Arriving in Queensland, Australia to visit my family a couple of weeks ago, I had the unexpected treat of attending a talk by Taryn Brumfitt, founder of the Body Image Movement. Although she is a well-known campaigner, writer and speaker, I had not heard of Taryn Brumfitt before that night, though I ended up being very moved by her.
To a room full of women, school girls and the odd gentleman, Taryn spoke of her personal hate-to-love relationship with her body. She talked about how she came to fully appreciate her body for exactly what it is – a beautiful, sacred vehicle for experiencing life – and overcame her fixation with conforming to the “standard” “acceptable” body type. In turn, she has devoted her life to helping others reach the same level of self-love and appreciation, and happiness.
If you want to find out more about Taryn and the Body Image Movement, click here. For now I just want to talk a little bit about my own journey towards fully loving my body. After listening to Taryn talk, I considered my own insecurities and the negative talk I have often directed at myself. I realised how incredible my body actually is, and how foolish it is for me to criticize her.
For example, although I struggle with recurring issues with my legs due to hypermobility in one ankle (causing my leg muscles and joints to come out of alignment), my body is still strong and amazing. She got me to New Zealand, hiking up volcanoes and small mountains! The picture above is of me near the summit of Mt Iron in Wanaka, New Zealand. Mt Iron is small compared to a lot of the other peaks, but it was still a triumph for me to get to the top! My legs, though not lithe and toned like a supermodel, got me there! They got me to the top so that I could experience that stunning view, feel powerful after the climb and have the fantastic memories of it for the rest of my life.
I need to work on my fitness so that my body can be as strong as possible, but I won’t fall into the trap of punishing my body or berating it in order to fit in to some physical ideal defined by someone else. Life is too short and too precious to spend any time dissing yourself. Be strong and be healthy, but do it with complete and all-encompassing love for yourself. Move for the joy of it. Climb a damn mountain and exult in how amazing, strong and fierce your body is to get you there. That is what your body is there for. It isn’t just an aesthetic shell to be made to look pretty.
Self-love is the MAIN ingredient needed to take true care of your temple. Happy heart leads to a happy mind, which leads to a happy body.
I am currently doing mirror work, looking myself in the eye and reciting positive affirmations each day, recalibrating how I think about myself. So far, this feels wonderful. I will write more about this self-healing experience later. For now, if you feel you need some inspiration to start loving yourself and your body, I suggest Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life, Mel Wells’ The Goddess Revolution and Cameron Diaz’s The Body Book. (Click the title to take you to Amazon, and also read my review of The Goddess Revolution here).
Peace and love – celebrate yourself!