5 November 2010

Believe it - you're beautiful

I need a lot of TLC today, since I hugely abused my body with a big bout of work-related binge-drinking last night. Chant out loud: *my body is my temple, my body is my temple...*
These bodies we have made of skin, blood and bones etc are our soul/spirit’s ‘home sweet home’.  As a Spiritualist, I believe we arrive to this planet as pure Spirit – you might like to think of us as little balls of energy - or light.  I believe we choose a body for which to home our spirit in the time that we are here. Our bodies are ours, they belong to us and it is our responsibility how we wish to treat them.
It must have been quite a shock; a happy-go-lucky Spirit dancing about the astral planes to suddenly find myself trapped inside this ‘heavy’ physical body. However you only get one body to work with and it’s got to be a home for your Spirit for the whole of your life – so we’d better get used to it and learn to love our bodies.
But how many of you (like I do) look in front of the mirror and immediately lock your eyes onto those bits you dislike most about your body?
When I was thirteen years old a horrible little boy called me, ‘six eyes’.  Now, I had worn glasses since I was three years old, you understand, so the whole ‘four eyes’ didn’t bother me so much -  sticks and stones etc – I’m short-sighted, please get over it.  But ‘six eyes’ – this was something new - what on Earth?!
Turns out he had suddenly realised that I had prominent blue veins underneath my eyes – which apparently looked like another pair of glasses. Seriously. Where had these come from? I’d never noticed them before?!
It shouldn’t have made me think twice. However, subconsciously this must have affected me – for when applying my daily slap today (twelve years later...), the first thing I do is plaster a load of make-up foundation underneath my eyes.
Truth is – people’s opinions hurt. We are constantly seeking approval of our bodies from other people. Even the littlest dig about your body can cause years of hang-ups. What hope have we got of loving our bodies with all this going on?
Learning to love your body is a topic repeatedly featuring in the media. We are told ‘you are what you eat’, (thank you Gillian McKeith), we have to make sure we eat 5 fruit or vegetables a day, exercise regularly, avoid binge-drinking (oops), dont smoke ...
Phewph! No wonder most of us have given up on making our body a temple – it’s a lot to ask!
I believe that loving your body needn’t require a lifestyle upheaval, but begins with:
  • Acceptance that the body you have been given is the one you have to work with
  • Understanding that a lifetime of self-criticism cannot be undone overnight, so don’t be too hard on yourself
  • Realising that your uniqueness makes you stand out as beautiful - there’s only one of you in the whole wide world – now, that’s pretty special
  • Focusing on the bits you do like – make an open exclamation right now about just how damn good those bits are!
Each day, make it part of your routine: take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast – and then, pause. Affirm one good thing about your body out loud so you, your subconscious - and your neighbours if you’re brave enough! - can hear it, and believe it.
I want to hear just how beautiful you are!

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