Summer is here and the sun in beating down on many of us. This season can an extra level of challenge in the body love process because the heat makes us want to strip down and be free but that can mean exposing our insecurities, as well as arms, bellies, legs, or whatever. The addition of lots of other bodies being out in the wild can lead to thinking that is unconstructive. Let’s talk about it a little.
I loved being naked as a kid. I still remember the first time I was told it was wrong. I was about four-years-old and a neighborhood friend walked by our house where I was hanging out in the yard. I do not think I was completely nude but close, for sure topless and like panties or something. This eight-year-old told me that I was too big to be outside “like that”. I wasn’t fat then so she didn’t mean it that way, but it struck me so hard that I remember it all these years later. It was my first taste of body shame and I guess that makes it hard to forget.
A client and I were recently talking about nudity. She has been with her boyfriend for a while and has never been fully naked in front of him with the lights on. In addition to all the cultural bullshit we all face, she has a mother who still tells her she is “huge” (for the record, she is not) and memories of a relationship with a partner to scrutinized her body daily. There is even a physical manifestation of the invasiveness of the words of her ex in that he bullied her into getting breast implants, which she still has and hates.
So, how do we get past these thoughts that get instilled in us so early and so often? The answer is always the same, friends. We adjust our thinking. Years and years of input like the above can be hard to counteract, but it can be done!
Test drive your bod
If you are nervous about wearing shorts or going sleeveless, ease into it. Start in the privacy of your home in something that makes you feel free. Hang out in your back yard or go for a quick walk around the block. You will feel liberated with a breeze on your previously captive skin and will start to want more.
Take a look around
People watch in a busy part of your town or city. Without judgment, observe other people. I guarantee you will see all kinds of bodies enjoying the weather and you will realize that you want and deserve that too.
Look in the mirror. Find something that you love about yourself. Then, with compassion, extend that feeling to the parts of your physical form that challenge you. Every part of your deserves love. With practice, you will get there. I swear.
Want to go next level with your thinking? Come to the retreat October 7-10 and we will show you how!