awakened body

tree woman

The awakened body takes initiatives, is no longer content to receive or “put up with.”
When we live in our body, we give body to our life
.  –Therese Bertherat

To love yourself as you are is a miracle and to seek yourself is to have found yourself. For now. And now is all we have and love is who we are. – Anne Lamott

The body itself is a dwelling place, as the Anglo-Saxons knew in naming it banhus (bonehouse) and lichama (bodyhome), and the homeliness of its nature is even livelier for a woman than for a man… Through writing her body, woman may reclaim the deed to her dwelling. . .  From Remembering the Bone House, Nancy Mairs

With May comes spring – at least we continue to hope so in the chill northern clime of Vermont. So we pair the notion of the awakening of earth’s spring body with our own. Not an unusual comparison in these parts. Winter signals a complete in-turning – layers of down, chirping log fires, warm cocoa and a really good book …

But spring? It often comes/goes so quickly it seems we leap from winter to summer in one short jump. This year it has come/gone multiple times in spurts of heat and return to damp chill. Of course we know of earth’s penchant to return season upon season. It’s just a matter of when. Our firmly-held stories about our own bodies seem to hold equal constancy, with less of the change from season to season.

Our opening poem – ‘homage to my hips’ by lucille clifton – is a bawdy all-out-brag on independence and sheer pleasure of the power of the physical body. Kind of how spring makes me feel with its rush to push all manner of life into view. Writers inside have an equally wide range of reactions to share in their words:

‘To love yourself as you are is a miracle and to seek yourself is to have found yourself.’
What do I love about myself? I have always compared myself to others and tried to be like this one or that one. As I have grown up, I am more comfortable in my skin but do not think I will ever love my skin. Talking about myself is hard, it makes me vulnerable and I do not like to feel vulnerable. 

I do love my insides, though and can talk about the qualities I possess within.

I have always been told it is the inside that matters, and don’t judge a book by its cover. This may be true, but that does not stop the girls sitting across the room from talking about others’ flaws. I always say I don’t care what anyone thinks but that is far from the truth.

I struggle to fit in more than I will ever admit.



To love yourself as you are is a miracle. Some of us can do it. Some of us are incapable. To love yourself as you are is so profound whether you’re alone staring in a mirror, or in a room with people staring all around. To love yourself as you are says a lot even if you feel extremely ugly, or so, so sexy, burning hot … To love yourself as you are is more than just an image. It is that feeling on the inside, it is the soul you were given. To love yourself as you truly are can be such a task. That’s why so many of us fake it, cover it up and put on a mask. But to love yourself is to be yourself. So please, trust me on this one. Never give up, continue to move forward in getting to know yourself!



Green hazel eyes,
so beautiful and kind
Green hazel eyes
the shape and size
long lashes to be seductive with.
Green hazel eyes
see the beauty in all evil things
see the pain in all broken beings,
see all the agony of the most beautiful human beings
the forsaken angels who wander this earth alone
like herself and her mate who found each other by fate.
Those green hazel eyes
have seen all that is divine,
the trees, the flowers, the most beautiful
happily ever afters,
beautiful disasters.
Green eyes
full of beauty and broken fantasies.
Green hazel eyes
envy of beauty
one of my favorites things.
However, all of my being is surrounded by beauty.

Barbie doll obsessions

..continuing to unpack the internal messages about body image that women (and girls) are barraged by, our ‘inside’ women writers utilized Joyce Sutphen’s poem Living in the Body as inspiration.

JL penned a humorous rhyme, incorporating the myriad messages that run through her own brain (and many women’s too).  I appreciate her concluding line, what’s this fight really for?

36-24-26 Modern Slavery by Amadika

Feed me, soothe me, wash me,
let me lay in the sun
you should probably go for a run
I feel like escaping, let’s have some fun 

Be quiet a moment,
you petulant child!
Let me think, let me breathe
you are driving me wild! 

You are too skinny,
you are too fat
your hair is too frizzy,
now what’s up with that?! 

Brown eyes are okay
if you just want to see,
but green eyes are pretty,

My bottom’s too flat
and my belly too round
If only they could trade places,
like lost children now found

I want to eat cheeseburgers
laying in bed,
when what I know I need
is veggies instead 

Demands from the outside,
demands from within
like all of my problems
will be solved when I’m thin 

My body goes slowly while
my mind screams, “go fast”
This push and this pull
just can’t possibly last

There’s what I want, what I need,
and then in between
A photograph taken
from a messed-up crime scene 

My body’s my ally one day
and the next we’re at war
Maybe I should just stop,
pause and wonder
what’s this fight really for?…