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August 4, 2011

Mirror, Mirror…Is it Love at All?

In my profession, I’m constantly surprised by how many attractive women and girls perceive themselves to be significantly heavier than they actually are.

When asked to describe their bodies, it’s as though these women are staring into a wavy funhouse mirror making them super wide and fat. Even when their body weight is normal, it can be impossible to convince these clients they aren’t grossly overweight. These days an all-too-typical response is women starving themselves, going on crazy diets or surgeries.

In the quest for beauty, so many of us abandon the # 1 premise: Love Thyself. Whose eyes are we looking through anyway? The editor of Vogue or Twiggy? Seeing the body and its needs without any societal filters or judgments is a 1st step to reclaiming our presence. But how do we do it?” Here’s a simple exercise:

Step 1. Come from a place of child-like innocence & wonder. As if you have never seen yourself before.
2.  Sit with your eyes closed. Breathe & sink into your body and senses. Imagine you are from a far distant world. You just landed on planet Earth with no point of reference or comparison.
3. Open your eyes & begin by observing your hand. Follow the contours of the flesh. The bumps, grooves, lines, shapes, color & texture. From this foreigner’s point of view there is no meaning. It just is. Neutral and no judgment.
4. Now move up your arm and gaze into the mirror at your neck, chest, chin, cheeks, nose and eyes. Continue this exploration through the eyes of the stranger just observing with wonder as you cover your entire body.
5. From this place of innocence, send love to all of you as you gaze. Now close your eyes. Connect with your breath & feel sensations in your body. Allow any emotions to be present and flow with the breath.

The above is an excerpt from my mini book “The Four Alignments of Self Care

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