INKED: A Commitment to Love My Tender Tummy
Tattoos: they are symbols of honour, expressions of ourselves, memories, a right of passage, and a permanent mark and reminder of deep meaning and inspiration. In early July I finally went under the needle for the first time.
I chose to ink my body with a commitment to myself through a beauty mark on a trouble area.
I had a clear idea of what I wanted my 'beauty mark' to FEEL like (feminine + light + sacred) and it was important to me to have the art resonate with the artist. I found my gal and met with her to design a custom 10 petal mandala to be tattooed on my solar plexus -- the upper abdomen. Yes, my stomach. (I know what you're thinking, 'who gets a tattoo on their stomach?!' ... well, I did)
The design and location of my tattoo is a symbol for the third chakra, an energy center within the body which represents personal power and the core of the self. The third chakra governs self-worth, self-confidence, and self-esteem. This energy center is all about transformation, personality, and perception of self, allowing you to move forward with confidence and power if this chakra is in balance.
Working with this area was so important for me to once and for all commit wholeheartedly to acceptance and self-love surrounding my body image. I wanted to align with freeing myself from my own judgment and criticism and to feel (more than) comfortable in my own skin. When it comes to body image we all feel that we have 'trouble areas' and we are really wonderful at identifying them and targeting them time and time again. I realized that when I looked in the mirror the pattern I had created was to default to immediately identifying the parts of my body that I needed to work on. This pattern did not serve me (it doesn't serve you either!) and I wouldn't accept it any longer - I made the decision to work with my body rather than against it. My body will evolve but I need to rely on my self-love and acceptance to stay strong.
My tattoo serves as a gentle reminder when I look in the mirror that it isn't about the external. It isn't about my appearance or size but about how I choose to relate to my body and how I perceive it. I choose to honour it, I choose to celebrate it. I choose body art that fully embraces my tender tummy. By adding a beauty mark in what I viewed to be a trouble area I re-framed my thought pattern to first catch and appreciate the art on my body and root into the meaning of the third chakra rather than to direct my eyes and negative thoughts to the places of my body that I didn't view in a positive light.
I will admit that more than once I caught myself fearing that the tattoo would draw (bad) attention to my stomach and I would have to gently remind myself, 'this is what's is all about silly girl, self-confidence and acceptance.'
This tattoo was a pact with myself; a commitment to celebrate, love and appreciate my body each and every day. Now it's your turn: Promise yourself that when you look in the mirror you will always be drawn to your beauty. Pinky swear?
How can you celebrate your body today? How can you move in the direction of love and acceptance?