ALL ABOUT BODY
A journey in and through
I love my body. How do those words make you feel? When you say the phrase “I love my body” what kind of inward reactions do you have? Maybe this sentence rings true for you and you really do love your precious, beautiful and one of a kind body. This is what I hope for you, for the world. It’s possible that you feel discomfort, shame, rejection and disgust when you say this. It’s possible that you reject the phrase all together. It’s possible that you pretend to love your body, but really underneath you feel icky and shy away from mirrors. It’s possible you’re not alone.
Women, we are such lovely creatures. Soft, warm, supple, fierce, powerful. We are the earth, the sun, the water, the air manifested into physical form. We are true beauty. Yet so many of us feel uncomfortable in our bodies, we feel pain about our bodies, we feel shame about our real beauty… there are many reasons these feelings come about, many roads we have been down that have led us to these wacky beliefs. We don’t have to go back down those roads, we just have to commit to taking the road less traveled together in an effort to save ourselves. For our hatred of our bodies is causing pain to much more than just ourselves. The collective consciousness picks up on it. We transfer it to our children, we omit it in our daily lives… We have to start taking responsibility for these deep-rooted unhealthy stories we tell ourselves. It’s time to start creating a culture of real love for these bodies that house our spirits.
I’ve worked on this a lot. My body and I are continually getting closer, getting to know each other better, making peace. I don’t have it all the way figured out… there are still days when I feel uncomfortable, unhappy and judgmental of my body. I would never pretend to have it all sorted out, that defeats the purpose. But what I do know, is that there is a way to challenge the mind, to put it in its place. I have got to the point where I no longer believe the thoughts. I see them, I recognize them as false and then I let them know they have been caught. I don’t identify with them. By doing this I disarm the thoughts, I refocus my energy and I allow real healing to happen. I want to support you in doing this too. It’s been the most pivotal practice in my journey to self-love and acceptance.
These are my top three tips for real body love
- FEEL IT ALL. The way out is through, no truer statement has ever been made. If you want to really get to the end of it, to really find peace in your home (body), then you have to be willing to feel some maybe not so comfortable feelings. Often when we are body shaming ourselves, it’s at a time when we really need to be sitting with ourselves and holding space for our wounds to heal. Stop yourself when you are in a frenzy of self hated. Take a breath. Sit down and ask: What is it that I really need? What is it that I’m really pissed at? What is it really? Wait. Listen. Breath. Cry. Feel the pain that will undoubtably come up. It’s there to teach you, to help you, to grow you. Pain is a vehicle to radical self-acceptance if you allow it to be. Lean in, listen up and let yourself melt down. The way out is through.
- FEED YOURSELF, FREE YOURSELF. Much of our shame and body judgments is manifested in forms of food punishments. Either we eat too much, eat too little or a combination of both. When you sit down to eat, take a moment before hand. Breath and relax. Remind yourself that this is to nourish your body, to help you stay healthy, fit and strong. There is enough. If you are full, stop eating. If you need more, you can have more. Let yourself enjoy every bite. Remember that food is not your mother, it’s not your father. It can’t give you love, only nourishment. If love is what you are seeking or withholding from yourself, food is not the way. Watch what comes up for you around meal time, especially when you are tired, stressed or on your moon cycle. These are delicate times and require much care from you, but can also offer major transformation when you are willing to be present.
- INNER CHILD LOVE. I used to think my mother was crazy when I would over hear her talking about “the inner child”. I remember her saying this in her group therapy sessions when I was younger. I thought the woman there were so weak. Now I see these woman as trailblazers, they were so strong. Meeting together in the early 90’s to talk about what was really going on for them. I respect it now and I see the beauty of this. We each have so many amazing aspects that make us up, we are pretty fascinating. The inner child is the part of us that still needs mama, still needs daddy, needs love, understanding, validation, play…. this part of us gets so neglected. There comes a point in our lives when we have to learn to parent ourselves, or even reparent ourselves… mother is gone, father is gone, but the little one inside still remains. Many of us deny this aspect of ourselves and see it as weakness, but if you can learn to play, love and parent/reparent this little one, your life will change. Old wounds from childhood can make this little child especially needy. I know for me, growing up with no father and finding out he had passed away before I ever got to meet him was a wound that hit deep. I buried a part of myself. I left my inner child alone and didn’t hear her, but like all children she acted out, she made herself heard in many ways; abusive relationships, wild parties, self-denial, eating disorders, exercise addiction… you name is she did it. To get my attention. Well, finally she got it. I’m now aware of this “being” inside me that needs me to be there, to be present, to be lovingly firm, to play when the time is right and to just hold her when she needs it. When you start to cultivate a relationship with your inner child, you will see some things that are maybe painful, but remember the pain is a springboard to next level emotional awareness. This relationship with your inner child will change your relationship to your body.
I have never met a woman who has not struggled with her body. Our world is so body focused. We are hypersexed in one way but have no real understanding of sexuality and what it’s power and beauty is. We are bombarded by magazines, models, movie stars and even porn… these things set deep images in us, we base beauty on the physical only. It’s time to start changing things. Yes, beauty is wonderful! But physical beauty is nothing without cultivating a real loving relationship with our body, our heart and our spirit. I invite you to start talking about this, make it known, share. Bring it up with your girlfriends, post about, share your experience. I would love to hear what you have to say, #strongandradiant to have a conversation. We can change things. We can support each other on this highly important and delicate journey to self acceptance and body love.