Can I Love Myself, Just As I Am?

I am not a large-bodied person at the moment but I have found myself drawn repeatedly to Anna Guest-Jelley and her Curvy Yoga. I admire her courage as she owns and inhabits who she is, including having a curvy body!

As I read her blogs and those of others whose body shape may lead to shame, embarrassment, and even self-hate, I resonate with the message. And I have been reflecting on this, and all the subtle – and not so subtle – ways I reject myself. Is it possible to be enough, just as I am?

I know that this "not enough" feeling is fairly common and comes in many varieties: I am not thin enough, not smart enough, not active enough, not working at my potential, not earning enough, and on and on.

I want to own all of who I am. A 65-year-old woman. A mother and partner and widow. A person whose life is lived with the uncertainties of chronic disease and intermittent pain and less physical ability than you might expect if you met me. I have what some might call an "invisible disability". And, although I am not overweight, shadows of that earlier time haunt me every day. I still spend too much time thinking about the impression I am going to create.

But amazingly, when I come fully into movement, breathing, or meditation, all of this disappears. Then I know I am enough just as I am. I know that I am part of a beautiful universe that is perfect and imperfect all at the same time. My challenge is to bring that "enough-ness" into all of who I am and all of what I do.

I know that my yoga practice helps me expand this sense of owning all of who I am, including the things I am not. And I also see how pervasive the thoughts and patterns are.

What parts of you are "not enough"?

What helps you to move from self-criticism to embracing who you are, right now?