As a woman in this culture it can be so hard to feel like you are “enough.” There’s so much pressure to look a certain way and fit into society’s limited standards of beauty and gender. Women are taught from a very young age that our worth is measured by our size, our age, the color of our hair, and so many other superficial and often arbitrary traits.
The messages we tell ourselves have power: the power to create health and wellness or the power to create dis-ease, imbalance and pain. Every day, I hear a woman or friend say out loud that they hate their legs, or their stomach, or their stretch marks. What they may not understand is that their body can hear them and feel them, and these toxic messages can have long lasting effects on our health and well-being.
The question I have had to ask myself is, “Is there a way to change my body, without it coming from a place of self-loathing? Can I improve my health, my vitality and my energy without feeling like there is something wrong with me that needs to be changed in the first place?”
The answer to this question came to me during a meditation where I was listening deeply to the messages of my body. At the time I was feeling overweight, I was in a negative cycle of being addicted to unhealthy carbs and sugars. I ate mindlessly, and the effects were an overwhelming sense of fatigue, which crept into a feeling of depression because I didn’t have the energy to workout, let alone do the things I loved. The more tired I felt, the more I wanted to do nothing and lie on the couch, the more I wanted to lie on the couch and do nothing, the more I wanted to snack on unhealthy foods. In the meditation, I journeyed deeply to my body, I told my body, “Thank you, I love you.” I nurtured every part of my being with love and gratitude. From this place, I listened, and my body spoke. It told me that it was possible to lose weight, and get into shape from a place of loving myself, because I cared enough about my health and wellness to be as full of energy, health and vitality as I could. This was not because there was something was wrong with me or there was something I had to change about myself to be more socially acceptable.
Listening to the messages of our bodies
Our bodies store our thoughts, beliefs and emotions in their tissues. Often times when we have pain in our body, it is actually our bodies way of communicating with us that it wants to be heard. Through the simple process of bringing awareness and compassion, and learning to listen deeply to the messages of our pain, our body speaks and shares its stories with us. Through that process of sharing its stories, it is possible to heal and transform pain and bring your body into balance.
Discovering what you want
Listen deeply to the voice from within, and uncover what it is you truly want for yourself. One of the simple and profound realizations I had was that I wanted to feel good in my body.
Ask yourself the questions, “What do I want?” “How do I want to feel?”
Learning to say NO can be a way of saying a much bigger YES
Making healthy food choices often means the uncomfortable decision of having to say NO to things you love, like pizza, beer, ice cream, chocolate and bread, to name a few of my favorites. However, under the ability to say NO and make conscious choices in your life, is a practice of getting to become even more intimate and curious with yourself and the ability to say a big YES to what it is I truly want: more energy, health and vitality.
Finding a support system
In order to achieve my weight loss goals and learn healthy eating patterns, I relied heavily on support and the expertise of others. A pivotal agent for change was my wise soul-sister Mitten Lowe, owner of Journey to Wellness and nutrition expert and health coach. Mitten took me through a gentle and loving approach to change unhealthy behavior that started with nourishment and simple, easy and effective practices that actually transform habits rather than just control them. Find an accountability partner that can help you stay on track.
Be Gentle and Compassionate with yourself
Habits are incredibly hard to change. Remember that part of the growth process is often going back to some of the old decisions that weren’t serving you. When you make a mistake, be gentle and kind with yourself and then start the process of listening deeply to your body again.
Cutting out unhealthy foods may feel like deprivation, find out what it is you are truly craving. Instead of thinking about what you can’t have, fill yourself with what you can. Take a bath with essential oils, do yoga, get a massage, find ways of deeply nourishing yourself that will support you on your path to wellness.
On June 24, Mitten and I will co-host a deep dive retreat to create a safe-loving space for you to open and up and listen to what your body is saying to you so you can heal yourself from the inside out. We hope you can join us! We will provide fresh homemade juice, raw treats and individualized essential oils to support you to feel deeply nourished in your transformational journey. This workshop will be held at the Mudra Yoga Studio, to reserve your spot click the link below