Listening to What Matters

Sorry for the hiatus guys. Stress is a monster. I promise to try and make time, cause lets face it, this is a fun outlet.

I went on a mini two day vacay this week with one of my besties, and I had a lot of time to think. Once again, I am considering what it means to think compassionately about yourself, and to love yourself. Because it’s hard. And then I got back this morning and flipped on some trashy TV (E! News, ugh), and it’s ‘Super Model Bikini Body Tricks.’ And now I’m mad. Real mad.

Because those women are weird. They are genetic weirdos. I eat an extremely heathy vegan diet. I do not look like them. I am curvy. Strong, hourglass, however you want to describe it. So to be bombarded all the time with images of these super tall, leggy, thin women and then claim that you don’t have to starve or over work-out to look like that is insane. Maybe they don’t have to, but not everyone has that genetic make-up. And then I can just imagine the disappointment when a woman reads those tips and puts them into action, and the results aren’t as spectacular as Giselle. It’s bullshit.

And let me just say, that recently I’ve been getting some curvy body love. Obviously there is no reason in particular, just a few random occurrences. And I’ve decided to believe them that my body is great the way it is, that looking life a super model is just one kind of beautiful, and that i don’t have to do anything other than be me to be desirable and sexy. I think that since we all allow other people to make us feel insecure, we should also allow them to help make us feel beautiful. I’m gonna start listening to the people who say nice things. We all internalize the bad so readily, why not listen when someone tells you how banging your body is, how cute it looks in that outfit. Shouldn’t that be more real than the magazine covers and interviews and airbrushing and impossible standards that get set for ridiculous and sometimes arbitrary reasons?

In a similar vein, here is a lovely article in the Huffington Post about self compassion from one of my favorite yoga instructors. If you are into yoga check out the studio site here, and yes, this is the one and only Lady GaGa’s personal instructor. Cool huh? I am making an effort to incorporate her hot water with lemon/compassionate thoughts morning routine. It feels good.

So the combined story I guess is that you can’t escape outside voices and their messages. All you can do is adjust the volume, turn it down on the unrealistic pictures and ridiculous ‘Bikini Body Tips’, and turn it up when people are being kind and loving. Ultimately, you also have to adjust your own voice, think nice things about yourself, and allow yourself to internalize the good stuff. We are permeable people, and you can’t shut out the world. But ultimately its you and you in a room, and only you can take that final step towards feeling truly confident and joyous. When you think nice things, don’t make them conditional. Love yourself this moment, this body, right now, no changes necessary. It certainly is an ongoing battle, but the rewards are well worth the effort. Confidence and self compassion will make it easier to check things off your ‘to-do list’, it’ll make your sex life WAY better, and it will make you nicer and more fun to be around. All of that is for sure worth five minutes of focused thought and positve self-attention.

Now go look in a mirror and say three nice things about the person you see. Out loud if possible. It may sound silly, but I don’t know a single girl who wouldn’t benefit from this exercise. When your done being nice to yourself, send one of your besties a sweet text to brighten their day. Its not easy out there, and the more we verbalize love for our friends the easier it is to fight back against all the crap. The idea of sisterhood is not out dated, and its not just for traveling pants.

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