Self Image. Saddle Up Partner.
Self image. I think for majority of us, it's a doozy. I know even the most confident, kind, smart, beautiful, successful people have a part of them that is at battle with themselves. Self image not only embodies how we see ourselves physically, but also how we see our actions. So it's a two-fer. I'm going to get on the vulnerable train (if that hasn't been what I've been doing already) and let you know, these last few days have been tough. Tough in the self image department and especially in relation to the tools I have access to. It's also frustrating that I know better, yet it was taking longer for me to move through it then I would have liked.
On my worst days, I'm still able to be present and help clients (and friends and family) make some amazing shifts, or pull a tarot card or two. Which can make this even more frustrating and blatantly obvious that I have all the tools I need. So why do I have such a hard time implementing it for myself sometimes? Here lies the start of the vicious spiral of self image. Which is something I like to keep high, yet the last few days has been at an old pattern low.
Just because I'm a healer it doesn't mean my life, actions or decisions are perfect. Although they ARE perfect for my highest good and what I'm meant to do, learn and teach. It does mean a lot of the lessons and things I go through, are so I can help people in more intimate ways, because I actually KNOW what they're going through or will go through. Makes these times a total bonus for me - add it to my weirdo factor ;)
The lessons and funk that take longer to move through and feel stickier, are some of our most worthwhile gifts. The gift being, the bigger more powerful shift. The stuff that has come up these last few days, has caused me to push against some of my tools and dust some other ones off. Reminding me the learning, growing and bettering ourselves is a constant. I'll let you in on a little secret, although moments of being comfortable are great (and create balance) the moments when I'm uncomfortable I relish in. I've gotten good at that these days. Because of the tools I have, it doesn't manifest as anxiety or fear but as a sign that a change is coming - for the better. And THAT is exciting to me. You can also be a part of the club, saddle up partner.
You wanna know whats been goin on over here? Well....I've been SUPER hard on myself in the way I see my physical attributes. It snuck up on me out of nowhere. You name it, I was there. Hard on myself for what I was seeing in the mirror (or camera), which I then directly related to how I was eating and working out. Which then spiraled into obsessing about making time to eat more 'perfect' and workout more - which I know better than this. A little teaser, this is NOT how you get rid of these thoughts or change what you see. A great example; two people doing the exact same thing at the gym and with their food habits, see two different results. Same for two people with the same sickness or disease that follow the same protocols, yet their outcomes and recoveries are completely different. It 100% has to do with the individual and ALL THE THINGS that uniquely separate us.
This type of obsessing for me, then spiraled x10 into picking myself apart even more. Every glimpse I got in the mirror that I didn't like, just bred more of that. My skin, my hair, my teeth (what. the. fuck.), to seeing recent pictures of myself and picking those apart, like I have nothing else better to do. Really? It then put me in a bad mood, even if I didn't show it on the outside. This sort of mental hijacking doesn't allow us to really enjoy or be aware of the things we are meant to; like situations, events, family, friends, life. Cue the frustration with my actions due to all this extra mind spinning. I wasn't keeping up on my daily routines and check ins with myself. Then at no surprise I started noticing the reflections were getting louder and more annoying. Kind of like the freight train that blows through my backyard at 2am. People cutting me off, taking too much of time, my dog being high maintenance, feeling like certain people in my life were being controlling, picking apart my finances, the list goes on people! I find when these things pile up, I also happen to be around the most people or have a jam packed schedule. So it makes it even more difficult to rein it in and reset before the next day starts. Have I painted a clear picture? I realized this is the universes way of forcing me to practice getting good at tackling this stuff, even when shit be cray and busy.
I was tired of it. Enough to do more about it and try something different than what I was already doing. It took 15 minutes to kick my own ass (mentally). So worth it. I went with what came to my head first, a yoga mat. Weird. I'm not against yoga but haven't done it in awhile. So much so, that my yoga mat is on a high shelf in my garage. So while Nash was napping, I dusted it off and took it upstairs to my bedroom. I then did what most people think they should do with one, I laid on it. I stared at my ceiling and was like...oooookkkk now what? So I defaulted to one of my go-to's for self love or life in general; the (4) 4 second inhale/exhale breaths. I kept doing that and I think I kind of fell asleep, not really sure. But if I did it was like for 30 seconds. I think.... Anyways. I set the intention (oddly not intentionally) out of frustration, "ugh, what do I need to be doing differently? How do I make this stop? How do I get off this damn ride?!". Well it's funny when you get still and quiet your mind what comes in if you REALLY listen. An idea popped in, for making time to add in something more mindful into my workouts - not just the physical stuff like the gym and dance classes I've been doing. A combination of all the above just clicked, I felt a shift. It was putting my attention to what wasn't lining up and what was out of balance. One of those things; putting myself first - I tend to back burner that when I get busy with other people and family. The universe used my self image as ransom to put a stop to that and get my attention. Make sense?
For me in that moment, on that day - dusting off my yoga mat was what came to me. If it was a different day it could have been baking something, making dinner, going to the gym and blasting music in my headphones, going for a walk, writing, etc. Meaning I still would've came to the same conclusion - just depends on what lead me to that moment, to what was going quiet my mind and get the message across the clearest. So I'm not saying you have to lay on a yoga mat and start drooling to get your answer, but to be aware of what YOU might need in that moment, to get to the 'aha' moment. How many times can I say moment? What I saw in the mirror looked different, or at least how I thought about it did. Who knows which is the truer version. The real truth is, it doesn't matter.
We have to retrain neuropathways and by repetition let them know there is a new boss in town. It eventually sticks, it just takes some work. Especially if they have been life long patterns since childhood. Which most of us just never knew a different way, so how could we expect or be frustrated with not having a different outcome? We have been taught at a young age to be competitive. Pick a part what's not great to improve it and make it better. What we actually do by doing that - is focus on what we don't like, creating more of that. Like attracts like. Just a fact. And yes this can still be a mindset athletes can benefit from, while also wanting to better their performance. It's no secret we are all here to improve and grow each day, doesn't mean we need to beat ourselves up in the process. The growth, progress and improvements come in more effortlessly when we come at it from this place.
Another huge shift comes from finding the emotion and current behaviors that are connected to each body part you are trying to change. Pinpointing what's causing this runaround, helps us see (mentally) why we are seeing what we are seeing (physically). Which allows us to get to a place of acknowledging the good in that body part we want to change. In sessions, working with clients on specific physical attributes they don't like and having them leave appreciating them = game changer in ALL areas of their life. To give you an idea, someone coming in that is really hard on themselves physically and is feeling super unhappy financially - giving them tools to up their self image, can directly effect their relationship with money. That's because their behaviors and thoughts with their lack of self worth, is blocking their flow of feeling worthy of financial abundance. Therefore kinking the hose and stopping it in its tracks.
The end goal; letting go of our white knuckle grasp of wanting something so badly, which only THEN allows us to change it. But at that point do we even care to change it? And if not is it that we love it about ourselves and appreciate it, or are our eyes not seeing it anymore, so was it ever really there?
Self image is a big one and there will be more to come, it's a can of F'n worms alright. Speaking of.....having a boy, I never realized how much I would stop and look at worms and have to make conversation about how 'cool' they are.....Anyways, just know - I see you, hear you, know what it's all about and I got your back, on my best days and even my worst.