Ep. 6 Henry Johnstone: Giving myself permission as a daily practice

“I have to give myself permission everyday. I have to do it daily. The way it presents itself is that when I'm giving myself permission, I'm choosing to ignore the way that I was brought up and the values that I was given in the way I should behave” - Henry Johnstone

The Permission Podcast Series : Exploring what it means to give yourself permission to live life on your own terms.

Henry to me, is someone I met about seven months ago and in that time, I've loved watching his journey as a coach, but also as a 'creative'- he is an epic metalwork artist!

What I love most is his willingness to be vulnerable, particularly as a man, and to talk about the deep stuff- the stuff that doesn't necessarily get talked about enough.

I absolutely loved this conversation, and I think my greatest aha moment actually came within the first few minutes - at times when self permission is a struggle, ask someone else to give you it! How crazy beautiful is that?

We also talk about 'play' and why we struggle with it, failing magnificently, recognising when you need to stick in your comfort zone and replacing 'should' with 'could'...

I hope you enjoy and I'd love to hear what comes up for you as you listen.

Find more about Henry here: www.henryjohnstone.org

Henry Johnstone podcast episode.jpg

Listen below or via your favourite podcast platform…


Ep. 6 Henry Johnstone: Giving myself permission as a daily practice

Show Notes:
A summary of conversation highlights that stood out for me…

4:06
I have to give myself permission everyday. I have to do it daily. The way it presents itself is that when I'm giving myself permission, I'm choosing to ignore the way that I was brought up and the values that I was given in the way I should behave in all situations.

7:10
It's a really self loving action, creativity, because I'm giving myself permission to play. But within that there's an anxiety that if I give myself permission to play, then I'm going to stop this 'busyness'. It's like this internal conflict. So if I get caught in that kind of tumbleweed, I simply go to someone else and I say, is it ok if I do this?

13:50
When we're growing up play is conditional, and really there's no need for it to be that way to whatsoever.

17:10
Being confronted with something that requires no rules and no timeframe... how do I start this? There's a confidence required in that and it's confidence based on one's own belief that whatever step they take forward from now will be the right step. And if it's not, it's okay that they get it wrong.

18:45
Whenever I start something, I tell myself I'm just gonna fail magnificently, which means that I'll throw everything up on the wall, some things will stick, some things won't. But who cares. I have to restructure my brain that failure isn't something to be avoided.

21:50
I knew that whenever I felt that feeling of 'I don't want to do this', that was the moment where if I did, I would experience the most relief and feel good feelings and therefore, I'm just simply going to do it.

25:00
If you don't feel like pushing yourself past your comfort zone that's absolutely fine. Please have a duvet day because we need to have that comfort and that security.

26:20
'Should' is so loaded with expectation. "I should be this way", that's immediately sign that absolutely no, you don't need to.

29:50
I knew I wanted to find a job that had meaning and purpose and I wanted to help people. I love being useful.

34:50
There's moments where I'm like, okay, I feel unhappy. What do I need to do to give myself the love that I'm craving right now?

35:50
I think it's quite hard to develop self awareness on one's own, I do believe that it helps a lot to do work with a coach or a therapist so that you can start to get that inner knowledge. In the same way that you experience me from the outside and I only experience myself from the inside out, we need someone else to tell us what's going on that we're missing.

37:30
The gold comes when you've got someone in the space asking you how does that feel? What are you feeling? Where'd that come from? You can't get that from reading a book. When you're with a coach or a therapist is not instructional, it's reflective.

40:10
Replace 'should' with 'could' and you have a choice.

Find out more and connect with Henry here:

“I help you when you feel hardened, and defeated by life. Together we delve deep into what's stopping you from being where you want to be. Heal your past and move forward with a passion! Get excited for what lies ahead, invigorate your sense of self and most importantly: feel happier. Your time is now.”

Find more about Henry here: www.henryjohnstone.org
FB: www.facebook.com/fearlesslyaman
IG: www.instagram.com/_henryjohnstone_
Podcast: ‘The Inner Warrior’ https://innerwarrior.podbean.com/



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I have launched a podcast! (*incredibly exciting & scary*)

I’ve launched a podcast!

Welcome to “The Magic In The Messy”

Full disclosure, when I first started to use the word ‘podcast’ (rather than just ‘audio recordings ‘ as I had previously called them as it seemed more casual), I felt like a fraud!

I saw people who had their own podcast shows as people who ‘had their shit together’, who knew the ‘proper’ technicalities and best practices and that I was just bodging it together, googling ‘how to…’ every other second, stumbling over my introductions (I will improve!), cringing at my own voice, and quite simply just making it up as I went along.

I couldn’t even think of a good name. I had a long running list in the notes on my phone but nothing ever seemed to fit. It was the perfect excuse not to take action, so the idea simply continued to sit there as a ‘one day’ project…

I’d also told myself time and time again over the last couple of years that I am a writer not a podcaster, since I’ve been blogging since 2011 and having had various articles published that feels pretty legit to me… but to share my voice, to be a ‘podcaster’ well, that kicked up all kinds of dialogue off in my head. Holding me back and keeping me small for too long.

But that’s the truth of it. It is only dialogue, (boring) stories I am telling myself to prevent me from sharing my voice in a way that feels meaningful to me, and in doing so may just reach someone in a way my writing won’t.

At the start of this year I set my intention to ‘share my voice beyond my platform’. My original intention had been to explore more speaking opportunities, more interviews with others and writing for other publications and platforms beyond my own blog (all still true- so if you are reading this and have a platform hot me up!)

But what equally came through - as a shout by now, no longer a whisper - was the desire to share my private audio recordings. My raw. vulnerable, unedited thoughts that I have been capturing on my phone for at least 18 months but had never officially shared with the world in a big way.

That coupled with a renewed drive to write my book (on the topic of permission and creativity), and the interviews I am hosting on that theme all made so much sense to package into a podcast.

It felt hugely scary and exciting as I finally got out of my own way…

Within three weeks I thought of a name, designed all the artwork, I book a decent mic (though the nature of many of my notes are that they are recorded raw in the moment on my phone), I painstakingly taught myself the technicalities of how to create a podcast, I interviewed my first guests, packaged it all together, submitted my feed to all the major podcast platforms, got approved and so now…

I still cant quite believe I’m saying it but I’m officially launching a podcast, full of raw vulnerable thoughts and conversations!

In this moment, I have no idea where it will lead me, or how it will evolve, but I am excited to find out and to be sharing this journey with you… beyond words on a page!

 
podcast cover E.jpg
 

For the official launch, so that you have plenty of content to get stuck into and explore, I have published five episodes ready to go. They have their own separate pages with show notes linked below, but you can also listen to them all directly via your favourite podcast platform. Enjoy!

Apple Podcasts / Spotify / Stitcher

Music Credit


NOTE: The episode list shows the most recent first, so scroll down to listen to first one!


Why “The Magic In The Messy”?

This podcast began life as a series of raw unfiltered and totally unedited 'brains dumps' recorded as simple voice notes on my phone as an outlet for processing my own thoughts on what it means to dig beneath the surface and live life on my own terms.

The lesson that I was bumping up against time and time again, in my own life but also in conversation with others is that, in order to reach the magic in our lives we need to be willing to embrace the messy along the way!

It’s been a huge process of surrender for me. Of leaning in and trusting the process. Now I'm finally ready to share it all with you too.

I'm Jo Hodson and I invite you to jump on board, subscribe, and embrace the #messymagic


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Ep. 5 : "Get Ready For The Meltdown"

“The caterpillars 'dissolve' before rebuilding themselves into a beautiful butterfly! It felt like a powerful metaphor to me; that in order to undergo this incredible transformation, first we have to have a 'meltdown'."

Today's podcast comes from my archives and this was first recorded in the summer of 2018. Yet it's one of my favourite audios to date, not necessarily for quality of recording but for the message it shares, and one I have since shared with a number of clients.

We look at the transformation that comes from a caterpillar to a butterfly. But with a slightly different spin on things... This is about the meltdown, the inevitable meltdown that we go through in that process of transformation and and an acknowledgment to the protective elements, the container, we need to put in place that fully serve the process of our deep inner work.

I hope it resonates for you, too.

ep. 4 get ready for the meltdown.jpg

Listen below or via your favourite podcast platform…


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Ep. 4 Simon Crowe : The fire hydrant of infinite potential

“This is where I give my self permission to not be focussed on the small separated me, but to focus on the big fire hydrant of infinite potential. Developing practices to take me there rather than having to fight my way through the spiders web.” - Simon Crowe

The Permission Podcast Series : Exploring what it means to give yourself permission to live life on your own terms.

I have connected with Simon a number of times over the last few years, and as I share in the introduction to this conversation, for me Simon always embodies a deep sense of presence and purpose. I love how his energy allows me to really drop down into my body and really ‘feel’ the conversation.

I loved how we start with an ‘uncomfortable’ silence, once in which I found myself not knowing quite what to do with… who would be the first to break it! A courageous start for a podcast ;-)

We talk about permission showing up in everything. The inherent courage in giving ourselves permission and the willingness to be uncomfortable.

We discuss what leaning in to uncertainty looks like and how curiosity is an antidote and how through clarity of vision and intention the school project in Liberia is coming to life.

There are also fire hydrants, spiders webs and cups of tea!

Find more about Simon here: www.simoncrowe.com

ep 3 simon crowe.jpg

Listen below or via your favourite podcast platform…


Ep. 4 Simon Crowe : The fire hydrant of infinite potential

Show Notes:
A summary of conversation highlights that stood out for me…

2:40
*the silence!*

4:00
How everything we ever do is the result of the permission we give ourselves and the role of courage to do things we've never done before.

5:22
There is so much about 'doing', but a lot of self-permission is also sitting with the 'being'.

8:30
Creativity is simply the space between knowing and not knowing. Creativity is as simple as just giving yourself permission to sit for five minutes or have have an idea or write something or draw something. Trust that if you have a blank piece of paper in front of you, something is going to happen that leads to a process of action. It's also giving yourself permission that a thing you might initially draw on a piece of paper is not necessarily going to be a thing of beauty, but it's where that takes you.

10:20
Jo talks about quitting her architecture career and the permission needed to do it even thought others might not 'get it'. The permission part in that process was entertaining the idea in the first place. "I could leave". That was the permission process - actually putting the option on the table and once the option was on the table and I sat with it for long enough, it got to the point where it was shouting so loudly, it was just the only option.

14:30
Every day is created through intention, desire and inspiration. I'm giving myself permission, because there's no one else to ask for it. I also give myself permission to our source tasks that we don't like doing in our business.

16:30
We discuss what leaning in to uncertainty looks like and how curiosity is an antidote. " I don't need certainty if I'm curious".

19:00
Leading with curiosity through clarity of vision and intention, Simon shares his real life example of the school project out in Liberia where curiosity is unfolding with a knowing that it will happen, conversation by conversation.

Stay open to the process but not to attached to it happening in a particular way. If you get too attached it reduces creativity and reduces opportunity.

Keep asking questions and having conversations.

24:40
There's a massive difference between understanding something an intellectual level, and then really dropping down into it at a grounded heart level. That's where are the 'shoulds' falls away.

26:10
Being comfortable with being uncomfortable. It's necessary for growth. I've been working quite tirelessly at creating a series of practices and behaviours that when the curiosity does go behind the cloud, how do I get beyond the clouds? How do I get back into that flow of creativity?

29:40
Don't be passive and wait for that mood to shift. Use tools to take action to step back into the flow of creativity. It's incredible empowering.

32:00
Stopping the battle with resistance and stepping beyond the spiders web.

36:40
I give myself permission to not be focused on the small separated me, I instead focus on the big fire hydrant of infinite potential.

Most mornings I wake up feeling anxious and nervous. What's going to happen today? And I think, right, okay well, I've got a choice. It's my responsibility.

39:15
We don't have to believe our own thoughts. It's the permission to not stay stuck, permission to feel differently.

41:20
How we frame our language, even to ourselves can be the difference of curiosity or resistance.

43:20
What's just one small step that I could take right now? It's not even so much about the step, it's the realization that you can take the step. You're not the emotion, you're the observer of it.

44:20
A cup of tea as a mechanism for shifting state.

46:00
Creating an internal shift. From that place you've got a completely different set of choices.

48:50
Start to develop some strategies and some processes to support you stepping out of that stuck space. A habit of doing something creative everyday uses a different part of your brain, uses inspiration and curiosity. An intentional practice creates the choices.

51:20
Give yourself permission at the small 'day to day' level. It's not just about the big things. Its the same muscle being worked.

52:30
We're being run by our habits all the time. Being in a crap mood is a habit. We talk neuroplasticity and how we can change the brain simply by having a different thought.

55:40
The centre of the brain, which is responsible for fear and nervousness, is the same part of the brain that is responsible for excitement and anticipation. When I feel nervous or frightened about something I tell myself I'm excited about it. Because it's the same feeling, it's just the story I tell myself about the feeling.

59:20
When everything looks shit, there's still something which is good. We fall into polarised thinking but it's rarely those extremes absolutely. Develop the ability to a little bit more nuanced. Allow yourself to be present to the spark of possibility.

1:02:10
Our experience is always a result of the choices that we're making and we can always give ourselves permission to make a different choice.

Find out more and connect with Simon here:

“I help successful people to understand their true purpose, so they can experience greater levels of happiness and fulfilment, often in a single conversation.”
W : www.simoncrowe.com
FB: www.facebook.com/simoncrowecoaching
LI: www.linkedin.com/in/simoncrowe



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Ep. 3 : "Too Much"

“I’ve set myself on sprinkle mode, but i’m not a hosepipe. I want to unleash the full flow of who I am. Can you handle that?” - Jo Hodson

Today's podcast thought-stream is a pretty deep one, even for me.

It digs into some of the stories I have taught myself through my childhood years and that still live with me into my adult years. The stories I'm still in the process of rewriting.

Throughout my life, I always considered I was 'too much'. Only now do I realise that by repressing those sides of me, I was repressing the fullest expression of who I am.

I was repressing my creativity. Repressing the essence of what it means to be Jo.

And so I wonder if there's any aspect of your nature you're pushing away. That you're holding back through fear of being too much?

I'd love to hear what comes up to you as you listen.

too much.jpg

Listen below or via your favourite podcast platform…


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Ep. 2 Ann Skinner : Failing Forward As A Graceful Way To Live

I want to give myself permission to be rubbish. To make the bad mistakes, because that's where you find yourself.” - Ann Skinner

The Permission Podcast Series : Exploring what it means to give yourself permission to live life on your own terms.

I was excited to interview Ann Skinner (aka The Heartworker) as my first guest because our journeys have evolved and intertwined over the years in a beautiful way. I knew she would have some wonderful words of wisdom to share on the topic of 'self-permission'.

We talk about 'restriction' and her fear of being buried alive in a coffin. The importance of making mistakes. The grace and beauty in 'failing forward' (aka my new favourite phrase). Setting boundaries when you are a 'helper'. Why being selfish is not a bad thing... and ultimately I love you!

Find more about Ann here: www.theheartworkersway.com

Ann Skinner podcast episode.jpg

Listen below or via your favourite podcast platform…


Ann Skinner : Failing Forward As A Graceful Way To Live

Show Notes:
A summary of conversation highlights that stood out for me…

(Note: these summary notes are extracted from the original audio transcript but may not be word for word as originally spoken)

5:30
I have an innate fear of being buried alive in a coffin. So the moment the word 'restriction' comes into being, into my space, I just completely 'rahhhh'. So self-permission for me is really important. I have to be able to self-express. And if I can't, there's a little part of me that actually dies. As if my heart can't express itself and shrivels. Over the years, I feel I've had to fight a lot, perhaps fight a lot with myself to be quite honest, to open up and to permit myself to be a show more of who I am.

8:45
I want to give myself permission to be rubbish. To make the bad mistakes, because that's where you find yourself.

What happens around us is that people like to keep us safe. Please don't restrict me from making mistakes. Please just let me just be a mess. Please just let me just express myself in this moment. Please let me just make this decision, which perhaps compared to what is going on your life might be crazy, but in my life, it makes perfect sense. Please let me just do that without you doubting me.

10:55
The question I always have to ask myself is; "so if this is showing up for me, where am I restricting myself right now? What's going on? Where am I doing this to somebody else?”

Allow me the space to ‘fail forward’, and actually to do that gracefully. And to allow me to succeed, allow me to do that as well.

12:40
I feel 'failing forward' is just a graceful way to live.

Those are the moments where you actually allow yourself to grow. If you allow those things to come into your life, your growth will even go deeper. It's a very permission giving phrase.

16:45
I got to the stage where I was moving away from all the drama and moving into a new space of "I'm ready for something new". And here came the question. "So what am I going to do next?" And I knew in that moment that that question had never served me. Then I just had a divine moment of inspiration and I moved from the word DO to the word BE and I asked myself, What do I want to BE next? There was an instant clear answer - I want to be wise!

18:00
So I became a trainer and coach. This this is where I'm embracing this graceful 'failing forward', because we are not here to know it all. We're here to learn.

You learn when you have success, for sure. But the deeper learnings are when you're failing.

19:40
That's a huge amount of permission to put 'being' over 'doing', and then bringing 'doing' back in to serve the 'being'. It's a dance between the two.

21:00
When we're ‘doing’ we're not always connected to our heart. When we're ‘being’, we have to be in our body and our heart. And it's actually very uncomfortable, because then we notice the pain.

22:10
People opinions matter only if they matter to you.

25:30
To make a difference doesn't necessarily mean that you should spend your time and your life helping others. Actually, you could probably make the biggest impact by first helping yourself. When you do not allow help from outside when you need it, then there is somewhere you don't want to be vulnerable and vulnerability has everything to do with permission and self-permission. My learning was that not being able to ask for help had everything to do with me wanting at some level to control something in me and not being comfortable with being vulnerable.

29:10
I think setting boundaries are a lifelong learning for the 'helpers' among us. Boundaries have a lot to do with being very clear on what it is you want. I'm not necessarily spending time on working on my boundaries, I'm putting my focus on "what is it I need?" That's where I spend time.

30:20
The three keys that guide my life right now are: to be present to be curious and to be kind.

The three keys help me to connect what is really important in life and when I know what's really essential to me in life, then it's much easier for me to say no, because I'm on a straight path.

Clarity is a precursor to allowing yourself permission. The clearer we are the easier it is to give ourselves permission, because we have an understanding of why we're asking that of ourselves.

It's a leverage. It's about committing to yourself and committing to something greater than yourself. So if you're really in touch with that- that big 'why', then it goes beyond you and therefore you will have more courage also to give yourself permission.

33:15
Give yourself permission to give yourself the space to work it out, which is the graceful path for 'failing forward'.

35:20
Doing something just for the pure joy of doing something, that's often quite a tough one to give ourselves permission around.

37:10
Any act of self care will be an act of living your purpose. I had to look up the word 'selfish' once because we've made selfish a really bad word. It wasn't actually that negative at all. It's simply doing things for yourself.

I felt as thought I had to have a reason to justify saying the 'No', but I don't. I find it hard to give myself permission for that. We say 'yes' to so many things, because we haven't got 'enough' of a reason to say 'no'. We need to start feeling comfortable with not having to justify a 'no'. It takes practice. It's a process.

44:30
The simplest thing that comes up for me is, ‘I love you’. The ultimate 'being-ness' There are no words needed in that space. The ultimate act of self-permission doesn't have words.

Find out more and connect with Ann here:

Ann Skinner, aka The Heartworker - a curious and creative spirit with a love of life, nature and the nature of things.

Ann is a coach, a doodle artist, the founder of The Heartworker’s Way and the author of The Art of Contribution. Ann is interested in what drives us and how to live a more empowered and fully self-expressed life that adds to the world.

Ann’s work helps us to live a slower, more peaceful life, with our heart firmly in the driver’s seat.

W : www.theheartworkersway.com
FB: www.facebook.com/theheartworker
IG: www.instagram.com/theheartworkersway


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Ep. 1 The Magic In The Messy Podcast

So, I’m launching a podcast!

Full disclosure, when I first started to use that word (rather than just audio recordings as I had previously called them) I felt like a fraud!

I saw people who had their own podcasts as people who ‘had their shit together’, who knew the ‘proper’ technicalities and best practices and that I was just making it up as I went along.

I told myself time and time again over the last couple of years that I am a writer not a podcaster, having been blogging since 2011 and having had various articles published that feels legit to me… but to share my voice, to be a ‘podcaster’ that kicked up all kinds of dialogue in my head. Holding me back and keeping me small for too long.

But that’s the truth of it. It is only dialogue, (boring) stories I am telling myself.

So to give myself a quick reality check to fend off the fear, I googled ‘definition of a podcast’

“A digital audio or video file or recording, usually part of a themed series, that can be downloaded from a website to a media player or computer”

It’s that simple AND that is exactly what I am doing…. I realise everything else was self judgement and expectations I’d created.

So, I’m launching a podcast full of raw vulnerable thoughts and conversations! (and i’ll be blogging them too).

I have no idea where this will lead me, or how it will evolve, but I am excited to find out and to be sharing this journey with you… beyond words on a page!

 
podcast cover E.jpg
 

You can listen to my intro episode below or via your favourite podcast platform…


Welcome to The Magic In The Messy!

This podcast began as a series of raw unfiltered and totally unedited 'brains dumps' recorded as simple voice notes on my phone as an outlet for processing my own thoughts on what it means to dig beneath the surface and live life on my own terms.

Slowly I began to share these vulnerable words with clients and followers who resonated with the messages within, then when I began creating conversations with others as research for a book the energy changed gear but the overall message remained - In order to reach the magic in our lives we need to be willing to embrace the messy along the way!

Now I'm ready to share it all with you too. I'm Jo Hodson and I invite you to jump on board and embrace the #messymagic

If my words resonate with you, I would love you to subscribe to your favourite channels below and please do chime in with your thoughts and comments… let’s keep this conversation going!

Funny story side note…

When I decided I was going to finally put a podcast out there in the world. I chatted to a couple of good friends who I look up to in the world of podcast (Nathan Seaward and Henry Johnstone, I’m looking at you) for advice - where to start, how to approach it, the best kit and platforms etc.

I bought a good microphone set up my space and got going.

I had already recorded a number of interviews as well as the necessary additional parts to piece the intro/outro together ready to launch whilst away for three weeks in Spain on a working holiday.

I create the files, wrote up the accompanying blog posts, uploaded the audio…. and then realised I hadn’t recorded an intro episode. It felt important for me to share the ‘why’ behind the podcast before anything else.

But now here I was in Spain, in the middle of the countryside, with just my basic apple earbud headphones and integral mic.

So much for ‘being a professional’…

I lay meditating in the sunshine for an hour, allowing the words to land in my mind, wondering what to do, then I grabbed my phone and my headphones, hit ‘record’ on the voice notes app and just let the words flow.

This introductory episode is the direct result of that moment. It was a beautiful reminder for just how simple this process can be.

You don’t need fancy kit (although it sometimes helps), you don’t need lots of technical knowledge (just enough to start), you don’t need to plan and script what to say (you just need to tune in to your ‘why’ and trust the process).

So I set the precedent for how I mean to go on. The dance of the messy and the magical.

Enjoy!


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Feeling totally exposed even in my own private company

As I sat up in bed, immediately upon waking this morning, I had a sudden urge to grab my phone and take a photo of myself looking in huge mirrored doors of the built in wardrobe that flanks one side of the room.

This isn't a photo for likes or comments, but a representation of how it has shaped me over the last few months, the difference that having a huge mirrored surface opposite the doorway of the bedroom has made in my life.

jo mirror body 2.jpg

For context, I moved into this house in January. It's an eight month house sit for the parents of one of my best friends. It's coming to and end quite soon.

I remember the very first evening I was here. Getting undressed and ready for bed and suddenly seeing my naked body lit up in front of the mirror in the yellowy light of the ceiling lamp.

I remember at the time, I froze momentarily then slightly recoiled. Feeling totally exposed even in my own private company.

I wasn't used to seeing my own body in its 'wholeness' and it caught me by surprise.

That in itself fascinated me. The fact that I'm so used to seeing parts of myself. Fragments at a time. Abstract. In small mirrors in the bedroom or in the bathroom, or when looking down as myself, a distorted world view.

Yet I’d so rarely had the chance to appreciate my full form.

Looking at photos of our whole selves is different, we're posed and poised. Viewed rom a distance on a small on a screen. Clothed.

But here I was. Full on, full out. Unprepared and unposed in all my naked glory, standing opposite myself. Looking myself in the eye. There was no hiding even though that urge rose within me.

The next evening when it happened again. I noticed my resistance. I noticed the surprise. I noticed the feelings of uncertainty and unfamiliarity with my own body. Unfamiliar with the body I'm so used to, the body that I have lived in for 36 years, yet I just never really 'see'.

In all its completeness.

So I got curious. I started turning around in front of the mirror. Looking at myself from as many angles as possible. The light changing and creating pattern and shape rippling over me. Twisting, tensing, flexing, looking at the curves, the folds and muscle tone and observing the wonder of the musculoskeletal system that makes the human form.

What magic!

It became quite a fun game. Creating a sense of familiarity and connection with myself, and in doing so a sense of compassion. And slowly but surely a deeper sense of self love.

Self love.

Not that I'd ever really hated my body, not at all. I simply hadn't ever really appreciated it because I'd never seen it, not really, not like this. I’d been so disconnected from my wholeness. I had no idea what I was missing.

But every single night and every single morning as I got undressed, I had the chance to observe my body in it's naked glory. Those moments became such a celebration. A private moment of connection and respect.

As the days and the weeks and months passed during my time in this house, I learned to celebrate the glory, the fullness and the completeness of my body in a way I'd never previously had an opportunity to, in a way that I'd never even seen as necessary.

I can honesty say it has been a beautiful journey.

So, this morning, when I woke up and sat on the edge of my bed, I suddenly had the spontaneous urge to grab my phone and take a photo. Not for likes, but to record this moment. Record how I feel to be in acceptance and celebration, in fascination and curiosity and at one with my body.

This beautiful, powerful body.

As I shot this photo, I had literally just woken up seconds before. My hair isn't brushed. I have an old T shirt and knickers on. Nothing else. I have bruises on my knees where I fell over. The bed isn't made. The room isn't particularly tidy.

But none of that matters.

Because this isn't for likes. This isn't an ego trip.

This is showing up as me in the moment. The spontaneous, raw, vulnerable, unfiltered beauty of me.

A celebration and a call to love in seeing ourselves. Fully.

Because I want you to see yourself. Fully.

I want you to find a huge mirrored wardrobe of your own and stand naked, to look yourself in the eye and truly see and celebrate the depth and fullness of who you are, because it's glorious. Truly and utterly glorious.

And it might take a while to get comfortable with that. That's ok. Stay with it. Lean into those feelings. Because with repeated exposure and a sense of curiosity, it will come. I promise.

I didn't realise before that I didn't love my body but it's simply because I never truly gave myself a chance to.

I'm giving myself that chance today.


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