In the poem ‘To a Young Girl in Washington Square Park’ George Green says “Your beauty is the barrel you’ll go over the falls in.” And for some of us, it is. But my barrel is my narrative. My story, that which I believe about myself and my world is the barrel that takes me through the rapids and over the freefall.
My narrative cannot protect me from everything but it does keep the sharks out.
And what does it mean to have a story?
Importantly, it keeps the millions of messages that come at us from all angles at bay. The world is full of people telling you that you are not good enough, and offering to make you better. For a fee. (Or that you are SO a-mazing!) And at times, self-improvement is a very good thing–I would never argue against striving towards greatness.
Sometimes what truly needs to be great is our perspective.
It seems like we always believe something is missing, that if only we could get the numbers right, take the right combination of herbs or lose an inch off our thighs everything would shift for us. It feels to me like a distraction from the maybe more important work of shifting our own attitudes.
Maybe you don’t really need to add a product?
Maybe you are actually fine.
For example, maybe if you are cold you could go outside for a few minutes, and you’ll realize that you really were not.
Maybe noone gives a shit about your neck wrinkles.
Maybe you are actually kinda awesome.
And maybe-just maybe-every single detail of our health and fitness doesn’t really need to be picked apart and examined under the highest resolution microscope every single freakin day.
What would your story look like if you were to just accept that you are strong, able, powerful? That you are not broken? That you are a do-er, just going around doing things and hey, that’s cool?
What would your narrative feel like if you let go of “My body is this and my body is that” and realized I AM my body?
It is not about creating our own delusional reality, ignoring the negative side of life and manifesting magical muscles with our minds. Not at all. It is about re-framing our views of who we are– from someone who needs to be “fixed” to someone who is on a lifelong journey of adding to and taking away, of balancing and building.
Sometimes the whole IS greater than its parts.
So what I see happening is people talking back to those sharks who try to gnaw at us, people disproving our culture’s narratives that only certain types of people can run, jump, dance, lift, climb. I see people using their own bodies and lives to show that there are many ways to be. I see people shifting and changing the world of fitness, beauty, health by their own actions. I see people healing their relationship with their bodies, and supporting each other in doing so.
Any one of us can go over the falls alone, but I have a vision of a world where so many of us make the leap that those who abuse their power in the world of health, beauty and fitness are left all alone in their manipulative little viewing tower, wondering what the hell happened!