Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What is your inner voice telling you?

Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.
-Janis Joplin

Beautiful Body Types
Almost all of us have a distorted image of our body, often due to the importance our culture places on outward appearance and the onslaught of media images of airbrushed models and celebrities. On a daily basis, we talk to ourselves in ways we would never speak to another. Imagine speaking to a child the way you speak to yourself about your body. It would devastate and squelch a child. It affects you similarly, causing stress and emotional pain in your body, which can make improving your health or losing weight even more difficult.

Our culture’s preferred body type shifts every decade or so, but whatever it is, it is usually unattainable without spending enormous amounts of time, energy and money. Think of all the intelligence, creativity and time you spend on improving, altering and judging your appearance. Who would you be and what could you accomplish if your valuable resources weren’t used this way? Constant emphasis on the external makes us discount the great presence and intelligence that is housed by the body. It makes us forget the magic of our internal rhythms and fail to acknowledge the beautiful bodies we have.

The body you have right now is incredible! It never misses a heartbeat, it maintains homeostasis and it miraculously digests whatever you put in it. It is your instrument for expressing your creativity, intelligence and love. By focusing on the 1% you don’t like or wish was different, you may be ignoring the remaining 99% about your body that is beautiful, unique and delightful.

What would your life be like if you were simply at peace with the body you have? You may wish to make your body healthier and stronger, but could you do that out of love and respect for your body instead of the opposite? Could you begin to treat yourself with kindness, to limit the negative self-talk and to reconnect with your inner wisdom? Take a minute to imagine what that would feel like. It would mean celebrating your body rather than punishing it. It would mean nourishing your body rather than depriving it. It would mean a chance to watch your body flourish just like a child flourishes when treated with care and respect.

Even when I was 100 pounds heavier I thought I'd be happier with myself if I could just lose some weight. I did lose weight, but was still unhappy - that place of bliss wasn't there 4 sizes smaller! Every pound lost I thought I'd be closer to happiness. But the truth is I needed to love myself exactly where I was with the body I had. And when that shift occurs, the weight releases. Losing weight isn't just a body process, it is a mind and soul process.

Are you ready to flourish? Today choose one part of your body to focus on. With your attention and breath send it love and compassion. Do this daily for a week, especially when you catch yourself looking at it in a negative light. Then let me know how sending love and compassion to that area has changed how you feel about yourself and your body as a whole. If you want to love yourself more, this is a good place to begin. Because no one can love you more or give you more love than you give yourself.

Kelly Ann

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