Diet and Exercise (but not as you know it)
Make peace with your body. In 2021, let’s make true, lasting peace.
I’m not just suggesting you make peace with your body, because the alternative has been making you miserable and vulnerable to marketing. I’m proposing you do it because it makes other people miserable too. Your friends or family want you to be in their pictures. Young people look at adults, and worry they’re going to learn to hate their bodies, because at times they see us do that. Body shame is contagious. As contagious as self love. How exciting! You and I have the ability to flip things. But how?!
What’s needed is true self love. A world of true self love works for every body. Creating this world is an inside- out job.
We're going to have to put some effort into this. It requires a process of awakening to our indoctrinated body shame, and interrupting the systems that perpetuate body shame and oppression against all bodies.
Self acceptance isn't enough. LOVE is needed. True self love means taking a diet from self-deprecating or ‘casual’ put downs about your body, both its appearance and performance. Present moment awareness is our ally here. Subtle body shame is common. We may not always register the times we look in a mirror and have a disappointing thought… The times we apologise for our body or adopt a stance to make us appear smaller, submissive.
To our recipe for success, let's add compassion. It’s not our fault that we’ve bought into narratives about how bodies should look and function. And it's ok when we slip up and fall into old patterns.
As Sonya Renee Taylor tells us in The Body is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self- Love ‘relationships with our bodies are social, political and economic inheritances. The nature of these inheritances have changed over time, the default body morphing and transforming to suit the power structures of the day.’
That's why beauty and the ‘ideal’ body has changed over time, and there’s no standard definition that appeals to all cultures. We set the standard, or rather someone else does (seriously, who's behind this and can I talk to them?!) and it’s unachievable. I invite you to join me, and exercise your power, to distance yourself from the media vehicle that shapes our perceptions of bodies on a global scale.
2021 is time to exercise your personal power. Starve yourself of the diet culture and social media influencers who do not have the same values as us.
Binge, splurge and nourish yourself with quality journalism and published authors, who are contributing to a wholesome narrative.
Serve all of this up with self compassion for yourself and others still believe the mistruths about the body.
How we learn to live with true self love
Right effort. Devote some time and energy to this important task of self love. But don't force the pace of change or police every thought.
Present moment awareness. Acknowledge thoughts of body shame (yours or someone else's) as they pass by, and if you can, pop a thought of self love in there too. Have a ratio of 1:1.
Approach this with compassion. Of course we've eaten up views and beliefs about body image and performance. Think of yourself as Bambi, taking your first wobbly steps into a new world. You'll be striding confidently in no time.
January 2021 marks the month when 9 wonderful people graduate as yoga teachers. That's 9 more people entering the wellbeing industry who share our mission!
Training to become a yoga teacher is more than a career move. My course is going to show you how utterly unbelievable, strong and perfectly designed your body is. You're going to fall in love with your body, a long, everlasting love.