Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Elizabeth Casey. She is a freelance writer and she would love to interact with you in the comment box below.
Do you love and accept your body or do you criticize it for various perceived flaws and shortcomings? Be honest. If you’re like most people in western culture, your body is not something you are ravishingly in love with, nor have you ever considered the idea of being in love with your body. You more than likely wish that your body was different, whether thinner, younger, heavier, more fit, whatever. Maybe, you simply dislike a particular body part and wish it could change. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many, people dislike or even hate their bodies. I argue that this body-disdain is deeply harming humanity. This adversarial relationship that so many of us have with our bodies is keeping us from our fullest potential as human beings; it means that we are fractured. Our thoughts and obsessions about our bodies keep us from living fully and deeply. This needs to change.
The following are five tips for falling madly in love with your body. These tactics have worked wonderfully for me; I’m happy to say that I truly, deeply, and madly love my body now after years of dominating, controlling, criticizing, and trying to change her.
Tip#1: Pick One Thing You Like about Your Body and Concentrate on That
One day, in my late teens, I was crying to my dad about how fat I was and he suggested that I pick one thing that I liked about my body and concentrate on that one aspect. Really, the only thing that I liked about my physique was my intensely muscular arms. I was a strong, farm-girl with very toned arms, so I told him that. He told me to sit down and look at my arms and say nice things to them for at least five minutes per day. I felt rather foolish doing this, but after a daily practice of this for 30 days, you know what? It worked! I began to look forward to my sessions and I started finding other things that I then appreciated about my body. I began telling my body sweet things about all kinds of her aspects. The process began to feed itself. I started feeling better. And, I began to think differently, too.
Tip#2: Write Down What You Wish Your Body Looked Like
Write down all of the qualities that you want for your body. Make a list of everything that you want your body to look like or to be able to do. Try to be realistic. If you are five feet, five inches tall, imagining yourself as six feet tall will probably not feel very attainable. These qualities work best if they are things that you believe you can attain. For example, maybe you want healthier hair, greater fitness, or a smaller waist. Write it all down and then read back through your list several times. As you read, try to get a clear mental image of what you want to look like according to the qualities that listed. The more you can visualize and the more detail you can imbue your sessions with, the greater your chances of attaining what you want, eventually. The mind is an incredibly powerful tool that heavily influences the way our bodies look. By focusing deeply on a vision of how you want things to be, you are “programming” your subconscious to accept a new reality and to eventually bring that reality about. The results are astounding. Do these as often throughout the week as you can and watch for the results.
Tip#3: Talk with Your Body
Yes, you read that correctly. Talk with your body not at it. Have a conversation with your form. I start at the top of my head and work my way down. I’ll say things like: “Hello, hair! How are you feeling today?” And, then, I wait for an answer. At first, it was very hard to train my mind to wait for my body’s answers, but it got much easier with practice. Now, I always hear an answer in my mind when I ask my body how she’s doing. This practice trains you to consult with your body and ask its opinions about the decisions that you are making on its behalf. It trains you to consider your body as a part of you, but a consciousness in and of itself, which leads to greater awareness about your body and its needs. Your body will talk to you. It’s just that most of us are not trained to have a practice like this with ourselves. I grew to adore my question and answer sessions. My body is a real talker and I listen!
Tip#4: Practice Deep Belly Breathing
Did you know that a practice of diaphragmatic breathing helps our bodies tremendously? Also known as deep-belly breathing and abdominal breathing, it’s one of the quickest and easiest ways to connect with your body and feel its majesty. It’s also a tremendous boon to your health. Just adding in diaphragmatic breathing can lower blood pressure, reduce stress, increase blood flow to your vital organs, improve memory, and amazingly, make you like your body more. When we feel better, we appreciate more and when we are healthier, it’s easier to feel better about our bodies.
Tip#5: Tell Your Body Five Remarkable Things It Lets You Do
This one is not always easy for people, especially people who are used to constantly criticizing their bodies, but it’s really, really fun. Tell your body five things that it lets you do that you enjoy doing. For example, you might say: I like that you, my dear body, make it possible for me to ride a motorcycle. I really like that you help me feel deeply and cherish my loved-ones. I love that you make it possible for me to walk up stairs and get around. I like that you, dear body, let me hug my children and feel them in my arms. I like that you offer a house for my soul to be here on the earth plane to experience so much. This practice, again, puts you into a mood of appreciation and reverence. It helps you see all of the things that your body does for you, often without complaint, and reminds you that things are not as bad as they often seem.
If we do not love the self, the full self, which includes the body in all of its permutations, how can we ever truly love and accept others? How can we appreciate other life forms or expect to walk softly on the planet? How can we revere the magic, sacred dance of life in a state of near-constant self-hatred, criticism, or disdain? Ultimately, we can’t. We cannot expect to truly, abidingly love others or respect all of life until we learn to love and embrace our emotions, our thoughts, and our bodies that allow us to do so much here on the earth plane. Unless we learn how to foster a deep, lasting love for the body, we cannot truly accept our lives or heal the emotional rifts inside of us. Falling madly in love with your body takes a conscious, dedicated practice, but when you do get there, when you step into that sweet place with yourself it is simply the greatest feeling in the world. Your life improves. And, you feel happier. This is what the body teaches us and the gift that it holds for us.
All my love and light to you each and every one of you.
Over to you…..
Do you agree with Lizzy’s concept? Or do you think there are other things she could have added that she didn’t? And are there any additional steps we can take to love and make our body respond to us when we talk to her?
As ever, I’d love to hear from you. If you have anything you’d like to add, please leave a comment below. And don’t forget to share this post, if you think your friends and followers would enjoy it
Liz Casey is a freelance writer, size-acceptance activist, self-esteem promoter, and lover of the dialog between the body and consciousness. Professionally, she’s a Senior Technical Writer and operates a Motorcycle Touring Company for women in Sedona, AZ, where she lives with her husband and best friend of 19 years, two delicious cats, an equally delicious purple and orange Harley-Davidson Street Glide, and about 1000 books. You can connect with her on Facebook, Or read her Blog BigBodyBeautiful Or perhaps Hire by visiting LizCasey.com appointment with her.