I almost cried on stage the other night when one of my workshop attendees proclaimed to the group that she found it really difficult to think about anything she loved about herself, as she found it hard enough to think of anything she liked about herself. This beautiful and witty woman (I'm guessing in her 60's) made the whole group chuckle as she went on to pick apart her appearance and continued with how we feel worse the older we get.
"The more negative thoughts we focus on, the more the story builds and we barely have a leg to stand on, when we stand on trial, in front of our mirror jury of one and are immediately sent to the jail of not good enough!"
While she was funny and making light of it all, what she was telling us was her truth and my heart broke for her, for the years spent not realising or embracing her unique beauty and for all the many other women who feel the same, wasting so much energy scrutinising our appearances and trying to squeeze into an unrealistic beauty mold, set by an f'ed up patriarchal society and beauty/ advertising industries that pray on our insecurities.
I spent many years in comparrison overwhelm, speaking to myself unkindly and seeking aproval from others and while I am by no means immune to it all now I decided a long time ago that I was going to re-direct my attention to postive thoughts and affirmations, learning to love myself and appreciate the unique beauty we ALL have. It's not always easy and I suspect a lifelong practice and commitment but we only have this body and relatively short life in this form, so surely it's better to practice focussing on all the great things about ourselves and feeling greatful for all we have?!
We are much more affective if we feel good - if we start with kindness and compassion for ourselves, we are able to offer much more to others and be of higher service in the world. We invite others to treat us the way we feel about ourselves too - our energy is visable and introduces us before we do.
Confidence, is an energy and is ultimately wrapped up in how we present ourselves, which is linked to how we feel about ourselves.
I don't believe anyone ever feels 100% confident (we're only human after all) but we can commit to treating ourselves with the same love and respect we wish for our loved ones and in practicing positivity and gratitude we can learn to like ourselves, then love ourselves more.
There's no time but the present! It's especially vital for us to lead by example and share positive body confidence with our children.
Here are 5 ways you can begin practicing self-love today:
1- Positive Affirmations & Gratitude
Our subconcious doesn't differentiate between true and false, it simply believes everything we feed it as fact and files it away, to be brought up to back up a matching thought later. So you can see how easy it is to get sucked into negative thought patterns - the more negative thoughts we focus on, the more the story builds and we barely have a leg to stand on, when we stand on trial, in front of our mirror jury of one and are immediately sent to the jail of not good enough!
Be mindful of your inner monologue. If you catch yourself thinking anything negative, be kind, forgive yourself and replace it with a positive thought about yourself or with something you're grateful for. Gratitude is always a good place to start as it's impossible to also be negative if we focus on what we're grateful for. Also try using positive affirmations, even if you don't believe them at first- remember, our subconcious doesn't know the difference - our ethos at Bodhi Babes is: Brave, Bold, Beautiful - try saying I am Brave, I am Bold, I am Beautiful anytime you need a bit of a confidence boost or need to interrupt negative thoughts about yourself.
3- Nourish Yourself
As well as being mindful of toxic thoughts, it's also important to be mindful of what other poisons we're feeding ourselves. Everything that goes into our bodies, minds and comes into contact with our skin is absorbed by our cells and affects the way we feel, mentally and physically. So, the more natural, wholefoods and vitamin filled, plant based products we use the better, to support our bodies in performing at an optimal level.
Exercise will help you look and feel your best. Movement is also great to get you out of your head and into your body... you'll soon find out how you're feeling once you get moving. If you're feeling stuck, down or sad, head out the door for at least a 10 min walk and you'll feel so much better!
For maximum benefits get outside for some vitamin D and fresh air. There are loads of great outdoor fitness classes available and many offer a free trial. Google what's on in your local area. Meetup is also a great way to find fitness groups, which are often cheaper and sometimes free.
If you're not ready for a class just yet, a regular brisk walk in the park will do wonders for your mood and figure! If you'd like a companion, why not offer to walk someone's dog for them: www.borrowmydoggy.com
Walking is also a great way to catch up with friends... ditch the tea and cake and get moving ladies! OK, tea and cake is sometimes needed too!
4- Find Your Tribe
"We are a combination of the 5 people we spend most time with."
The people we spend our time with influence how we behave and feel, so we had better choose wisely! Maybe it's time for an audit of the people you spend time with? Which arrangements do you make that you don't really want to? Which people are draining your energy? Be mindful of how you spend your time and who with.
"Magic happens, when women come together for a common purpose. When women support one another, we are a force to be reckoned with!"
5- Connect With Nature
I jumped on to Periscope last night (something I'm still getting used to) and asked my lovely audience what things they did for self-care and to help them feel good about themselves and lots of great things came up, including: massage, meditation and my favourite - walks in nature. I always feel great after time in nature, whether that's a walk with my dog, Troy, running through fields or SUPing. It's really grounding and a wonderful way to get some peace. So even if it's just 10 mins on the grass at your local park, take some time to unplug and reconnect in nature today.
I'd love to hear what helps you to feel good about yourself, please let us know in the comments below.
If you are struggling to feel good about yourself and life, check out our Brave, Bold, Beautiful online course, and Bodhi Babes Desire Map Workshops, I'd love you to join our amazing Facebook Group and would be honoured to guide you in manifesting the life you desire. Or if you would prefer a bespoke plan, book in for some 1-1 sessions with me.
Be Brave, Be Bold, You're Beautiful!