I dare to say we would actually "look" how we feel. That isn't completely untrue for a life with mirrors, but if we could re structure the way we experience ourselves, actually with or without mirrors, it could actually be freeing. Body Image and Body Culture is SO different around our globe. The fashion industry and fitness industry too, shape our worlds every single day. To some people it ends up being an inspiration and confirmation that were on the right path and that we are "ok" or " accepted, but for most its probably a bad comparison: were not thin enough, pretty enough, and therefore not successful (or happy) enough. Although were moving into an era (and can't you all feel the vibes:))??) of strong females leading from the front, and societies taking the responsibility to make a change for our kids and adolescents. If we want there to be a change in the middle and the top, we will just have to bunker down and make that change with ourselves first. How do we put out in the world what we really believe in? How do we actually start with "the man in the mirror"?
My work and passion has always been human behavior and physical movement. As long as I remember I loved to move, and I was good at it and got better. I received the proper push in the right direction just by having my small successes. I love the way dancing made me feel. Music took up all my times and just made me happy. Track and field made me feel strong, fast and powerful. I had very little time to get in trouble, although the way I grew up provided many opportunities and reasons to do so. Digging deep into the world of fitness made me realize that it provided a platform of joy and success, strength and identity, but also a race for perfectionism and objectification. The complete opposite of what we need to progress. Today, were in a constant fight over stress, and to eradicate the notion of that perfection.
Well, how about you give yourself the permission to not be anything but yourself today. This is so easy to say, but not the easiest thing to do actually. What follows are my own few suggestions that I like to use with my clients, and share. And to remind myself to not be too caught up, I use them myself on the regular.
1. The mirror is your friend. But a lot of the time we end up checking things out in it that we will then judge. Give yourself a few days off the mirror, and focus on how you feel when you're giving away your gift. Your gift is that thing you're great at. Hugs. Laughter. Being good at your work. Give and feel how that feels in and on your body.
2. Do a fun workout in a high intensity format (so that your heart rate goes up in peaks and valleys). Try one out that is outside, or if inside in a room, without mirrors. How does it feel to finish? That feeling can be the greatest reward! You just gave your body some love! The benefits of this type of exercise are so many that the last thing on the list is to actually fit into a certain size clothing. But that is a side effect too! More on this topic in another post:)
3. Spend some quiet time with yourself. Meditate. Take a bath. Pray. Clear the mind, and slowly see what forms. Daily!
4. Learn something new. Get inspired by a book. A story on the radio. Revamp your mind to free your physical body of not so efficient role models. You can be your own role model!
I'm a firm believer that we can train ourselves to do anything with our daily lives. Win a race. Change our habits. Help ourselves. Cultivate that which makes us free and full of life-force. That might require hard work, time and maybe even letting go of things that don't serve us. But I'm here to say that you're worth it!
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