A safe and brave space to be in honesty and intimacy, the uncomfortable and honey sweet, the need and heat and complex realities of living embodied in a body that knows pain and illness, trauma and pleasure, the geography of contradictions
and unanswerable questions and lush loving-kindness.
Substance and Specifics
Four weeks of safe space and the freedom of living and loving in the reality of the body’s multitudes.
Love Letters arriving in your inbox Monday/Wednesday/Friday, complete with reflections and experience of the complexity and capacity of embodiment in its many multitudes: chronic pain, trauma, illness, sexuality, disability, pleasure, consent and comfort and creation.
There will be explorations and inquiry, video, prompts and questions for wrestling and reflection, poetry and recipes for magic and rebellion.
Two group Video Calls.
A private Facebook group for us to connect, share, hear our own voices and witness one another as we enter into inquiry and kindness together.
These are the themes I work towards and through, the stained glass through which I project my light, both in my life and in my writing. I want everyone to feel safe with me and I want to create safe spaces in the world; I want everyone to be able to create their own identity and live their lives without fear. I want people to have their boundaries respected, and for everyone to feel comfortable to assert those boundaries, no matter the situation.
It's interesting to apply those themes to the body. As someone who lives in a physically disabled body, one that has been hospitalized for depression, and one that has lifelong debilitating anxiety, I have struggled to assert a positive identity for myself within the current body positivity movements, which doesn’t really seem to encompass a disabled perspective beyond what Stella Young called inspiration porn. I have felt anger more often than not at having my experience minimized, cosseted by people who wanted me to feel better but didn’t allow for a dialogue about the complexity of living in a different body.
What does it mean when you, as a soul, would in no way consent to the things your body is doing? When your body doesn’t make you feel safe? How can we love ourselves and yet allow for every feeling, knowing it is part of the spectrum? The space for this course is meant to be your home. Think of it as having common areas if you need and private rooms with doors if you need to be alone to process. Isabel and I will be here with daily prompts and love letters, meant to engender discussion and exploration, to start conversations and to witness.
I entered into the world in a body, this body. And it is here that I have known what it is to be human in all the fear and stitched together threads, the brokenness and pleasure, the hip hurt that will never leave and the cancer cut out and the way everything was illuminated when I walked into her arms of safety and belonging. My body is not an apology or a mistake or an afterthought. It is not lesser than the spirit or open to the interpretation of others or a thing to be possessed and then discarded. It is my home. We have a forty-year history, and our relationship is still evolving, emerging, becoming.
And, as one who has lived and worked closely with others in the thresholds of embodiment for over a decade, deeply rooted in consent and bodily integrity and the gapped spaces of the unanswerable questions, I have a strong desire to create spaces where we can come together in honesty and drop the pretense that are easy answers or simple solutions to the body’s multitudes.
Because, there is a great deal of assumptions offered out in the name of self-help and body-love talk.
We are told so many things.
That we can control the body.
That if it breaks or gets sick or doesn’t perform to the standards given that we have failed or done something wrong, “attracted” it into our lives or are required to learn some sort of moral lesson.
That we should change our body or we should heal our body or we should stop trying to change our body and just love ourselves exactly as we are, though no one seems to question this incessant need for authority over the body, how being told that to do at all is itself the problem.
That we should meet the beauty standards. That we should refuse the beauty standards.
That we should push harder and value performance and do whatever it takes, however costly to the body, in order to get the grade or complete the project or win the race.
That the body is meant to be policed, monitored, evaluated, measured.
That other people’s ideas and advice are the answer or will the “the way.”
That there IS a way, a right way.
That if we just think positive thoughts or eat the right foods e will be saved or spared.
That anger is bad, protest is dangerous.
That softness is exposing.
The truth is, I love my body and I do not always like how it feels to be here, to stay. And learning how to stay here, with myself and in this body, is the one of the most radical acts I have ever done. The truth is, the idea or assumption that I am required to love everything or like everything only serves to further deny the integrity of the voice of the body that speaks true. The truth is, my own body contains multitudes, and I am here, learning to listen and love true.
In a world of should and have-tos and don’t you dare, I would like to create space to speak in a different voice, and invite others to be in a collective in a way that honors the individual bodily integrity of each person. That lets us listen deeply to our own yes and no. That allows for the nuanced particulars of kindness and care, protest and deep engagement, inquiry and questioning everything we’ve been told, honoring our own contradictions and ways of arrival. Home.
So that is what we are creating here, offering, inviting you into.
With love and defiance,