Sexuality in Color: Radical Embodiment

What do you do to take care of yourself? What makes you feel good? What makes you feel present and grounded in your body? 

This past week has been a difficult one for me (I say, as if the weeks aren't always difficult in one way or another).

Often, I found myself feeling tired, run down, short-tempered, exhausted, and overwhelmed. During particularly stressful times like these, I tend to lose track of where (and how) I inhabit my body. I start to feel like I'm only made up of tense muscles, frayed nerves, forgotten tasks, and anxious thoughts, all bundled together like a bunch of tangled wires.

Only when I actually slow down do I start to feel my own body again, from the ache of my feet, through the breath in my lungs, to the sound of my heart beating.

I have to remind myself that my body and my mind are not just vehicles for doing the things that I do all day - they are beautiful and powerful entities, all by themselves.

Today's inspiration for getting in touch with our bodies comes from Megan Amal, staff writer over at Art For Ourselves, a writing collective devoted to centralizing the voices of queer⁠ and trans people of color. She writes a regular series called Radical Embodiment, in which she encourages us to think about how we internalize pain, trauma⁠ , fatigue, and fear into our bodies throughout our daily lives, as well as what we can do to love and take care of ourselves. She provides suggestions and techniques for reducing stress, practicing moments of mindfulness and self-love, and empowering us to treat our bodies with extra kindness and love during these difficult times.

Today's article teaches us about Calming Self-Massage and shares some words that I think I will try to hold up as my mantra for the next week:

Your body is yours! Know your body! Love your body!
Take time for your body. For yourself.
Do not allow this culture to separate you from your body!
For yourself, your health, your wellness.
For resistance, to give you strength.
Your body is yours! Know your body! Love your body!

Of course, here at Scarleteen we can also suggest plenty of other ways in which you can explore your body and spent time caring for and loving yourself, should you be interested in going down that route. Whether it's belting to Beyonce, a homemade essential oil bubble bath, a quick yoga routine, a mini foot massage, or just a really really good cup of tea, there is no limit to the things that you can do to celebrate and appreciate everything your body does for you. Nor should there be.

Know of a blog, organization, or resource that belongs here? Send it to our curator, Al (that's me!), at al AT scarleteen DOT com.
Interested in contributing as a guest writer for our Sexuality in Color series, or any other part of Scarleteen? Check out⁠ our information for writers and then take it from there! Experienced queer and trans writers of color of varied abilities and experiences are always strongly encouraged to apply.

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  • Al Washburn

Setting an intention together for a brighter, happier, more authentic, rewarding 2018.