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Some Thoughts about Body Image and Bodywork
Body Image

Karen Ann Bridge

Body Image
It is in our mind, deep in our physique
Embed­ded in our brain — from the past
Approvals / dis­ap­provals
Judge­ment from oth­ers that we unfor­tu­nate­ly chose to lis­ten to,
some­how relat­ing that the way we look actu­al­ly has some­thing to do with the per­son we are.

Oh, the list can go on:
Too tall, too big, too small,
the length of our hair,
the size of our breasts,
our nose, our eyes, our feet.

Hun­dreds upon hun­dreds of our phys­i­cal parts —
that can be judged by oth­ers — then — judged by ourselves.

Pic­ture some­one you admire — yes, it is hard to do –
to pic­ture them — it is more of a feel­ing.
When I think of some­one I admire, I hold a deep feel­ing, a feel­ing of admi­ra­tion, of respect, for who this per­son is — not the phys­i­cal image.

When did it all start?
How young were you?
A dis­con­cert­ing remark, from a par­ent, a friend, a spouse, soci­ety.
A remark — “I don’t like this about you” — 
an unex­pect­ed stab in the dark.
You change
You change what you can
You change your weight
you change your hair
You change what you can to gain approval, to be liked
This becomes your focus.
This becomes your obses­sion
This becomes larg­er than it real­ly is,
this becomes larg­er than life.

Anorex­ic? Bulim­ic? —
what­ev­er it takes to be liked.
What if it is some­thing you can­not change?
Your nose, your eyes, your shape
It is all you can focus on
And in our minds, the nose becomes big­ger, our bel­ly rounder.
This becomes a per­ceived fault in our mind.

A per­ceived fault that can con­sume your world.
You for­get to live, to ven­ture out
To expe­ri­ence life
You live in your mind.

We could meet 100 peo­ple
We could receive 100 judgements

When does it all end? 

When you choose for it to end!

There are no judge­ments that mat­ter
Not the ones from oth­ers
Not the ones from your­self
Not the ones in your mind.

Take a look around.
We are all the same.
The size, the shape, the colour may dif­fer,
But we are all the same.

Step out of your mind.
Live life — expe­ri­ence life.
And remem­ber —
Body Image: it is in our mind.

About Body­work

Karen Ann Bridge

To me, Body­work com­bines phys­i­cal, emo­tion­al and spir­i­tu­al factors.

To expe­ri­ence the knots release from the mus­cles is to expe­ri­ence a release of emo­tions (blocked emo­tions, emo­tions that for some rea­son were stopped dead in their tracks.) The knots can rep­re­sent anger, joy or sor­row — but they need not have a label — they are just there. How much bet­ter our body func­tions when the knots are gone. Our ener­gy, our chi, can flow through our bod­ies from head to toe, flu­id­ly through the Chakras, ground­ing us to the earth, yet reach­ing to the universe. 

How much eas­i­er we flow through our lives, how much eas­i­er we com­mu­ni­cate, how much eas­i­er we can under­stand our­selves after Bodywork.

I have learned from Body­work that the human body and human touch are not relat­ed to sex­u­al­i­ty, unless you choose it to be. The com­fort of being held in some­one’s arms, cud­dling on some­one’s lap, or in a close embrace can be so phys­i­cal­ly, emo­tion­al­ly and spir­i­tu­al­ly sat­is­fy­ing if the judge­ment fac­tor of sex (or any­thing else for that mat­ter) is delet­ed from the equation.

Body­work is a con­tin­u­ous evo­lu­tion of allow­ing our­selves to unfold, and to unfold allows us to open our­selves to the world and all the won­der­ful expe­ri­ences it has to offer.

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