Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Healing Our Stories

The body is a sacred garment. It’s your first and last garment; it is what you enter life in and what you depart life with, and it should be treated with honor.
~ Martha Graham

As we consider the gifts and lessons of the Sixth House, we are invited to look closely at how we live in and honor our bodies. Or how we don’t.

Show of hands .. How many folks reading this can honestly say you love your body and have a great self-image?

Well, yes, that’s what I thought.  A few maybe. And possibly it was not always so.  For the majority, though, I think it is very hard to, in a culture of commercialism and Photoshopped people who are often as fake and distorted as Barbie dolls.

For both men and women, many messages we get of what is beautiful, what is healthy, and what is normal are painful and pretty impossible to achieve.

But here’s a place to start.

Gloria Steinem tells us, “If you can learn to like how you look, and not the way you think you look, it can set you free.”

Also shedding much-needed light, Sarah Ban Breathnach writes, “The time has come for us to realize that until we work on increasing our self-esteem by loving ourselves in small ways, we can’t begin changing ourselves for the better in big ways.

“We must start by choosing to break the self-destructive cycle of unrealistic expectations, especially our own.”

What picture is in your head of what you should look like, feel like, be able to do with your body? Where did it come from?

Do you remember the first time you became self-conscious about your physical body? Perhaps it was a powerful, maybe painful revelation about how other people responded to your appearance, attractiveness, or prowess. How old were you? What were the circumstances?

More important, what was your take-away?  How did it affect you?

I invite you to share your stories.  Our stories can reveal and then they can heal.

More to come…

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  • June 18, 2011, 2:14 pm Terri Young

    I just found your site and just wanted to say I’m loving it! Timely too, I’ve been suffering with Pluto transiting my 6th House now for about 7 years. The last two have been particularly rough. Your question makes me think back to my first moment of awkwardness…I was very young, I think maybe even only 4 or 5 years old! I was teased incessantly – because of good ol red hair and freckles. Became highly self-conscious. Then, when I got older, I realized there was actually beauty and power in what I had and I embraced it. Now, however, as these exterior traits fade away I am faced with another challenge of how to let go of them gracefully with aging. How ironic that I became so attached to the things I once despised. What a trickster the mind can be! Thank you for helping to illuminate. Namaste!

  • June 18, 2011, 2:53 pm Regina

    Growing up, I had a terrible self-image. I had been teased by my peers in the usual way of school-children, and I had always thought I was ugly. Then about a year ago or so, I was looking at photos of me at that time, and I realized (with surprise) that I wasn’t ugly at all back then! I was a beautiful little blond, healthy, sun-tanned girl-child with big green eyes and the happiest grin in the world. How could I ever have thought I was ugly?

    Like Terri, I also have Pluto traveling through my 6th House, and it’s made me realize that my body is a Temple, and should be treated as such. For instance, I was doing some healing energy work for a friend not long ago, and afterwards I felt almost ill. I realized that it was because I hadn’t fed my body properly that day with life-energizing foods, like fresh veggies & fruits, etc.

    It made me fully realize that I needed to treat my body as the sacred vessel that it is, and nourish it with good foods brimming with life energy. If I was going to facilitate healing and life-energy for others, I needed to fill my own body with it as well.

    Very simple knowledge, really, but truly enlightening and healing!

  • June 19, 2011, 8:58 am Beth

    Thank you both for these stories..
    The healing journey is indeed often an ironic one, as you have pointed out, Terri. (And by the way, Welcome! I am so glad you’re here!)

    Regina – you are so right.. it is the simplest thing, but yet so easy to forget! Every summer, when so many lush, fresh, Farmers Market veggies and fruits are available, I am reminded how super that one simple, delicious dietary shift can make me feel!

  • June 19, 2011, 9:46 am Madeline

    I was chubby growing up. Then around age 38 I decided to get “really fit..” and experience what it would be like to have a really “great” body. I worked out an hour and a half a day and got down to the cherished “size 8.” Actually,I garnered more unwanted attention than I cared for, when I had that body and it was uncomfortable.Over the years I quit having time to work out 90 minutes a day,menopause hit and I reclaimed my size 14 body, the place where it goes all by itself when I eat pretty decent and walk a few times a week, and I’m pretty good here. A few soft pooches for grandchildren to climb onto, (when I HAVE THEM that is..), a sagging breast which has nourished the next generation, and a sense of “round” vs. “chiseled” suit cronehood just fine. Looser clothes are more comfy! And blessing the fact I am HEALTHY ..all add up to a happy place…

  • June 19, 2011, 10:09 am Maria

    Thank you, Terri and Regina. Until I read your posts, I was wondering if I had the courage to admit that I, too, was a pretty little girl. This is a VERY loaded subject for me.

    I remember the first time my father said I was pretty. I was 11. My cheek had been badly bitten by a dog the day before, and was a mess. My father was walking around the house loudly lamenting “my beautiful baby is a scarface.” I was beautiful? I didn’t know that. Oh wait — WAS. That was over. I was never taken to the doctor for the bite — my mom put bacitracin all over my cheek and that was that.

    I remember being stared at by people at the emergency room that same day, when I was in the waiting room with my siblings because my sister had fallen and hurt her arm. It took me approximately 35 years to realize there was something terribly wrong in that.

    I was also physically abused as a child. As a result, I still struggle with treating my body well. I’ve had eating disorders, taken jobs where I was expected to work long hours with no breaks, hurt myself on jobs instead of saying “no, I won’t lift that,” worked myself into illness. All to “prove” I was good enough. Good enough for who?

    As I get older, my view of what I look like is constantly shifting because, inevitably, there are changes. But I think, as I become more comfortable with who I am on the inside, acceptance of what I look like becomes easier. As I becomes (at least a little) better at dealing with change, I look at the physical changes and I am more okay with them. On good days, anyway. 🙂

  • June 19, 2011, 10:14 am Maria

    P.S. I forgot to mention that I had a very bad scar for a few years — the awkward ones between 11 and 13 (that was fun) — but by high school my cheek healed to the point where I’d have to point out the marks left behind and even then they are very small.

  • June 19, 2011, 6:38 pm Beth

    Oh, you all.. you bring tears to my eyes.. Such courage here, and such a lot of unfair suffering!

    My sister sent me this very interesting article today, about fathers and daughters. You might find it interesting in this context, Maria.

  • June 30, 2011, 2:30 pm Arianwen

    Dear Beth and all, I’ve been following you for a while, but this is the first time I write, because I wanted to share how I began to appreciate myself, and my body. Up until recently, I was always teased for being overweight, by parents, family, schoolmates… even though there were times I was pretty, nobody ever told me so (not even my husband!) except a very dear friend whom I did not believe as she was the only one to say so.

    Then one wonderful summer day I stripped down naked before a large mirror, and looked at myself without any judging. Suddenly, from I have no idea where, a flood of words came to my own lips — it was the story of my body. I heard myself telling myself how all that I am is written in my body: there is my mother in my eyes and hair, and my father in my teeth; my children have drawn stretch-marks across my belly, and there is a birthmark I share with all of them; I have a faint scar where my cat scratched me, and two burns I got when cooking large lunches for friends; a small chicken-pox button, and a mark I got falling off the bicycle once. All of my body was my own story!

    I still get tears in my eyes when I remember that afternoon when I learned to love my life through my body, and my body though my life — and learned to trust a good friend. Although I have never had more pounds than right now, I have never felt as beautiful and as fulfilled, and I have never loved myself more… and guess what — it shows!

  • June 30, 2011, 6:04 pm Beth

    This is so powerful and beautiful, I have tears in MY eyes now.. thank you for sharing this.. I am so glad the blinders before your eyes fell away and you could see at last the truth of your TRUE beauty.

    These words of power and healing are a gift and reminder for us ALL.
    Thank you for speaking up and sharing this — I know others need to hear this, too.

    Blessings to you, Arianwen.

  • July 1, 2011, 4:09 pm Arianwen

    Thank you, Beth, for giving us the opportunity to speak out. I appreciate your work very much, though I have a limited access to it. May Brighid bless you, and heal all.