Saturday, 9 December 2017

How kind are we to our bodies after separation or divorce?

So here is a question for all you wonderful people facing divorce or who are going through separation...

If I asked you to name all the things that you love, care for and hold dear at this time of your life, just how long would it take for you to name yourself... this amazing, unique and extraordinary person that is you....?
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Now there are times in our lives where we definitely don't feel so 'extraordinary'. So just maybe this kind of talk about being 'special' is going to properly wake up the mind monkeys of unworthiness and have them shrieking with disbelief and lots of wtfs with a question such as this.

Our monkey minds start ruminating over the 'if I was worthy, lovable and the rest of the aforementioned malarkey I would not be sitting here reading these words feeling like a washed up battered little boat of sadness'... and it then we are more likely to turn in on ourselves, and we examine, we criticise and speak to ourselves shamefully. 

Divorce is a full on kick up the ass, knock the wind out of your life sails life event. It is up there in the big four - death, divorce, cancer and redundancy for stress.  And believe me, it is never more so than right now, when fully faced with this present moment life fast ball that a little kindness to yourself is what you are most in need of. 

I lived so much in my head in the beginning of my divorce journey, with my life, as a single mum, working and divorce discussions and paperwork. My control freakery monkeys endlessly partying, despite the high exhaustion levels and I totally forgot about my body. I was content to let my body happily tuck into not very much, powered by cortisol and not surprisingly, occasionally a little wine. If you think hangovers and marriage are not great, hangovers and divorce are an utterly miserable day out. 

The times when I bravely looked in the mirror at my newly single body and face, I pondered whether this living vessel of my life would appeal to anyone ever again. As I began to scrutinise, with varying degrees of unkindness and judgement this body of mine, that had borne two healthy, beautiful and kind-hearted children, I was suddenly ashamed. I felt the pain of the self-flagellation stick dealing out some real mean judgement. I consciously made a decision to reclaim my innate feminine stubborn side with a little chat to myself that basically went like this...  "girl you have to change this talk". 

I had this realisation that if I was ever going to have any life of love, happiness and physical joy again, I would need to begin looking after, nurturing and cherishing this pretty bloody amazing body of mine, that had never failed me.   

So I consciously chose to begin rebuilding my mind, body and spirit.  All of which, during a relationship breakdown, separation or divorce generally waves the big depletion flag of help me.  What I realised was this, I could never be the same person facing love, sex and a relationship as I was when I was married. It was like I had to unlearn and then relearn everything all over again - with a body that was different, older and changed from life experiences. 

Divorce was this part of my life journey that became the best life lesson in self-discovery, more than I could have imagined.

So I chose to celebrate, embrace and honour my life journey, with all its late wild nights when I was younger, lonely early mornings feeding my babies and an expanded body in all its glorious procreative splendour. I also chose to celebrate my now single body together with its now colder extremities feeling the vulnerability in a king size bed on my own. I decided that to berate, show disdain and hold anger about my body for what was going on in my life by punishing it with lack or excess suddenly seemed so unreasonable.  

And what dawned on me was this, my body and this face of mine was here to stay. Chasing after some aesthetic of perfection to give me confidence to jump into bed with someone and feel fabulous was pure mentalness... I decided to own every single flaw. My self-belief, positive thinking and loving energy that I was now mentally imbuing into my cells, my muscles and organs was going to bring into my life the right person who would love me as I was.   
Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

So if this is feeling like hard work, that is because it is. As women and increasingly as men we live in a society that demands, sometimes subversively that we question ourselves and our worth. The self-belief and worth monkeys walking the streets begging to be taken away. To change the way you view yourself is about beginning again. This is the part I was truly grateful for out of my marriage breakdown, I got the chance to love and properly sign up for myself with all the damage, baggage and experiences that comes with life. 

How amazing to have the chance to connect again with your body, to take control of how you nourish yourself, how you talk to yourself and how you choose to see your incredible body. That, no matter what you look like at any given hour on any given day, it still breathes for you, it still allows you the sensory pleasures of life, it carries and forgives you, it mends and heals you... 

 Every night, before I sleep, I thank my body for the work it has done for me. Every morning I wake and check in with how it is feeling, it is a time for me to notice any ageing aches, soreness or tightness. Whether I have woken with tight shoulders, or if my neck is sore, I make a mental note to work my day around being kind to my body. I stretch, I take several deep breaths and I begin my day... I drink warm lemon water first, asking it to cleanse my system. I try to juice as much as I can, sometimes I am just not that organised and I now notice when I haven't fed my body well or drunk enough water. 

Photo by Alex Loup on Unsplash
I stretch my muscles everyday, working on the basis that long muscles, leads to a longer life. Our pets stretch after every period of sitting or lying down, it is instinctual and what I noticed is, how fearful are we of having a good public stretch. It feels too self-indulgent, and this is the point, a kind and mindful divorce happens when we work on ourselves rather than looking elsewhere. It is about honestly working on ourselves and being vulnerable, fearful and learning. 

Our bodies tell us everything. When life is a shit storm of full on distress we mostly have not the head space to listen. A little check in with yourself in the morning, without judgement, and a morning dose of self-compassion, I now know sets me up for the day. Happier, more able to deal with divorce or business paperwork, managing bills, balancing my emotions and my children's, exploring my new world and being kind to my Ex. 

What I know now is this, I cannot help, love and support anyone else authentically, truly and deeply if I am not kind and content to live within myself.

With love


This blog is dedicated to the good work of Taryn Brumfitt. If you have the opportunity please watch Embrace a documentary made by this inspiration lady. Click this link to follow the movement of embracing and loving our bodies :) 

Then.... I would love it if you can follow me on Instagram and join my private FB Group How to be a Divorce Goddess for support, kindness and strong women.

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