As we transition to warmer months, you’ve probably started to notice that bodies and skin are showing up everywhere. If you tune into daytime TV talk shows, you’ll start to see bikini fashion shows. On the bestseller list, diet books are on the rise. Gyms are full as people keep their beach bodies in shape. And dietitians are offering discounts to reach your summer body.
It’s no surprise that this time of year can stir up a lot of shadows — the emotions, beliefs, habits, and patterns stored deep inside the psyche that dictate our relationships with our bodies. It’s prevalent in every program and workshop I do. Person after person shares the depths to which they have struggled with body issues and the years they have hated their bodies and thus themselves.
Personally, I’ve struggled with my weight and body image from a young age. The quality of my day used to be determined by the number on the scale. I would only feel worthy of being loved by myself or others if I looked a certain way. I had grown up with the belief that it was not okay to eat so in my book, food was the enemy. I made my body my enemy!
Every day, I was in an all-out war and very out of integrity. I spent every moment evaluating, “Who is winning — me or my body?” Would I pass up the carb or take a bite of the piece of pizza? Could I push myself to exercise for another hour despite the swelling in my knee? Would I find the next “miracle” cream to take away the wrinkles? This minute-by-minute battle was exhausting. Even me, a person who trains people to become Integrative Coaches, a person who guides people to blast through their limitations and accept, love, and embrace all of who they are, saw my body as an external foe which continually needed to be defeated!
Armed with this awareness of my own shadow, I chose to reinvent my relationship with my body. I became more loving and accepting of my body. I no longer abused and starved it. I began to view my body as a fine automobile and I understand it’s my job to keep it well-oiled and functioning impeccably. I rewired my operating system by unconcealing, owning, and embracing my shadow. It was only then that I achieved my once elusive goals for my weight and well-being — not from a place of self-hate or shame but rather from a place of deep love.
Debbie Ford wrote in The 21 Day Consciousness Cleanse, “To transform your relationship with your body, you must embrace the agent of change known as reverence. When you are present to the absolute gift you have been blessed with – the sacredness of having a body – you will begin to move in the world with more grace, gratitude and humility than you ever thought possible.”
I love this quote because I believe that our bodies are a sacred gift. They provide the opportunity for us to experience life and the evolution of our souls. Instead of hating our bodies, battling with them and constantly trying to fix or change them, we need to love them, make peace with them, cherish them, and treat them with kindness, compassion, and respect. Wondering how to start today? Check out the action steps below to begin and be sure to leave a comment on my social media channels - Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter with your experience!
Transformational Action Steps
(1) Identify something loving you can do for your body this week. Your body will tell you what it needs if you take the time to ask and listen for the answer. So ask your body what it needs and commit to doing what it tells you. Looking for suggestions: perhaps your body is asking for an epsom salt bath, a sunset walk after work, a home cooked meal, or trying out a hobby!
(2) Start viewing your body as a sacred gift. Spend three minutes in front of the mirror every day and take in the blessings that your body gives you. Affirm what is right about your body. Send gratitude to each of your parts and declare out loud how each part serves you. For example: take a look at your feet with the perspective of them allowing you stability, the opportunity to walk around, the ability to ground yourself.
(3) To free yourself from the limitations that impact and sabotage your relationship with your body, register for The Body Shadow: From Self-Loathing to Self-Loving workshop hosted by Omega June 14-16th, 2019.
(4) For a massive body breakthrough, RUN (don’t walk!) to purchase a copy of The Integrity Advantage to live your life fiercely and confidently!