Acceptance of self means acknowledging where you are and who you are. It means accepting the fact that the body you have is the body you have. To change something in ourselves, we must first accept ourselves as we are. Otherwise, some of our resources are tied up in struggling or denying. By fully being what you are – your magnificence, your power, your vulnerability, your imperfections, your conflicting voices, your struggles – you can become something else if you choose. Or you could just love the body the way it is. Here are ten more ways to love your body.
1. Pride Circle. Draw a large circle on a piece of paper. Write down all the aspects of your body that you are proud of or comfortable with. Write yourself a love letter, giving praise where praise is due.
2. Mirror boycott. Decide to boycott all mirrors today and get a sense of yourself from your internal cues.
3. Ask for a back rub. Ask your significant other to massage your back or head, neck and shoulders. Notice your response to having your body touched.
4. Get naked. Do your normal activities at home, but do them naked. How does it feel to be unencumbered by clothing? Can you let yourself embrace the freedom?
5. The joy of feet. Our feet take us from one place to another, but they often get overlooked. Take off your shoes and socks. Look at your feet as if you were seeing them for the first time, noticing all their details. Close your eyes and cradle your feet in your hands. Feel the solidity of those appendages that support you and transport you. Massage them lovingly and thank them.
6. Acceptance. In order to have high self-esteem, you have to accept your body, warts and all. We are all mortal and have a finite amount of time on this earth. Your body’s imperfections may be real or imagined, but they are in no way a reflection of who you are or your worth as a person.
7. A treat for your jaw. Most of us carry around a great deal of tension in the jaw area, by clenching our teeth, for the most part unconsciously. Imagine that your mouth is full of smoke or mist. Imagine that the mist keeps expanding very gradually. As it expands, feel your jaw relaxing as if being gently pressed down. Allow you mouth to open and your jaw to drop.
8. Celebrate a feature. It’s easy to take positive aspects of our self for granted and instead focus on what is lacking. Choose one aspect of your body to celebrate. It can be a specific feature, an ability, or a body quality. Now give it recognition through affirmation, both verbally and written. Give it a treat. Any excuse to get a massage and I am all there.
9. Mirror-gazing. Look into the mirror and gaze into your eyes. See them as the windows to your soul. What can you see?
10. Think beautiful. Decide that you are going to spend today as if you already had the body you desire. Practice what it feels like to have that body. Notice how the world looks to you. Notice how you behave with others. Notice how they respond to you. Notice how you choose to dress and move. Notice what you give yourself permission to do. Remember if you act as if, it just may become.