It’s mid-August, and you might be thinking summer is almost over! In some places, school has started! I might then say it’s mid-August, and summer isn’t officially over until September 22 when the Fall Equinox begins. Mostly, though, I want you to think about wearing the bikini as metaphor.
In the photo provided with permission (saucy language included alert) by a lovely and amazing journal workshop participant, the power of the post it note is strong. Like many, Dee, expressed a far-off-someday kind of wish that her body would be in just a right kind of shape and space to wear a bikini.
This was a couple of years ago while I was facilitating a workshop partnering with Cactus Cancer Society. The focus is about reclaiming oneself and inviting intimacy after a cancer diagnosis and treatment. I have also facilitated a similarly themed workshop through the Therapeutic Writing Institute called the Body Electric for all women.
When I walked the Camino de Santiago, my friend Jan and I noticed how comfortable Spanish women were in their bodies. They wore whatever they wanted regardless of age. Many had a lovely deep Fuchsia color to their hair – again – all ages.
During the Body Electric, there were two participants from Spain on opposite coasts, and I remember thinking how lively the conversation will be including different cultures. What I learned, though, is that women learn early and deeply about shame and guilt around their bodies not being a certain way. It’s universal, and it’s insidious. Let’s change that.
What I continue to witness is that theme of once I get to [fill in the blank], I can wear the bikini. Or, maybe you have bought clothes that you have yet to wear because you’re waiting for your body to be in that certain spot. Far off. Someday. Let’s change that.
Wear the bikini on a post it note becomes empowerment, a “Towanda” as in Fried Green Tomatoes. I encouraged Dee that if she wanted to wear the bikini (literally), to go ahead and get the one she loved, wear it, love it, love herself and have fun in the process. To my delight, she did exactly that. Her joy was palpable.
Wear the bikini as metaphor is specific to the individual. It’s about choosing you and moving forward with what is important to you, loving yourself as you are. Now. Today. Like Bridget Jones – “just as she is.”
Journal prompts to try:
1. How can you love yourself right now, in this moment?
2. Whether clothes, a trip, a new friend – what small step can you take in the direction of something you want to do?
Let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear from you.
This blog post was shared with permission from Jean Rowe. It was originally published on her blog, which you can read here.