A Short Exercise in How to Love Your Body
You Know the Drill
Okay, you inhabit this body of yours and for many, the idea that we need to love our body is probably a bit cliche. So we've heard it a million times, how to take care of it: exercise, eat right, sleep well and enough, drink enough water, stay stress free, stay out of the sun, go to the doctor for regular check ups... and the list goes on, and on.
Aside from the usual advice, I'm going to illustrate a short exercise to assist you in really learning to love your body, because last I checked, it's the only one you get this time around. Whether you revere it as your temple or just what you spend your days in, if you feel in the littlest way that you'd like to be more at "home" in your body, give this a try.
Bring out the art supplies... or at least a pen and paper
Something about putting it down just helps the process. Maybe it's getting the thought out of the mind into a more concrete physical form of art (or semi-art), but whatever the case start with something to create with. My choice: colored pencils and paper.
- If possible, do this at bedtime. It's helpful to do this type of work when you can sleep on it right afterward.
- Draw yourself in the middle of your paper. (Stick figures acceptable!)
- Draw in all of the details you particularly dislike about your body.
- At the top of the page start describing in words what you do not like about your physical self - one by one, and stop after the first trait until you read the next step. It could be that you have too much fat here, or not enough muscle there, could be that you haven't really been taking care of your teeth as well as you'd like, or you're not totally enamored with your current hair cut.
- After each not so desirable feature, think of one way this could be good. What could be positive about this? Anything?! Search for a little bit and think... I'm sure you can come up with some half way good reason to love that part of you. But let it come from a place that feels good, not a "should" place. Such as... I don't really like that I smoked for several years and my teeth aren't pristine white, however I can see that smoking was my way to fit in, relax, a way out (whatever positive it brought to you) and if I really want my teeth stark white, I can purchase whitener.
- Make sure to note anything that distresses you in the least bit about your body and immediately list how this could be perceived as a positive.
- Continue down your paper, in this back and forth manner, around the drawing of your body, until you have exhausted every last thought of negativity you associate with You. Turn the paper over if necessary.
- If you feel inspired, now list features you truthfully appreciate about your body. (Again, not what everyone else thinks you should like, what you actually Do!)
- Now, set the list aside, burn it, crumple it, tear it, or put it under your pillow. Release what you've just illustrated in whatever manner suits you.
- Repeat daily or weekly until you feel at home inside yourself.
About Rainbow Recognizer
Amy Phoenix is a gentle, yet direct parenting guide and healing facilitator dedicated to sharing insights and practices to transform frustration and anger, heal the past and nurture conscious relationships – to appreciate all aspects of life. Visit her at www.innatewholeness.com.
Resources for further Introspection
- Body Styles: Loving Ourselves in All Shapes & Sizes
Discriminating against someone on the basis of their body size or shape hurts all women. Poor body image, eating disorders, and low self esteem disproportionately affect women. Did you know that girls lose...