Find the Light When Body Image is Knocking You Down.
“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” ~ Edith Wharton
When it comes to food and body image, there are days when you may feel like you’ve got it under control and other days when getting out of your head feels painstakingly difficult.
Thoughts have the power to be incessantly keep you in the cycle of fear and control, then guilt and shame.
Here is the deal. You, the you who is underneath the mania about your body, has so much going on. You have relationships, sexiness, passions, desires, love and the gift of life. However, the negative voice of negative bodily fixation has pretty much one goal: to keep you feeling insignificant and confined.
When you are deep in the thick of living the reality of that voice, getting out on the other side can sometimes feel like attempting to climb out of a well. That well runs deep and the light coming through the top is far from reach.
There are ways to change this reality of feeling imprisoned in negative body image, but they do not exist within the paradigm of more fear and control. Instead, here are some tools to use in times when you are deep in the well.
First, go outside in your skivvies! I don’t care if it’s blazing hot or raining. Shift reality by changing your perspective. When we stay in the same groove, we allow for the negative voice to stay in groove as well. Go outside and feel the elements on your skin. Feel the rain, the sun, the breeze.
Notice the smells, the sounds, the flowers, the buildings. Engage your senses. Close your eyes, take a deep breath in through your nose and on the exhale, sigh out through your mouth and let it go.
Also, do something that makes you feel ridiculously good in your body.
Cuddle. Dance. Rest in Child’s Pose for an hour. Pet your dog (or cat). Take a bath. Light a candle. Bask in the sun. Go on a walk.
What allows for you to feel at home in your body? Do that. Trust your instinct.
Your body is the core of where your intuition lives, where you can reach what you already know. Honor it. Follow it. It will guide you to peace.
Take a moment and write down 10 things you are grateful for about your body. Think of more than what you can see. What you can see works too, but even more so, think of the things your body does every second to allow for you to live and breathe. Start there. Feel the beauty in that.
Then, gently touch your skin. Feel the way your breath moves in and out of your lungs. Lick your lips. Experience your heartbeat. You are incredible.
Separate yourself from the voice of negative thoughts. The voice telling you that you aren’t enough is not you! When you notice negative thoughts coming in, start to practice separating yourself from them. Give the source of your negative thoughts an identity of its own.
Start to be aware of when those thoughts come through, and visualize the negative voice being the source of those thoughts. Then, shield yourself from the negative voice’s identity by covering yourself in a bright light.
And you know what the magic of it all is?
You are the light.
Your relationship with food and your body are an opportunity to discover just how bright your own person light truly is. It may be dim, but it is powerful. Imagine the sun covered by thick, dewy clouds. Then, the moment when the sun breaks through… infinite rays of light and reflection.
Change the story.
Let the elements touch your skin. Experience the beauty of your incredible self. Feel gratitude for your body. Gently guide the clouds away and allow for the your light to shine. Soon enough, you will begin to experience a sweet sense of self-acceptance and love.
Feel that brightness already within you and recognize just how incredibly capable, beautiful and powerful you are. You truly are.
Just be gentle enough with yourself to let it shine through.
Natalie Marie Shapiro is a healer and guide, blending social psychology and spiritual development as means to usher women back to their soul-paths through the front door entrance of food relationships and body image. Natalie’s work follows the map that links external suffering with the screams of the soul, and her work uses this map to support women in coming back to embodying their deepest essence. Natalie is a yogi and dancer, a true Pisces meandering between reality and elsewhere, a forever student, and a passionate supporter of the earth, the elements, and their profound wisdom. You can connect with Natalie via her website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.