Let’s start with a fun exercise I like to call: Challenge Your Perception
I took a picture of this while strolling through a botanical garden.What are some of the words that popped into your head as soon as you saw it?? Here’s what I thought: THIS IS THE MORE GORGEOUS FLOWER I HAVE EVER SEEN!!! I MUST TAKE A PICTURE OF IT and I did. I also smelled it and proceeded to the do the same for every variation of rose I passed by.
Now, let’s take a gander at this one:
Shocking right? Am I really implying that there is a flaw in the wonderful creation? How can I possibly be so blind to the beauty of this rose, right!?!?
EXACTLY! Now let’s look back on all of the things you have ever heard about or seen roses as being. They are signs of love. They are beautiful. They come in so many wonderful and colorful varieties. They are delicate. They are what we are told to stop and smell despite the hecticness of our day. They have thorns that might hurt us but are so wonderful you can even look past that.
Imagine if this is what we were raised to believe about ourselves and the stretchmarks and scars that come with life sometimes. Imagine if we could apply all those words to our own lives.
The act of loving and seeing the thing you once hated into something beautiful is difficult because these thoughts have be ingrained into our brains and our cultures and society. According to www.dosomething.org approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape. Unfortunately, only 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media. You can read their 11 Facts About Body Image and realize that this is a really really really big problem.If you missed the post about our wonderful brains and how marketing uses it against us, you can read all about it HERE.
The problem is so huge and widespread there’s no way to change it so why bother right? Wrong! You are worth it and this is something we all have to do our part to change. So, let’s start with another little exercise to help change our perception (yes I actually did this and have pictures to prove it) called Positive Post-Its:
- Write down kind words on a post it or piece of paper. You don’t have to believe them, just write and when you’re done put them up next to your mirror. Every time you look at yourself say those words. Thinking isn’t enough, you have to say them. You are going to feel super ridiculous (I know I did) BUT a change in your words causes a change in your brain so the first thing it thinks of isn’t all the negative stuff it’s been filled with but all the kind things you are teaching it.
- Your words will become your thoughts. You will retrain yourself so you can finally start to believe it. So, compliment someone else. Learn to find the beauty in others and not only will you life someones’ spirits but you will again begin to change your own mind.
- Share you thoughts with others. I am still blown away at the responses I get from my posts and pictures. I felt sooooo lonely in my self-consciousness and was too ashamed to share my insecurities with anyone. I faked confidence a lot and I wish I hadn’t because things would have been so much easier with all the support it turns out I had the whole time. They were just waiting for me to come around.
- Re-Post, Respond, and Request! I want this message to spread. If you have been touched by these words or images then I ask you to freely share it. You never know who might need to hear this message. I would loooove to hear from you and your story. I try to keep my posts short and sweet but if there’s something you’d really like to hear more deeply about send out a holler on the comments.
I hope you have an absolutely amazing and positive week! xoxo
BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: I have been asked to be a collaborator on a new blog that specifically focuses on this body image issue and I could not be more excited! I’ll announce the site once everything is finalized and ready to launch!! If you read my bio (it’s cool if you didn’t) this whole blog began as a way for me to challenge all of my fears. One of those being afraid to share my writing. Despite having tons of friends telling me to write and express myself, I never believed in my ability. I just assumed people were being nice. Turns out I really need to listen to the people that love me and know me the best more often! Thank you for your support over the last 4 months, this has been absolutely incredible and I can’t wait to continue sharing my journey.