Body Sovereignty is about reclaiming a positive relationship with your body. It is the experience of fully inhabiting your body and claiming your space in the world. Body Sovereignty allows us to find peace with our body size and shape, nurture a positive relationship with food and encourages positive movement to support our health and well-being.
The gift of Body Sovereignty is the freedom to more fully engage in life. To be in a place where you can take care of yourself to best of your ability, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Body Sovereignty offers the opportunity to reclaim experiencing the joy of your body including satisfaction in eating, pleasure in movement, and asserting your right to claim space in this world. It’s simple really. Unconditionally accept your body and you will be in a place to take better care of yourself and engage in your life more fully. Simple yes, but not easy in the thin-obsessed culture we live in.
I’ve developed a framework for working toward body sovereignty that incorporates what I’ve learned over the years about body image, acceptance and wellness. We can invite a more respectful relationship with our bodies by intentionally fostering mindfulness, compassion and discernment into our relationship with our bodies and our lives in general.
Mindfulness allows us to become more fully aware of ourselves and the world around us. We become more mindful by cultivating awareness of our bodies, emotions and our thoughts. Noticing them and understanding the impact they have on our lives is a vital ingredient in being able to make choices that support goals of health and wellness.
Self Compassion is about letting go of a possible future body and forgiving ourselves for the negative feelings we’ve had. Self Compassion supports us in nurturing unconditional acceptance and respect for our bodies and ourselves no matter what our size, shape or form. We become compassionate by fostering loving kindness for ourselves, others and for the world around us.
Discernment is about opening our eyes to the influences that surround us and determine what is helpful to us in our sovereignty journey. We are bombarded daily with science and opinions about how we should be in relationship with food, movement and our bodies. Discernment is about learning to think critically, balancing trust in others who have wisdom and knowledge to share with learning to trust our own wisdom. Discernment is also about learning to tap into and trust our own innate wisdoms, both the instinctual knowledge and the hard won experiential knowledge that is kept deep within our bones, our embodied wisdom.