Last week, after spending hours at the computer, I decided to throw in a pair of shorts, unrolling my yoga mat and stretch. My goal was to feel better than when I started, but then something unexpected happened.
While I was in my first downward dog selling my legs, my thighs looked backwards and saw the cellulite! The voices began immediately …
You are disgusting.
And then the worst: No one will love you if you’re fat.
Within seconds, I went from wanting to lovingly take care of my body hating myself and my legs do not look perfect.
You see, I grew up in the South, where my appearance mattered. I picked up a message saying something like this:
You have to be pretty and thin to be loved and accepted.
It’s fair to say I’m not the only woman who learned this message. Of the women we see on television and magazines of popular middle school girls to hot moms in car line, which so often feels like everyone share looks perfect: pretty, slim, beautiful and fabulous . I want you, too!
So we are convinced that once you lose weight and look a certain way, life magically develop. We spend our lives looking for perfection and we become more concerned about how we look rather than how they really feel.
And when we focus more on how we look, there’s no perfection. We keep trying but we never get there. In this quest for perfection, we stop living our lives.
We eventually stop trusting our bodies and walk around with guilt and shame about what we eat, how we eat it, what we wear, what we say, and how we look. These feelings build and build to the point where we’re actually at war with ourselves.
Well, this year, I finally gave up on waging war with my own body. I got so tired of playing this old, sad game with myself, so I started to create a new mentality for myself instead. This new thought process was based around one question: what if my body could be trusted?
What if my body was here to guide me but I’d been too busy being a know-it-all, so I couldn’t hear what she wanted to say?
This new little game quickly turned into many more questions:
What is it that I really want right now?
Does my body want dark chocolate instead of fruit?
Does she want meat rather than a salad?
If I knew it were safe, what would be the most delicious, nourishing thing I could eat in this moment?
Through asking these questions, I discovered a new truth:
My body is wiser than my brain.
This phrase is the basis for the new game. The truth is that thoughts I say usually complete garbage, but my body never lies.
In this new universe, where I know that my body is wiser than my brain, I am learning to trust that I can renounce war and surrender to the wise woman in my body.
We all have a purpose in life. Our souls are here to grow, to update, to teach, to share, to inspire, to love … and nothing else matters, but living a life aligned so we can spread our light in this world.
So when I saw that cellulite on the thighs, I panicked for a split second. And then I remembered, I am beautiful no matter what, and if I’m bigger or smaller, the amount of AWESOMENESS that lives inside me right now is amazing. And I’m very happy that everything inside has this amazing home.
And all the details of how my body appearance should not be mine to worry. She can take care of herself. Today is just today. Tomorrow, next week, the year my body will be different week.
Your body is the vehicle for your soul. You should feed it with care, inspiration, fulfillment of relations with nature, to music, to art, to dance, to the community, with passion, with purpose.
More than anything, in order to maintain its shine, to feed your love with the food she asks, not the food that I think you should give. Some days it can be vegetables. Other days may be cheese. Just as mood changes, your body needs change. You should set aside the rules and adapt to time.
Trust that your body is always changing, becoming more and talk to you. And the best part? When you start listening to your body, to find out how willing he is to guide you to your true path.