Beautiful Body Mine


Have you ever woken up and felt like you’ve been run over by a truck—in forward AND reverse? Recently, I’ve experienced that sensation, both physically and spiritually.  My eagerness to serve, combined with business projects, upcoming deadlines for volunteer work, and family activities; have left me utterly depleted.  Almost two weeks ago, I awoke with a tingling in my lip that marked the beginnings of the worst cold sore I have ever experienced in my life.  In addition to the blister on the outer lip, my inner lip blew up and was accompanied by sores on the roof of my mouth and tongue.  To make matters worse, I had a sore throat, and the whole left side of my face felt just slightly numb—like that sensation you get just prior to novocaine wearing off entirely.  

In the past, when a cold sore appears, so, too have voices of self-hatred, unworthiness.  Looking in the mirror to apply medication, I have become witness to my own ugliness.  I have felt undesirable, dejected, unworthy. 


The blemish on my face became a seed from whence sprouted all other forms of harsh bodily self-criticism and judgment about my pooching belly, my flabby arms, the lines across my forehead.


This winter I engaged in a new practice that has begun to shield me from my own harshest critiques—thank you Freedom & Spirit-Guided Fitness.  There were many takeaways from this experience for me, but the most profound has been my newfound desire and commitment to engage with my body from a place of love.  Instead of exercising as a way to “whip my body into shape,” I’m choosing to move my body because it feels good or because I want to feel strong. Some days I’m not exercising at all and others I feel exhilarated after pushing myself beyond my limits.  Still others, I’m aware of the still, small voice that invites me to care for myself, to take it easy, to make adjustments despite what my harsh, loud critic says about being lazy.  And, perhaps one of the most joyous revelations occurred last week when I discovered that I love being on my mountain bike, trees soaring by as I race pell-mell down a hill that I have just labored up.

When the cold sore appeared two weeks ago along with the intense feelings of exhaustion; I was prepared for my customary battle.  Instead, I discovered that the Spirit-Guided Fitness practice enabled me to choose a different path.  Instead of requiring the warrior, I embraced my inner lover.  I allowed myself to listen to the messages my body was giving me: I released volunteer work that was putting me over the top, I rested, I gently applied L-lysine to my lip and even as I worried about what the numbing  sensation was in my face; I loved myself.  I was aware and in awe of the healing powers that my body possesses, I witnessed her progression as my own.  And now, 13 days later, free of cold sores, I am hopeful that one day I will free myself of all bodily shame and negative self-talk. If I continue to practice loving myself in each minute, no matter how I show up; I can truly embrace the beautiful body that is mine.


I invite you to listen to the above track by Aimee Ringle, Body Mine. As you listen, breathe in the wisdom of this ode to your body and allow the love to seep through your pores—deep into your soul—so that its knowing becomes your own.

Jennifer Knight