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EP70 - Why Your Concern and Comment is Unwelcome

Updated: Jul 4






Have you ever caught yourself commenting on someone's appearance with the best intentions, only to realize it might not have been received as you hoped? 


In today's episode, Aimee Takaya dives into why being mindful about how we talk about others' bodies is crucial, especially for healers and bodyworkers. 


In this episode, Aimee takes us through:

- Body neutrality as a new version of body positivity.

- Why commenting on others' bodies can be harmful.

- Her personal experiences with chronic pain and unwanted body comments.

- How physical appearance may not reflect internal experience.

- Caution for healers/bodyworkers about unsolicited body observations.

- How early life experiences can make body comments sensitive.

- Exploring "third person" vs. internal body perspective.

- The importance of being careful and considerate of others' thoughts and feelings.

And so much more!


Follow Aimee Takaya on: 


IG : @aimeetakaya 


Facebook : Aimee Takaya 


Learn more about Aimee Takaya, Hanna Somatic Education, and The Radiance Program at www.freeyoursoma.com


LISTEN WHILE READING!

Aimee: Hello, everybody; Aimee Takaya here, founder and friend at Free Your Soma, where you can learn to relax the tense, tight muscles in your body and liberate your whole world from within. 


Today, on the podcast, I'm going to be exploring the number one thing that I wish people would stop doing. And this is especially important if you are a body worker or another healer. I would love to see other healers - other body workers stop doing this. 


We're going to be talking today about the way that it impacts another person when you comment on their body, right? When you comment how their body looks or how their body functions. And I've got some stories for you guys. 


I'm also going to be sharing from my own experience as a body worker and some of my ethos, some of why I don't go there and I don't talk about how other people's bodies look unless they are asking me, unless they are paying me to do so. Okay, let's get into it. 


Aimee: Every day there is a forgetting and every moment there is the possibility of remembering. Remembering who you truly are, awakening to your body, to the inner world and experience of being alive. Here is where you find the beauty, the joy. Here is where you free your soma. 


Aimee: All right, so this really is in line with a lot of the topics that I hear people talk about in terms of body positivity, but also body neutrality, which is a wonderful new version of body positivity that I'm way more for because it's more attainable. Body positivity kind of feels like spiritual bypassing a little bit, right? 


But a lot of people within that field of body positivity or body neutrality or learning to love your body, learning to be with your body as it is, are talking about how it's really not a good idea to be commenting on other people's bodies and how they look and whether they lost weight and whether they gained weight. And the reasons behind this are, I think, really somatic and actually really important to discuss. So I just want to say that there can be a tendency if you are a body worker and also a movement expert. 


I fall under both of those categories as a Hannah Somatic educator, right? And when I look at people's bodies, like when I look around in the world, and I look at people walking around, I look at people walking around the mall or down the street, of course, I see if I were to put my eyes on them in a clinical way, I can see where they're out of alignment. I can see where their bodies are torqued or twisted. 


And with my modality, looking at the way that somebody is positioned tells me a lot about what muscles in their body are chronically contracted and are chronically tight. And as a Hannah Somatic educator, I help people learn to release those muscles using the motor cortex of their brain, right? Most people don't know about my own modality. They don't know that it exists, but it absolutely does.


So I'll just say this. So I said it. Your brain is perfectly capable of releasing that tight muscle in your neck, that tense muscle in your lower back. Just nobody's showed you how the technology works. And that is what I do. And I do it at, I like to say like a pretty deep, interesting level because of my own history with this modality and my own history and my body, right? 


Different episode, we can get into that. But when I walk around and I see people walking around too, living in their bodies, it could be very easy for me to look at someone in a clinical way and see the way that their body's torqued or twisted or this shoulders down or even watching somebody limp.


Watching somebody walk with a, you know, unusual gait. It would be very easy for me to make an assumption about what that person is experiencing internally. When you see somebody walking around and limping, you might think that they are in pain, right? 


That would be, you know, a reasonable assumption. Now it's fine. I'll find it good for you to have the thoughts and feelings you had. Honestly, we're not getting rid of our judging brain. Nobody's going to stop being judgmental anytime soon and stop their brain from doing that. But what I would like to speak to you today is that you don't have to say the things that come to your mind. 


And when you comment on another person's appearance, it can have a negative impact, right? And even sometimes simple stuff that you don't even realize is going to impact the person that way, you know, like a compliment, something you might consider to be a compliment. Another person might find, you know, triggering or upsetting.


Now, I'm not saying that we should never comment, you know, or compliment on people again, but being a little bit more conscientious, being a bit more careful, especially if you are another bodyworker or a healer. So, let's take the case of limping again. 


You see somebody walking around and limping. You could make a bunch of assumptions about them, right? If you, maybe something's wrong with their hips, something's wrong with their back. Oh, something happened to them. They had some kind of injury or catastrophe. Or maybe if you, you know, know enough about like, you know, the things that can happen to people, you're like, oh, maybe they have a neurological issue or a stroke or cerebral palsy, right? And we can have all these judgments. Well, the moment that you comment on the way that person walks, you are basically asking them to justify or to explain themselves, to explain to you, right? 


Why they are existing, the way that they're existing. And depending on the person, you know, especially if that's a stranger, you know, but even if it's like a loved one or like a family member, that can feel very confrontational, right? It can feel very awkward because maybe they were just living their life. 


One other really important point here I want to bring up is that simply because someone is walking in a strange way or moving in a strange way or positioned in an awkward position, does not mean that they are in pain, that they are physically experiencing pain. It, they could be, but I will tell you as many years working with people's bodies, you can't see what other people are experiencing unless they tell you, right? If you see someone limping around, you don't know that they're in pain. 


They might not feel any pain, but that's just the way their nervous system is organizing their walking pattern, right? Similarly, and this is kind of, can be kind of mind-blowing to many people because we look around often comparing ourselves to others. I have worked with a number of very, you know, conventionally attractive, beautiful people who are struggling with insane amounts of chronic pain. And from the outside, they look fit. They look healthy. They have good posture. 


But what they are experiencing somatically is a lot of inner turmoil and pain. So you can't see this from the outside. And so when you make assumptions about people, it's kind of a good idea to keep them to yourself. That's my opinion. 


And that's because I've been on the receiving end of both of these kinds of assumptions. Now, for those of you who haven't, you know, listened to my previous podcasts or been following me for a while, maybe you don't know my story, but I started out my body career as a hot yoga teacher. And I like to use to joke that I went into hot yoga as like a couch potato. 


I was a couch potato. I had no training in sports. I had no, you know, previous history of physical training of some kind, you know, so I thought. And I got into yoga kind of as a blank slate with a lack of body awareness. I had very little body awareness going into yoga, but I didn't know what we don't know, what we don't know. 


And we get to learn through experience, you know, from that feedback of trial and error, what's actually going on with us, right? So that being said, I started my yoga career in hot yoga, and that's a very intense practice. For those of you who don't know, it's a 90-minute class heated in a room that's 105 degrees minimum. 


Usually, sometimes they're soft, you know, studios where they do it less hot, right? But I did this kind of in hot yoga's pinnacle heyday, like 2008, I started my practice. And, you know, I had no idea that my posture was off, right? 


I stood up straight. So people didn't comment too much on my posture because I was upright; you know, people only tend to comment on your posture when you're rounded forward. Yeah, and we could totally get into that maybe on another episode about the like the judgments that people have about people's postures, right? 


That kind of fits here too. So we judge someone when they're forward, because it's a closed, more closed position, right? And, you know, we know that spines are supposed to be long and upright, right? Ideally.


And so when someone is leaned and crouched forward, we like want to straighten them up. Except that person, you know, doesn't have the control necessarily to keep their body from being pulled into that position. There are tight muscles in their abdominals, there are tight muscles at the front of their neck, there are tight muscles at their hip flexors that are literally pulling their body forward. 


And so the moment they relax, they are hunched forward again, or in their bad posture, right? I was the opposite. So I had this impossibly good posture, which, you know, involved my back being very arched. But I had another position in my body that was unconsciously going on, which is that my pelvis was tucked under.


So even though I had this like upright, you know, spine, I didn't have the lordosis thing, which, you know, some people would have commented on probably, because my butt was tucked under all the time. So I looked very straight. I looked very upright. 


Yeah. So people looked at me, right, as a yoga teacher. And I'm sure I put this on, you know, I unconsciously put it on when I became a yoga teacher, like being upright, having this straight body, you know, all the training of back bends and stuff that I'd been doing to hold myself upright. So people looked at me and assumed that, you know, I had just this really comfortable, easy experience in my body. 


Now, the truth eventually, over time, was very far from that. And what ended up happening was that I injured myself a lot during yoga. I started becoming aware that I came into yoga with a lot of hypermobility in my joints, not knowing how to control the bending backwards of my joints, basically, not knowing where the boundaries of my body were. 


And all of this, you know, culminated in, like I said, multiple injuries, and then eventually a lot of chronic pain that I didn't really know what to do with, because the yoga at that point was not helping the chronic pain. Even once I got the alignment, you know, things figured out, I was dealing with hypertonic muscles. I was dealing with muscles that were completely exhausted from being in contraction for a very long time. 


And at that point, you know, there really wasn't any more contracting that was going to help my body find peace, right? So eventually, what happened, you know, and there's more to this story, I injured my left leg. It was in a yoga posture that I remember very clearly the day that it happened. And my leg was like never the same. It just hurt after that, and then increasingly hurt and increasingly hurt, and it became pelvic, and then became like my whole left side all the way up. 


And I began walking with a limp. And what we don't realize about a limb, and anyway, that somebody's body is positioned, is that that is actually a reflection of their unique, innate body intelligence. I'll say that again: if you see someone rounded forward and hunched forward, or you see somebody twisted and limping and walking strangely, that is an expression of their body's innate intelligence, right? Which is different than thinking there's something wrong with that, right? And this is where the somatic lens kind of shines down on the way that we think about things versus, if we were to look deeper into this, what actually is going on. 


So, there are ways that our nervous system copes with life on a muscular level and positions us in such a way based on our lived life experiences. So, in my case, because I had all this pain on the left side of my body, it was literally painful to lift my left leg to climb up the stairs. It was painful to step down on my left leg in the morning, sharp shooting pain all the way up into my pelvic area, right? This, I didn't realize at the time, was an expression of my body's intelligence. It absolutely was, and there's a whole lot I could go into and explain about the things I've learned from that pain in my body and the things that it's related to and why it showed up there and all of that, right? But the point here is that I judged it. 


I judged it as wrong and bad and that I shouldn't be having that pain. And I judged myself for walking with a limp and I was ashamed of that. And then anytime that somebody asked me why I was limping or if I was in pain, I felt very defensive and I felt very upset. And I wanted to just stop walking with a limp because I wanted people to stop asking me because it just pointed out that I was sort of like helpless in this experience of being in pain. And at that point, you know, I've been looking around and I really had not found anybody, masseuse or bodyworker who could help me with my pain. I'm smiling because it's a funny story. 


It's like that book where, you know, the guy goes all around and then finds out at the end, like the answer is in his backyard, what's that, the alchemist, right? So it was like that for me with this. I was traveling all around the world teaching yoga, looking perfect on my Instagram. And in, you know, nobody could see unless they watched me walking around on a daily basis with my limp, right? 


Nobody could see through Instagram or when I was standing at the yoga podium that I was experiencing hell, like chronic pain, really bad, right? And so what ended up happening was that my dad, my dad was the one who had the answer. And he kept talking to me about it. And he kept trying to tell me about Hanisomatic education. And I didn't want to hear it because it was coming from my dad. 


And I didn't want to hear it because it was so different than what I'd been doing before. And I didn't want to hear it because it meant taking a look at the ways in which I had unconsciously been hurting myself, right? And that was painful to look at that. And the ways that I might have unconsciously through the way that I was teaching yoga, been unconsciously, right, or accidentally, I guess, helping my students hurt themselves. And that was a really hard thing to do. 


So I didn't want to look at it, right? But kind of back to the main point here, my dad would often comment on the way that I was walking. And to be completely honest, he still does sometimes. And it still irritates me. 


It still irritates me. Well, because of a lot of things, because we don't like to feel like we're being judged. Of course we're being judged, but we don't like to feel that. 


We don't like to actually consider that we're being evaluated and judged by people around us. We want to be loved, right? We want to be accepted and loved. And when we're judged, we don't feel included. We don't feel loved. 


It's kind of a difficult thing to feel both judged and loved at the same time, right? So when my dad would comment on my body, first of all, it would bring up other times in my life that he commented on my body, out of concern for various things. And I'm like typical females out there. Many of us have struggled with body image issues, right? And I know men struggle with this issue too. But we grow up in a culture where there is a certain ideal that we are aware of. And when we fall short of that and when we don't live up to that, it's difficult, right, for some of us. So more difficult for some of us than others. 


I could do a whole podcast on that as well. But the point here is that it really bothered me that he commented on my way I walked, right? Just like it bothered me when he commented on noticing that I had stretch marks on my leg, it was a teen. 


And I've totally worked that stuff out with my dad now. But the point is it bothers us, right? It bothers us when people comment on our bodies, especially if it's something that they're commenting on that seems like it's wrong. 


We shouldn't be having that experience. I want to say though, I do understand that most of the time people are commenting on, say, how you're limping or walking because they're concerned, because they want to help, right? Here's the thing. 


If I have a friend and they are walking funny and I'm a somatic educator and I'm like totally going to, I can totally help them retrain the way that they walk and release the muscles that are preventing their walk from, you know, being smooth, right? I don't say anything unless they bring it up. If they bring it up, then okay, let's talk about it. 


Okay, you want some help, right? That's different. It's kind of like if your friend brings up that they lost weight or gained weight and is talking to you about it. That's totally different than, you know, you haven't seen them a while and you go, oh my God, you lost so much weight, assuming that that's a positive thing when in fact, and I have totally heard this, overheard this in yoga studios, yeah, I lost a lot of weight. 


I've been super depressed and smoking a lot of cigarettes, right? We don't know. We don't know why they lost weight. Someone else could have gained weight and be like, wow, you gained so much weight, you know, people hopefully have enough tact in this day and age to not say that kind of thing, right? But some people probably still do and we don't know. Maybe they went through a really stressful period or maybe they actually just started like enjoying their life and not obsessing about their body and being at the gym constantly, right? 


And enjoying their life and that included like eating food that, you know, put some weight on their body, right? My point is we don't know what someone's inner experience is. We don't know what it is. We make it up and we make assumptions and we presume things. And my point here is that stop telling people your assumptions, stop commenting on people's bodies, right? 


They don't probably realize. it. A little caveat here. If someone has broccoli in their teeth, please tell them. If somebody has a booger hanging out of their nose, please tell them. If you think that somebody is wearing a really awesome outfit and has a great style, tell them. Right? 


Maybe you like their haircut. Right? You can say stuff like that. 


That's great. It's when we start commenting on their body that it gets weird. Right? That it gets uncomfortable. 


You know? Like a sensitive thing and we can easily hurt someone without realizing it. The other thing I want to say here is that people who are in a healing profession, when you comment on someone else's body, when they didn't pay you to do that and they didn't ask you to do that and you come to them with your concern, it can feel like a manipulation and you might not realize that. 


And honestly, maybe it is a manipulation and you might not have realized that either because I've totally had like the little devil on my shoulder saying like, oh, that guy's walking funny. Like I should go tell him about Han's somatic education. 


Right? I have never had the experience of going up to someone, the times that I have listened to that little devil on my shoulder and gone up and said, hey, you know, I noticed you're walking funny. Like, let me give you my card. Let me help you with that. They never call. That's not how I get a client. Right? 


If I did, you know, cool. Maybe that would be helpful, but that's not been my experience. And if your idea of how to get a client or help someone or book a massage is by sort of, I don't know, addressing the person's pain, it's kind of like, I guess I could compare it to like, for those of you who are out there who are in the coaching field or familiar with like online marketing, like bro marketing, like, you know, pushing the pain points, you know, and I think it's not very tasteful and it's not very compassionate. So I worked with this client at Joshua Tree Music Festival. 


I love Joshua Tree Music Festival. He came to my presentation on creating freedom from pain and had some change show up in his body and the little lesson that I gave during that presentation, right, on how to release stress patterns, how to release muscles, tense muscles in your body. So he came and did a session with me, an hour long session at my table. And you know, his big frustration was that people were constantly commenting on how his head was really far forward. 


And he was born with a birth defect that was part of the reason why his head was forward. But more than that, he had a desk job where he sat for many hours, leaning forward at a computer. So, you know, I heard him, I heard how obnoxious, but also like how painful it was to have everyone that he was there to see at the festival comment on how his head was really far forward from the rest of his body. 


And in that moment, I was like, I got you, I understand that frustration. I did not like it when people commented on my limp when I had a limp. And if I'm totally frank, sometimes when I get very mentally and emotionally stressed, my limp shows up again, right? And my limp shows up to avoid discomfort, right? So often, if you were to see me limping, unless I'm like wincing and complaining, because now I'm very vocal about my discomfort, I'm probably not in pain. I'm just a little bit stressed right now. And that is an old pattern in my body that shows up. 


And I start limping, right? That's an aside. But basically, I understood the way this fellow felt. And I, you know, wished that I could just tell all of his friends to stop commenting on the way that his body was positioned. Well, we finished our session and he was way more upright. He felt way more ease and relaxation and calm in his body. 


And his head was not so far forward. And he was like really astonished, really grateful, you know, and then when he went out and saw his friends, everybody was commenting on how much more upright he looked. But more than that, they weren't just commenting on his physical appearance. 


They were commenting on how he seemed. He seemed so relaxed. He seemed so calm. He seemed so happy. 


He seemed so present, right? There's so, so much that we could comment on about what another person brings to the picture, other than their physical body. We could tell someone how beautiful their voice sounds. We could tell somebody how wonderful it is, you know, when they give us a hug, right? 


What a great hugger they are. But we could tell somebody how their personality just lights up the room, right? Or what a beautiful smile. 


Whatever it is, we don't have to be commenting on the way that their physical body is formed and the physical way that their body moves or is positioned, right? Especially with that little lilt of judgment, that little lilt of something's wrong with you and I'm noticing it. So this subject, I realize like some people are gonna get it more than others. And then of course, there's gonna be, I don't know, not really naysayers, but people who, you know, want to want to say, oh, but, oh, but it's okay. You know, just grow with thicker skin, right? 


Just get over it, right? I'm gonna tell you a couple of times in my life that people have commented on my body and it just like, if anybody who's out there who's gone through body image issues, they started early on, right? They started very early on and most people who are walking around and interacting with you or even someone that you've gone on a few dates with or maybe someone you see at the gym or the yoga studio, they don't know anything about your life. They don't know about what you've been through, the kind of pain that you've been through, you know, and how your physical body might be reflecting that, right, in any given moment. And so really, who are they to be commenting on how your physical body is looked or formed, right? 


So I've talked about this on a previous podcast a little bit, but, and maybe someday I'll have a nice deep dive podcast on it because I think it's a really important subject for people to understand and for also people who went through this experience for it to be more normalized or at least, you know, know that other people had this experience and survived it and thrived and, you know, found love and all the things that you think when you're going through this that aren't gonna happen for you, right? So when I was eight years old, I went through puberty. I had what's called early onset puberty. 


I might have even been seven when it started. And I basically within a few months turned into like a woman's body. And it was very, it was very, very uncomfortable, physically uncomfortable, emotionally uncomfortable, socially uncomfortable. I was bullied, you know, and during that time, my body, like I said, it just felt like it kind of exploded. And my hips got, you know, wide all of a sudden and my thighs felt like they burst out. 


And in this kind of explosion, you know, of my body changing, I got a lot of stretch marks. And so then, you know, as an adult, right, kind of driving all the way into the future here, there's a lot of story in there, like what it was about and why I went through that and like the trials and tribulations of, you know, having the body of like a woman who's had four kids when I'm like, you know, a teenager and all of that stuff, right, that I went through.


 But flash forward to, you know, in my 20s, and gosh, the number of people that would just comment on my stretch marks if I went to the beach, or they'd comment on my stretch marks at a hot yoga class, or they'd start randomly telling me about some cream that could like get rid of my stretch marks, or they'd ask me how many kids I had, you know. 


And, you know, it wasn't just men, although there were certainly men that did this, but it was also women. And sometimes it was like older women where it was like, I sort of was stunned because I'm like, you're like an older woman who probably has children who probably has stretch marks yourself. Like, why are you talking to me about this? Why are you pointing this out to me? 


Like basically, have you no tact, you know? Because for me, what my stretch marks were linked to was this really painful and uncomfortable experience that I went through in my adolescence, right, this going through early onset puberty. And so when someone would comment on it, it was like they were, it was like they were reading my diaries or something. 


It was like, you don't know like what I've been through, but yet you're, you know, picking at this wound, you're picking at this scab, you know, and what I realized is that people did not mean to intentionally upset me. I understood that even at the time, but my upset was still there. 


My frustration and my irritation was still there. And, you know, there were a number of times that I actually spoke out and kind of stood up for myself, you know, especially in, you know, relationships with guys or something where they make this like negging comment or something, you know, about my stomach when they're also telling me how beautiful I am and blah, blah, right. 


And I would stand up and I'd be like, Hey, you know, like, you don't get to comment on my body that way, you don't get to like poke at me that way. Like this is a sensitive area in my body. And it's okay for this area to be sensitive. I'm still working on processing, like all of these things that I went through. 


Right. So take for, you know, for a moment, imagine if there's a space on your body that is sensitive, right, maybe you don't have the same story that I have. Maybe you have a different story, you know, about some area on your body where you hold a lot. I was holding so much in my stomach. If you want to know what I was holding in my stomach, go back to the first podcast episode. It's called Releasing My Forgotten Belly. 


And that's, that's, you know, pretty good story on my stomach. But some other place in your body where you hold a lot. And how would it feel if somebody you didn't know just came up and started messing around with that part of your body, started prodding it and poking it, you know, it's completely different if somebody, like is being paid to do that. 


If you're laying down on a table and saying, touch me, do something with my body, right? Or if you go to a professional and you say, Hey, I've got something going on in my shoulder, give me your opinion, tell me, help me find out what's going on. But just a random person off the street commenting or even just for a moment, let's imagine that the comment is an actual person like prodding you because that's how it feels. That's how it felt to me when people would comment on my stomach or comment on my limb. I felt prodded, you know, I felt invaded a little bit, right? So just imagine that for a moment, try to put yourself in the position of having somebody prod you and poke you in that sensitive space. 


It's probably unpleasant, right? So this has been my soapbox. This has been my, you know, please stop doing this, especially if you're a healer, you know, to recap, I think that there's so many other things that we could say to a person, right? If we're concerned with how someone feels and with what's going on in their body, we could simply ask them sincerely, Hey, are you okay? What's going on with you? Now, it's also okay to ask, Hey, are you having some pain in your body? 


Right? Ideally, I think that you should be asking someone who is making some whinsing face or verbalizing, like asking them if they need help versus just asking someone who might be walking strangely, but looks like they're feeling okay, right? And then please, please, please, if you are another healer, if you are another body worker, please be careful, right? I'm not going to say don't do it completely, but please be careful about how you are commenting on somebody's physical appearance or their body or the way that their body is structured. Are you doing this because you want to help them because you want to make a sale because you want to get a new client, right? 


All those things are valid. I'm not saying that it's like wrong to want a new client. It's not wrong to want to help this person. But is there another way that you could introduce yourself to them that you could find out if that's something that they actually need or something that they're looking for rather than to kind of come at them with this little bit of invasion of their body's sovereignty, right? Of their body's autonomy in a way by basically implying, like I said before, something's wrong here. 


So, food for thought. I would love to hear your feedback on this. So, if you're listening to the podcast, please follow me on Instagram if you don't already at Amy Takaya, right? You can DM me there. DM me and tell me what you think. 


Tell me if you appreciated this perspective. Tell me if you have a slightly different one. Maybe you have a story. I would love to hear your story. I am so honored to hear the stories of what other people experience somatically internally in their bodies, like what the thought process and emotional process and physical experience all was like for this person at this time in their lives or vice, you know, your present moment. 


So, please DM me at Aimee Takaya on Instagram. And I would love to hear from you and hear about how this conversation impacted you. What memories did it bring up? 


What feelings did it bring up, right? These are important conversations to have about our bodies and about what it is to be living in a body in the world, in a world that is designed to kind of make us feel pretty bad about our bodies to sell us stuff, right? To sell us that beauty cream or to sell us on a way that our body should look, right? 


There's a whole industry that, you know, we're all, I'm sure a lot of us are familiar with, that's about gaining from our disconnection and discomfort with our bodies, you know. And that's actually maybe what I'll end with here is that there's a way that we have been trained as children in this culture specifically to view ourselves from a third person perspective, meaning that we are having this awareness of ourselves of how we appear from the outside and we are looking at ourselves from a third party perspective. And then we are judging ourselves. We are condemning ourselves, or we are punishing ourselves, right? 


We were like this authoritarian parent towards ourselves and we're looking at ourselves from the outside. There's a researcher, Barbara Fredrickson, who did some very interesting research on this matter. You know, her contention was that women, you know, had a particularly high rate of things like, you know, body dysmorphia and depression because they viewed themselves from a third party perspective, right?


But the truth is when I kind of talked to Eleanor Crisvalhanna, my somatic mentor, about all this, she was like, well, it's everybody, really, it's everybody, we're all doing that. We're all looking at ourselves from the outside and judging ourselves and falling up short to some imagined societal standard of what we should be or how we could be, right? 


So the journey with somatics, and specifically the journey, neurophysiologically with Hannah Somatics, is the journey to sensing and experiencing ourselves from the inside and letting go of that third party perspective and stepping into a first person experience of our body and of ourselves where we can feel how incredibly rich and diverse and fascinating it is to be in a human body, right? 


And honor that individual belt experience, which is happily where I am at now in my life. Yeah, maybe just closing with the, well, I'm the things that used to trigger me about, say, my stomach and early onset puberty and, you know, even just the word fat used to trigger me a lot, and I would get irritated and upset if I heard someone use the word fat in a derogatory way, it would really piss me off. I now am not triggered by those things in the way that I was. 


I'm not like, I don't have this charge. My body's not ready to clench up and feel miserable because, you know, someone commented on my stretch marks or, you know, something like that. And the reason is that I've released the muscle memory related to that. 


I've released the charge, including my physical muscle memory around that. And I have started experiencing my stomach from the inside. I've started to really appreciate what my stomach can do beyond how it physically looks. I can appreciate that my stomach carried my son, right? 


Carried my son for those nine months. I can appreciate that my stomach digests my food for me, right? What a beautiful thing to have a working gut, especially since that was one of my other big issues throughout my life was I didn't digest things well, right? What a beautiful thing that my stomach feels, right? And when my husband wraps his arms around me and touches my stomach, I don't cringe anymore. 


I don't suck my stomach anymore and anymore. I feel his touch from the inside, and it feels like love. And this is the power of the somatic work that I do and the power of the somatic journey, right, to come back to our lived experience in our bodies. 


So, bless you. Like I said, would love to hear from you. So, DM me. Let me know what you thought of this conversation and I'll hope to bring you more solo episodes. I'm on a little solo episode kick and yeah, I think it's good for me to share with myself with you on this podcast, to share what I'm up to, to share what I've experienced and what I've gone through. 


Yeah, because it starts a dialogue and it's nothing better than sharing our experience and sharing our wisdom and sharing our gifts with the world. All right. Have a wonderful time out there, right? And free your soma. Be alive. Be in your body. 


Aimee: You've been listening to the Free Your Soma podcast. To find out more information about today's guest, check the show notes. And to find out more information about me, Aimee Takaya and the Radiance Program, visit www.freeyoursoma.com


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