This picture brings me to an amazing place inside myself.
It was taken two weeks after giving birth to my third child, just over two years ago. When I see myself holding my newborn baby I feel so much love and appreciation for my body and for the lessons that have brought me here to this moment where I can write these words.
I have not always felt this way about my body.
I have had a long history of comparing my successes and failures to that of other people. Body Image has been a source of energy drain and giving away my power to others for most of my life. From a very early age of 8 years old I began to worship the opinions of others and found myself seeking their approval and recognition.
I began to question if I was good enough and started to believe that I wasn’t. I believed that being someone other than who I was would make me happier and more worthy. I made some very unhealthy decisions out of desperation. I treated my body like a waste disposal rather than a temple. I drank heavily and smoked in my teenage years, put harmful substances in my body, I used food both as a punishment and a reward, exercised to an extreme in order to lose weight, weighed and measured myself obsessively, and stood in front of countless mirrors hating my body and all of its “imperfections” and flaws. I was annihilating my body and suffocating my spirit.
The voices of disapproval were constant and thick with criticism.
They became the background in all of my thoughts and I became anxious around others and worried about what they would think of me. I began to mask my insecurities with external means with buying expensive clothes, jewellery, shoes, and purses, so that I would portray an image of prestige and importance. In the moment, the voices would go away and I would feel better (or so I thought), and eventually the same voices would return, now even stronger.
My Ego needed someone to compete against, an enemy, and so other people became my source of negative motivation.
I competed in powerlifting several years ago and the main thing that was driving me back then was that I could show others how strong, athletic, powerful I was. I needed an audience in order to perform and push myself. Without that negative driving force I thought that I would not want to keep going. It did not occur to me then that I could achieve EVEN MORE if I knew how to motivate myself from a place of love and acceptance.
Each time I lost another pound on the scale, or bought something new I failed to connect with the source of my problem. My insatiable need to feel loved was not met. So, in the true nature of life, the karmic cycle repeated itself due to my lack of awareness. With each cycle, it was a different scenario but with the same basic issue. By failing to recognize that my life was sending me an SOS signal I was not loving myself and allowing myself to experience joy as my birthright.
“ Becoming AWARE of what needs to change, brings the subconscious into the conscious “
I set an INTENTION to change because I wanted to be happy regardless of what I had or the outcome of an activity. I did not want to give my power over to external forces any longer. I made a DECISION for me, for the first time, something that was truly for my wellbeing and not for approval from someone else.
So, I then decided I needed to rewrite the negative vocabulary and begin a new relationship with myself. And I was shocked to learn that I didn’t actually know what I wanted. For as long as I could remember I made my decisions based on what others would think.
With each decision I became more aware of how much freedom I could experience from living this way.
And with every gift there is a journey of learning that takes you there. And that’s ok, life is a process and when you are learning something new it can be frustrating. The learning curve is never straight up; it has its peaks and valleys. When you stand in your conviction of who you are, you are being Authentic.
One of a kind.
Perfect in all of your imperfections.
On my journey, there have been tools that I have used so that I can learn to love and accept myself and see the greatness in me. These have helped me get through the hard days and made the bright days even brighter.
Here’s a few things that have helped me and may help you too…
- Accept that learning to embrace YOU is a journey, not a destination.
Some days are going to be more challenging than others, don’t make any big decisions on the Hard Days. And if you catch yourself falling into your old negative habits, like weighing yourself or negative mind chatter, become aware in that moment and set an intention to do better next time. Because you are aware and have made an intention it will get better. Trust in this.
- Appreciate the incredible vessel of LOVE that is your Body.
Your body chose you in this lifetime and you chose your body. You’re partners on this fantastic voyage of life and here to fulfill your soul’s purpose. You need your body to be able to bring all of your divine gifts to earth. Take comfort in that.
3. Send back any Beliefs, Judgments, or Criticisms about your body that don’t belong to you.
How often are we bombarded by heavy ideas, beliefs, and thought patterns in our society in regards to how our bodies should look and behave? There are so many ideas floating around out there that are not serving each of us individually and all of us as a whole. Did you know that you can send back those things that no longer serve just by asking? Our beliefs are like a filing system on a computer (our mind) and they influence us on a sub-conscious level as our operating system. When you become aware that you have a belief, judgment, or thought about your body or life that is not serving you anymore, you can ask to let it go, like pressing DELETE on a file.
To do this, simply notice the belief or judgment, and then say ” Return to Sender with Love and Awareness “ . It’s that simple. The more you notice and release those things that are not serving you, the easier it becomes to let go of anything that is heavy or not in alignment with who you truly are.
4. Practice Self-Care Daily and enjoy the benefits of connecting more deeply with your body.
How incredible do you feel when you do something kind for your body? Imagine being able to feel a deep and love-FULL connection with your body each and every day? Doesn’t that sound wonderful? How great would it feel to be free of judgment, criticism, and heaviness towards your body?
Self-Care is the Pathway to Self-Love. Providing space for you to get to know your body better and be able to listen to its innate wisdom is a tremendous gift to yourself.
Self-Care is so much more than a physical practice. It provides a window into your soul, a doorway to your potential, and an opening to the REAL YOU.
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It has been my pleasure to share my story with you and I look forward to connecting with you again soon!
Love to you and your body,