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by Amy A.

At the spa workshop, I heard the statement, "All bodies are equally interesting and lovely." I didn't understand what that meant until the last night there when our evening workshop took place in the pool.

When I arrived at the pool that night, most of the women were already in the water, in a big circle, holding hands. Some wore bathing suits, many weren't wearing anything. I got in and joined the circle. The water was warm and there were scented leaves and flowers in the pool and candles around the edges.

In the circle, we talked about what being at the spa had meant to each of us. It wasn't about learning to eat in a different way, although that was part of it. It was about learning to treat ourselves better and to view ourselves with more compassion and love. It was also about learning to inhabit our bodies more completely and about learning to like them, as they are now.

After we'd each spoken, we swam around for awhile. Then some of the women got out of the pool. More and more followed. As I watched all these women emerge from the water, I began to understand the statement, "All our bodies are equally interesting and lovely." Each body I saw was extremely beautiful. In some ways they were the same and in other ways, each different. Seeing all these lovely and interesting bodies taught me something that I'd never thought I could believe: Beauty, even outer beauty, is not a matter of size, muscle tone or firmness.

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