Each Friday, I wake up and head over to teach a morning yoga class filled with the amazing women whom I look forward to seeing each week. Friday then becomes my day to catch up on 'Sue self care' and some 'Sue self love'.
As women, many of us struggle with BODY NEGATIVE thoughts all day long. We find ourselves in a battle with our bodies constantly seeing the negative and looking at ourselves through the eyes of the inner critic.
Hating our bodies has many repercussions. Living this way can truly bring us down, distract us from our authentic selves, and keep us stuck in thought patterns that surely do not serve us or others in our lives.
It is a challenge. I see it in myself as well. Staying in a BODY POSITIVE space takes commitment and focus.
Whether it is your thighs, your stomach, the number on the scale, how your skinny jeans fit, or how you see yourself in the mirror, this BODY NEGATIVE lifestyle is never going to feel good.
We all deserve to feel good in our bodies. We deserve to be free to be who we are in all our expressions of the feminine, regardless of what our culture dictates. Valuing ourselves in a way that goes beyond outer beauty and size is a mission worth pursuing.
Change may not happen overnight, but with these consistent practices, you will find you can overcome your old patterns and make living BODY POSITIVE your practice.
Observe How You Feel
Our bodies are wise.
How we feel after we eat, after we exercise, of even after spending time with a friend or family member is important to note. Observing gives us information. If we consistently eat something that sits in our stomach giving us digestive upset, bloating or pain we are not going to find it easy to be body positive. If we over exercise or under exercise and feel tired, lethargic or stuck in our bodies it is hard to stay body positive. If we are eating out of alignment from what we know to be healthy, ethical, and energy producing we are going to find it hard to be body positive.
Aligning your with your health and your body from the inside out creates BODY POSITIVE living.
Question: What are the things you do in your day that leave you feeling GOOD? What are the things you do in your day that leave you feeling less than GOOD?
Create an Intuitive Self Care Plan
Each of us has a unique personal recipe for success and self care. Some of us need 9 hours of sleep, whereas some of us need only 7. Many of us love to take long baths, whilst others would rather drink a cup of hot tea. There is no need to conform to self care that is not right for you, but what is important is examining what would serve you as intuitive self care.
Are you a retreater, a spa gal, a nature forest fairy or a backyard babe? Do you enjoy reading juicy novels, getting your nails done or taking spontaneous naps?
Question: What is your personal recipe that leave you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and restored?
Let Go of What Does Not Serve
To let go of our old thoughts and habits surrounding body image and replacing them with a positive mind makes us ask, “Well, that’s easy to say, but how do I DO it?”
We are so emotionally attached to these negative thoughts that the best way around is to simply imagine letting them go; whether that is focusing on certain parts of ourselves or our bodies that we dislike, mirror-checking, overusing the scale, or using food to deal with stress, the list goes on.
Once we can observe our negative and harmful thoughts, we can work to replace them with self-love and positivity. Instead of looking at our thighs in disgust and calling them fat, we can appreciate the power and ability that our incredible legs give to us: the ability to walk, to run, to jump, to climb, to play.
We need to begin to thank our bodies for the amazing things they can do for us and look beyond what we dislike on the surface, instead focus on the parts of our bodies that we love, even if it’s something as small as our eyes, nose, hair, even pinky finger.
Be mindful of negative thoughts surfacing and counter them with loving thoughts, even if we need to say it out loud. (more on this below)
Quickly, we love ourselves more and more, while negative thoughts and habits become rarer and rarer. And now our beauty and confidence shines into the world for all to see.
Affirm your Positivity
Daily beauty and body positive affirmations are an important piece to get yourself replacing those old negative thoughts with positive ones. As with any transformation, practice and consistency is where we are going to see sustainable lasting changes. Trying to subtract a thought or habit with no substitution usually leaves a lot of room for old habits to creep back in. Substitution is the secret.
Once you have decided on your positive affirmations, be sure to put them in very well viewed locations. The bathroom mirror, the refrigerator, your meditation alter, your car dash board or your computer to name just a few. Surround yourself with the positivity you so deserve.
Question: What are your most common negative thoughts or internal dialogue? How can you replace those negative thoughts with positive thoughts?
Surround Yourself Intentionally
We all know that we feel better when we surround ourselves with positive people. Even better when these folks understand what we are up to, and lend a bit of accountability or reflection. It is helpful to feel safe, secure, supported and even boosted up by those in our lives.
Creating a community of women that align with you and your body positive intentions will drastically impact body positive practices more than you would think!
Question: Who gives you the most support and security when it comes to body, health and lifestyle? Who doesn't?
If you want to practice the art of BODY POSITIVE living and being...join us this August for the Eat.Pray.Yoga Colorado weekend retreat. Give yourself a gift of self love and care that will rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit.