Prana Shakti, Partnership, Pregnancy, Parenthood, Preparation, Power and Pranams.

My personal Path of Practice:
Prana Shakti
(the creative & pulsating life force within me), Partnership (a love story of two people who consciously choose one another every day), Pregnancy (Grace in my belly revealing herself through this growing baby boy who lives in my womb), Parenthood (The highest calling of them all), Purification (of all self-defining labels accumulated along the way) Preparation (for a new life, a new calling and for the birthing of all this woman has yet to become, experience, learn and know), Power (to fully stand in mine as a wife, mother and creative woman) Pranams (daily gratitude and humble thanks for my beautiful life and blessings along the way).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Augmentation, Self-Acceptance & Defining Beauty

I have been confronted with many opportunities throughout my life to examine what beauty means to me. It’s easy for young women in the West to become body obsessed from a superficial, self-defining place instead of  a place of health, wellness and comfort within the skin we’ve been given.

I grew up around a woman who taught me that I was so much more than my body, my hair, my boyfriends or even my circumstances for that matter. I saw my mother walk confidently and be within her body with grace and ease never once declaring conversations about my weight or shape nor did I witness her speaking poorly of herself. Where there were changes to be made, they were made from a place within, never in search of anyone else’s approval. She was a fine example of beauty and grace through her actions. I believe she mindfully lived this way knowing that at the end of each day, I would be a student to the choices she would make much more than the words she would speak.

I had never looked down on myself with self-deprecating talk about my body. Never as a child, pre-teen or teenager did I judge or compare the size of my breasts or my hips with anyone else nor did I ever feel insecure about my body. Don't get me wrong, I had my own shit, but this was not one of them. I saw my mother be present to what she ate and  I saw her take a proactive interest in a healthy and active lifestyle.

I was 19 years young when a line was drawn in the sand and my perception was forever changed.

Impressionable as I was, I became self-defined by external sources; the men I dated to be specific. I will never forget the moment I gave a part of myself away named "self-confidence" when I aligned my vibration with his words.

“This breast is larger than that one and you’re bottom heavy.”

It was that same year that I got breast implants to “fix” what someone else perceived as my “imperfection.”

In my mind, I justified this augmentation because my mother had breast implants. I knew the truth but it wasn't until much later I would admit to myself that my mother was a grown woman with four children and well into her 30's when she made that call and in doing so, her decision had nothing to do with anyone else’s approval. Nothing had changed in the way she presented herself to me or to the world. 

Over the years I would struggled to make peace with the new additions in my body. While a perceived “great boob-job”, never did they feel natural in my body. As a matter of fact, I was always so acutely aware of the left one. That one in particular always felt so foreign in my body.

Enter Yoga.

As I showed up to yoga and began to develop and deepen my practice, I became more and more body aware as is the case with many practitioners. Over time, I became uncomfortable physically and became self-conscious of "them". There came a time when I looked into their removal but it wasn’t until 2005 that I actually scheduled an appointment at Vanderbilt Medical Center to finally remove the implants that tried so desperately to make a home in my body.

Almost nine years to the date, my perfectly healthy implants were removed and not a day has gone by that I have regretted that decision. I actually woke up from surgery crying saying “I feel better already.”

Today, with much smaller, all-natural breasts, I have never felt sexier, more feminine and at home in my body. This is the body I have been given and while I can never go back to what was, I feel more in touch, with complete body awareness and in union with the skin I live in.

On the most basic fundamental level, yoga teaches us to remember our  innate perfection and wholeness. There is nothing missing. Let me say that again...


Everything we ever needed to know we already know and everything we will ever need to go forward is inward. Sadly, somewhere along the way, we just forgot how complete we really are. But we have arrived fully equipped for the journey and I have my yoga practice to remind me of that and this testimonial as living proof.

My journey as a woman in what is often a very unrealistic, size-defining Western society is one that provides so many opportunities to define and redefine what beauty really looks like. One day, I hope to be an example to my children as to what real beauty is, where it comes from and what it actually looks like. Until then, I hope that I can be that for other women because the truth is this:

My inner light shines because I feel whole, strong, healthy and at home in this body. That wholeness is not dependent on the size of my breasts or the size of my ass. My light has not dimmed because I just cut 12 inches off what was my long hair. That light just caught fire because doing so liberated me on the inside. My light shines like a bonfire in the desert moon-lit sky because I choose what defines me and I have made a home within the costume of this body I was born into. As a result, I have learned to love every last scar from the choices I have made all along the way
... and I've learned to honor them as reminders of the battles I have fought and won.