Thursday, July 30, 2009

A picture taken of me a few years ago, in between bouts of tanning.


It's another one of those weeks where I am digging deep - trying to get down to my true AUTHENTIC SELF and let it shine through. Not the part of me that I let everyone else see but the REAL me!

This week it has to do with my need to tan all the time. Seems like such a silly thing to spend much time thinking about right? For me it's not about how unhealthy it is or even about how it ages you because I really like being tan and I'm willing for whatever the consequence of that action brings. No, it's about being authentic. It's about the stress of maintaining something that I'm not.

Ironically, I got my Yoga Journal in the mail last night and begin flipping through the pages and one of the first articles in the magazine this month is about a woman struggling with a similar issue- going gray. The last two paragraphs of the article express my same feelings over this tanning issue:

"I like the time and money I save not going to the salon every three weeks. I like the energy I save not thinking about my hair. I think about yogic notions of satya (truthfulness) and santosha (contentment) and realize that I still have some letting got to do: of my resentment that society is ageist, that older men are powerful while older women are invisible.

Going gray was letting go of a way of thinking that had become a burden. Yoga is about letting go of whatever prevents us from being our most authentic self. Just like the experience of yoga, feeling good about going gray has been a loosening of the obstacles to healthy, flowing energy. And besides, how long could I pretend to be someone different from who I am, while teaching others to feel comfortable with themselves."

So here I am, in the letting go process. Celebrating me- pale and beautiful. Accepting it. Embracing it. And when every last remnant of my tan is gone I'm going to do a photo session capturing all the parts of my body that I love so when I feel that discontentment rise to the surface I will look at those pictures and rejoice- for this amazing body and all the hard work it does for me.

6 comments:

Heather's Moving Castle said...

Wow!! Can imagine all the money and time you will save? I think you will look really awesome too. :O)

Zenmomma said...

You are so amazingly beautiful. I think that an ivory complexion will only enhance your loveliness.

I'm still not content with my gray. It's at that in-between, dowdy stage. So I still highlight a few times a year. Someday though....

Ren said...

There was just a new article about how tanning beds are extremely dangerous so I'm GLAD you're letting that go. Maybe I will get to the point of embracing my natural hair color. Not yet. But I know that bleach can NOT be healthy. lol

I'm with Mary on the hair issue. Someday. But maybe not. Humans have been enhancing themselves since the beginning of time and I think it's perfectly natural and authentic. bwg :)

Snavleys said...

I'm not ready to let the hair go either. For me the tanning is more about the maintenance of it all. "Got to get in there or I'm going to lose my tan!" It's a weekly, sometimes bi-weekly thing for something that not only ages me but has to constantly be maintained. And it's not what I really look like. Not that hair is either but to me hair is more of a creative expression. Hair is only every 4-6 weeks, for me less. I can't quite explain, I'm just tired of it.

christa said...

Hello - I am reading your blog for some time with interest. Your stories and insights into your family life and yourself are very helpful to me, even though I am living worlds away and in a completely different setting. I always thought about how amazingly pretty you are on all the pics - but something was kind of off. Now I know: it's the tan. I like you much better without it. But of course it is not important what others think of you, the only person who has to accept yourself is you ;-) I am doing my own work towards this goal, but it seems distant sometimes. I don't have so many issues with my looks, since I have never been pretty in the usual way. Aging my be easer for me because of this. But there are many other issues still to tackle. I am currently on the way to learn about nonviolent communication and self-empathy. Maybe this will be "my yoga" on my way to making peace with myself.

Anonymous said...

heidi, I love this post.....I don't tan hardly ever unless I am going on a trip...just because skin cancer is big in my family, but of course I do the hair....I really would love to use the organic hair color system, but we can't use it at stans. It is hard working around all those toxic chemicals. But I only do it 3 days a week. I need to cut more things out that cost money so I can go to more yoga though! You are inspiring I must say! We really should enjoy who we are and not struggle so much sometimes to be who we are not! stacy holohan