You know that feeling when you buy a pair of jeans that fits your curves just perfectly and hugs your thighs in all the right places? You put them on and stand in front of the mirror for a little while longer than usual feeling quite pleased with yourself.
Stay standing in front of the mirror, but this time remove the jeans, the dress, body wrap or any covering and take a long look in the mirror. Now, what do you think?
With makeup, accessories, clothes and life in general we sometimes are most comfortable beneath the layers. How many photos are taken before the ‘perfect’ selfie is shared showing our flawless selves, or rather the image we are using for our on-line profile campaign. Getting ourselves picture perfect ready or putting our best foot forward on a daily basis are wonderful. But do we love ourselves in our natural state and view everything else being added as simply complimentary? Or do we love ourselves only when we are the image of the ‘perfect selfie’? Do our sentences begin “When I lose 10 lbs…gain a butt…have smaller boobs, bigger boobs, better skin, lose the muffin top, the varicose veins or the cellulite, then I will _________.” Is your self-love on hold until a later time or conditional within the boundaries of the times you think you’re at your best?
I read about a Korean Bathhouse recently that piqued my interest with their offerings. Almost instantly I knew it was a place I wanted to visit until I read that there were parts of the facility where you sported your birthday suit. Without hesitation, my first thought was “okay I will go there on my next visit to the city when I’m 10 pounds smaller, more toned etc.” Furthermore as a highly conservative individual the thought of taking all of my clothes off in front of strangers would take some warming up to. Sometimes tuning in to your own messages can wake you up to a few things, in this case how ludicrous it was to think I would be most comfortable -10 pounds lighter in a ladies spa facility.
I check in and open the doors to the female area where the healing scents of a spa open your pores and almost instantly relax you. I see women all shapes, sizes, hues and heights walking around in a sense of confidence and relaxation that we are all here and present and loved as we are. I find my locker and my neighbour and I exchange our hello’s. I ask if it’s her first time visiting and she quickly says no, and goes on to explain that every month her and her girlfriends drive five hours to spend a few hours here. As if seeing the look of hesitation on my face as I clench the spa attire needed for the co-ed area, she reassures me how much I will love it. The Spa Manager comes over as if sensing a bathhouse virgin in the room, welcomes me and offers to take me on a tour. Walking the facility I see couples having lunch together, girlfriends waiting for saunas and scrub appointments and a salt water pool where people are merely relaxing (in bathing suites) in the pool. This is a far cry from an outside world screaming to make haste, compete, and make it by any means necessary. This little piece of heaven says come as you are, and that is always enough. We make our way back to the female area and she opens the glass doors that lead to pools, saunas and a shower area and here she says “no clothes” and I see women who have fully embraced the experience. As each person walks around in their own world, one cannot help but marvel at how beautiful life is when we’re all moving in our own harmony. The slightly uncomfortable yet liberating experience of taking off your accessories in public and revealing who you are beneath it all. Only to realize that in that moment no one is taking note, but your pores are given a chance to breathe in bravery and acceptance. To feel the love that travels through your veins and your body feeling that as it is, you celebrate and offer it love for being yours.
Seldom when caught between the rush of life and the chase of our dreams, do we make the time to celebrate where we are and who we are in the present moment. What have you been putting off until you lose those 10 pounds? What have you postponed because you think your self perceived flaws need to first cease to exist? What goals have you put on hold for a more perfect time, that sadly friends may never come? While we often say or think that others have us under a microscope, could our perception exist because this is how we see ourselves? Furthermore, and firstly to expect others to accept us in a way that we haven’t done ourselves is both unreasonable and in direct contradiction to the law of attraction.
Go ahead. Drop the wrap, the towel, the covering, the layers that have covered the beautiful you and allow your pores of authenticity to breathe, your true voice to be audible, and your little light to be liberated. You are the gift you are waiting on to show up. Whoever and whatever you are afraid of losing that causes you to hide yourself or the shame you can’t bare anyone knowing, let me share two things: they will leave anyway-if they’re meant to and once you have come to grips with your shames the world loses its ability to hold it over your head. Live your life unapologetically and confidently, with a working understanding of just how good you really are. Right now. As you are. Flaws and all.
I am the author of "I Have A Question...Sprinkles of What My Mother & Life Have Taught Me", written under the pseudonym Clarke James. My passion for empowering others through writing has lead me to become the guest blogger for Twenty20Something.org - one of the nation's premier leadership development organizations for young women as well as Jâ€™Adore Magazine. Follow me on twitter @clarkej and warmnotes.com/blog, or stop by my on-line greeting card boutique, warmnotes.com.