We live in a world where physical appearance defines beauty. Physical beauty is often seen as our society's ultimate form of health and worth. So it is no surprise that our inner critic is often louder than our inner cheerleader, and we end up disliking our physical body or parts of our body.
The road to body love isn't about creating the perfect look, wearing the most fabulous clothes, or being a few pounds lighter. Instead, it's about loving and appreciating your body as it is. For me, this is a daily remembrance and practice of self-compassion and radical self-acceptance.
I often talk about showing up as you are and allowing your light to shine brightly; that also includes valuing the body you show up in.
Here is a mindfulness technique to help cultivate body love and appreciate your physical self.
Start by getting into a comfortable position and take a few deep breaths to calm your mind and scan your physical body. Notice if there are any places you might be gripping. If there are, breathe into those spaces and see if you can soften into them. Again, you are releasing any tension. Then notice any other sensations without trying to fix them or judge them.
Scan your Head, Shoulders, and Neck
Notice how your head sits above your shoulders.
Loosen your jaw; that space between your eyebrows
Relax your shoulders
Chest, Back, and Arms
Notice how your body position is. How does your back feel? Stay open and curious.
Notice your breath
Is your breath shallow or long?
Place your hands on your chest and feel the rise and fall with each breath.
Feel your lungs expand your back
Can you feel your heartbeat?
Place your hands on your tummy; this is where many of us hold our emotions, such as anxiousness or even fear.
Spend a few moments here; just become aware of what is coming up without judgments or attachments.
Now that you are tapped in find a part of your body that you like, find it okay, or a place that evokes a neutral feeling. It could be just your thumb, and that is perfect. Take a look at the body part, notice how it looks, feels, and offer gratitude: "Thank you, thumb, for allowing me to type, pick up things and hold things more securely." Notice the skin around that body part; thank your skin for being radiant.
Now shift your attention to a part of your body that feels healthy or strong. Offer gratitude and love for this body part. Tell that part of your body why you are sending appreciation and love. As we send love and gratitude to these parts of our body, we cultivate positive self-talk to combat all the negative self-chatter.
Next, find a part of your body that feels neutral and isn't in pain or discomfort. Any part will do; it could be the space between your toes. Offer gratitude and love to this part.
Lastly, come back to your breath; notice the sensation of the breath moving. Then, take a couple of breaths and give yourself a hug telling your whole body how much you love and appreciate it.
The more you practice this, the easier it becomes. You may find self-compassion is as easy as giving gratitude and love to your body parts. No one deserves your love and the love for your body more than you! No one!
Be Radiant, Be Well, and Be in Love with Your Body!
Sometimes we forget how amazing our bodies are. We get caught up in the day to day and our bodies just are. But here are 18 facts about how amazing your body is. Enjoy!