What does your mind say when you're naked in front of the mirror?
For years, actually, my whole life I've felt completely disconnected and intensely hateful towards my body. I would poke at it in disgust, turn my nose up at the mere sight of my reflection, and that internal dialogue would be saying all sorts like, "your so fat. Gross, look at those pimples. Ugh more cellulite, of course. Well you deserve it after eating that raw cake. You're so NOT sexy. You're disgusting. You make me sick" and so on. This would then reflect in how I treated myself, I would eat poorly and think "oh well, it's not like I'm going to get anywhere anyway". Exercise was a punishment, I would drown myself in alcohol for confidence, sex was my measurement tool of self worth and I was constantly seeking outside of myself for gratification. If you're reading this, then I'm guessing you can relate to a thing or two in the bad body image department.
But my love, this is C R A Z Y! Why do we spend every second, every minute, every hour of our lives in a vessel we fiercely (supposedly) hate? If you're ready to stand up, pull your shoulders back and stomp your feet in protest declaring that you will stop at nothing to reach the point where you consider yourself a SERIOUSLY SEXY BEAST like Derek Zoolander does, then, read on.
INNERCISE #1: Practise Awareness
You, are not your thoughts... So the trick is to be super duper AWARE of what's happening in that crazy ol' brain. Be like a stealth thought detective who lingers around in the dark ready to observe, take notes and assess the baddies when they do their drive by's. You can't stop something if you don't know it's happening. Information is power and if you can identify what it is that your mind is saying, only then can you take that shit to jail!
When you notice these negative thoughts, don't beat yourself up about them (that's just your bully coming in the back door to beat you up), just observe them. You can even say to yourself "hey badass, I can see you in there, you can't hide from me, I see through all your mind games and I know what you're up to".
The truth is, negative thoughts are normal, we ALL have them, even the Deli Llama has them and they'll never exactly 'go away'. The good news is, once you know and recognise them you can decide weather or not you want to LISTEN to them or stand up to your inner bully and tell it get a freakin' life.
Building the strength to stand up to your bully is a practise, it can be scary and take a lot of courage to do. I'm here to tell you, that you totally got this! So don't be feeling disheartened if it doesn't happen over night. Also know that being a thought detective is a lifetime job but it does get easier and way more fun once you climb the ranks a little.
TIP: You know what really helps with this process... MEDITATION. Check out the Headspace app for an amazing introduction to simple, effective meditation, complete with some basic training and guided medi's to get you started. No fuss, BS free, and made specifically for folk like you and me.
INNERCISE #2: Mirror Work
Do you tell your friends how great they look when choosing an outfit? Do you compliment your colleagues on how fresh they look today? Do you look your partner in the eye and tell them you love them? Can you do any of these things for yourself in the mirror? Didn't think so! The first time I tried... Well let's just say I shed more than a tear.
Your mission: Stand in front of a mirror, every day, look into your eyes and say "I love you, I really really love you" and see how that makes you feel. It can be so excruciatingly uncomfortable in the beginning, your inner bully will be YELLING at you and you'll be confronted with all your darkness but that's OK - what did we say about awareness... You can hear what your bully is saying but you don't need to listen to it (you are not your thoughts!).
I'm not saying it's easy, but I am saying it WORKS. Even if you don't believe it in the beginning - fake it till you make it. It's important to note that this practice, like all good things, takes time. The confronting nature of this exercise means you might come across some internal rubbish piles that may need cleaning along the way. Which is good, right! If you don't know it's there then you can't do anything about it. Trust me, soon you'll be winking at yourself in the mirror saying "hey hot stuff, i love the s*** outta you!" or the equivalent to that in your own words.
TIP: Check out Louise Hay, she is the mirror work QUEEN and has amazing recourses for you to explore this practice further.
INNERCISE #3: Grab Your Sexuality by The Gonads
If you take but one thing from this article, dear universe please let it be this! I cannot stress enough... If you want to feel sexy and truly love yourself... Then you need to start being sexy and make love TO YOURSELF.
This is not about learning how to be good in bed. This is not about masturbation. This is about self love, self pleasure, feeling incredible in your own skin and taking control of your life. It's about honouring yourself and it doesn't have to be taboo, get over it, YOU DESERVE TO FEEL SEXY AND TURNED ON EVERY DAY. By working on your sexual wellness, you're cultivating a beautiful loving relationship with your body (which is why we are here, right?) and empowering yourself sexually in, AND outside the bedroom. Sexual energy is creativity, sexual energy is wellness, sexual energy is your life force.
You know that feeling when you're freshly in love, having great sex, bursting at the seams with happiness and feeling like you can take on the world. What if I told you, you could create that ecstatic feeling for yourself (and with your partner) on a daily basis, would you do it?
I could begin writing a novel on why I am so passionate about this topic, but I'm going to let the amazing Layla Martin take it from here. Check out her video series for an eternal well of insights, tips and tools on how to further cultivate a sexy self care practice for yourself.
TIP: Having a sexy self care practice doesn't mean you need to have your hands down your pants all day every day (unless you want to, of course). You can simply focus on romancing yourself and doing things that make you feel sexy. Lighting candles, listening to a sexy playlist and dancing are some of my personal fave's but do some experimentation to see what lights your fire.
INNERCISE #4: Self Gratitude
Siiiiiigh - Gratitude. I say that many things have changed my life but if there's anything that has really, really, REALLY changed my life it's gratitude. Everything is just more... sparkly when I'm wearing my glitter gratitude goggles. This innercise task is the same as any gratitude practise, except you are being specifically grateful about all things related to you and/or your body.
In the evening, before you go to sleep, write down three things you are grateful for about your body, or something you did today. It can be anything! Big or small. Silly or sensational. Don't worry if you get writers block in the beginning, it just means you need more practise. You don't do one squat expecting a big fat booty, that's why it's called innercise! And I'm here to be your cheerleader.
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The road to self love isn't a short and freshly sealed freeway for all to cruise down. There's all sorts of bumps and forks in the road but I just want you to know that I have your back every step of the way. Come to my Facebook for more resources & event updates, or follow my Instagram for daily dose of inspiration along the way.
It is my mission to shine a light as bright as possible on the road to self love and I believe that no transformation goal is too big if we start from within. Because health and wellness starts between our ears.
P.S. Be a gift giver; Do you know anyone who you think could benefit from a mindset makeover? Or is perhaps just in need of a little inspiration. Feel free to wave my website or one of my social media channels under their nose. They'll love you for it!