Go stand in front of a mirror (full length preferred). Now look at yourself for a few minutes. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind? 90% of the people on the planet begin to complain about what they see in the mirror. Did you start to pick apart the person in the mirror? Did you say things like “omg I’m so fat”, “I said I would lose weight last year”, “Look at those clothes, you look pathetic”, after stepping closer, “Wow your face looks so old and you’re not happy”. What were some of the things you thought?
It is much easier to be critical than it is to be positive. Part of that is because we have been told to not be too proud, don’t blow your own horn, don’t you dare brag about yourself. Those things are a sign that we are full of ourselves and only really bad things can come from that. I suggest we begin to recondition ourselves, in a loving way that is supportive and empowering. We learned it, we can unlearn it and learn something new. It IS that simple. So you have to first define what it is you want to or have to unlearn before you learn something new. But that’s not what this blog post is about lol.
Body Image, that is what this post is about. This was the topic of my last Open Women’s Circle recently. (We meet on the second Sunday of every month.)
How DO you see yourself? How do you see your body? If you were to describe your physical body to someone how would you describe it? Do you absolutley love your body? or do you hate it? somewhere in between? or are you so uninterested that you don’t even have an opinion? What would you change if you could change anything about your body? Do you accept your body with all of its weight, wrinkles, scars (both physical and emotional), bloating, skinniness, flab, toned muscles, diseases, pains etc. in this moment right now?
Kyle Cease and my daughter Caterina reminded me tonight that the past keeps us stuck in what you use to be…it doesn’t make it true IN THIS MOMENT. But because we perpetuate similar thoughts and beliefs of the past self, things continue and do not change.
So when you look at yourself in the mirror are you seeing yourself in this moment right now? or are you seeing yourself as you use to be? (past) or perhaps even who you wish you were? (future).
Living in this moment is very important. You can’t change anything if you are not present right here, right now. You can’t change the past and you can’t change the future because it hasn’t happened yet.
If we don’t accept who we are in this moment we can’t embody our bodies. That may sound a bit strange but think about it for a moment. If you are not INSIDE your body, how can you lose weight? How can you heal? How can you take on a new perspective? How can you live your life from a place of consciousness?
I recently had an INSIDE my body experience LOL. To make a very long story short, the end of October of last year I felt for the very first time that I was INSIDE my body. I believe that because of the trauma I suffered as a child I got STUCK outside. I witnessed my life from the outside in, not from the inside out. So I started to make it a point to claim this space of my physical body. I was practicing embodiment. Little did I know I had been doing this for a few years but it all kind of snapped into place in October.
What is embodiment? It is the way we feel, how we relate, how we do things in the world. An embodiment is vital for our reconnection to ourselves and each other. This, in my opinion, is extremely important if we are to heal not only ourselves but our entire world. It is about awareness, attention, intention, posture, movement and breathing. These are the basic tools of an embodiment.
A lot of people walk around not being embodied. Not being embodied, you can’t feel empathy for yourself or others. You can’t feel love for yourself or others. You can’t heal the physical body or the emotional body. When we cut off either through trauma, self-sabotage, negative self-talk, the fast pace of modern life, we are not happy. We don’t experience JOY. Our jobs are places of fulfillment, our relationships are not supportive and loving and are a constant source of struggle, we aren’t happy with the people in our lives or satisfied with the communities in which we live. Humanity is losing touch with its body and therefore it is losing touch with its SPIRIT.
How can you embody? Feeling, moving, being aware of your body is the best place to begin. You can look at the body in a practical way (it’s here to help me move around on the planet) or you can look at it as “an undiscovered country with a lot of wisdom”, Mark Walsh. Most of the time we live our lives from the top down, our brains are in control of the body. Try this exercise: Try allowing the body to lead. This can be practiced through dance or sacred movement. You can practice yoga, meditation, mindfulness and breathing, these are all ways in which to embody.
In closing, I want to encourage you to go back in front of the mirror and love who you see there. That person is YOU and he or she needs you to be the best you can be so that they can be the best they can be. This is doable, wouldn’t you agree? Being mindful about our bodies can bring a whole new light to our spirits. Have fun being embodied.