My Body Likes It When I Listen.
“You are so thin.”
“You look ghostly like that.”
“Look, I can see your collarbones.”
“Are those your veins?”
“My god, your hip is only so much I can wrap my fingers around it.”
“You have such a small face. Well, small everything.”
“Why don’t you eat something and put on some weight?”
“I’m sure you must be a fussy eater, or maybe you don’t eat at all.”
“Put some stones in your pocket, you may fly away in this wind otherwise.”
There was a time when this would have made me feel very hurt, very upset about my body, and made me feel angry with the people who told me this.
Fortunately though, it’s changed.
I mean, not my body.
My body is still the same as ever.
What has changed though is my relationship with it.
After years of disconnecting with it, I finally have come to embrace it.
And that has come with knowing, really knowing what my body is.
And this is what I want to share with you tonight.
So come sit by me a little
Near this bursting red hibiscus plant
As I tell you something about my body which is every woman’s body.
I get naked and take a shower everyday.
I know perfectly well how my body looks, thank you!
In fact, I know every curve and contour of my body.
The exact number of spots and those moles in special places that you cannot see.
I know every little injury, bruise, brush, jolt, shock, touch, sensation, gasp and breath of this body.
I know exactly for how many years I have hated, loathed, denied and neglected this body.
I know how I have cried, and cursed this body.
I know how, when I got my period for the first time, I shut myself in a room and cried, saying “I hate this!”
I know how much pain I have writhed with and rolled in, every single month for a whole decade and more.
I know how I used to hate looking at myself in the mirror. Or stepping out of the house during my teenage years.
I know about my eating disorders, about burying myself in industrial-sized bags of chips and fat slabs of chocolates to emotionally comfort myself when no one else could.
I know my body is not the only one feeling ashamed.
I especially know that fat bodies are not the only ones to get body-shamed.
I also know how many hospitals and doctors and treatments it took for me to give up on trying to cure this ailment
and to finally turn my attention towards the interior of my body.
I know how long it took to let go of living up to the standards of other people for my body
I know the amount of rejection it took that finally allowed me to accept my body.
I know how my body, like a neglected unloved child waiting for years to receive this call, came running to me when it heard me.
I know how from writhing in period-pain and passing out in hospitals after getting painkillers shot on my bum, it has changed today, to being able to travel in night trains carrying backpacks on the first day of my period.
But I don’t do this.
Because I know my body is soft when it’s bleeding, and likes to rest and dream while it’s flowing.
I know my body loves sleeping just as much as dancing.
I know it likes to walk barefoot and hug trees.
I know my body knows how to talk to plants and how to touch the soul-skin of animals.
I know my body likes to talk to me.
I know my body likes it when I listen.
Be still. Hold me. Breathe into me. Deeper still. She says.
I know how my body is wise.
I know my body is proud.
This body that knows how to dissolve pain and how to shrink ovarian cysts without surgeries.
How to work with uterine fibroids without cutting off body parts inside hospitals.
This body that knows how to inform about the locked trauma.
This body that knows about life and death and breath cycles and moon cycles, seasonal changes long before I do.
It knows every curve and contour of itself.
It knows every touch of pain and pleasure and every ache and desire there is.
It knows fire and water.
My body knows it when flowers are around.
When bodies aren’t safe to be around.
When it is going to rain,
when it is going to storm, and the difference between the two.
My body knows loss and what it feels like to be lost.
My body knows the rhythm of water.
The fall and play of stray strands of hair on the face.
It knows the dance of wind on its skin.
The embrace of another alive body breathing around itself..
My body knows the warm sun between her legs.
It knows my every whim and every passing fancy.
Every heartbeat quickened, every passage through which the blood rushed in,
It knows the tossing of head, the bending of torso, it knows the moist of lips on the nape of the neck and fire-fingers rolling down, down, down the vast open canvases by artistic hands with poetic souls that know how to call home scattered birds at dusk.
My body knows love,
Like the first drop of rain falling on scorched soil.
Like water gushing, rushing through dark slopes in moist, mossy forests.
Like thick rich wet earth that smells like first rain
My body knows beauty in the eyes of humans.
In the perfection of creation.
It knows to hold on to the memory of a newborn baby.
It knows the stillness in the first encounter with a wild creature.
The silence in the first eye contact with a complete stranger.
The potent blessing in the first single sprout of a tiny tough seed.
It knows the pastel shades of the sky at dawn and dusk.
And it knows about landscapes it hasn’t been to yet.
My body knows everything about every garden, town, city and forest I am in, even before my mind has registered anything.
My body knows my every dream and every failure, every sad moment, every secret I have hidden.
It knows every memory of every single incident, and is made in the exact shape to contain my soul.
My body is more than just a set of measurements.
And I own every inch and space of it.
My body, my pain, my pleasure, my power.
And you need to know this before anything
That they are not available anymore for shaming.
Tau Tara is a young budding witch, engaged with the healing process and learning about her witchy gifts which she is still discovering through the power of plants, sounds, body-wisdom and soul-connection. Tau is spring-born on Indian soil, chirpy in the sun, but sharing a special relationship with violent storms. She loves digging up ancient secrets from the buried past, and buried truths from primal spaces. You can find and follow her adventures on Instagram.