Have you ever though about how many pieces you have divided yourself into? Think of the parts you reserve for others: teeth for your dentist, sinuses to your ENT, stomach to your GI, heart to your cardiologist…the list could go on for days. Sure, a specialist knows more about a specific organ more than you, but does anyone know you better than YOU?

I recently spent the weekend at a YTU Integrated Anatomy workshop lead by the amazing Sarah Court. We spent 3 days and 15 hours delving deep into the multiple layers, tissues, and cells of the body. This was my third time through the course (2nd time as an assistant) and my teacher’s toolbox is always left with an abundance of new knowledge.

Part of all YTU trainings includes  a call for introspection. Specific to anatomy is to question your relationship with your various layers, starting from the outside and working your way in. The questions deal with not only how you perceive the specific layer, but also how you would treat it if it were a person.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my relationship with my skin. As the outermost layer, it is the “face” you show to the world, as I really don’t go around showing of my liver very often. I have spent many years being incredibly mindful of the “needs” of my skin, and have trusted others with its care.

I can remember sitting in the pediatricians’ office at 7 years old and being told that I should wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat whenever I am in the sun. And so I have. I have spent a lifetime covering up my skin to protect it from the suns’ rays, fearful of what would happen should I sprout one more freckle or mole. You think I would be a pro by now, but even to this day, I am “surprised” by the sun and it’s laser beam rays. I took on a rosy hue after walking Ella during lunch last week. It was the one of the hotter days of the month and I was in a tank top. Side note: If ever you wondered what it feels like to roll your YTU balls on sunburned skin – it’s terrible. Don’t do it.

I don’t claim to know it all, but I do know ME better than anyone. I know more about all my layers, including the ones I can’t see, then a doctor who sees me once every 3 years for 10 minutes (if I’m lucky). To get to this point of self-confidence was a journey into doubt and trust.

The skin is an amazing organ – as your protective layer it keeps a barrier between you and the outside world and yet can range in thickness from just a few cells (like your eyelids) to 4mm thick. This week I also refreshed my Somanaut side, watching the skin chapter of Gil Hedley’s Integrated Anatomy DVDs with a friend. Such a small layer in depth and yet we spend so much money covering it up, keeping it hydrated, or masking its coloring. Think of all the money you could save if you were able to love and celebrate your skin exactly as it is? Think of how we would treat our skin differently if wrinkles were a sign of wisdom and experience to be cherished instead of frozen?

Maybe next week I’ll ponder my superficial fascia and the fatty layer enveloped in it’s filmy scaffolding. Or just continue working on my relationship with my skin. We’ve got a lot of area to cover. ;)