Monday, July 4, 2011

Golden Laws to Greatness: #3 Learn Your Body

Learn Your Body

This is how I look without makeup
And with no bra my ninny's sag down low
My hair ain't never hung down to my shoulders
And it might not grow
Ya' never know
                                                                             Erykah Badu "Cleva"

I had one of those mothers that gave me little instruction on my body.  One day she just told me that my body was a temple and I should treat it as such.  Well, I quite was not able to conceptualize my body being a temple at age nine, and would go clueless about my body for about ten years more.

Many black women were taught various portions of learning our bodies.  Some were given birth control before they were having sex and were damn near pilfered if they even thought about intercourse.  Others were shown basic things like wearing sanitary pads, bras, and matching underwear.  Some with the help of women folk, even went through rites of passage to their womanhood.  Unfortunately, most of us walk through life not knowing much about our bodies—meaning the physical, spiritual, and emotional components. 

First, let's be clear, black women's bodies have been commodified. Our bodies have been turned into a product to exploit and fuck rather than be worshipped and adored. This is waaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy before hip-hip, so please do not get it twisted.  We have abused for so long that abuse has become our natural infliction.  Now many of us have been shamed into knowing the difference between our nipples from our third chakra.

Then, there is this twisted interpretation of religion that distances women more from knowing themselves.  All of our traditions and customs have been so suppressed by anti-African, imbalanced, and synthetic versions of spirituality, black women are walking around with wombs full of fibroids, various types of thyroid conditions, prolapsed uteruses, and depressed sensuality trying to pray all of their preventable ailments away.

I am not casting judgment, but just being true to me, because I too fall in that category.  I am a black woman who is also learning her body.  I've been in uncomfortable situations and confused moments as well that a doctor, or priestess, or my mama could not explain.  It is because my body has its own blueprint, its own map that only I could decode and understand.

Herbs, counselors, priests, books, crystals, and yoga classes are all tools that we can use to learn our bodies.  We experiment or we test these various rituals and places of knowledge by applying them into our lives.  They teach us how to understand; however, everything isn't for everybody—meaning what works for me maybe different when you try to apply it.  That's when the learning process begins.

Many women have told me to be still, I do that though sometimes I fall short.  However, often when I do, in my stillness my body comes alive and tells me to be active. So I run on the seashore and listen to the melodies of ocean, I open my legs to the breeze and let nature cleanse my center, I walk on the cool sand and massage my toes.  There I feel the aches in my womb or the peace of knees.

Like you I am still learning and refining.

Destination:  Egypt. In the antiquities of this spiritual place the term "Know Thyself" was the mantra for all.  Discover the pillar, the cornerstone to all that you see today.

Alternate Destination: Sedona, AZ is known for red rocks mountains and the Kachina indigenous people who have houses in the cliffs like the Dogon of Mali.  
Lifestyle: Belly Dancers of Color Fest & Soul Yoga Fest, May 23 – 26, Washington DC  

Alternate Lifestyle: Purchase Moor Hips Bellydance Instructional DVD Vol. 1 by Dr. Sunyatta Amen

Beauty: Unrefined Coconut oil for hair, face, and body

Health: Smile at yourself and others more. The facial movements in a smile bring internal relief.  Nurture a house plant, or find a tree, flower, or some vegetation that you greet, it will send you back love.

4 ish talking intellectuals holla at a sista:

Mildred said...

Highly recommend Our Bodies, Our Selves from the Boston Women's Health Collective.

Reggie said...

There is nothing more beautiful to me than the feminine form.


If there is something on this planet more beautiful than that, I haven't seen it.

bayoucreole said...

Beauty: Unrefined Coconut oil for hair, face, and body

This one I've just discovered. Now, I use nothing else.
It is a process but, I'm still learning.

Eco.Soul.Intellectual said...

thank you for the suggestions and compliments. yes a woman's body is complex and beautiful.