My Workshop on the Huffington Post!

I woke up today and, against my best judgment, grabbed my phone.

Usually, it’s not such a great idea because it’s much better to start my day with some intentionality. With some ritual that centers me, aligns me, connects me to myself and my desires for the day.

But, today was different.

It’s not every day that you wake up to your Self-Appreciation workshop being mentioned in the Huffington Post!

 

When asked about her favorite activity, Lee answered the Self-Appreciation Workshop.

“It was beautiful to see people appreciate certain aspects of their body and then we all went around and commented on each person to let them know what we saw and liked about their body. In a world where we are constantly held to impossible beauty standards and photoshopping and have this culture of body shame, it was a beautiful thing to see women and men only speak lovingly and highly of bodies.”

Perhaps most important, adults felt free and safe to express their emotions without fear of guilt or judgment. “There were a great percentage of men at camp and it was beautiful to witness so many men showing their vulnerability,” Lee added.

 

I taught this particular workshop a couple of weeks ago at Connection Camp, a sleepaway camp for adults that is all about boosting your connection with yourself, with others, with nature, and with your body.

While there were many different workshops, some were a bit more on the fun side and some more on the transformational side.

Mine fell firmly into this last category, as it centered around focused appreciation exercises that eventually led to each person courageously stepping up to share what they appreciate about their body, and then receiving what each person in the group appreciated about their body as well.

Pretty simple, eh?

Yes, but so very powerful!

[I often find the most powerful practices are actually the ones without much hullabaloo].

We are so used to and conditioned to think of and share with others about the parts of our bodies we don’t like, the parts we are so critical about. To speak out loud the parts you do like is a revolutionary act, and actually quite vulnerable.

At some point, the desire to hide comes up, the thought that everyone will think you’re full of yourself or the fear that they won’t like you because of one reason or another.

It’s a very visceral experience.

But then the magic happens when the group gets to share what they appreciate in your body.

It’s not about ‘I love your butt!’

There’s so much more than that. There’s a developing about appreciation for subtler dips, valleys, swells, textures, colors, angularity or curves.

I’m so grateful to everyone that showed up so fully and powerfully for the workshop. It was a pleasure, an honor and a joy to witness each of the participants shine brighter and brighter as they got acknowledged for their already ever-present radiance and inner/outer beauty.

Thanks to Jen Lee for your wonderful words. I’m so happy the workshop had such a positive impact!

Thanks to Taylor Butch for writing the article.

And thanks to Amy Silverman and Jen JJ Kovacevich for putting together such an amazing experience at Connection Camp.

Yay for self-love and connection!

 

 


If you feel you could use a healthier connection to your body, check out my offerings or one of my live weekly classes in NYC (find them in the ‘Upcoming Events’ section of the sidebar).

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Putting the Slow First

As I lay in the sauna with nothing to do except breathe and sweat, I heard it.

It sounded like a whisper at first, but as I noticed it became loud and clear:

You haven’t been paying attention  to me.

That’s what my body was saying.

I was quite surprised. I had been feeling out of alignment and was doing everything I knew to get back into it: eating healthy, exercising, even self-care practices like the sauna…

But it was rote.

I had been going through the motions of what I thought would get me back in touch, the things that had worked in the past.

But I wasn’t really listening.

There was always a barrage of things going through my mind at the same time I did all these things. All the things that I should be doing, that needed to get done.

All the while, my body had been screaming that I needed to slow down but I kept not paying attention because… well, shit needed to get done, bills paid, and slowing down was not an option.

I’d been operating from an ‘I know better’ capacity from my mind, totally immersed on trying to control my experience instead of listening to the wisdom within.

Even I, professing about the wisdom in the body and listening to it, even I fell into this hamster wheel of how things ‘should be’ so I can get the things I want.

I laugh because… Oh, the irony!

I used to teach that slowing down needed to come first and these were the exact things my clients used to tell me.

And I would say that slowing down is how we reconnect and recharge and get clear so all that action is focused instead of all over the place.

Slowing down makes our minds clearer and gets us in touch with another source of intelligence, our bodies. We get more creative and make better decisions which are more fulfilling; we feel more at peace and focused action comes from a place of inspiration instead of from anxiety, stress, and seeking approval.

And it’s still true, but I had forgotten.

Slow and steady wins the race

Slow and steady wins the race

I hadn’t been trusting that wisdom in my body, but when somehow I heard that faint whisper in the sauna… tears started streaming down my cheeks because I remembered.

Re-membered.

It’s not worth it to get the things you want, but not be able to enjoy them because your thoughts are telling you something is not perfect or to get on to the next thing that just appeared in your list.

There’s no enjoyment in that, and life will always feel like a never-ending list of tasks if lived that way.

I’m not bashing the mind; it’s an incredible tool. But it needs to be applied where appropriate and not where it’s not.

And I’ve not been doing a good job of distinguishing that.

Sometimes we need to buckle down and just get shit done even if it’s not what we feel like doing, but that’s not where the difference lies.

The difference is in whether we’re taking action out of creativity or out of trying to compensate for a perceived lack.

The first one will feel great even if we don’t feel like doing the proverbial ass-in-chair method, the second one will always feel draining in the end because we’re chasing the dragon of approval, ours or someone else’s.

Practicing slowing down and putting everything that needs to ‘get done’ aside is an excellent way to fill ourselves up with that approval and self-acceptance that we don’t need to be anything other than what we are right now, so that our actions can come from a place of offering instead of taking.

And so what if progress is slower? It’s still progress and it will feel a hell of a lot better throughout the journey and when we get ‘there’.

It’s time to put the slow first.

Will you join me?


LovelinessFor more of my personal experiences navigating the full-on intensity of what it takes to have an exciting, scrumptious life that makes you want to lick your fingers, subscribe to my blog.
And if you’re ready to take the plunge, step out of your box, and commit to living your best life ever, go ahead: email me to melody@nakedwellness.com to set up your complimentary connection session. I might poke… but only out of love.

I would love to know what comes up for you when you’re asked to slow down.

For me, the fear is that I won’t get the things I want and I’ll have wasted my life doing nothing. Yet I’ve tried it both ways and seen that it’s not worth it when I get what I want but cannot appreciate it.

There is a precious integration that happens when we can get our ass-in-chair out of inspiration and commitment instead of a perceived sense that we lack something to be lovable or successful.

Your turn to share!