because it’s about ease
the more you think about it
the harder it becomes
and if you have to force it
you’re probably doing it wrong
or at least there is probably an alternative
that requires less force.
We know this
from watching people kick tires and
we know this from
feeling our muscles cry out
when we forget to shift our weight
when we lash out in anger
when we hold on too tight.
We know this.
We know that pleasure and ease
are indicators of health.
We know that when the car doesn’t creak or groan
it is well-tended
We know that we are not machines
but we are like machines;
that we need oil and gentle manuvers
and not so much of the kicking and swearing
that so often rides around in our heads
like luggage strapped awkwardly to the top
of an overfull station wagon
bound for the other coast.
that water seeks the easiest path
that air takes the path of least resistance
that children will run everywhere
but adults will wear a rut in the gentlest route;
we know that we are wired for efficiency
that ease and efficiency are two faces of one thing
coming and going.
We know that pleasure and desire are two faces
of one thing:
receiving and wanting.
And we know
that if we take an extra moment
to look at the trees
we will find the most easeful path
and take it
without even trying.
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Here’s what I believe:
it’s time for our bodies to belong to us.
It is time.
We have spent generations letting someone else have their way with our bodies. From “lie there and think of the Empire” to slavery to corsetry to virginity to working too hard for too long for too little, and even to substituting money for the things that we naturally value most: health, interconnection, joy, and pleasure, we have subordinated our bodies to someone else’s agenda for
WAY too long.
And it’s time to change.
This is about groundedness and power.
This is about strength.
This is about sovereignty of the most
This is about you and YOUR body.
Your right to your body.
Your right to your health.
Your right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness–all things, by the way, that are grounded in your body, not in your mind.
This is about the expression of the spirit that comes through the flesh and I tell you,
It is time.
It is time.
So where do we begin?
This is not a story that begins in one place with one thread and follows neatly through until you reach one conclusion.
No. this is about bodies. and bodies are complicated and lush and wonderful and much more interesting than that.
So we could begin here: with food.
we could begin here: with clothing.
we could begin here: with touch.
we could begin here: with sex.
But the questions are the same:
*do you like it?
*do you want it?
*and most important: who is in charge?
Because you DESERVE to be in charge of your own body. You deserve to make your own damn decisions about your own damn skin. This is yours. It was yours the day you were born and it will be yours until you relinquish it to the earth and sky and air and water from which you came. It is a tool, but it is also you, there is no separation between you and this stuff of you, this skin and bone and flesh and blood and no one should be making decisions that are not in your best interest.
Not even your mother’s ghost, may she rest in peace, or your best friend, or your third grade teacher–
and certainly CERTAINLY not a clothing designer who has never met you or an advertising firm that only cares about the bottom line or a community leader who lived and led five thousand years ago.
Certainly, absolutely not.
this is about you.
this is about getting you back in the driver’s seat.
because that is where you belong.
And here’s the secret:
when you are driving, and you are REALLY driving:
you will not drive yourself into a lake. You will not ignore that grinding noise. You will not close the windows and turn off the air conditioning when it’s hot and sunny. You won’t.
Unless you have a reason.
This is about knowing when the reasons are real,
And when they are inventions of a world that wants to be in control.
It’s a load of hooey. It’s bullshit.
So I’m calling bullshit.
This is about the power that comes
from knowing who you are
and what you want
and taking care of yourself
so you can be the shining essence of YOU
so you can bring YOUR gifts
so you can share YOUR brilliance
because that thing about oxygen masks
and putting yours on first?
It is true.
And in the rush to be overworked and overbusy and
Frighteningly overwhelmingly important,
That we do our best work from a place of clarity
That we are the best partner,
The best parent,
The best friend,
The best gift to the world
When we are first a gift
And we reach deep in the earth
And we connect
And we reach up to the sky
And we connect.
And between heaven and the soil beneath our feet
We shine with the light of a thousand suns.
When we are depressed
We stop wanting to do
The things that make us feel fabulous.
We lose touch with pleasure
And it becomes a cycle
That keeps us from joy.
But joy can also become a cycle
And breaking the loop
Breaking the loop the first time
And this is about revolution.
Knowing it, finding it, embracing it, honoring it—
Creativity and sex
Kick off the same hormonal cascade
Which is why excitement
Feel pretty much the same.
(It’s true: check in with yourself
The next time you do something awesome.
It feels like the end of a perfect first date.)
It boils down to this:
Your power to change the world
By being absolutely yourself
Has a wormhole,
A secret passage,
A hidden door.
And that hidden door
And THAT is why
Your pleasure matters.
It is time.
Your body belongs to you.
My body belongs to me.
This is how the world becomes a better place. By putting us back in charge.
One quick example:
How many people do you know who feel bad that they own more than one size of clothing?
Bodies change. It’s how they are. Cells die and are reborn, things grow, other things shrink, we adapt to whatever the external reality is. Hormones, stress, food, weather, economics–all impact our bodies.
Why do we think we should be the same shape all the time?
Because our clothes say so. Most of our clothes are cut and stitched so that they only fit properly if we’re a certain shape. We spend hours of our lives and thousands of dollars trying to find the perfect thing to fit our shape. We are invested in that shape the minute we start shopping for it. And then, you know, things happen. We change. And now we have to release whatever investment we built around the shape we were, and make a new investment in a new shape. All the time. Confusing! Frustrating! Disorienting!
Imagine if the clothes weren’t in charge.
Imagine if we were in charge.
Imagine a Star Trek-like world where we could simply ask the computer to make us a different set of clothes–ones that fit TODAY. And then the old ones would be recycled at the molecular level.
We actually do have a bit of a choice. In some places and times, people wear draped clothing. In other places and times, people wear very loose clothing. In other places and times people have used laces and buckles to adjust the clothing to fit their bodies.
Ironically, even corsets are laced into shape, because they have to fit perfectly, or they don’t work.
Imagine if your pants adjusted to you. All the time. Imagine.
Who would you be if your clothes always fit and looked fabulous no matter what you ate for dessert?
If the tape measure weren’t your gauge, how would you know if you were healthy?
When we know we are in charge, we pay more attention. We listen more closely. We ask more questions. We look at the long-term. We take more responsibility because we are in the position of adults, not being infantalized by an overbearing matrix of advertising and social pressures.
And when we are sovereign in our own bodies, when we know our bodies belong to us, the world changes one cell at a time.
We become firmer about important boundaries and more fluid about other things. We communicate better. We learn more. We have more grace and more peace and less stress.
The world is a different place.
You deserve to live in a body that belongs to you.
And it is time.
It IS time.
listen here: bodies manifesto
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