An Apology To My Body

An Apology To My Body | A Body Positivity Poem

An apology to my body

I’m sorry for endless empty 
stomachs filled with nothing 
but coffee grounds and ash. 
For burning your insides 
with bottles of liquor 
and broken glass.

I’m sorry for trying 
to claw out of you 
as if I were buried alive. 
Fingernails into your flesh 
trying to rid myself of you.

I’m sorry for carving train tracks
from razor blades and pooling 
blood beneath, hoping 
they would take me somewhere 
far from you. I’m sorry for 
the twelve inch gash on your thigh 
I splayed open like a butcher 
to a cows stomach.

I’m sorry for all the times 
I screamed at you and called 
you names like an abusive lover, 
white-knuckled in rage.

I’m sorry for all the people 
who roughed up your soft skin. 
They never deserved to know you 
the way I do.

I’m sorry for taking so long
in learning how to love you. 
I’m sorry I will forget 
how once again, always in
learning of how to love 
you stronger.

We began as one,
an archaic bond. 
You knew me before 
I knew my first breath.
Let me press yarrow 
to our wounds
and begin 
to mend.

'Mirror" by Sylvia Plath + A Writing Prompt

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful,
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.

Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.

The poem above is by Sylvia Plath. Written with the mirror as the speaker, it gives the essence of great beauty and sadness. We perceive the user from the eyes of the mirror. Giving us only a brief glimpse into who the woman is, we are given enough information to understand what emotional turmoil she may be going through as she sees her own reflection. Plath gives tremendous power to the mirror. “I am not cruel, only truthful” showcases how often people despise what they see in the mirror but it is not something the mirror has control over. I have read this 5 times tonight alone and could analyze each line. Truly a stunning poem.

In my poetry class, we are currently writing a poem from the perspective of an object. The options are limitless: it could be a beautiful view or a disturbing view. It could be a candle or a lightbulb.

Creative prompt: write from the perspective of an inanimate object. Don’t worry about whether or not it has “deep” meaning. The options are limitless: it could be written from a dark and disturbing view or from a light and airy view. It could be a candle or a tunnel. Write prose or poetry. Write in your journal or type it up. Write one sentence or two. Share it in the comments below.

I’m thinking about making a poem + a prompt series. If you’re into the idea, tell me your thoughts here about it.

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Shayna Shattelroe

25 years old. Mama to Maddox. Word weaver. Lover of love. Coffee addict. Psychological science student. 

A woman of curious nature, my name is Shayna. I am wild & reserved. Humbled & proud. Quiet & clamorous. Strange & familiar. I live in the trees of New England typing away as lifestyle blogger. You can always find me with a coffee cup in one hand and a book in the other.

Blogging since 2005, I’ve had an innumerable amount of blogs on a vast number of platforms. Finally, I’ve found one to call home: The Lovely Cicada. This blog is a piece of myself I extend to you.

8 Self Care Apps For A Better You

Self Care Apps For A Better You

 Calm

Having a mindfulness practice is something I incorporate into my daily life. Allowing me time to reflect in silence and simply be has made me an all around calmer person. With Calm, I'm able to enhance my mindfulness. They have the most beautiful sleep stories, meditation options, sounds, and music. Simply opening the app is relaxing with their beautiful visuals and soothing sounds. They have sessions for guided meditation, walking meditation, open-ended meditation or even topics such as stress, kindness, forgiveness, and so many others. As you meditate, Calm begins to compile a calendar for you so you can visual how often (or how seldom) you are incorporating meditation and calmness into your days. To keep you motivated, it even gives you the amount of time you've meditated, the amount of sessions you've done, and your longest day streak. For sleep, they have sounds you can play or even sleep stories to listen to. There's a melody called "Milky Way" and the tune is ethereal, otherworldly, and so calming it puts my son out within minutes and makes my eyes heavy as I lay down with him. There are so many amazing options within this app. It's perfect to add a little calm to our busy lives.

Headspace

Headspace, like Calm, is a meditation app. Headspace believes that meditation and mindfulness is a necessary to help relieve stress and anxiety while upping creativity and focus. Even if you've never meditated before, Headspace will guide you through it. If you're busy, they even have mini exercises you can do at any time that last anywhere from 1-3 minutes. If you're looking for something specific, they have sessions for anxiety, productivity, anger, regret, and more. A simple 10-minute meditation is a great beginner to start becoming more mindful and aware of oneself and Headspace allows you to do just that. 

Happify

Happiness relies on games and activities for emotional support and happiness. Each track within the app is science-based to help train your thoughts into positivity and reduce your stress and anxiety. Follow the tracks to help you acquire the skills you need to conquer the negative thoughts. Each track is different ranging from guided meditation to writing exercises. There is also an option to see your "skills" which is composed of five different ones: Savor, Thank, Aspire, Give, and Empathize. As you do the activities, those status bars begin to fill up. They also have a section that tells you "why it works" and the literature even has footnotes to links so you can read or research more. The app is great if you like science-backed apps, games, and positive thinking. It sounds like a lot but the app is user-friendly and extremely innovative for  online, personal mental health support. 

Grateful: Gratitude Journal

A gratitude journal will help focus on your appreciation for the things that matter most. It's easy for us to get caught up in the negative moments but it's important to remember the little things, the things that keep our heart beating and our laughter loud and our smile wide. Each journal session begins with a prompt to help guide your thoughts. You can use one of theirs or even create your own prompt. It also allows you to add a photo – maybe you took a photo of your kids that day or were really grateful for an amazing meal or attending an exciting event. When you want to go back and reflect, the app makes it easy by allowing you to view as a timeline or as a page. If you want to turn it into a physical journal, Grateful makes it easy to export as a PDF so you can always be reminded of what made and makes you grateful. 

All Trails

Love hiking? Well, this app helps you locate any and all trails (get it?) and even allows you to choose between length, difficulty, rating, location, and so forth and gives you detailed trail maps.  Not only that but you can favorite different trails to tackle in the future and find which ones are dog and kid friendly. When you find one and are ready to hit the trails, you can turn on your GPS and it'll follow you along the trail making sure you don't get lost. Connect with friends to share and find trail inspiration. Nothing beats the outdoors and this definitely ups the game to make your hikes even more exciting. 

Think Dirty

As you're shopping, scan barcodes of beauty products and Think Dirty will tell you how bad or good the ingredients. With almost 900,000 products, Think Dirty will tell you how good or toxic the ingredients are in the items you use daily. All you have to do is scan the barcodes of your beauty or personal care products and it'll let you know how "dirty" it is on their "dirty meter." It also lists off the ingredients for you so you can judge yourself. If you want, you can even save products for future shopping trips so you have your good and bad list on hand. The app also allows you to track your progress on limiting the bad products and will give you a score on toxic your bathroom shelf is. This app is great to keep you aware of what's going on your body. 

Stigma

1 in 4 people in the world will be affected by a mental or neurological disorder. Stigma is a mood journal that is meant to help relieve some of your suffering. It allows you to choose the mood you're currently feeling and then gives you a journal space to describe who/what/why/when/where/etc that may be attributing to how you're feeling. Not only that but as you set your moods, the app begins to generate a calendar for you so you can see how your mood rises and falls throughout time. Mental illness often focuses on the negative days and weeks you may be having but this app can show you the positives as well so you have a visual that the bad can and does pass. It also provides a community for those struggling with mental health and gives you "penpals" to connect to. 

Acorns

Saving and investing money can be a daunting task, but Acorns makes it easy by setting aside your spare change to grow your own personal wealth. Acorns syncs with your cards and rounds up the change from whatever purchases you make. So if you bought a coffee for $4.50, the app will invest $.40. The perk is – it seems so painless you'll never really notice it's gone but it'll all start adding up into a nice little savings in the long term. Don't knock off spare change and start investing it today with Acorns. 

These apps should not replace stepping away from technology and practicing mindfulness in a more "natural" fashion. However, these are great teachers to help us start somewhere and track our mental health. 

Whats your favorite self care app?