Last week, I shared some of my journey from self-loathing to self-acceptance. With any healing process – whether we’re trying to create balance in the body, clarity of mind, or harmony with our inner and outer lives – there are key ingredients like time, commitment, flexibility, consistent habits, support, and guidance to name a few. At the beginning of my journey into accepting my body as is, though in truth I don’t think I realized I had even begun it, a very special woman gave me some guidance that would help me transform my relationship with myself in a very deep way. As a daily exercise, I was to look myself right in the eyes and say, “I love you, Jen.” I was being asked to tell and give myself the very thing I was desperately wanting to hear from others. Being open to the idea, I began the next day.
At first, the thought of saying I love you to myself seemed foreign; a language I’d never explored in this way. I felt awkward in front of the mirror, so much so that for quite a while I could not say these three words out loud as if in fear of what might happen if I heard them. Eventually, I shyly whispered them. Within a a month or two, I felt brave enough to say them out loud. The more I heard the words, and more importantly the more I could feel and receive my own love, the more I could feel my body respond in subtle ways. There was a slight buzz, a softness, a lightness throughout my being. The corners of my mouth began to curve upward with time. In time, I giddily looked at myself each day and proclaimed my love…to myself.
Looking yourself in the eye and saying these three words may just be one of the most intimate and insightful experiences you have.
I later came upon similar exercises realizing this was new to me, old news to some; ‘mirror work’ by Louise Hay in her famous book You can Heal Your Life, and more recently in a Jack Canfield self-esteem seminar where he asks you to repeat “I totally and unconditionally love and accept myself exactly as I am”.
I mentioned above that consistent habits are a key part of transforming your relationship to yourself, to your body, and anything for that matter. So, here’s the thing. Perhaps you’re thinking, ‘wow that’s amazing for her, BUT…it sounds dumb. it won’t work for me, it feels like more affirmation silliness, its too scary, etc. Well here’s my BUT…but you won’t know unless you try, feeling bad about your body can actually be worse for your health than extra weight in the long run, and wouldn’t you want your sister/mother/daughter/best friend to do this if they were struggling and it would work?!
Learning through direct experience is the most powerful transformational tool you’ve got. So give yourself at least 30 days; I personally recommend 90 days and saying I love you twice per day. Start with “I love you” and tailoring it for you. (i.e. I unconditionally love and accept you, I love you As Is)
Just a few seconds daily of gifting yourself love instead of criticism. Showering yourself with oxytocin instead of stress hormones. Saying the very thing to YOUrself that you may be truly craving.
It’s time to start undoing the soul crushing messages your inner iPod has on repeat. Say it like you mean it and ‘fake it til you make it’. You’re going to look at your beautiful self at least once per day in the mirror so why not do it with intention and gusto! Today is your day to begin, sister. From a place of love and acceptance of yourself, anything and everything is possible on your journey to health and lightness. Every cell in your body is ready to receive.
One of my personal missions and big big wishes (if you’re listening God, I know I have a few BBWs – all help is appreciated) is to support and see millions of women unconditionally loving the skin they’re in. All things good start with heart. From my heart to yours, wishing you love on your journey.
P.S. When you decide to take this amazingly fruitful challenge on, let me know below!
See you next week for more Love the Skin You’re In magic! We’ll be stepping things up a notch. 😉