE it, not as punishment. Yes I will squat but I do it because I want to be mobile for 100 years, not because I feel “bad” about my rear end.
And while I’m at it…I love you and your flaws too. Cause when we judge others’ bodies we are really expressing how we feel about our own.
Sometimes the real weight we need to lose is the weight of never being good enough.
Of never being worthy.
The weight of our own repression, shame, fear and layers upon layers of dread.
So this year, I resolve to give less of a shit what anyone else thinks of my body, slowly but surely, becoming more and more of myself with every wrinkle and grey hair that comes along.
I am a forager, and I am ready to help change our cultural ideas towards foraging. Currently, it seems to be either some crazy caveperson shit that went out of style millennia ago, cute peasant desperation or trendy yuppies foraging flowers for raw vegan cupcakes. Well. Foraging is actually a deep, dark, self-empowering and abiding source for healing our mind, body and spirit. OK? Powerful. Bam. Play-based or functional styles of movement and some “natural” or healthier diets, basically eating mostly whole foods and cooking them at home, when integrated flexibly into our modern lives, are both steps in the right direction. Herbal medicine can be a step in the right direction. But a missing link is time spent foraging. Now notice that I did not say hunting or gathering–both of which CAN be part of foraging, but don’t have to be. You can forage for something but choose never to harvest it out of respect for a limited or endangered plant, animal, fungi. Heck, you can forage for cashmere sweaters at the thrift store, wild ducks in a swamp or nice buttocks (look but don’t touch!) at the jogging path. “Take a mental picture, it lasts longer.” Get it? It is the behavior of scanning and seeking, not just the act of harvesting-and I propose that it is a nourishing practice. All movement is a key part of my anxiety management protocol. Herbal medicine is too. But let’s use ALL the tools, people. Here it is: I believe time spent in nature scanning the land for a particular plant, animal, fungi or insect has the potential to support healing in a deep and meaningful way. The action of foraging feeds a part of the brain that we’ve allowed to get a little dusty here. I hypothesize that using our vision like a forager gives back to us a type of healing unavailable anywhere else. It is an antidote to too much time spent in front of screens. Don’t believe me? Try it. Go outside and scan for something. Give it some time, an hour, 10 hours, whatever. Sweep your eyes back and forth across horizons. Learn to identify signifier species. Move up and down varied terrain. Hide. seek. Get too hot or damp, get a freakin bug bite, put something in your basket. It’s play! It’s work! It’s your birthright, baby. And I will say, though I don’t want to, that you probably should not eat anything you haven’t identified or-God forbid-have “identified” with some shitty cel phone photo in a freakin Facebook group. Remember, learning how to forage and identify plants is a life skill and should NOT be farmed out to some strangers who don’t give a rat’s ass about you. In fact, it is part of the medicine! Don’t give away your potential superpower to know plants. Go forth, people, and forage yourself into a brave new you.