"Imagine a woman who is glad to be alive.
A woman who has released body-scrutiny and -criticism.
Who celebrates her body with reverence and respect.
Imagine yourself as this woman.
In circles of women, we affirm that we’re originally blessed, not cursed, and that strength,
goodness, and creativity reside within each of us. We’ve discovered that the good is generous enough to include our injuries and ineffective behaviors. As we embrace our original goodness, our inner spaces are cleared out and reclaimed as our own. We find rest within our own lives and accept all of ourselves as worthy.
One by one, we speak the truth of a woman’s life. We commit the forbidden act of biting
into self-critical thought, refuting it, smashing it, discarding it, and beginning again in the
very beginning when women loved their bodies, named their gods, authored their lives.
When women refused to surrender except to life as it pulsated through them.
We remind each other that there is nothing wrong, there never has been any thing wrong,
there never will be anything wrong with woman. That’s why no remedy ever works. We
finally stop asking the question! As we oust the question f rom our hearts, minds, bodies,
and lives, we stop battering our bodies with hurtful words, choices, and procedures. We love
our bodies as they are.
Our motivation to be “fit” is no longer the culture’s image of beauty and our own critical self-scrutiny. We embrace a new focus: the cultivation of our inner essence and the expression of our life purpose. Our essence and purpose motivate us to be healthy and strong. We choose to live a purposeful life supported by our bodies.
Once we stop asking the questions “what’s wrong with me” and “who will save me,” we need
a new language to use when we talk about our bodies. The vocabulary of reverence replaces the shame-based messages that assault women’s bodies on a daily basis. We retrieve our bodies from lifetimes of imposed definitions and expectations. We look at them through our own eyes. We develop our own relationship to them. We create rituals to support and celebrate them through each season of life.
Weave the vocabulary of reverence into your conversations, relationships, and daily
meditation. Beginning today read these words daily. The habit of criticizing our bodies is
so strong that we need daily practice to make progress toward fluency. Your persistence will
pay off! Use the following 8 vocabulary practices to anchor reverence within your mind,
body, heart, spirit, and experience. Note the words that resonate with your life."
-Patricia Lynn Reilly, Imagine a Woman International