There are far too many of us that are insecure and uncomfortable in our own skin.
We feel like a stranger living in this shell that we are not cohesively in tune with. Our minds have found this alien body to hop into and wreak havoc on our body image. We are unhappy in this vessel that moves us throughout this life.
We keep thinking that if our body changed, we’d achieve more happiness, more love, more adornment from our partners—from the world.
We want to shed that muffin top. Work those biceps. Get a breast augmentation—all in hopes that society will smile its perfectly whitened, straight and wicked grin upon us and bless our rock hard body. However, an endless amount of plastic surgery and exercise still cannot mend our unscrupulous body image.
Our mind is holding the key to that happiness, love, and adornment that we are searching for. We must find it within selves to be accepting of all that we are.
Often body image issues are considered to be only that of women, more so adolescent women. But this insulting behavior from our mind is not only for the feminine species—men are also plagued by these insecurities as well. There are no age nor gender stipulations—it can have a hold of all of us, if we let it. But instead, we should cognitively take the steps below to learn to love our flaws.
Our flaws make us who we are.
We must take time to explore our bodies. Look in front of a mirror and get familiar with who you are. The areas that you detest, spend extra time on them. Let your eyes get familiar with how you look. All in hopes that your perception will change.
Trace the maps of your body.Take a journey through your rocky spine, your valleys, your hills. Get to know how you feel. Where you are soft, where you are calloused, where it tickles…
Watch yourself breathe. You will find such astonishment and respect for all that your body does every day to be alive, just for you! Watch the fall of your lungs and chest rise up and down. The way your diaphragm can push your belly in and out—nurturing with the pure essence of being.
Find comfort in being nude. It’s liberating and complete freedom. You can see all that your body does hidden behind the constraints of clothes. The muscles that are used to walk. The way your back curves at the slightest angle when you stand up. Reverence for the glorious god or goddess that you are, will develop.
Finding a partner that worships your body and soul can show you an endless amount of courage to fall in love with yourself and worship your body and soul as well. Your partner loves your body—so why don’t you? They embrace all that embodies who we are. They love our body for all that it is. The flaws that we see—they have yet to find them. The cellulite on our butt, the way our thighs touch, a few extra pounds—all of these things our partner only sees a gorgeous ass, delectable thighs, and a curvy body that is soft and requesting their touch.
I spent my middle school and high school years being overly consumed on how I looked and how the world perceived me. I ate very little and I worked out everyday to burn all of the calories I consumed. I was never happy with my body—even at 95 pounds I thought I was fat, ugly, and that no one would ever love me.
I found that when I was very uncomfortable with my body, there was something I could learn from it. And this was the process of me learning to love my flaws. What made me uncomfortable, someone else loved. Why was I being so silly?!
I found that I love food, so why torture myself. I love working out too, but refuse to kill myself just so I can eat that pizza—I’ll just eat the pizza. I’m curvy. I was made this way, so I embrace it. I don’t beat myself up for not fitting in a size zero anymore. I’m actually more comfortable being naked, in my own skin, my own glory!
We are all human. It’s okay to have insecurities, we all do. But do not let them consume you and take away from the shining light that you are.
Being alone can be petrifying, unfamiliar, and an intimidating thought for most. So many people are afraid to be alone. Afraid to be single because they feel that it makes them less than others. They are craving a love, which we all do-innately it is what we were designed to do. Without it they feel as though they are living an incomplete existence.
Placing our happiness on another soul is the perfect equation for disappointment and discontent. We can never be truly happy with another soul if we are not first happy with our own heart and soul, all alone, fighting a one man/woman battle.
One. There are songs forcing the thought that “One is the loneliest number” into our easily subjective brains. Really? I’ve found that one is the perfect numerical power to finding out all there is to know about myself. Silence breeds knowledge. And complete and utter silence takes place when there is ONE heart beating in the woods.
I spent the majority of my first quarter of life being in some kind of ‘relationship.’ Never fully experiencing living alone, eating alone, sleeping alone, no one to lean on when the times got hard, etc. Then I spent 2 solid years of not being in a relationship and that was the most amazing two years I could have ever dreamt of. I learned so much about who I am as a person. What it is I truly want in life, without the push to be something I’m not because that is the desire of someone else. I learned that I can do anything, on my own, without someone else. How liberating?!
I refused to settle, just to avoid loneliness.
I sat in loneliness and let it steep in my existence.
In the passing of those 300 moons I came to understand what it took for me to love, what I love, how I love, what made me tick, what made me breathe, what soothes my soul in trying times. I was an entirely liberated and free woman. I would have never learned these things if I continued searching and combing through each heart that was presented to me.
Do not settle for love. Do not love unless it is a mad passionate extraordinary love. Let it shake up your world. Let it make you grow. Let it lead you to adventures. Let it create the exploration of yourself.
While you are sitting in loneliness, try, key word try, to be celibate- sex can complicate things. The dance of two souls is just that, you are seeing the most vulnerable and raw part of a person when you go to bed with them. The absence of physical desire makes you appreciate the physicality of your future relations and you can learn what you really want in another. What really turns you on, off, and just makes your entire existence go crazy that you must have that person for eternity.
Surround yourself with amazing friends. You are the company in which you keep.
Eat bountiful amounts of chocolate.
Date-yourself. Learn how to take yourself out.
Learn to love yourself and the abundance and pure love will find it’s way to your heart.
Listen to your heart. If it doesn’t feel right- it’s not.
And be content in sitting with your own thoughts and beat of your heart.
Hot yoga is so hot…seriously- it's hot…but damn so are those yoga pants and that booty in them!
As a society we have collectively become more interested in Eastern spirituality, food, culture, rituals, etc. Yoga has become one of the most researched topics and most sought after activity in many cities. There are yoga studios on every corner in some towns. Online yoga communities are everywhereon Facebook. #yogaeverydamnday people! People are relentlessly on Instagram showing off their inversions or pretzel-esque moves.
I personally have been taken over by the ‘craze’ and being in a teacher-training program I am engulfed in all that is yoga. Being engulfed in all that is yoga also means the new “yoga fashion” will be ever present in my everyday life. Sadly part of this yoga lifestyle I am referring to is the insane marketing to fellow yogis to pay $90 for some stretchy black pants, that yes- do make my ass look amazing, but that’s besides my point- so many companies are robbing us yogis, some blindly.
It is very understandable if the clothes are made of organic materials, withhold the copious amount of sweat our bodies produce throughout our practice, can sustain the twists and stretches without tearing, and the profit supports a good cause (feeding the starving, sheltering the homeless), but when there are small children slaving away so I can have an Om symbol over my breasts - I've got to stop and say no to that designer.
Many companies are profiting on the yoga lifestyle. Marketing on our spiritual journey. It is a smart business; there is no doubt about that and no harm with that. We live in a free world where we can sell and buy what we want. And in no way am I condemning any business for profiting or making a living off of the yoga market- I am simply asking all of my fellow yogi’s and yogini’s to be more cognitive of what you are buying, why you are buying it, etc. If it is good quality, evokes certain energy within oneself, memories, or helps you to feel comfortable with yourself- by all means proceed. It if is just because it’s what’s hot, your friends would be jealous, you want to impress someone- check your intentions before you buy that.
Yoga isn’t about what you wear, where you got your spandex, how much you spent… it’s about the journey on the inside. In your soul you can manifest all the wealth in the world and those yoga pants that cost $90 mean nothing. Hell, your ass will look good on it’s own because of your yoga practice physically altering your body.
We live in a materialistic and product driven society- and I myself struggle with wanting the magical unicorn leggings or the lotus mala seed, but I find that it’s not about what I wear to yoga- or what I’ve bought- but my own spiritual journey. Life is an everyday yoga practice- so this concept carries out to me in my purchases of my everyday clothing. Buy from companies that have good intentions, that want to change the world in which we live in with the profits of our hard earned dollars.
And know that it is not what you have that makes you you. Your clothes, your water bottle, your mala, your slender rock hard body- it’s just a shell and extras that are covering what is truly beautiful and priceless- your beautiful loving, nurturing, caring soul.