10 Views of the Body with Tiga-Rose Nercessian

Today we speak to Tiga-Rose Nercessian, an Intimacy Coach and trainee Sex Therapist who works with gender and sexual minorities, so LGBTQIA+, kinky, and polyamorous people (http://www.intimata.co.uk/).

"The more you love your body, the less you need others to approve of it."

 What does this quote mean to you?
A. This quote speaks to me about how many of us look for confirmation or validation outside of ourselves. We use the approval of others to make use feel good about ourselves. This is, at best, a precarious situation, as friends and lovers come and go, at worst, deeply toxic, as the thirst of validation can be unquenchable and never-ending. We don’t care who loves us or at what price, as long as the good vibes keep coming, which creates co-dependant relationships.
In contrast, feeling safe and deeply at home in your own body is a source of endless nourishment. So the more we fill our own cup, the less we need to depend on others. Ideally, we want an interdependent balance of loving our own body and being receptive to the love and support of others too.
I’m cautious of giving any “requirement” to love our bodies, as not only can body positivity be toxic and exclusive, but it can also alienate people with chronic pain, disabilities, or self-image issues.
What does your body mean to you?
A. Now, my body is my home and closest companion. Sadly, we spent many years at war, with battles over body image, size, shape, as well as sporting performance.
I feel my body is more of a woodland than a temple. It’s an organic, evolving, uniquely beautiful and seasonal living entity. Almost by magic, every single part from the smallest cell, to my butt and my head, all work together in perfect harmony each and every day to carry me through my life. My body is a blessing. I feel so lucky to be incredibly healthy and find it easy to stay healthy and fit.
What do you understand under the word body?
A. The word body has so many meanings and layers. First, we have the physical, which in itself has so many fascinating components and different types of tissue, from fascia to
lung alveoli, to bones and nerves. When we look inside out body, it’s like a jungle in there!
As a therapist, I also recognise we have emotional, psychological, and energetic bodies. As with our physical bodies, these bodies also need cleaning, exercise, and nourishment.
How do you think that society and modern life affects our bodies & health?
A. Much of what’s called modern life seems pretty harmful to the human body. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very thankful for modern medicine and dentistry. But, so much of what we call food and drink is hard to digest and overly refined. Add to this, the constant bombardment of adverts, traffic, light pollution, and mobile phones, and we are being polluted through all our senses.
To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying playing on your phone and eating burgers in noisy bars if that’s what works for you. However, for me personally, my health and body are much better in a quieter environment, with more trees than people, lots of fresh air, starry nights, and a slower pace of life and food.
A more general point worth making is that mainstream society can be deeply ablest and fat shaming. From wheelchair users to overweight people with chronic fatigue, they may struggle to find inspiring and inclusive representations of themselves in modern society. It’s helpful to remember that there’s more than one way to be healthy and all body shapes, types, and sizes are valid and lovable.
What does the word awareness mean to you?
A. This is an interesting questions. Typically, awareness is being conscious of something or someone or knowing that you are seeing, feeling, and perceiving what is around you.
Personally, I feel awareness is a beautiful skill to practice as it can be so much more, when we look at it from more of a Buddhist or Taoist perspective. If we see paying attention as a childlike skill to learn, then having awareness is the matured, adult version. It combines both the focused energy of paying attention and the more diffuse self perception of adult consciousness.
This awareness is something we can use as a mental practice but can also contribute to deepening our movement practice such as in dance or Qi Gong.
How you define nutrition? Is it just food or maybe more?
A. I am a sensory sponge and nutrition, for me, is far more than just food. Even with something a simple as water, I would much prefer to live somewhere with natural mountain source water coming from the taps than chemically processed water that’s been recycled a dozen times.
As someone who is very sensorially sensitive, my diet or nutritional intake also includes all the smells in my home, so I generally avoid synthetic smells and products, and I burn oak or beech in my fire, not pine. This applies to lighting too, so I have dimmer switches and salt lamps to provide gentle glows in the evening.
My nutritional intake also includes who I interact with, such as much choice of friends and clients, and what I choose to watch and read. I don’t have a TV subscription service, no Netflix, Prime, or anything like that. My preference is for a more primitive, calm life, where my nutrition feels wholesome and nourishing to me. Each to thine own self be true.
Art by Dina Lukmanova @_dinka_kartinka_