Over the past couple of weeks you got clear on some things. The primary one being: your body is not the problem (don't forget about Part 2 here!).
You took some time to peel back the layers of your body-image mindset and you got super clear on how you would like your mindset to start to shift about the way you see your body.
And, maybe you got a little pissed as you recognized how we’re socially conditioned to have a jacked up mindset about our bodies.
This week, I want to help you come home to your body.
What do I mean come home to your body?
Stop staring at it from the outside and start experiencing what it’s like to actually be in your body.
The other night one my friends shared that she spends an inordinate amount of time focused on all of the things she hates about her appearance. She looks at her thighs with disgust. She’s mortified that her belly folds over the band of her pants. And, shorts weather is right around the corner...
She shared, “It doesn’t matter what I’m doing… It feels like like I’m constantly haunted by the reflection I see in the mirror. Even when there isn’t one around, I always see everything I *should* change.”
Can you relate?
We talked more about this sort of out-of-body way of existing. How so many of us get caught up in gazing at the outside, that we forget what it feels like exist inside of our own bodies.
I know, that’s not a super comfortable thing to do, especially when you’ve spent so long hating it.
But in order to make shifts in the way we interact with our bodies, we need to remember what it feels like to be in our bodies.
Come home to your body.
Today, I want to give you a simple and quick tool. A mindfulness exercise to help you do just that.
Get comfortable in your chair and do your best to relax.
Now, take a few deep breaths.
Pay attention to the air as it passes through your nose and fills your lungs.
Take a few more deep breaths.
Tune into how it feels for your lungs to expand and then how it feels to push the air out of your body.
Notice your body as it falls into rhythm with your breathing and how any tension shifts or lightens.
Continue to take deep breaths.
Now, visualize the place you call home. The place you look forward to returning to, where you rest and recharge. The home you consider a safe haven and a place where you have grown.
Next, visualize your body over the years. See how it has changed from childhood until this point in time. Call to mind how it has served you. How it has grown and how it feels when it is rested and recharged.
Take a few more deep breaths.
Rest your hand on her heart and see if you can feel it beating. Notice how your chest is rising and falling. Now, offer yourself the simple acknowledgement, “I’m in my body. I’m home."
I encourage you use this exercise next time you’re beating yourself up about the way you look.
Take a moment to pause and stop looking at yourself from the outside.
Feel the physical sensations of what it feels to be in your body. The air filling your lungs.
The chair under your butt.
Your feel pressed against the floor.
Take a few moments to come home to yourself.
Interrupt the not-good-enough chatter to just be and to just feel.
Because your body is and always has been your true home.
You don’t have to like it right now. This is a strategy for you to simply acknowledge that this is your body. And, in this very moment, you're in it.
Can’t argue with that, right?
I'd love to hear what this was like for you. What did you feel? What did you experience? In what ways did you recall that your body has served you? Drop me a line and let me know!
Thanks for reading! I'm a body image and eating disorder therapist in Horsham, PA. I work with women and teens who are ready to put an end to the war against their mind, body and food. I specialize in Binge Eating and helping women stop feeling so crazy around food and start living the life they've always dreamed of. Questions? Shoot me an email today! And don't forget to subscribe to the newsletter to stay in the loop!