Friday, May 15, 2015

What Has Your Body Done for You Lately?

Today ask not what you can do for your body, but what has your body done for you!

I think as a society we are our own worst critics. It seems to come naturally to focus on our flaws. Rarely do we take pride in our strengths and accomplishments. This way of thinking may be even truer when it comes to our own bodies. This has certainly been my pattern. I would look in the mirror and see a muffin top where my flat tummy used to be. I would see scars and stretch marks and wrinkles wondering if I still looked as young as I felt. I was looking at myself, seeing the natural process our bodies go through, and I was only seeing the negatives.

Then I stumbled upon the Body Positive movement. Stumbled may not be the right word. It began appearing in front of me everywhere I looked (as is usually the case when the Universe insists that you learn something new). I began following Facebook pages and blogs from sites like “I Woke Up Like This” and “This Is Beauty” and my heart began to sing! I found “The Body Positive” and became so happy and empowered by their message that I became certified in Body Positive Psychology. 

Some of the special folks from
Body Positive Psychology has fivecore components: Reclaim your Health, Practice Intuitive Self-Care, Cultivate Self-Love, Declare Your Own Authentic Beauty, and Build Community. Of These five, two principles really helped me completely (well almost completely, after all I’m human) quiet my critical inner voice. By Cultivating Self-Love I learned to find and use my compassionate, trustworthy, and loving heart to respond to all of the changes in my life and by Declaring My Own Authentic Beauty I learned to take the power away from the narrow beauty ideals that I have accepted based on the media and societal expectations and decide for myself what constitutes real beauty—my own beauty.

Now when I look at myself in the mirror, I see the place where my two amazing, wonderful daughters were born by Cesarean Section. I see breasts that defied Breast Cancer. I see legs that were once paralyzed by Guilliane-Barre Syndrome but that now take me on hikes and dance for days at music festivals. Now when I look in the mirror I feel gratitude for my resilience and health. All of my scars and what others may perceive as flaws have gone from being embarrassments to being to being my badges of honor and victory. This body, my body, has gone through hell and back and I am Damned Proud of It!!!

For more information on Body Positive Psychology and how it can change the way you look at yourself and your life click here.

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