Week 3 Reflection
Your Body Is Not Your Masterpiece by Glennon Doyle
Week 3 Reflection - Week of March 20th
Your body is not your masterpiece — your life is.
It is suggested to us a million times a day that our BODIES are PROJECTS. They aren’t. Our lives are. Our spirituality is. Our relationships are. Our work is.
Stop spending all day obsessing, cursing, perfecting your body like it’s all you’ve got to offer the world. Your body is not your art, it’s your paintbrush. Whether your paintbrush is a tall paintbrush or a thin paintbrush or a stocky paintbrush or a scratched up paintbrush is completely irrelevant. What is relevant is that YOU HAVE A PAINTBRUSH which can be used to transfer your insides onto the canvas of your life — where others can see it and be inspired and comforted by it.
Your body is not your offering. It’s just a really amazing instrument which you can use to create your offering each day. Don’t curse your paintbrush. Don’t sit in a corner wishing you had a different paintbrush. You’re wasting time. You’ve got the one you got. Be grateful, because without it you’d have nothing with which to paint your life’s work. Your life’s work is the love you give and receive — and your body is the instrument you use to accept and offer love on your soul’s behalf. It’s a system.
We are encouraged to obsess over our instrument’s SHAPE — but our body’s shape has no effect on it’s ability to accept and offer love for us. Just none. Maybe we continue to obsess because as long we keep wringing our hands about our paintbrush shape, we don’t have to get to work painting our lives. Stop fretting. The truth is that all paintbrush shapes work just fine — and anybody who tells you different is trying to sell you something. Don’t buy. Just paint.
No wait — first, stop what you are doing and say THANK YOU to your body — right now. Say THANK YOU to your eyes for taking in the beauty of sunsets and storms and children blowing out birthday candles and say THANK YOU to your hands for writing love letters and opening doors and stirring soup and waving to strangers and say THANK YOU to your legs for walking you from danger to safety and climbing so many mountains for you.
Then pick up your instrument and start painting this day beautiful and bold and wild and free and YOU. Your body is not your masterpiece—your life is. Paint this day beautiful, bold, wild & free.
Questions for Reflection & Discussion
As you reflect on the following questions, please keep in mind that there are no right answers. Perhaps you just want to pick one question and reflect on it for the week or maybe you want to spend time on each one, do what feels right for you (and what you can fit in!)
What resonated, caught your attention, made you want to dig deeper or left you feeling conflicted about the above reflection?
Is there a particular area of your life you currently feel a draw toward “working on” or creating?
There is a quote by George Bernard Shaw that reads: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” What do you think about this shift in perspective from the common narrative about “discovering” oneself as opposed to being an active participant in where your life is heading?
How does motherhood and raising children intersect with the idea of creating your life and pursuing your own self and desires?
How has the way you have viewed your body changed through the experience of becoming a mother?
What are you most grateful toward your body for? Most frustrated?
These are optional prompts you may choose to engage with or not. While we won’t center our conversation on these responses, the process of journaling/engaging in a practice can be a helpful tool for deeper self-reflection.
A TALE OF BECOMING: Free-write a story about yourself. Write it as if you are the main character in a fairy tale. Perhaps you are a child, even. Describe your qualities, values, drive and desires. See where the story takes you. When you are done and if you feel inclined, see if you can draw an parallels from it to your current season and situation in life.
Another prompt: Choose a time in your life, say 5-10 years ago, and write out what you would have considered most important to you (i.e. career, health, accomplishments, etc.). Then, write a list of current values and priorities. Pay attention to what has changed and what remains. Consider if there are things you want to go back to or continue to let go of in the upcoming season.