When I was in sixth grade, I remember sneaking a pair of my mom's high heels into my book bag so I could wear them in school. They were black patent, strappy, what I thought of as the embodiment of sexy, and I remember putting them on at the bus stop and feeling totally badass. That was the age boys and girls started leaning into their sexual experimentation, pairing off behind the stacks to sneak a kiss or a feel. I probably looked ridiculous, an eleven year old girl teetering around in adultish shoes, but I really just wanted to be in the club and feel the power of my own sensuality.
It tasted to me like freedom and belonging.
In all the years since then, through all the layers of cultural conditioning, all the Seventeen magazines and craze diets, through all the external messages of Yes and No and Good and Bad, and through my own sexual triumphs and traumas it has taken me more than thirty years to come back to the place when I was eleven, just wanting to be seen in my full feminine expression. After shedding so many narratives that are not my own, I am finally finding my way. Now I have my own badass shoes.
As we talk about creating Safe Spaces in today's wild environment, I think this is a critical reminder to pass along: the most important safe space we can create is inside our own bodies.
We can not feel safe out in the world if we can't feel safe inside our own skin.
So many of you, I know, are struggling to maintain a peaceful equilibrium these days. The emotional body is wreaking havoc on our physical bodies - there is such a deep connection! I'm right there with you. Ground zero then becomes tending to ourselves, and for many, radical self care is revolutionary. Letting go of guilt, not asking permission, nothing to explain, are things that take practice and fierce devotion. Once we learn this power inside our own lives, we are then able to bring it to the world around us.
It's when we can find space and freedom from the weight of the external world to see what is real and true inside of us, our body then becomes not just a vessel for happiness and pleasure, but a doorway to everything else we seek.
When the time comes to join the resistance, you will know - you will literally feel it in your bones. Until then, go gently. Right now, there is only meeting yourself exactly where you are. Take extra deep care. Each one of us will rise in our own way, even if today that simply means getting ourselves out of bed to look in the mirror and say, "hello, beautiful. you are loved."