Life and love work through our bodies. The body, in my perspective, is a communication tool for the spirit and a learning device for the mind, where all healing and creation is born. Loving your body as a means of connecting with the world and with yourself can set you free to live a meaningful life, unencumbered by self-limiting negativity.
“To me, beauty is about being comfortable in your own skin. It’s about knowing and accepting who you are.” – Ellen DeGeneres
This is Part 1 of a two-part body-love series. Here’s to choosing a new path and a new way of seeing ourselves in the world, one of love and happiness.
5 Steps to Loving Your Body
1. Validate your trespasses.
We cannot immediately change a thought process and omit how we got here. We cannot suppress the feelings and thoughts we’ve directed toward ourselves for an extended period of time. If we do, it will all come out sideways to diminish our new dreams of being at ease with the way we view ourselves.
We must start from the source: Our mind. We must meet our mind, which has a lot to do with the level of love that we feel. As A Course in Miracles teaches: “The body is not the source of its own health.” What if those negative thoughts you connected to your body was only a perspective, and not the truth? What if you could forgive yourself for ever owning a negative perspective about yourself, and then claim a new one?
Validating the existence of any self-defeating beliefs and behaviors means you’re not hiding anything from the light of the present, where all potential for change exists. You can acknowledge those negative thoughts and feelings without wallowing in them, and from there you can relinquish them as meaningless from a different perspective.
2. Shift your attention to your intention.
Know what happiness means to you–define it, and take an inventory of your life. Do your decisions and actions reflect your ultimate goal in life? If your underlying and ultimate intention is to be happy (which is what most of us want), affirm that you intend for happiness. When you’re tempted to make decisions that sacrifice or devalue your happiness, pause and reflect on what’s really important to you.
Make happiness itself your goal and relinquish the thought that you know what that would look like. Attach no expectations and nurture no attachments to outcomes. Several scientific studies show that happiness works through our own inner work, and is not much affected by our external circumstances. Gratitude, for example, is a strong predictor of happiness while our good looks, in contrast, have nothing to do with the joy we experience.
3. Consciously choose love.
Life is a series of choices based on love or fear. When we choose to blame our bodies for not living up to certain “standards,” we are choosing to direct energy driven by fear and which leads us back to fear, in the opposite direction of love. Loving your body is an active intention, one to be set daily.
We always have a choice with our thoughts and our actions. When we recognize this as true, we realize that we do have the power to walk in a different direction. Though this power may have been latent within us, we can activate this ancient strength at any time. We must make the choice to do so.
When making choices, try asking yourself a trigger question. For example:
- Am I making this choice from a place of fear or love?
- Am I afraid to suffer the consequences of not taking this action (going to the gym to avoid gaining weight), or am I taking this action because I will to love myself and my life (moving my body to feel energized and healthy)?
- Does this choice reflect and support a loving, caring view of my body and my life?
- Will this bring me closer to my goals of happiness and peace?
Fear’s system will not be dismantled in a moment. Practice and commitment are two essential ingredients in happiness, peace, and anything worth doing.
4. Contemplate your aims.
As The Motivation Manifesto states: “By deeply contemplating higher aims, we energize ourselves to pursue them.” Visualize your dreams and enact your ideal life in your head as if you were already living them–this is called visualization and it’s an interestingly powerful way to bring your intentions alive.
Imagine yourself feeling great in your body, loving your body, and using your body to spread love and enjoy life fully. Imagine the obstacles you overcame, and how happy you became. This process is called internalization, and it can cause a brighter expectancy–the belief that you can achieve your dreams–to become deeply woven into your psyche, and your life.
5. Focus on the good stuff.
The Law of Attraction is really a fairly simple concept: What you give, you receive. What you put out into the universe will return to you. We cannot attract positive energy by being negative, and it has been a replayed lesson that darkness does not extinguish darkness–only light can do that.
We are brought that which we ask for. Complaining (to the universe) is a call for more to complain about. Wishing for a better life is a call to keep wishing. If we are not grateful for what we have now, Life has no reason to believe we will be grateful with more, or with something better. Acting on our positive intentions to be more loving and happy, similarly, is a call for more to act upon.
Try to find reasons to be grateful for your body. Focus on the positive aspects. Speak kind words to yourself and question any negative perceptions you hold. Loving your body first will plant the seed for more loving experiences to blossom. If you focus on the good, you are better equipped to actively seek it, see it, and receive it.
You may enjoy this post about the joy of loving yourself.
- Which of these steps resonated with you?
- Are there any tried-and-true tricks that help you feel good in your skin?
- Is there anything you would add to this list?
Please share your thoughts, lessons, and experiences with me in the comments.
Share this post with someone you care about.
We’re all in this world together.