If you are like me, you’ve probably never felt much love towards your body. You’ve been engaged in a life-long quest to wrestle your body into the perfect size and shape, hoping beyond all hope that once you do, love, happiness, success, and peace will finally be yours.
Hmmmmm….How’s it working for you so far? Are you happy yet?
I can’t imagine you are. I spent more than 30 years trying to get my body to be thin enough, buff enough, perfect enough because I truly believed that this would finally give me the life I truly wanted. My obsessive quest towards the Holy Grail of body perfection was one of the primary factors that led to a lifelong struggle with an eating disorder. And while I sometimes felt thin-enough and thus worthy-enough, that self-esteem lasted only minutes before I went back into fear and insecurity.
Using thinness to attain peace, love, and joy doesn’t work! It is the wrong formula!
What if I were to offer you a new way of loving your body and your self that connects you to the kind of happiness that is sustainable, independent of external factors, and way richer than the one-dimensionality of perfect weight?
The 3 Steps to Love Your Body Once & For All
Take the next three steps with me and revolutionize the way you live your life:
Step 1: Drop All the Rules
How many rules do you live by regarding your body? These rules become distorted commandments, running our lives, creating years of pain and suffering.
Here are a few of the body commandments I have learned:
- Thy stomach shall be flat
- Thine boobs shall be full and perky
- Thine hips shall not be too wide
- Thine arms shall be muscled
- Thou shall not have cellulite, wrinkles, flabby skin…
- Thou shall be a size…
- Thou shall weigh…
What? Who the heck else thought up these rules? How the heck did I buy into them for so long!
Does nature buy into these harsh rules? As I watch my two cats stretched on my bed, I hypothesize that animals don’t!
Imagine the following dialogue between between Cat #1 and Cat #2:
Cat #1: “I wish my fur was as soft as yours.”
Cat #2: “Stop that! I wish MY fur was as shiny as yours!”.
Increasingly Jealous Cat #1: “I want a tail as big and fluffy as yours.”
Depressed Cat #2: “I wish my eyes were as green as yours!”
Both cats then slink away to dive into a pint of Friskies cat food…
When I look outside at the trees, flowers, birds and butterflies, I cannot imagine that they secretly wish could be taller, thinner, or more colorful!
As Clarissa Pinkola Estes says in the life-changing chapter called the Joyous Body:
“ To be thought ugly or unacceptable because one’s beauty is outside the current fashion is deeply wounding to the natural joy that belongs to the wild nature. To take much pleasure in a world filled with many kinds of beauty is a joy in life to which all women are entitled. To support only one kind of beauty is to be somehow unobservant of nature. There cannot be only one kind of songbird, one kind of pine tree, only one kind of wolf. There cannot be one kind of baby, one kind of man, one kind of woman. There cannot be one kind of breast, one kind of waist, one kind of skin.”
Consider dropping all the rules you’ve ever learned about your body and open up to Step #2.
Step 2: Fall in Love with Your Body
When you drop the mind rules about who your body should and shouldn’t be, you discover a brand new side of your body that will amaze you.
As Joan Tollifson, a Zen teacher says: “The horror is not in your body, but in your head.”
As you drop into your heart, you open to who your body IS, freed from your projections, liberated from your demands. A miracle can then occur as you start falling in love with…
…your heart beat. The warmth of your skin. The apparent solidity of your bones. Blood coursing through your veins, currently undergoing a 60,000 mile journey through your body. The wonder of your eyes reading this essay. Your spine holding you up…
You realize that there has never been anything wrong with your body except for what you falsely thought about it. You uncover awe and gratitude for how much your body is doing right (even when it is sick or old)!
Slowly but surely, you realize one day that you are one incredibly lucky being to have been given stewardship over this amazing, wondrous, miraculous body of yours. You connect to the deep, flowing pleasure of actually living IN your body instead of cut off from your body. Your desire to tend to it lovingly becomes a joy. This is what love is about.
Commit right here right now to keep looking for what is RIGHT with your body and…
Step 3: Allow Your Life to Transform
As your mind becomes clear of the negative talk and emotions that have kidnapped so much of your power and as you open up to gratitude, your life actually moves forward in astounding and novel ways.
Imagine how many hundreds of thousands of moments you liberate when you stop obsessing about how much you ate, how fat you look, how lazy you are…
At work, you can finally focus and bring your confidence forward to be the best at what you are.
In your intimate relationship, you become more present to your partner and to yourself, creating a field of trust and love that is priceless.
In your physical intimate relationship, you open up to sensuality, pleasure, and passion when you love your body. This is true whether you are with a partner or not. You can experience all of these states of being by “just” being IN your body! (more about that in Fitness)
In your relationship with your kids, you walk your talk about body love, possibly freeing them from years of body hate and low self-esteem. Imagine having a parent who actually truly loves her body! And who teaches her children that their bodies are brilliant!
In your relationship with your friends, you actually create deeper connection as you don’t support each other in criticizing the size and shape of your body.
Are you ready to step into your life in a radically different way?
ALL that is required is that you learn to lovingly inhabit your body exactly as is, unfettered from outdated rules, freed up to experience the peace, love, and joy that always lives in every cell.
Want to join me?
I’m a healer, teacher, and licensed therapist sharing tools to help you relieve stress and restore well-being.