One of my favorite memes floating around social media is about how to have a bikini body. It goes something like this:
Step One: Have a body
Step Two: Put a bikini on it
There! Problem solved- right? With many of the women I have worked with, there is a notion that their bodies are not thin enough or fit enough to wear a bathing suit, and I also hear the activities and connections they are missing due to this way of thinking.
I love working with older adults, as time has given them a perspective that we often cannot see when we are younger. Time is the only thing we cannot create more of in this world, and yet, when we stop ourselves from putting on that bathing suit we may miss an opportunity to swim with our children or connect with our friends. For me, the bikini is a metaphor for life and how we choose to live our life in the moment. Take a minute and consider all of the wonderful things your body does for you everyday. Off the top of my head, I feel gratitude that my body can take me with ease to the coffee pot every morning, hug my children, friends and loved ones, guide me through my yoga practice and embrace joy on the dance floor. None of these activities reflect how I look in a bathing suit, and my body continues to keep moving, allowing me opportunity to meet life to the fullest.
I have seen various articles about the things dying people wished they had done when they were younger, and not one says they were happy that they sat on the sidelines watching the world from afar because they didn’t want to wear a bathing suit.
If we spend our lives waiting for the perfect moment, the perfect body, the perfect partner, the perfect life we miss what life is truly about- living life to our fullest potential in the moment- whatever or however that looks like. So, as you step into these warmer months find the ways you can be grateful for your body and embrace your body as it is in the moment. Put on that bathing suit and join in connection at the pool or the beach. Living life fully is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and those around you.
I think of the quote by Maya Angelou:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
In the end, no one will remember how you looked in a bathing suit, they will only remember the moments of connection and how you made them feel- so go out there and live each day to the fullest in the body you have right now.