“You have been criticising yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”Louise Hay
We are continuously being told how we should love ourselves and our bodies, at the same time being bombarded with subliminal messages everywhere telling us we are not enough. It’s so messed up!
It’s no surprise that I hear my clients criticise their bodies consistently, telling me they can’t wear this or that because their arms are too skinny or their thighs are too fat.
This has to stop. We are wasting our time and energy criticising and comparing ourselves, and the ironic thing is that someone else is looking at you wishing they had your hair, legs, teeth etc… It’s crazy! Why are we constantly wishing for something someone else has instead of appreciating our own body and life journey?
Instead of obsessing over what’s ‘wrong’ with your body, become obsessed with becoming a woman who loves and embraces the skin she’s in.
To love the skin you’re in means complete acceptance of your body whatever size, shape or form it is. Loving the skin you’re in means liberation from whatever insecurities are holding you back.
However, body confidence is a life-long journey and not something that we just decide one day, and suddenly we love ourselves and our bodies.
Also, a new dress will help you feel empowered and inspired, but in the long term it won’t change how you feel about yourself unless you do the inner work.
I truly believe the key to having a harmonious relationship with ourselves is acceptance and honoring the body you were given, the incredible vehicle it is and all it does for you.
So I encourage you to incorporate self love practises into your daily routines to cultivate the relationship you have with yourself and develop your body confidence. This could be the most important work you’ll ever do.
Here are 3 ways that help me to continuously cultivate body acceptance.
1. Love where you’re at
Stop waiting for the right moment, it doesn’t exist. Whether it is losing weight or having a fitter body, there really is no better moment than right now to fully embrace and accept your body.
We are constantly living for something that hasn’t happened yet, instead of embracing the moment and accepting our bodies as they are.
When we are able to live in the moment and accept our bodies we become more present, we feel more gratitude for our body and all it does for us.
To help me with this, I have ‘body love’ goals, for example; moisturizing every day, dry skin brushing and exercise for 20 minutes a day, 4 times a week (in a loving and kind way). Keep it simple.
These small, actionable goals are not only ways to be kind and loving to my body, they help me to fully appreciate myself, as I am, right now.
2. Give gratitude to your body
Develop a gratitude practise for your body. Be grateful for all it does for you, instead of focusing on what is wrong with it – energy flows where attention goes!
One of the ways I do this is by writing out what I love about my body and what I am grateful for and then I say them out loud, just like affirmations.
Here are some examples:
- I appreciate my legs as they allow me to dance to my favourite music
- I appreciate all that my body does for me
- I lovingly accept my body and how it is carrying me closer to my dreams
Write out your own and then say them out loud every single day in the mirror.
3. Recognise and appreciate the beauty within
We are so obsessed with beauty and how we look on the outside that we forget our inner beauty, which is actually the most important part of ourselves. It’s our true essence!
Here are 3 things I do on a daily basis to cultivate my inner beauty.
- My favourite exercise is to write down 3 things I love about my personality, for example; I love my adventurous soul, I love my generous heart etc.
- Practise looking in the mirror and speaking to yourself in a positive way. I create scripts that I use to speak in the mirror to big myself up and really connect with myself and the parts of myself that really need to hear positive words. It is so powerful. Do it everyday!
- Stand tall. Shoulders back, open heart and chest up. Good posture helps you feel more empowered and in your body. So, every morning go to the mirror, stand up tall, ground your feet and big yourself up!
And one other thing, unfollow any social media accounts that make you feel bad about yourself, it’s important to follow people who inspire you and empower you.
Learning to love the skin you’re in is probably the most important work you’ll ever do for yourself.
When we start to criticise and take ourselves down, we must learn to stop and go the other way, into appreciation.
When we go into appreciation we truly start to love and embrace ourselves, we stop the struggle. A spiritual teacher of mine once said to me; “There are two states in life, ‘The Struggle State’ or ‘The Beautiful State’, the choice is yours!
Life is about growth and expansion, loving the journey and enjoying the process. Let’s stop trying to get somewhere, be someone else and longing for another body, YOU ARE ENOUGH. And please, don’t forget that your body isn’t a problem that needs to be fixed. We are all flawed humans who are imperfectly perfect living a human experience.