Forget those images of skinny celebs and size zero models – it’s all about embracing your lumps and bumps! Lisa Clark discovers how holistic healing can help you to love the…
Forget those images of skinny celebs and size zero models – it’s all about embracing your lumps and bumps! Lisa Clark discovers how holistic healing can help you to love the skin you’re in
There is so much pressure, from all directions, to get the perfect body. Being slim has become a sign of attractiveness and success, yet all it’s actually doing is causing us to feel more and more hateful of the body we have, full of fear that our flesh is just not good enough.
The good news is, that you ARE good enough, and a much more positive approach to loving your body is to find health and happiness at every size, which is why more people than ever, are now turning to holistic healing to help them feel truly beautiful. Here are failproof ways to feel beautiful, both inside and out:
The word ‘shaman’ can also be translated as ‘one who sees in the dark’ or ‘one who knows’. Which is also the perfect description of a woman. We have all grown up hearing the term ‘female intuition’, because intuitive skills are innate in women. “The shamanic path is a journey of self-discovery and healing which is guided by spirit and recognises that each individual’s soul path (your ‘star-fire’) is unique,” says shamanic healer Kay of Starfire Alchemy (starfirealchemy.co.uk). “This is where the alchemy comes in: dissolving the boundaries that hold us back, restoring the unique essence of the individual, rebirthing the self.
“In most of my work with women, I have to help them release their limiting beliefs around their body or their role as a woman, in order for them to hold onto this power in their bodies. I can’t tell you how many women I have worked with over the years who cannot say ‘I love myself’ or ‘I am beautiful’. Teaching women to do shamanic journeying helps them to discover what belief they are holding onto that makes them feel this way about themselves. Usually it’s something learned in the pre-verbal years, inherited beliefs from family and society, so on a conscious level they don’t even know they feel this way.”
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This shamanic exercise will help you to trust your body’s instincts:
Sit quietly for a while and tell yourself something you know to be true and focus on that fact. Be aware of your body, and find where you feel that knowledge. See how your body feels when confronted with truth. Repeat the exercise with something you know to be a lie, so you know how your body feels when confronted with deception. With some practice, we learn how we feel when being lied to; we literally feel it in our bodies, and build trust in them as our allies.
If your self-esteem needs boosting, you may benefit from Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). “This is a system that taps into the body’s meridians to de-stress and release negative thought patterns and has shown excellent results in helping to free women from poor self-image,” says practitioner Susie Shelmerdine.
To use EFT, think about something that normally upsets you or makes you feel bad about yourself and simultaneously tap on the EFT points. By doing this, you’re retraining your body to release the negative thought and stay open to new, positive ones. As a result, a feeling of wellbeing quickly replaces your anxiety, fear, sadness, insecurity and self-doubt.
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Use this simple tapping technique to clear any conditions you’re placing on your wellbeing. For instance, if you think, ‘I can’t be happy unless I’m thinner or prettier,’ getting rid of these beliefs will help you be at peace with yourself.
Start by saying a positive statement out loud. You could try using or adapting this example: “Even though I believe I need to be slimmer to feel confident, I deeply and completely love and accept myself right now.”
Then tap on all eight key points in turn, repeating a negative belief that applies to you. This can be anything that’s troubling you, for example, ‘I am unattractive’, ‘men don’t find me interesting’, or ‘my bust is too small’.
Because EFT is easy to do, when you feel negative emotions arising, such as insecurity or self-doubt, you can just take a quick break and do a few minutes of EFT tapping. You’ll begin to realise that your wellbeing is in your control. It doesn’t depend on anything outside of you.
Calling on the goddess when you have trouble looking at your reflection in the mirror is a powerful way to discover your very own inner goddess. Call on Aphrodite, Freya, Algaea or Cliodhna, all goddesses of love and beauty, to help you to reconnect with your own beauty.
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Try this goddess-inspired ritual to increase your body confidence:
Matrix mind work is a form of energy psychology – a series of techniques that engage the mind and body simultaneously to create transformation on both a physical and emotional level. “It is important to understand that the keys to making positive changes lie within yourself, rather than any doctor, drug, or other external source,” says founder Brett Moran. “To make this happen, you simply need to become alert to internal signals of your mind and body.”
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“Your mind and body are connected, so to discover why you may be feeling self-loathing towards your body, you need to first find out what thoughts are creating those feelings,” advises Brett:
“A single thought that you may have had years ago, along with evidence that you’ve then found to back it up – other peoples’ comments, the media and society – create a pathway to the brain that then becomes a core belief. ‘I’m not loveable’ or ‘I’m not worthy’ are common thoughts that can stop us from being able to love ourselves.
“Sit, meditate and look within. It’s not always comfortable to look inside ourselves, but unless you are aware of your blocks, and work to address them, you won’t be able to ever move forward. So, without distractions, ask yourself where are you feeling these thoughts in your body? How do they make you feel? What are they attached to? Everything we need to heal ourselves is already within us, so ask questions and open your heart to the answers.
“If you find doing this alone too difficult, seek a coach. A coach can help you to ask the right questions and hold the space safely while you go on an inner journey of discovery.”
Here’s how to be happy and stay healthy no matter what your body shape
Accept your body
No one is perfect, and if you spend your time obsessing about the bits you don’t like, it will only highlight them. Instead, make a list of all your strengths – whether it’s your smile, your sprinkling of freckles across your nose or how pretty your toes look when you paint them pink – and concentrate on accentuating those.
Focus on your favourite bits
Touch the bits of you that you like while looking in a small mirror. Then ask a partner, or a trusted friend, to touch them too. Next, progress to a full-size mirror, wear fewer clothes, look at yourself for longer, then at the bits you think you don’t like. Really focus and tell them how much you love them. You may feel a little silly at first, and you may not believe it either, but keep at it and you’ll start to believe it.
Smile, stand up straight and start behaving in a more assumed manner. Try starting conversations with a positive statement or a compliment, even if you’re talking to a complete stranger. Practice being patient, listening to other people, or making someone’s day with a hug. You’ll find people react to you positively, and your confidence will grow.
Get some perspective
If you hate something about yourself, it becomes an obsession, and your life will be lacking in positive stimulation as a result. Go and have fun, or do something for someone who needs help. This will take you out of your own obsessing and make you feel good about yourself.
Take care of yourself
The fitter you are, the better your diet, the more you relax, exercise and deal with stress, the happier you’ll be with yourself. It’s being unhealthy that’s unattractive, not individual physical differences. Why not take up belly dancing or tai chi, or if your fitness levels are high enough, start training for a marathon.
Remember, celebrities wear loads of make-up, and spend their entire waking hours trying to look good. Could you be that bothered? Or do you want a life instead? Go out on the street – skinny, confident and very beautiful people are not the majority. Start to notice the norm.
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