At around 4 months postpartum I hit a wall with patience. I was extremely frustrated at my attempts to get back into shape and my body not complying. Even worse I felt like the biggest hypocrite for telling so many moms to be patient with their own bodies. Getting dressed in the morning was becoming such an ordeal because nothing fit...I wasn't pregnant anymore so my maternity clothes were too big, but I wasn't anywhere near the same shape or size I was before pregnancy. I was just stuck in the middle, in a body I didn't really know anymore. I was over it. My body, being postpartum, everything.
Despite eating healthy and working out, my body clearly wasn’t budging, so I had to shift my mind. I decided to say "fuck it" and scheduled a nude photoshoot. This is not the type of nudie shoot you're probably thinking of...it's much more powerful than that. Through a session called Body Talk Alison Love holds a sacred space for women to explore the stories their bodies are trying to convey. I wanted to use this shoot as a way to gain a new perspective on my body and were it was at. While I am now a mother, I also want to embrace being young and close out my twenties enjoying spontaneity.
The Body Talk portrait session was much more needed and healing than I ever could have imagined. The entire two hours was dedicated to starting a new conversation with my body. One that consisted of patience, respect, and honor. My whole life I've always been connected to my body and that connection was only heightened in pregnancy. But I've really struggled to find that connection again postpartum. This photoshoot gave me time and space to do that. Alison asks questions like, "What shape would your body take if you gave it patience?" or "What would it look like to mother your body." I was definitely awkward and unsure at the beginning, but as the session unfolded we laughed hysterically as I sprayed the room with breastmilk...I guess I did a good job at mothering my body ;)
This postpartum time was and continues to be a very interesting time of contrasts. It's a time of curiosity, discovery and a new type of connection...a deeper level connection.
There are many who relate labor and birth to walking through a labyrinth, but I don't really think your done making your way through the labyrinth at birth. I believe it continues into postpartum. While I was hitting a wall in my labyrinth at 4 months, by changing my mindset I was able to turn the corner. I'm now visualizing my path as a lazy river and I'm just kicking back in my inner tube enjoying the ride.
*A nude photoshoot like the Body Talk session may not be your jam, but I do encourage you to find a way to embrace and lean into this time of uncertainty and discovery. Maybe it's buying clothes that actual fit you for where you are right now, or telling someone about all the things you do love about yourself. Get creative! Whatever you decide to do come from a place of love and not fear.