I know what you're thinking. Breasts have no moving parts, so how can they hold any shortcuts to living a happy and productive life?
The female breast has been worshipped and adored for thousands of years. Yet scientists know little about them. No one knows what keeps them up, or why they appear on our bodies long before they're needed to feed babies. What could I learn from these two random blobs of fat sitting on my chest?
Here are 7 life hacks my breasts have taught me:
1. Be true to yourself. Growing up, my breasts were larger than average and felt out-of-place on my body. Boys, and girls, teased me. I tried hiding behind oversized sweatshirts, slouching my shoulders instead of standing up straight, and gaining weight to lessen their prominence. But attempting to control how others viewed me didn't help, and often made things worse. Once I embraced them, it was easier to ignore or call out offensive remarks.
2. Accept that everything changes. Over the years my boobs have gone up and down in size, volume, and shape. They always adapted to new challenges in their environment. Mine transformed with puberty, birth control, diet and exercise, pregnancy, nursing, cosmetic surgery, and menopause. I've learned to expect the unexpected and be open to new possibilities (and sizes in my lingerie drawer).
3. If you want to get somewhere, you have to move. My breasts are in a constant state of flux and motion. They don't like being confined or stuck in the same place. If I'm unsure of my life's direction, or frozen by indecision, I take a short walk. I've learned that taking one small step can help me get to where I want to go. It just looks like a huge leap in retrospect.
4. Get the support you need, when you need it. I've worn countless styles of bras, from strapless to sexy padded push-ups or practical nursing bras. I've learned to pick and choose what lifts me up and won't bring me down. I won't get far on my morning run without the help of a sports bra. I need an editor to complete my book manuscript. I decide what works best for me.
5. Maintain a sense of wonder. When I was pregnant and then breastfeeding, I was in awe of the power of my body to create and sustain life. My boobs knew what to do, although baby and Mama still needed to figure it out. It's hard to keep that sense of awe and wonder when life becomes one big traffic jam or a never-ending treadmill of bills. But I find it when I stop to notice everyday miracles, like a sunrise, changing sky, or the soft petals of a budding rose. Then I remember I'm part of the miracle called life.
6. Focus on living in the moment. I can't turn back the clock to some earlier perkier times, and there's no sense in worrying about some distant future. All I know is that my boobs will be different when I wake up tomorrow. I can only embrace who I am today.
7. If all else fails, count your blessings. My breasts helped nurture three children. They launched my professional career. They even mastered the art of tassel twirling. They are unique. And that's good enough for me.
What about you? Have you learned any life hacks from your breasts? Would you add any to this list?
Featured image: Freya Deco Strapless Bra via Bare Necessities