So what exactly is The Clan of the Thunder Thighs?
When I was in middle school and high school, the worst thing you could have called me was "thunder thighs," a derogatory term used to call someone fat. I have never been a little girl in my build. I hail from a long line of strong Scottish, Irish, Polish and "Heinz 57" (as my mother called us) women. But growing up, I had no sense of this. My mother has always been petite and the family I grew up seeing most often was her side of the family. So my cousins were all trim and aunts and uncles too.
When I was nine years old, after being called fat by other kids, I begged my mother to let me go on a diet with her. She finally acquiesced, and thus began my foray into the American game of yo-yo dieting. I know she was being as loving as she thought possible at the time. And I was never easily ignored when I wanted my way.
But, if you google it, you'll see that yo-yo dieting is not only very dangerous and unhealthy, but it also leads to more overall weight gain for such dieters than those who never start to diet in the first place. The challenge was not the food, although I began binging and hoarding food when I was only eight (that story will come in another post). The challenge was not being able to see myself for who I really am - physically as well as emotionally and, most importantly, spiritually.
Somehow, we have become blinded by giving more weight to external opinions, beliefs and lies than the knowing that exists right inside our own hearts (how long have we known that even super models don't look like themselves in real life compared to their air-brushed magazine shots?). We know what me need, we have just forgotten. We've been distracted from realizing what we know to be true about ourselves.
And so, it was with the first line of a poem I wrote years ago, that I began to open my heart to this deep knowledge of my spiritual wholeness. I was in the midst of a terribly dark moment of struggle where I felt monstrously large (despite how healthy I actually was at the time). And I remember pinching my inner thigh with disgust and saying out loud, "I will always be cursed with these thunder thighs!"
And in a flash, it hit me: When did the idea of "thunder" become a negative thing? Think about it: Thunder denotes strength, power and force. When lightening strikes in the mountains, you don't laugh it off, you start counting the seconds between claps of thunder to see how close the power is getting to you.
I put my pen to paper. "She walks with thunder in her thighs." This was the line that marked a life-change for how I would choose to relate to myself from then on. It was in this moment that self-hatred, after years of suffocating my heart with the iron grip of its gnarly fingers, began to lose ground. And it has never regained full control.
In fact, it has led to this juncture in my path, the point where I am inviting all of us to stand in the power that lies inside of us, and say, "Thus far, and no farther." Walk out of this illusory prison with me. No man, woman or child need be a puppet controlled by cultural trends of success, beauty, or value. Our worth has never been dependent on a pant size (too big or too skinny), skin tone, fashion sense, or BMI. No scale, measuring tape, or mirror can give us value or strip us of it. These are inherent qualities in merely being.
And if you walk in this power than you are kin, you are in the Clan of the Thunder Thighs. And you are needed. Exactly as you most deeply are. And if you don't yet know your own strength in this way, but there is something that dances in your heart just to think about this kind of freedom - then you, too, are kin. And it's time to claim your inheritance!