“You’re body is a wonderland…” ~John Mayer 

No offense to Mr. Mayer, but lately I’m singing, My Body is My Sacred Temple. Although, this wasn’t always the case; Flashing back to when I was about 6 years old, I had someone put their hands on me in ways that even now bring up an array of feelings from fear to courage.

I gave up attachment to my physical body. I ignored any feelings of concern or pain that would arise. I blocked my heart and covered my innocence by acting like a teenager, who knew it all, instead of a curious little girl. (I must’ve been a gem to raise 😉 )

This was the only way my mind knew how to protect me and release my body of the sadness and shame. There was no connection of my mind to my body. I felt like a strong, capable woman in my mind and like a free bird with my body. I was definitely showing off and treating my body as an amusement park of some sort.

I realized I would go into changing rooms and not care if the door was open or closed. Women would be appalled at the Filene’s Basement fitting rooms where it felt like open showers of a jail. I didn’t feel the same at all, I could care-less. I expressed it as “what’s the big deal?” Inside I was actually envious of them, women who loved their bodies enough to not give anyone a free show.

Recently, I saw a post about why women in Islam aren’t permitted to shake hands with strange men and why they are covered from head to toe? The response was ‘Our women are queens. They are to be respected, not touched or gawked at by strange men.’ Although I don’t think this simple answer quite covers the entire topic, one thing is true…YESSS, women are queens! I am a Queen!

I get to rule my kingdom: I have full control and authority over my body, my heart, and my mind. My soul is the essence of a queen. But I was ruling my kingdom with beliefs of divisions and disrespect.

My good ole friend science is always there to back me up. In a study at Princeton University, men were shown images of women in “scantily clad clothing,” i.e. bikinis and other pictures of women fully covered. When men saw pictures of the women half dressed the areas of the brain that that are associated with tools, cars, planned action were activated. Their brains were objectifying these women. Crazy! Yet true.

The point of all of this is that ladies and gentlemen, we get to choose how we perceive ourselves and how we want to be perceived!

“The way you treat yourself, sets the standard for others.” ~Sonya Friedman

I’m not saying, don’t wear sexy clothes, or bikinis. Now looking back at all the low cut tops and high slit skirts I was infamous for wearing says a lot about me. I realize I was speaking for my body, just like the Lady Gaga and Christina Aguilera song goes I was saying, “Do what you want with my body….”

Um NO! You can’t do what you want. Its my body, it’s a part of my whole package. And if I believe God is within me, using me, letting me serve her; then my body is Goddess Durga’s Temple! Durga in Sanskrit means fort, or a place that is protected and difficult to access.

I will protect my Durga with the highest level of respect. I will feed it pure foods and I will love it unconditionally. I will give it privacy by closing the door to the dressing room. I will give it respect by wearing what feels good to me, not because society says it or science does, but because this body is MY God given gift and no one else gets a damn say about it!

I am grateful to this body for everything it houses, my soul, my spirit, my heart and my mind! Thank you, you wonderful, skinny, long-legged, scar-covered beauty!

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