The first season of the Happy Love Project is all about self love. In the last episode and post we talked about the definition of self love. The conclusion we came to was that everyone has a different version of self love that is unique to them. You can read more about it here: What the Heck is Self Love Anyway?
Body love goes hand in hand with self love.
There is a ton of fabulous information out there about body love and body positivity. What I want to focus on today is how we can love our bodies when we are in a relationship with other people. This post is all about how we can treat our bodies like temples and we can feel like goddesses, because that’s what it’s all about.
When we are intimate with another person… if we are not feeling amazing in our bodies, our perception of that initmacy is skewed in some way or another. And, the person that your with, their perception of that intimacy is also skewed. If you are stuck in your head, and you are worried about how you look and feel, the experience can become a bit wonky. And the experience can be different because we aren’t fully there.
Today I am going to share with you three important topics on body love. Your own version of body love can change by knowing these three things.
YOUR INNER CRITIC
Your inner critic is that voice in your head that’s critical. It’s the voice in your head that puts you down, says “no”, the voice that keeps you small. Your inner critic keeps you safe. Keeping you safe is your inner critic’s job. The inner critic does not like it if you want to do new things, or go big, or if you do things outside of it’s norm.
When it comes to body love, the inner critic plays a huge part.
So when I was younger I was really awkward and shy and I became a bit chubby for my height. I wanted to be popular. I wanted to be like the pretty girl that the boys talked to. (Although, I wouldn’t have known what to do when the boys actually did talk to me.) I wanted to be like the girls in the movies that was quick witted and had a confidence about her that I did not feel. I wanted to look like models in YM and Seventeen. And I didn’t. I was short. I had freckles and red hair, and not thin. And I struggled with that.
I was also quite depressed. We had moved from Cleveland, Ohio to Aberdeen, Scotland and it was quite a culture shock. I felt very isolated and alone as a 13 year old girl. And to soothe that depression I ate a lot of cookies and pasta. And because my hormones were changing and I was changing, I became a different version of myself. And I did not love myself.
I know you have a story that’s similar. Maybe not in the same exact way, but I know that you have a story like mine because it’s very rare for a woman to look in the mirror and love what she sees. It doesn’t matter your size, or who you are. It’s something we’ve all been conditioned to experience.
And it’s time for that to change. It’s time to look in the mirror and say to ourselves “Oh my gosh, you are gorgeous. You are beautiful. I LOVE YOU!” That might feel a little strange and overboard, but if you did that, I bet you’d feel amazing. To actually be able to look at yourself in the mirror and say “There is nothing wrong with you. You are gorgeous. I love you.” But sometimes we have to wrap our minds around that and get our inner critic on board.
One of the things I like to remind myself when I start to become critical of my belly (which I have had since carrying twin boys) is that my belly carried 13 pounds of baby in there, of course it became stretched! And then I remember to accept myself and my body. It’s an ongoing conversation all of the time about reminding our inner critic that we are fabulous just the way we are.
And too. If we want to be stronger and feel good in our bodies. If we want to be fit, or do something else with our bodies. That’s ok too! It doesn’t have to be an either or. It doesn’t have to be rigid. It can be whatever you want it to be. You get to decided how you see it. Noone else has to. Noone else has to put what they think about your body or how they think your body should look onto you. You get to decide how you perceive yourself. And that’s pretty amazing!
So when it comes to body love and your inner critic, start really paying attention to what you are saying to yourself. I know when I start to see a particular number on the scale that I start to say mean things to myself. I have to really reel it in. Everytime. It’s an ongoing conversation. It’s a struggle. And that’s ok, I just have to remind myself and go back to “You’re gorgeous.”
If you can relate, if that means throwing away your scale to feel better, do that. Because you don’t have to put all of your value on a number on a scale. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is how you feel in your body. So if you are eating foods that don’t feel good in your body, do something about that. But still love yourself anyway. And see how that changes in your relationships with other people.
If you wake up everyday and you say to yourself “Wow, you are just gorgeous!” How does that change your perception of yourself, which changes your energy and changes how people respond to you. It’s pretty amazing.
What you are putting in your body relates to food and nutrition. But it also relates to how you consume other things too, like social media, TV, the internet or the news. What we consume on a daily basis effects us. It also is our stress levels and how we process things. Our bodies are amazing machines and we put a lot of things on them. What we consume effects how our bodies operate.
What you consume effects you. It effects your mind, how you process things, how you move.
And the consumption can be beneficial, or it can also be harmful.
When you are thinking about your body, think about what you are putting into it. And be a little intuitive about it. Ask yourself: “is this meeting my highest purpose or not?” And if it’s not, make changes to things that are.
This will ebb and flow. Consuming things like chocolate or social media is not a bad thing, but sometimes we become not present to it, and that’s when we can set boundaries for ourselves around what we are taking in.
Something I share with my clients is to actually take note of what you are consuming. What you have for breakfast, lunch and dinner. What you are doing to manage stress. I have a form you can purchase here on how to keep track: . This helps you become intutive with what you put into your body.
The next thing is about moving your body. Moving your body allows you to show your body you love it. I tend to be a “non-mover.” And recently I have realized that my body preforms way better when I move every single day. I sleep better, I function better and I feel better. I function at my highest level.
Sometimes that can be challenging because of our schedules, movement can be a way we show our bodies love.
The last thing in this section is what you put on your body. Your clothing reflects how you feel about yourself. This doesn’t mean you have to be a fashionista to love your body. What it means the things you are putting on your body are a reflection of how you want to treat it. So, if you have a favorite shirt, and you love the way it feels, putting it on is a reflection of your body love.
If you go to the store and you try on a shirt and maybe a pair of pants and you look in the mirror and you say “wow, I feel good. This makes me feel amazing.” That is a reflection of body love. What you put on your body matters.
FEEL LIKE A GODDESS
How do you feel like you are stepping into your own power and strength? How is that reflected in who you are.
For me owning my goddessness could be getting my hair colored or wearing particular clothes because I like that. Or feeling confident, or moving my body because that’s what makes me feel like a goddess.
There’s a woman I follow on instagram and she’s owning her grey hair. She’s been embracing the journey of growing her hair grey and she is stunning! Definitely a goddess.
Everyone is different. So, what is your goddessness? And how can you take that and relate it to your relationship with your partner or your relationship with manifesting that next love?
And a little sidebar: The next time you practice intimacy with another person or even with yourself, think about how you can embody this goddess. Think about how you might “be” this goddess and see what happens in terms of your level of intimacy, authenticity and in feeling amazing. It might just open some things up.
Take this and see how your energy changes. When the energy you put out in the world changes, the way people respond to you is different.