This past December, I officially became faculty for the Embody Love Movement Foundation. I completed the training that now allows me to train-up other leaders to facilitate their own Embody Love workshops.
As I step up into a more impactful leadership position this year, I've been thinking a lot about this quote that came up in our training:
"Lead from your scars, not your wounds."
As most of us humans do, I have many of both. Some are in varying yet invisible stages of ongoing healing, and others are permanently marked on my skin. The stories my body would most want to tell you are those of an abandonment trauma survivor, an asian girl trying to find her identity in a white-bodied world, an aspiring gymnast, a recovering perfectionist, a healed emotional cutter, a cheerleader - both actual and metaphorical, a twice-injured athlete, a curious and passionate lover, a victim of sexual assault, an addict (who's drug of choice was food), an expressive artist, a mother of two boys who came by way of c-section, a carrier of chronic infection, a mental health patient, a somatic healing student, a sexuality explorer and kink-positive sensualist, a yoga practitioner, a want-to-be dancer, an embodiment teacher and facilitator, a person who struggled with her 5'2" body at every size from 0 to 18, someone who tattooed the word "love" on her hand as an indelible compass, and now a woman who is an advocate for owning fully who we are...in all our glorious and unique nuances and imperfections!... with unabashed compassion, truth and, yes, LOVE.
Through all of my own embodied experiences and healing, I believe I've come by this new role honestly. Most of my lessons outside of the trainings have been deeply experiential and personal. I think this might just be the way for people who are healers - their scars become their greatest gifts. I have come full circle from the girl who once abandoned her body, in varying ways and for so many difficult reasons, to a woman who embraces all of who she is. I fought for every inch of my own reclamation, and at age 46, I can absolutely say it is a process that is not ever about completion, only about gaining depth and breadth of truth, richness and understanding.
And so I have been thinking long and hard about the very marrow of this quote and what it will mean for me to be the kind of leader I aspire to be, in service to something so much bigger than just my own life. In truth, it's a little terrifying, but also incredibly inspiring, expansive and liberating (three words I have been leaning on a lot, lately). This is how I know I am ready to take this next step to lead more bravely and share what I've learned in a bigger way -- that no matter what, we all can feel more joy, pleasure and peace in our bodies (and hearts), despite what our stories have been, or maybe in truth, because of them.