A regular feature on the blog years ago was A Body Warrior to Meet. In it, I featured women from around the world who shared insights on their relationship with themselves. It was an inspiring way to show that self-acceptance wasn’t exclusive – we could all embrace it- and a way to share the grounded tenderheartedness and deep wisdom that I was seeing in so many people with whom I had the pleasure of interacting while doing this work.
In Beautiful You, the questions for Body Warrior to Meet where shared as one of the exercises (Day 162) and I offered to share readers’ Body Warrior answers here on the blog, if they wished.
Today, I am happy to introduce you to Kathryn V. White, a writer, artist, and mystical cosmonaut who enjoys sharing her adventures in expansion through her art and writings. Her dream is her creations help transform our world to be a healthier, wiser, and more joyful place to live. To this end, she shares life-affirming short stories and has written the book, Rumble Tumble Joy: A Journey for Healing, Inspiration, and Wholeness.
What do I love about myself?
I love my curiosity and creativity. My curiosity keeps me going, even when times feel really tough. My curiosity combines well with my creativity and ensures I express myself in tangibles—such as writing and visual art.
At one point in my life, I turned away from painting. I struggled with the idea that everything I created as art meant the destruction of something else. However, the calling was too great to ignore and, after deep spiritual explorations on this issue, I made a personal commitment to painting. I was curious to see how my life would change by acting on this intention. And my life certainly did. (But that’s another story!) In addition, I now have over 120 acrylic paintings (which are wonderful gifts of self, from self, to self) that I created over one five-year period.
I find that sometimes insight, wisdom, and healing can only be found after we physically express ourselves through a creative process. It’s a paradox. It’s also a great gift that we can share with each other.
My biggest challenge in accepting my body and beauty:
It has changed as I move through the years. When I was younger, it was accepting the curve of my thighs. Now, I don’t agonize so much over any specific body part. I do think about aging and how to stay vital. I’m very aware of the unhealthy constructs the media and society have created to pattern people to hate and fear becoming older. Caroline Myss points out how our society is very much about living as long as possible without aging. Now there’s a construct that brings unhappiness with one’s body!
I take time to keep myself healthy and do things that give me joy. I know that nurturing myself is more than what foods I eat, it is the music I listen to, the movies I watch, the books I read, the conversations I share—not only with others, but my own self-talk. Exercise and stretching are integral to my health as well. (My two awesome dogs help with making exercise more fun!).
My biggest support in learning to appreciate myself:
One support for me was taking an intensive women’s class dealing with body image and self-acceptance many years ago. Through photography, writing, and sharing I learned to appreciate my body and the diversity of female shapes and sizes in general. The gifts from this class stayed with me long after it was ended and the experience was a midwife to my writings that are now published and available on Amazon as my book, Rumble Tumble Joy: A Journey for Healing, Inspiration, and Wholeness. Just as other people’s books have helped me to move forward in my life, my intent for this book is to provide inspiration and a helping hand to women and girls as they work to move through their low self-esteem and body issues to a place of more wholeness and self-love.
At its deepest place, beauty is indefinable as it is beyond words and beyond the limits of any rendering. As an image, I find much beauty in the art of Georgia O’Keefe. As words, I find much beauty in the poetry of Hafiz. In actions, I find much beauty in those who work to make the world a more loving and healthy place.
Why I am strong:
I am strong because I don’t give up. I am committed to my spiritual path and I don’t shirk from experiences for growth. I seek to see the beauty and harmony of life at the same time I don’t deny its pain and suffering. I am learning to accept the gifts of experiencing the duality of opposites that are an inherent part of this life.
Why I am beautiful:
Because like all that is and is not, I come from a greater source.
What women must know:
Develop your critical thinking skills, expand your heart, love your body, and honor your spirit. Really look at the messages your family, your friends, the video games you play, the things you read, the movies you watch, the media, and society provide you. Are they life-affirming? Do they nurture you and others? Do they support a healthier and wiser world?
You have to do the work yourself to discover who you are, what you stand for, what you will share that you have received from others, and how you will gift the world with your talents and wisdom. You are always at choice; make that choice a loving one.