Your body is where you live. It is the thing through which you experience this life and it's constantly conspiring to keep you here on this planet. Your lungs breathe, your heart beats, your neurons are firing, your digestive tract is working... all with no conscious effort on your part!
Personally I think that's pretty damn rad!!
Yet so many people struggle with a negative body image. With hating the body they live in. With the self loathing that can come along with it all. I know I did for many many years.
There are many ways you can learn to love your body and accept yourself, and learning to honour your body is a big part of that.
You can't love something if you haven't even acknowledged it has needs and wants. You can't accept something if you won't look at it and have a relationship with it.
That's where honouring comes in. Here are five of my favourite ways to honour the body and let a little more love in each and every day!
You get cues and signals from your body every day. These might be in the form of a physical cue or a gut instinct. Your body is the best source of knowledge about what it needs and it tells you so that you can fulfill those needs! The problem is, many of us have gotten really good at not listening.
How often has your body told you something and you've chosen to ignore it? Perhaps you're tired but you choose to stay out late with your friends. Perhaps you're hungry but you push on through and skip lunch yet again. By ignoring your body's cues you are saying you don't matter. You're not worth listening to. You don't know best.
On the same token, how often have you ignored your intuition in life? Perhaps you've gotten a bad vibe from a situation, ignored it, and learned your lesson the hard way. Or you met a new person who you knew you shouldn't start dating, you did anyways, and it ended up going up in flames.
Our body is always telling us what we need to know, and by getting out of our own way and listening to those signals, it is a wonderful exercise in kindness, self respect, and honouring your needs. These are all steps in the journey to self acceptance and self love!
2. Physical Nourishment
Your body does everything it possibly can to keep you alive. It will run off of too little sleep, survive off of soft drinks and candy if it needs to, and still keep your organs and body running in tip top shape.
But just like listening to your body is important, so is nourishing it. Giving your body the food it needs, keeping it properly hydrated, and getting enough sleep are all wonderful ways of honouring your body and thanking it for all that it does!
One important thing to note is that this is unique to every single person. The food that nourishes you best is not necessarily what will be best for a friend or family member. This is about tuning in and observing how your body feels when you eat certain foods. Do you get lethargic or bloated? Or are you energized and upbeat? In general, this often means eating as many whole foods as possible and reducing processed and junk foods. Plus of course aiming for your minimum 6-8 glasses of water each day and approximately 8 hours of sleep each night.
Caring for your physical health and nourishing your body with the things it needs to thrive is a key step in honouring your needs and respecting yourself.
3. Self Care
I LOVE talking self care because it is so vital to your health & wellness plus it encompasses so many activities. Self care can take the form of things like having a bubble bath, getting a massage, going for a walk, having a beautiful cup of tea, or one of my favourites it incorporating essential oils throughout your day.
Basically anything that makes you feel yummy, taken care of, and reduces stress!
Essential oils are great because they're cost effective, simple to use, safe, have a variety of health benefits, plus they can impact your emotions and mood at the same time. What's not to love??
A few of my favourite single essential oils for self care include (but are not limited to):
Lavender - This is the oil of communication & calm. Lavender is renowned for it's properties of relaxation, peace, and helps promote self-awareness and open communication. Wonderful when used in a bubble bath or added to face lotion.
Peppermint - Known as the oil of a buoyant heart, peppermint can help you rediscover a sense of happiness, optimism, positivity, and joy. It is often used in a diffuser or added to a foot scrub or lotion for a cooling and soothing sensation.
Bergamot - This is the oil of self-acceptance and is the mildest of all the citrus scents. Bergamot helps relieve feelings of sadness, despair, or self loathing and encourages confidence, optimism and feelings of hope. It is wonderful in a diffuser or diluted and applied to pulse points and over the heart
Grapefruit - The oil of honouring the body. Self care is all about honouring yourself, your needs, and your body. Incorporating grapefruit oil can help dispel body shame & a distorted self image and replace is with feelings of health, self respect, and body acceptance. Use in a diffuser or topically on wrists or stomach.
Wild Orange - This oil is the welcomer of abundance! It supports positivity, helps you feel optimistic and overcome a sense of scarcity or fear of loss. Isn't that something we could all use a bit more of?? Wild Orange really does remind me of the carefree feelings of childhood.
To find out how to get your hands on these wonderful, healing oils, click here to access them online, or click here to ask your questions and get started today.
4. Treat Yourself as you would a Loved One
Another great way of honouring your body is to embody all of the traits you'd use when dealing with a loved one. That is to say, you wouldn't be mean to a loved one. You wouldn't ignore their requests for nourishment, for affection, for love. You wouldn't say nasty hateful things to them or bully them.
So when you find yourself stepping in the role of a bully, whether it be internal self talk, forcing militant exercise on yourself, criticizing the number on the scale or judging the food you're eating, observe it. Get curious. Then ask yourself how you could approach this in a kinder way. With more compassion, more love, more respect.
It might help to ask how you'd speak to your child or best friend if it were them on the other end of your thoughts or actions.
5. Keep Focusing on your Evolution
We are constantly growing and evolving through our lives. For a long time it was believed that the human brain stopped growing at 25 years of age, but science has since proven with neuro-plasticity that we can keep growing, learning, and evolving throughout our lives!
Honouring yourself means honouring your potential to grow. This doesn't mean you have to become a personal growth junkie and read self help books and listen to the latest personal development podcasts (though if that's your thing then awesome!).
What it means it to not close yourself off to things. Just because you've only ever thought about things one way or lived your life in one way, doesn't mean you have to stay there. Focus on your growth, be open to change, be willing to learn and evolve as the world around you changes.
Accepting that your body is constantly changing and evolving is also key. We are all aging. If we're lucky, we will get older, we will get wrinkles on our face, and our bodies will function differently than they did when we were teenagers. Instead of fighting this change, by learning to go with the flow and embrace the evolution, you can create a sense of peace, self respect, and truly be in awe of the gift that is your wonderful body!
Honouring yourself is one of the key steps in learning to accept and ultimately love yourself. By focusing on honouring your wants & needs, you are admitting that there is worth in them. That you are worthy of having what you need. That you deserve happiness. That you are enough.
Because the truth is you are!
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