Kavanna House

Blog
Jun
11

body talk

 

We say things to ourselves we would never say to someone else. Yep, I do. Especially to my body.

 

Me (checking myself out in a full-length mirror): From slender willow to dumpy (expanding) pear … sigh.

 

Me (surveying my varicose veins): You should do the world a favor and keep those legs out of sight.

 

Me (pondering my belly the week before our beach vacation): Yuck. You used to be flat. Now you’re gross.

 

I know I am not alone. Taryn Brumfitt, the Australian founder of The Body Image Movement and maker of the documentary “Embrace,” has found that women of widely varying body types — even those with bodies that win competitions! — tend to loathe their bodies and describe them in derogatory ways. Taryn’s challenge to turn from shaming our bodies to embracing them has stuck with me since I saw her film last fall. God has also joined the conversation.

 

“Dear daughter,” I sense Love saying, “I made your body. It’s exquisitely designed for intricate function. I find it pleasing. Might you leave off disparaging it? Try treasuring this gift I gave to shelter your soul and host my Spirit?”

 

I cannot claim (yet) some sweeping release from trash-talking my body. But I did notice some new, kinder thoughts one morning not long ago. I was midway up the big hill near the end of a morning run, around the place where my lungs start burning and my legs start groaning and I start calling myself names like “creaky old wimp.”

 

I heard myself thinking, in rhythm with my steps …

 

Thank you, lungs.

Thank you, legs.

You can do it.

Thank you, lungs.

Thank you, legs.

You’re amazing.

 

Panting and plodding, I thought of the thousands of life-sustaining breaths my seldom appreciated lungs have drawn in and the thousands of miles my varicose-veined legs have carried me. And I was grateful for my body. Pleased with my body.

 

Seems that Taryn and God are tag-teaming to prompt a journey into befriending and appreciating my one-of-a-kind, fearfully and wonderfully made, (deep breath) beautiful body.

 

One morning of kind thoughts — only a baby step for sure. But still a step. You steppin’ this way, too? I’d love some company.

 

Photo Credit: Nita Landis


Nita Landis loves the sound of waves, the fragrance of honeysuckle, and the sweet cold crunch of watermelon. She finds joy in offering spiritual direction, healing care, and words that shed light and give life.

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Jun
04

moving toward

My wife and I were dreaming as we shared dinner on the front porch of our craftsman bungalow home. She became excited about some plants that might attract hummingbirds.  The idea held more whimsy and flair than intention… I liked it too. Clematis would take years to establish, other plants would have to be ordered. Whimsy and flair pined for a quicker solution. So, I began to imagine window boxes on the rail with something quick growing. What about morning glories? Who knows? Let’s try…it's just an experiment.

 

I brought home seeds; she started them indoors. We found cheap window boxes, set them on the rail, filled them with soil, and then transplanted the little plants outside after the danger of frost passed.

 

This Monday, on my way out, I saw that our baby vines were lifting the first hint of tendrils out of the center of their being. I smiled and noticed there was nothing for them to climb. That evening, I installed cup hooks on the soffit above the flower boxes, and laced a series of vertical fishing lines down into the soil. Just to be ready.

 

The very next morning a few of the plants had begun to arch toward the strings. Delighted and curious with the bend of the morning glories toward their support, I wondered...how did they know? The strings were new arrivals, clear, nearly invisible, but the slender arc of each plant was seeking...

 

By evening two tender tendrils had already begun to anchor. Delicate, fragile, first twirls.

 

Wednesday morning I went out smiling again, several curls in the space of one day. Before leaving the porch I stopped and stared intently as if to SEE some tiny movement. I couldn’t detect any, but it IS happening.

 

Right now.

 

As I write (and as you read)

without my attention.

Hmm…it amazes me.

 

And I wonder, how did MY SOUL know to bend toward the divine, 

toward relationships, toward mentors, undetectable, nearly invisible  trellis

kindred spirits, friendships, fellow travelers,

small gatherings,

quiet conversations.

 

Hmm… amazes me I go out smiling, again.

 

 

Photo Credit: Todd Long


Todd Long, a graduate of The Intimacy Project, loves helping souls toward God through yoga (www.prayingbody.com) and spiritual direction.  He and Cynthia married in 1985, live in Cincinnati, and have three children and three grandchildren.

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May
29

daring greatly

 

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

-Theodore Roosevelt

 

May we remember those who have gone before us,

honor those who are among us,

who dare greatly-

in life shattering, limb sacrificing ways,

and in unseen, unknown, one foot in front of the other ways,

whether militarily

or in the everyday act

of living

and loving fully.


Nicole Mills is an oncology nurse, cancer survivor, nerd, and contemplative. She has a secret desire to be a nun or double-dutch jump rope champion. Not being Catholic or able to jump two ropes poses significant hurdles, but she remains hopeful. Visit Nicole at www.noticeandwonder.com to learn more about her beautifully messy journey and her whimsically quirky spirit.

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