It seems that no matter who we are, how we look, each of us carry negative feelings about particular parts of our body or in some cases, the whole thing. We look in the mirror and judge ourselves, see other people and compare ourselves. No matter what we do, we feel a sense that our body is incomplete. The reason we feel this way is because our focus is on perfecting the vessel not the instrument it carries. We need to shift our focus and understand that our body is our vessel to carry our very special soul.
We need to look after it to make sure it is in the best condition to allow for our personal expansion and growth. Illness can have a profound effect on how we feel and function, so we must make sure our vessel is in the best condition to carry us through our beautiful lives. This means we need to ensure we are eating healthily. Healthily doesn't necessarily mean salads, lentils and fish at every meal but it does mean the enjoyment of a balanced, nutritious diet that honours our specific dietary requirements and preferences. As I'm sure you've experienced, the commitment to an overly restrictive, 'diet' can result in a detour to the other end of the scale with overindulgence and the inevitable feelings of failure and guilt that go along with overeating or simply eating the wrong types of food. Therefore a consistent, maintainable approach is best. Additionally, we need to not require food to have fun, to suppress feelings or to make us socialise. Food needs to be a nourishment for our wonderful vessels. When you are next eating, consider why you are eating, what you are eating and consider if it is the best thing to enable a healthy vessel. Conscious eating is key to controlling what we put into our mouths.
Now, throughout our lives we get conditioned to believe that the outside validates the inside. This, of course, is not true. And the longer we hold these beliefs, the more we disempower ourselves. We need to work on changing these old programs that replay in our mind. So in order for us to be in love with our insides we must accept and love the outside. However this is a two pronged approach. The happier we are on the inside, the more we accept the outside and the more we love the outside, the more we fall in love with our inside. So we must work both angles.
Keep seeing yourself as fit, fun, healthy and movable. For the love of the outside, we need to start to see different things about ourselves. The more you can see yourself being the person, the more you will move towards that person.
For those of you who are not already, I highly recommend a guided meditation that focuses on positive affirmations to help work through your thoughts and beliefs about yourself and to reprogram some of those downloaded programs that do not serve us… like “I am not enough” “If I looked like that life would be better” “It is because of my xx (insert body part) that I don’t have yy (insert goal)”.
Additionally, here are some positive exercises you can start to do to change the way you feel about yourself.
Stand in front of the mirror. Lock on your own eyes. Look into your own eyes. Tell yourself, I love you. Repeat. Really engage with yourself. Look yourself in the eyes. You may be surprised and not remember the last time you engaged yourself in an honest conversation. Do this every day. If this is hard, then do it twice a day. Say more than I love you if you can. Talk to yourself and tell yourself good things about yourself.
Every time you pass a mirror tell yourself 3 things you love about yourself. EVERY TIME. I love the dimple in my cheek, I love my hazel eyes, I love my smile, I love my porcelain skin, I love my happy nature, I love my legs, my arms. The more you tell yourself this, the more this will start to happen. We need to create the feelings that we want to have. Get excited about yourself. This is the only body you have. This is the best body you have. It is here to serve you and it is a great and wonderful gift. We need to start to think of it differently. It is not something that people judge us by, it is what gets us around and allows us to have this wonderful life.
There are plenty of things that you love about yourself. However, again, we are conditioned to see the negative. We will never be perfect. Because, there is no such thing. Perfect is a word used to compare ourselves to others. Even when you feel like your clothes fit, the critic will remain. So to combat this, we must start to view ourselves and our bodies (our vessels) in another light. We are not our bodies, we need them but we need to detach from them.
You are beautiful, whole and complete, just the way you are.