Last week the Tyra Show put out a query asking for:
Do you have a body part that you absolutely hate and sometimes feel ashamed of? Are you constantly finding ways to cover it up or hide it? Do you always feel anxious whenever out in public, perhaps fearing that others are staring at you because of a self-perceived body flaw? If you have serious issues with one of your body parts, and wish you could change it, contact us.
How many of us could apply? Probably 99% of all American women.
A client of mine is a body image expert and during one of our media coaching sessions she mentioned that she practices mirror gazing -- naked. Every night before bed she stands in front of a full length mirror and looks at her body and loves each part, loves the whole of her. Impossible? I thought so when I first started. At first I saw only the ill-effects of gravity, fat where there should be muscle and cellulite in all the worst places.
But after a few months things began to shift. I could see that I had great collarbones. Then I moved on down... It took a while, but now I can look at the whole kit and kaboodle and say, "Not bad." I can't say I love it all, but that I have a few good features that time has not yet taken full toll.
When I go deeper than that I can appreciate that I'm strong, healthy, athletic, and have a sense of grace and joy. When I spoke to Diana Marie Estey, Yoga Instructor for Yoga Works in Larkspur CA, at a Yoga Retreat, about body beauty through yoga she said, "I'm more interested in helping people connect to their sense of aliveness."
Rather than worrying about what we hate about ourselves she advised that we see how we can create connection to our environment, the beauty of nature, each other, ourselves. I was thinking about connecting to this sense of aliveness today when I was out walking on my usual route, sniffing flowers, picking blackberries, and fuzzling dogs and cats I've come to know. On this hot night I passed a neighbor's kids running through their sprinkler on the lawn, naked, laughing, wet and cool, screaming in delight.
"They are so lucky!" I yelled to their dad. "Don't we all wish we could do the same?" What if we remembered the delight in being naked? Water, sun, air on our skin under the big big sky with no other thought than how good we feel?
Susan Harrow is the author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul. She runs a Media Consultancy where she helps everyone from Fortune 500 CEOs to celebrity chefs, entrepreneurs to authors grow their business through media coaching and the power of PR. For more information please contact Susan.