The other night, I went out to see a couple of bands play, and ended up stayed over at a friend’s place. It’s been a while since I’ve been out and about at night, bar-hopping and dancing with fresh-faced boys and girls, barely out of high school, and it struck me how unaware people generally are, of their bodies.
The physical part of a person.
The entire material or physical structure of an organism.
corpse – flesh – trunk – carcass
The next morning the two of us were giggling and re-hashing our experience over tahini balls and cups of tea, remembering…
The middle-aged woman, who clearly went out of her way to dress up: in a pair of sports shorts, with stockings, and the widest bra strips known to man poking out of her too-tight singlet vest. The awkward Irish guy who tried to chat us up and had appalling BO. The hilarious, elderly, female bouncer who “got down” with us and tried to do some kind of funny hip-grind dance move with us. The young girl, with too much makeup, her far-too-short skirt pulled up too high — who’s mere presence scream “I’m a sweet good girl, but I’m insecure and don’t know how to love myself!”
It’s a long, strange trip to be inside a body, to have a body, to want to be somebody, to have a belief about your body, true or not. To identify with it, live with it, understand it. To love it or hate it. To take care of it or destroy it. Yearning for someone to love you for more than your body. Or, in spite of it. | TIM VENABLE
How we think of and treat our bodies is an external reflection of how we expect the world to treat us. We are putting out subconscious messages about what we believe we are worthy of, by the way we dress, stand, interact, and look after ourselves. especially our bodies.
Any process of transformation and empowerment must begin from its foundations. The foundation that we all have in our lives is our bodies. Our bodies are the physical manifestation of our physical experience and therefore, the groundwork to all that you experience.
Marianne Williamson, author of Return to Love, says love must be present in every area of your life, including your relationship with people and your body. “If you’re a compulsive over-eater, or try to control your body and life with food or exercise in any other way, you don’t have a loving relationship: you have an obsessive relationship.” She continues “You don’t know how to receive, so you keep grasping for more.”
HOW DO YOU TREAT YOUR BODY?
Observe the way you treat your body. This will give you clues on how you treat yourself in other areas of your life. Do you love, treasure and nurture your body? Do you listen when it wants to tell you something? Do you FEEL into your body for insights? Or do you neglect it, override what it’s saying to you and bombard it with negative beliefs and self talk?
Notice when you feel hungrier or lose your appetite. Notice when you feel discomfort or pain in your body anywhere. What else is going on in your life at the same time? Consider the implications of what your body is trying to tell you about yourself + your life.
The way you treat your body is reflected by how you experience yourself + your life. And you want to feel good, whole, loved and happy right?
LET’S DO SOMETHING CRAZY
Lets resolve to love our bodies! What if we took all of that self-loathing, that shame, that judgment we derive from the size and shape of our bodies and we left it behind? What if we stopped berating ourselves when we catch our image in the mirror and find whatever tiny part of ourselves to criticise? From now we resolve that self-worth is no longer connected to one’s waistline. No more fad diets. No more holiday binges. In their place: love and appreciation for our bodies’ beauty and capabilities. A healthy, balanced lifestyle which bows in respect to the miracle that is your body.
Turn off the TV, close those magazines and stop comparing yourself to others. Start listening to what your body is telling you. When its hungry. When it’s tired. What nutrients it’s lacking. In what ways it wants to move. What you’re really feeling. Nurture yourself. Take baths. Take your time. Be gentle with yourself. Get a massage. Go see a nutritionist, naturopath or holistic healer of your choice.
Stay connected with your body. It may feel uncomfortable at first, because it’s a new sensation but stay with it. Love it, cherish it and adore it more than you have ever loved anything. Bring awareness into those moments when you happen to fall back into your old patterns of self-berating. Accept that this is part of your journey into loving your body and then change your thoughts by apprehending them with love + kindness. Your power will grow from falling in love with yourself + your body all over again.
3 STEPS TO LOVE YOUR BODY
+ Observe yourself in action when you start to mistreat or berate your body. Take the time to really listen + hear what your body is telling you. What is really going on?
+ What are your main body qualms? When and why did you start believing this about your body? What do you do when you neglect or punish your body and what is the trigger?
+ Write out a long list of ways you can start loving your body right now.
RELEASE + FORGIVE
+ Write a letter, journal or draw your forgiveness process now. Let yourself and anyone else who may have said or done horrible things to you in the past, off the hook. Let it all out until the tears have stopped streaming down your face and you can feel your body soften in love and gratitude. Complete your forgiveness process with a promise to yourself.
+ Choose 3 habits that you are going to let go of during the next 3 months. You are going to say NO out of love for your body.
+ Choose 3 new habits that you are going to integrate into your life over the next 3 months. Make sure it’s something that your body will really love!!
+ Write out how, in our ideal world, you would like your body to FEEL.