My son was place on my bare chest the first moment he was born. We bonded for over an hour, skin to skin, before he was weighed, checked, and monitored. It was one of the most euphoric moments of my life. Birthing, bonding, feeding, and connecting with my son.
I believe that touch is so important and vital that the same must apply to ourselves. Bonding with our own body, self, knowing every bit of our skin. Do you connect with your physical body through touch? Palms pressing into skin knowing the details where it creases, rolls, dimples, marks, stretches, and folds. As it ages and changes, from lowered parts or expanding curves or missing bits. From natural descents or life-saving graces. It’s important to know your body, to feel your body, and to love your body.
We have to get in touch with every aspect of ourselves. At the end of classes, I often I guide students to touch their bellies and hold themselves. Everyone in a fetal position, the starting position of life, of love. Conception, birth, new. How often do we cradle and hug ourselves in waking moments? How often do we let ourselves be held in the arms of a lover or a stranger? Giving ourselves away without giving in to ourselves first. Perhaps some don’t give away at all, a protection, control. Many students tense or hold back from this touch. Maybe it’s too scary. Maybe there’s too much pain. Maybe it’s stupid to hug yourself. All these maybes swirl. All these maybes. It’s too much or not enough. There’s a dial-tone on the line.
Press your palms and dig your prints wherever you can finger and reach. All over your body. Say, “I love you.” Out loud or hushed, because it matters. Get intimate with yourself. Close the pages in trash magazines, turn off the tube, or any voice, person, airbrushing bullshit filled with sleek messages in how to lose weight or tuck that or tighten this or fill out there. You are not flawed, society is flawed. It’s noise and there’s money to be made to create a culture of women (and men) in believing that she (or he) is less-than based on the outside (and inside).
Touch yourself. Know yourself. Love yourself. Bond with yourself. This is your power. Skin to skin contact, not skin clothing contact, skin to skin. Take it off; feel yourself, know yourself, love yourself – again and again. Love starts here every damn day.