Updated: Jul 5, 2022
We LOVE putting things in boxes, putting labels on them and arranging those boxes in a particular order. But when it comes to our body, there is so much more to it than meets the eye and it matters more than you think. Our body is more than a health checklist or an assortment of beauty standards. It's more complex than a machine or a vehicle. It is an expression of many parts; our DNA, our ancestry, our spirit, our mind, our experience, our environment and behaviour. We are biopsychosocial beings, a fancy way to say that our bodies are affected by and always responding to social, mental, and physical factors.
"You don’t have a body you are a body." -Jaap Van der Wal
We need to have more meaningful conversations about the experience of having a body rather than what we look like. Our felt experience can become a great resource for greater consciousness; a deeper shift within ourselves and within our relationships to others.
My name is Amy Kubanek. I am a somatic self compassion coach (somatic- meaning relating to the body) I help people develop a felt sense of self compassion. I serve people with internalized body shame to help them see past the need to change themselves to fit into our culture’s skewed standards, and instead start to examine who they really are and how to honour that part of themselves.
"No one is born with self loathing- that is imprinted on us" -- Kelly Diels
Who benefits from body shame?
Internalized body shame affects most of us whether we recognize it or not and it goes much deeper than we think. Diet culture is a multi-billion dollar industry. Messages of 'the ideal body' are not only in advertisements but in doctor's offices and political agendas. You see it hidden in language like: detox, cleanse, persevere, grind etc. (Amanda Montell) It's possible that everyone living in the western world is affected by diet culture and as a result, we are collectively recovering from the internalized body shame that separates us from our body and makes us feel broken.
I aim to dismantle the notion that self worth is something you need to earn. The colour of our skin, our weight our gender and sex preferences affect our experience in our body but should not be a measurement of our value. Every body has value just because. More than that, our bodies are incredible, magical, mysterious feats of nature and it is possible to care for your body even as we age and evolve.
How can we better care for our body?
Stop treating your body like a machine and instead think of it as an experience.
Look internalized body shame in the eye knowing that it's not just you, it's the water you are swimming in.
Find other caring individuals who are ready to let go of the false 'ideal body' and together imagine what kind of world you want to live in.
Know that you are worthy of love and care by just having a body.
"We have to study how to be tender with each other until it becomes habit" --Audre Lorde
The Body Dialogues coaching sessions are my contribution to the collective as a way to dissolve body shame and instead, help to nurture the relationship we have to our bodies.
By: Amy Kubanek