In honor of another inspirational move of Kathryn Budig’s, I want to take a moment to make another comment on body image.
This photo of Kathryn was part of something called “I Am Not” and it can be found on her facebook page, the link to which I posted here also.
Her photo is a lovely yogic hand entwining pose with “curvy” written on her hand in response to, “I Am Not: My Body Image.”
I just felt compelled to share this beautiful gesture made towards the divinity of the Self and the body. We are carried each day in this sacred vessel, one that flows blood and thoughts and energy to our limbs and breathes life into our desires and physical manifestations. Yet we spend a horrifyingly large amount of our waking hours thinking damaging thoughts about our bodies, our vessels. I want to put a stop to this.
How do I intend to put a stop to this, you ask?
Step One: MOVE. Find an exerting activity that you adore and DO IT. Daily. Or several days a week. Whatever you are compelled to do. Walk around the block with your dog, take a dance class with a friend, do yoga on your living room floor. Do whatever it is that you love to do, and do it regularly. You will see the results in your vessel that you desire, a healthy heartbeat, vibrancy in your skin and smile, active lungs and muscles. Your body will be in better harmony with your mind having been used the way it is meant to be used.
Step Two: Approach mirrors with care. If you must avoid them, then do so. I remember never feeling so beautiful as I did after a weeklong backpacking trip in the wilderness away from all civilization (including the wretched mirror!). I came back and saw my reflection in my shockingly bright and large mirrored closet doors upon arriving home and thought, wow, so THAT’S what I look like? After a week, an appearance all its own forms inside the mind. You begin to think of yourself as who you ARE instead of the outfit you put on that morning or the type of hair day you’re having. It’s a human reaction to be focused on our outer appearance. But I urge you, and myself for that matter, to counter every negative thought that occurs in front of a mirror with a positive one. Did your ever-harsh mind notice that zit before it had even fully registered your reflection? Counter it with both a physical and non-physical attribute. Do so with a firm tone. Do so meaningfully. Your mind is a cultivation of how YOU feel. It IS energy. Regulate it. CHANGE the way you think. Find yourself beautiful and incredible and funny and perfect, finding yourself to be all of these things only increases the positivity that others will feel in your presence.
Step Three: Combine these steps. Don’t harp on yourself, just do something about it. Eat well, move your body, get sleep and water. Breathe deeply and journal, read a book, walk instead of drive. We are in control of our bodies, our body image and the thoughts that consume our minds. Instead of being captive to a hectic schedule and using food, television or other vices that fuel our stress in an attempt to quell it, take hold of the reins. Cook a healthy meal that requires attention and time, take a walk with a family member, unroll a yoga mat and zen out for an hour. Do whatever it is that you REALLY need (as Ashley Turner would say) and make YOURSELF a priority.
With gratitude and with love, I hope you all have a peaceful day.