You are allowed to be brave, beautiful and brilliant. You are encouraged to shine. You are invited to savour your dark, sexy edges and your bright, melodic laughter.
Years back, I won the opportunity to do a professional photo shoot for a friend’s lingerie store. I believe that loving our bodies is a radical act. I believe that honouring our bumps and bits and squidgy pieces is rebellion.
I believe that pure love of the self is a devotional practice of grit, fire and softness.
When the photos came back, I was surprised at how sexy I looked. It was “too much”. Too much of my shiny dark edges were showing. I was too much curves and softness and strength. Too much rawness of life. I was too much woman.
I felt guilty.
Guilt for being in this body. Guilt for flaunting my sexuality. Guilt for *making* my partner and family and friends feel uncomfortable. Why should I feel guilty for being in a body, and practicing the art of loving it?
Why should we feel bad for enjoying the sensual curves and sharp angles, the look and feel of lace and silk on skin, the soft flutter of lashes and the scent of fancy hairspray?
We are called to claim our sexuality and our bodies for ourselves.
This body is my temple. I’m going to love it. I am going to practice loving it again and again and again. Through pictures and touch and dancing, and prayer on my knees in the soft, wet grass.
My body deserves praise. My being deserves love. I deserve sexy photos of myself, and I will relish in the practice of devotion to me…
I feel and allow this guilt to dissipate. I practice intimacy with my body and being. I look at these photo shoot pictures and practice feeling empowered and loving how I look and how depth is captured — and how it belongs to me, here, now.
I invite you to practice fierce love for your body. Caress your curves. Shine through some silk. Let the lace and leather envelop you in sensation. Enjoy being in a body. Enjoy being sexy. Your shine does not diminish anyone else’s shine – and together – oh dear goddesses, together we can illuminate the world.
Shine brightly, dear heart. Be sexy. Be brave. Be you.
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith.
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