Uncategorized

Your body is a perfect temple…now

BKM-20180531-0303 (1)
[Image: A side view of a woman of color laying on a massage table. Marieke, a white woman with a fat body, is standing with her hands on the woman’s head as she gives her Reiki treatment.] PC: BKM Photography at Amber & Honey. Model: Linda Mortenson of Little Red Kit
[CW: Mention of weight fluctuations]
 
Loving yourself is a radical act, especially when that includes loving a body that is fat.


 
Over the past 10 years or so my body and I have been on quite a journey. I discovered the body positivity movement and that was one of my first forays into online activism and social justice. But it was deeply personal because I carried a lot of wounds around my weight and size. I released a lot of society’s expectations, family expectations, and rejected the diet industry. 


 
My body has fluctuated a lot since then as well. Pregnancy in particular started a rollercoaster of weight fluctuations. But through it all, I stayed pretty body positive. In fact, pregnancy and nursing gave me a lot of respect for what my body could do, despite some difficulties through both.


 
I’ve also fluctuated between loving my body, loving my body and wanting it to change, being okay with my body and wanting it to change, and moments of frustration that I’m at my highest non-pregnant adult weight.


 
This morning while in the Akashic Records, I heard “Love your body and it will turn to a deeper love of yourself”. It was a reminder that I need to love my body unconditionally. Treat it gently, take good care of it (regardless of my composition), do things that make me feel good.


 
The body is the container that holds our truest self, our energy, our vibrancy, and the way we connect with others. I have heard people use the idea of the body being a temple as a way to shame and say that we therefore need to spend all this time keeping it beautiful and pristine (meaning: eat a certain way and work out so you look like a model). But that’s a lie! Our bodies are beautiful, pristine temples ALL THE TIME. Yes, give it a good cleaning regularly, take care of it as best you can. But the main purpose of a temple is that it holds something sacred. It is what it contains that makes it a temple, not what it looks like. 


 
So, love yourself. Love the body that holds the sacredness of you. It is the perfect body for you at this moment. It may change as you change, and that’s okay too.
 
BKM-20180531-0897
Consciousness, Free Your Voice, Personal Writings, Poetry

[Poem] The Moment

jonas-weckschmied-117633-unsplash.jpg

I wake up and I feel the heaviness settle in
discouragement
disillusionment
wondering… why?
what am I doing wrong?

Tears fall and I must decide
to change
to leave
or
to accept
this

I step outside… to change
I breathe in the crisp morning air
chaos surrounds me
cars start
school children leave
sirens race past
insects devour plants

Yet my mind becomes quiet
I feel like the eye of the storm
then
the cacophony surrounding me stills
my heart is stilled
peace is in the morning air
joy is in the dew on the grass

I am joy.
I am love.
I am the calm in the storm.

================================

© 2018 Marieke Schwartz

May be freely shared with proper attribution and link back

The Moment (1).png

Free Your Voice, Video, Voice Work

Discovering Your Voice

In the previous article, I shared a way for you to Ground Your Voice – the foundation of Free Your Voice sessions.

There are four primary elements to the voice work: Grounding, Discovering, Freeing, and Balancing.

Initial sessions typically address Grounding and Discovering to varying degrees. As you build that foundation (and depending on your goals and skills), future sessions will delve in to more Freeing and Balancing work.

This video demonstrates the expansive work of discovering your voice and its capabilities, range, and power.

 

Book a free info session here to learn more.

How do you feel after doing this exercise? Let me know how this was helpful to you!

Free Your Voice, Video, Voice Work

Grounding Your Voice

Free Your Voice sessions are something to be experienced because the magic happens when you go through the process. Sessions include energy healing and intuitive voice work.

There are four primary elements to the voice work: Grounding, Discovering, Freeing, and Balancing.

Initial sessions typically address grounding and discovering to varying degrees. As you build that foundation (and depending on your goals and skills), future sessions will delve in to more Freeing and Balancing work.

This video demonstrates the foundational work of grounding your energy and connecting to your deepest, most efficient breathing.

Book a free info session here to learn more.

How do you feel after doing this exercise? Let me know how this was helpful to you!

Learn how to Discover Your Voice in the next post!

Free Your Voice, LGBTQ+, Personal Writings, Sexuality, Socal Justice, Spirituality

Sexuality and the Divine Part 2: My own journey of identity

Pansexuality cover

Part 1 was all about “other” people and general concepts. But now it’s time to get personal. I’ll just come out and say it…I’ve recently discovered that I am pansexual and demisexual. If you’re not in the LGBTQIAP+ community, you may have no idea what that means, but let me share my personal journey:

When it comes to gender, I have identified as female my whole life and considered myself strongly feminine overall, but I recognized that I still had some traditionally “masculine” personality traits according to cultural definitions, and I eventually embraced that. Regarding sexuality, I identified as heterosexual and wasn’t open to thinking beyond that. After all, I married a man at age 22, have been happily married, and don’t feel like I need anything more. There was no “need” to think about it further. Heterosexual, box checked. Done.

Yet, looking back on my friendships and relationships, through much of my life I tended to have one really close friend at a time. Part of it was life circumstances, and part of it was just personality and the way I tended to connect with people. Most often it was women, but sometimes it was men. With my friends who were male, there would inevitably be a point where I would experience attraction. With some of my female friends, if I’m honest with myself, the same thing would happen, but I didn’t allow myself to go there, thought I was confused, or just lonely or something and my hormones were playing tricks on me. First because I was too repressed about sexuality in general, and then later because I was married anyway (and personally, monogamy is important to me). And now, the majority of the female friends I’m still in contact with identify as queer in some form. That could be coincidence, but it speaks to the fact that I easily became close with people who didn’t fit into heterosexual or gender norms.

Honestly, I can’t remember what it was that got me thinking about it, but a few months ago something triggered me into thinking that perhaps I’m not actually heterosexual. I debated for a while whether it was actually worth exploring this because, well, how would it make my life different? I’m not planning on exploring this in terms of relationships or lifestyle changes. I would still hold the same privilege as a heterosexual woman, especially if I kept it to myself.

But a friend encouraged me to look into it for myself because regardless of how one acts on it, every part of our identity matters.

Additionally, I believe that when we explore all parts of ourselves and hold all those parts with compassion and love (but without attachment, because we all learn and change as part of the growth process), we are able to show up in the world as our full selves. I’ve chosen to talk about my own story within the context of sexuality because I desire to be an ally to ALL outside heterosexual norms, and how can I justify keeping quiet about my own identity in that case?

So I started to let it simmer in the back of my mind over the past few months. Then a storyline from a character in the Netflix show “Dear White People” got me thinking more in depth. It was his story of discovering who he was (a gay man) that made me realize I could partially relate to his experiences. Oddly enough (especially considering I don’t watch that much TV, lol), another TV show, Queer Eye, affected me in a round about way, in particular the episode with Mama Tammye where Christians embraced these men who are Queer and proud of it. It was oddly healing for ME to watch those stories, especially since part of my decision to stop going to church was because of lack of acceptance for LGBTQIAP+ people and the lack of ability to be in leadership while being open about sexuality that’s not heterosexual.

So, after talking with my best friend and doing some internet research, I learned that there is such a thing as experiencing sexual attraction primarily AFTER developing a strong bond with someone (demisexuality). And something called pansexuality, which is generally considered to mean sexual attraction regardless of gender (it can also include romantic attraction, also called panromantic). It was a huge AHA moment to realize my own sexuality falls within range of these identities on the spectrum of sexuality. I think part of why I specifically identify as pan, and why I desire to ensure I’m inclusive of all identities, is because ultimately we’re all just human. I have strong values of connectedness and love for all people, and a desire to help people become empowered to live life as their authentic selves. My sexuality is basically an extension of these other values.

I now find myself in a place where I am actually part of the LGBTQPIA+ community, but my lived experience affords me a lot of privilege and I have to recognize that.

I’ll still be partnering with folx in the community to ensure I’m fully inclusive and to keep me honest about my privilege. I am still working towards being an ally to all LGBTQIAP+ folx, and what language matters for those who don’t identify as masculine or feminine, regardless of how they show up in the world. I know there will still be a process of dismantling the heterosexual and gender binary norms I grew up with. But I’m really glad I am at a point where I am embracing my own unique sexuality and am learning to be honest and unapologetic about who I am in all ways.

We all have the qualities of God, and God is within all of us. If we reject other people simply based on their identity, or part of it, we are rejecting God’s creation. We are rejecting the Divine in someone else, and that means we ultimately are rejecting the Divine within ourselves as well.

When we stand up for others, we are not only standing in solidarity, but are taking a stand for the Divine within others. We’re ALL connected, regardless of belief system, religion, or creed. Our primary focus should ALWAYS be LOVE LOVE and more LOVE.

~Marieke

I’d love to hear your thoughts or your story! Share below, on Facebook, or shoot me an email (unless you’re gonna be mean, then just write in your journal or don’t say anything).

Want to dive into this more? Check out this article by Victoria Crossman: http://victoriacrossman.com/gender-constructs-archetypes-colonization-energy/

Also, a big thank you to Mason Aid for reviewing this article series and providing feedback! Mason provides consulting and education for businesses who wish to be more inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community.