I want to start this by letting you in on a little secret:
Your body does not have to change for you to start loving it more.
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You do not need to lose a pound, an inch, tone up an arm, reduce a wrinkle or build more muscle before you can start loving your body more.
The reason? Body love, just like any other form of self-love, is a choice that you make. It is something that comes from the inside and radiates out –not something that is based on an outer circumstance that then filters its way back in.
I Used To Hate My Body Too
I used to hate my body. When I say hate, I really mean hate. I loathed it. My stomach would flip over when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I would cry over photographs of myself. I would lament the size and shape of my thighs and belly to anyone who would sit near me long enough to listen.
All that body hatred really just sucked me down into more and more body hate. I thought that if I continued to focus on all of the things I did not like about my body, it would give me the motivation I needed to eat better and work out more and generally do the things I thought I needed to do to change my body, so that I could eventually love it.
Body Hate Never Motivates Positive Change
It never worked. I am talking about years and years of trying to hate my body into submission. One day, after a particularly rough bout of low self-esteem I thought of the saying, “if you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got.” This helped me realize that all of my years of trying to hate my body into perfection had never yielded the results I wanted, and that maybe it was time to take a different approach.
Loving My Body Where It Was
This is when I decided to start loving my body, just the way it was, in this moment. Of course this was more easily said than done primarily due to the fact that I was now so used to hating my body. To make the process doable for me, I started with outward actions. I started to change a few of my self-destructive behaviours, turning them into self-constructive ones.
At first, nothing all that special happened. It was hard work not to slip into my old routine of berating myself and wanting to punish my body. However, over time as I stuck with my new habits, a miraculous thing began to happen. I started to actually feel better about my body. Nothing really changed on a physical level, but my thoughts and my emotional reactions to myself started to shift and transform. I started to care less about what I looked like, and started to care more about how I felt. I started to love the uniqueness of my body, rather than loathing it. This process totally and completely transformed my life, which is why I want to share some of my tools with you today. It is my hope that you can start to shift how you think and feel about your body starting right here, right now – no diet required.
Body Love Action Number 1: Dress How You Want To Dress NOW, Don’t Wait For A Goal Weight Or Shape
I was always waiting until my body looked how I wanted it to look before I would give myself permission to dress how I really wanted to dress. I was constantly choosing my clothes based on what I thought would make me look ‘thin,’ rather than what I actually liked. The other thing I always did was wear clothes that were either way to tight or way to big for me –as a way of proving I could fit into a smaller size or as a way of trying to cover everything up. Neither ever made me feel very good, and at the same time I was energetically rejecting my body all day long by wearing clothes that did not fit.
I highly encourage you to go through your closet right now, and get rid of anything that does not fit you. Then, choose new items that you actually like – don’t worry if they flatter your ‘shape’ or make you look this way or that. Wear what you feel good wearing, and wear clothes that fit you where you are right now. Not only will you feel more comfortable this way, you will also be energetically sending your body a signal that it is safe, and that is a good thing. If you don’t want to purchase anything new, that’s okay too –just choose to wear your best fitting items that represent your personal tastes in this moment.
Body Love Action Number 2: Throw Out Your Scale – Forever
Knowing how much you weigh in a number of ways is totally useless. The number on the scale is going to fluctuate – and if you are anything like me, every time it does it is going to send you into a tailspin of thoughts, most of which are going to be negatively charged. This is going to cause you stress, and stress is the last thing you need when you are trying to learn to love your body.
The number on the scale, at the end of the day, means nothing. How you feel inside your body is so much more important. Knowing your weight has zero benefits. If you are overweight and unhealthy, you don’t need to know the exact number of pounds you are right now to know that what you are doing is not serving your body. Likewise, constantly weighing yourself when you are in a place of war with your body is only going to add fuel to the body fighting fire. Throw out your scale and never, ever get a new one.
Liberate yourself! It may be scary at first, but soon you will realize it was a really good choice to let it go.
Body Love Action Number 3: Move To Feel Good, Not Lose Weight
I used to kill myself working out. I worked out for hours a day, doing things I didn’t enjoy because I was sure they would give me the body I wanted eventually. Again, it never happened. Punishing myself with working out basically led me to adrenal burn out, lots of stress hormones, a messed up metabolism and a totally skewed idea of what my body actually looked like.
As soon as I stopped that madness and chose to do only exercises that I enjoyed, I began to heal. I started to actually enjoy movement, which meant it was not another thing on my list of things I had to do that day, but was a welcomed reprieve and a place to just breath, tune in with myself and enjoy the bliss of moving. It does not matter what you choose, just choose something that you enjoy doing. If you do not currently have a fitness routine, I highly encourage you to start one knowing that you are doing it because you love your body, not because you are trying to change it. Movement is supposed to feel good – so make that your mandate. You move every day in a way that makes you feel good.
Body Love Action Number 4: Make A List Of Everything Your Body Does For You, Then Sit With It For A While
It is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking about everything you wish your body was that it isn’t. This negative thinking pattern will only create more and more negative thoughts. I have found that actively interrupting this cycle is one of the best ways to turn your patterns around so that you start to notice all of the things that you love about your body, more often than you notice the things that you don’t like.
Remember your brain is a pattern-seeking machine –if you set it to finding the negative, it will do that. If you set it to seeing the positive, it will do that too. Every night before you go to bed, I suggest you make a list of at least 10 things you appreciate about your body –more if you can think of them. After you have completed your list, just sit with that list for a while and really feel appreciation for your body. It is amazing what can happen when you make this a regular practice.
Body Love Action Number 5: Refuse To Speak Negatively About Your Own & Everyone Else’s Body
Finally, make a commitment to yourself that you are going to stop speaking negatively about your body, and about everyone else’s body. This means no more sitting and complaining about your thighs or belly to your friends. No more asking your partner if your dress makes you look fat. No more pointing out how unattractive other people are. Make a pact with yourself that you are now like Thumper –at least where your body and others bodies are concerned – “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
There is nothing to gain from saying bad things about yourself or others. It wont make you thinner or prettier or more muscular to tear yourself or anyone else down. The more you can speak words for affirmation about yourself and your body, the more you are going to feel those words. This is how you turn your negative thinking around -first through what you express with your words. Speak lovingly about yourself and watch how your feelings transform.
Your Body Deserves Your Love
It’s doing the best it can to carry you through your life, to help you live your days doing what you want to do. The more you can align yourself with your body, the more ease you are going to experience in your day to day life –and you deserve that. Try these practices for at least 30 days and see what happens. You may just discover that your body was never really so bad after all.
How To Stay Present & Calm Throughout The Day
- The Facts:
A simple process to bring you back to presence and freedom throughout the day.
- Reflect On:
Can we expect our world to change if we don't change our inner states of everyday being?w
Do you notice yourself feeling tense shoulders? A cleansed jaw? Perhaps you’re holding your breath in some ways and you don’t even know it? Maybe you feel a clenched tummy from time to time and have tricky digestion. You might notice yourself rushing through life, tasks, wanting to get to the next thing. You may not be paying full attention to your life and everything feels like autopilot.
If this is the case, you’re not alone.
This is a very calm state of being for most people in highly developed countries who are living the ‘average everyday life.’ You wake up, go to your job, work all day, come home and then either veg out or spend time with family and go to sleep. This is the ‘modern life’ that we have accepted as ‘ a good life’ and yet almost every aspect of it presents a challenge to our health and well being. But, at this time, money is required to live our lives, and so we must play within this system in some way or another as we actively change it.
The good news is, you have ultimate freedom within yourself to perceive your reality as you wish to perceive it. When we are unconscious, or allowing our programmed states of being to run our lives, we typically move through life on autopilot, moving from one habit to another. However, when we begin to gain presence, and pull ourselves out of all these unconscious habits, we begin to gain some freedom back. This builds over time.
Before we get to the exercise, I want to add that for those that pay a lot of attention to the news and media side of our work here at CE, using these practices to gain more presence and self-awareness in your life will play deeply into the CE Protocol which is designed to help us gain more clarity on what’s happening in the world, and be an active part of changing it. Skipping the personal transformation end of our journeys only holds us in our current state of being and understanding.
A Simple Process
One powerful thing you can do to begin seeing the subtleties in life, noticing the magic and incredible beauty around you and within you at all times is going back to the breath. Combine that with a few processes in releasing tension and getting into your heart, and you’ll truly begin waking up to who you truly are on a daily basis. The best part is, this muscle grows with time, the more you practice, the more present you become, and the more your monkey mind goes into the passenger seat instead of the driver seat.
Approx time needed: 5 mins
1. There are two ways to initiate the exercise, either you do it when you notice yourself tense or not present, or you set an alarm that goes off about 6 times per day. If you choose the first method, you want to know that your awareness already catches yourself about 6 times a day so you can make sure you are doing this enough.
2. When the alarm goes off, or when you notice yourself, stop what you are doing and take a couple of deep breaths. In through the nose and out through the mouth. Do this slowly and controlled. Nothing too fast and nothing too out of control.
3. After about 2 to 5 breaths, allow yourself to breathe normally, making sure it is still through the nose. Begin to say within yourself. ‘I am releasing all tension in my head, my neck, my shoulders, my jaw, my stomach, my fists, and my legs.” This is like a mini mantra if you will, but don’t take it too seriously in that it has to be said any particular way. You’re simply noticing and instructing the body to relax.
4. After you have gone through the releasing, and you notice your body is more relaxed and your breathing has brought you back to the moment. Sense yourself in your chair or where you stand. Feel the air around you, notice any breezes on your skin or any scents that you smell. Notice all the various sounds around you, not focusing on anyone or feeling any as a distraction, but noticing them and allowing them to be. This is presence, while in this state. Noticing.
If you happen to have any rampant thoughts or feelings of stress arise during this at any point, simply notice it and say within yourself “OK stress or OK task I have to complete, I see you, I will take care of you momentarily” and allow it to pass.
5. Once in presence, turn your attention to the area of your sternum, the heart centre. You may put your hand or fingers on this area, and simply focus your attention on this space. See your awareness moving into this space as if you yourself are moving from your mind to your heart. However that looks or feels to you is OK. It doesn’t have to be anything mystical. This is a common mistake of overcomplicating simple methods.
6. Finally, allow yourself to be in that space for as long as you like. 1 min, 10 mins, whatever works. Usually I say this exercise is meant to be done as a check-in for about 5 mins.
Repeat this each time your alarm goes off or when you notice yourself tense. Through this, you are gaining more awareness of self more regularly. You are also beginning to realize you have a lot more control over your state of being than once thought. This is a key step to emotional freedom. In this space, your mind does not run you, nor do your emotions.
Bonus: As an extended tip, once you gain a sense of what that short meditation felt like. Even if you notice yourself for a moment 20 or 30 minutes later being tense, just take one deep breath and recall the energy and feeling of your meditation.
When will things like full disclosure happen, or big changes in our world? When people focus deeply enough on personal transformation that our consciousness becomes ready to hear what’s being hidden and becomes ready for a world that is grounded in a state of peace, love, and freedom as opposed to monkey mind behavior.
Brené Brown Explains The Crucial Difference Between Sympathy & Empathy
- The Facts:
There is a difference between sympathy and empathy — although many of us don't realize it, in an attempt to help we may unknowingly be making things worse for our loved ones.
- Reflect On:
When someone is hurting, we often try to "fix" the situation. What if we just sat with others who are struggling . and allow them to feel their feelings and offer them the space to do so?
For the most part we strive to be there for our friends and family members during difficult times. However we don’t always realize that in an effort to assist, often using positive reinforcement, or comparison techniques we might actually be making things worse. Sometimes, we are unintentionally showing up in all the wrong ways for our loved ones. It’s important to know the difference between sympathy and empathy and how these reactions could either create more pain from unmet needs for those who are struggling or allow the space for a deeper connection and understanding by offering the space to others to feel their feelings.
Brené Brown is an expert on the topics of vulnerability, shame, courage and empathy. She has written 5 New York Times Bestsellers and offers us all a deeper insight to the potential for much deeper authentic connection with others and to ourselves as well. The following video contains a cute little cartoon paired up with Brené’s words describing the difference between sympathy and empathy.
Sympathy Vs. Empathy
“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” ~ Brené Brown
It’s funny how we think we are being helpful, but as it turns out we are unknowingly brushing off the feelings of others. Offering sympathy instead of empathy is similar to when we tell people to “think positive,” as it bypasses actually allowing ourselves to feel our emotions. When our loved ones are having a hard time with something, we are quick to try and fix or change the situation instead of just allowing it to be.
It’s as if we are all just so afraid of letting the pain be there, that we try to brush it off as quickly as possible. Unfortunately as described in the video, this isn’t actually helping, but providing a temporary band-aid instead. In turn, the people who are in pain often don’t feel emotionally met and can feel even more upset, even though they know you have good intentions. To be fair, for the most part we haven’t been taught these emotional skills so many of us are lacking in that department.
The Importance Of Feeling Our Feelings
This is a good reminder to not only allow others the space to feel their feelings without trying to change them, but for yourself as well — to give yourself the time and space that you need to feel what’s happening inside of you.
If something comes up, and emotion is starting to build up inside of you, instead of grabbing your phone, eating something, or using a substance — try feeling it fully instead! It can be very helpful to label the emotion you’re feeling, i.e. I feel hurt right now.
Then feel it, feel it fully, cry if you need to, feel where it hurts in your body, do whatever you need to do to allow yourself to actually feel the emotion.It will help to process and release it, that way you won’t have to hold onto it, or store it in your body.
As a good friend once told me,
“See what there is to see, feel what there is to feel and you will heal. “
This might sound simple, and that’s because it is! It’s a lot easier to process and feel our emotions than to stuff them down and ignore them, which inevitably will cause more pain and suffering down the road.
Feeling our feelings, who would have thought? 😉
Our Biology Responds To Events Before They Even Happen
- The Facts:
Multiple experiments have shown strong evidence for precognition in several different ways. One of them comes in the form of activity within the heart and the brain responding to events before they even happen.
- Reflect On:
Do we have extra human capacities we are unaware of? Perhaps we can learn them, develop them, and use them for good. Perhaps when the human race is ready, we will start learning more.
Is precognition real? There are many examples suggesting that yes, it is. The remote viewing program conducted by the CIA in conjunction with Stanford University was a good example of that. After its declassification in 1995, or at least partial declassification, the Department of Defense and those involved revealed an exceptionally high success rate:
To summarize, over the years, the back-and-forth criticism of protocols, refinement of methods, and successful replication of this type of remote viewing in independent laboratories has yielded considerable scientific evidence for the reality of the (remote viewing) phenomenon. Adding to the strength of these results was the discovery that a growing number of individuals could be found to demonstrate high-quality remote viewing, often to their own surprise… The development of this capability at SRI has evolved to the point where visiting CIA personnel with no previous exposure to such concepts have performed well under controlled laboratory conditions. (source)
The kicker? Part of remote viewing involves peering into future events as well as events that happened in the past.
It’s not only within the Department of Defense that we find this stuff, but a lot of science is emerging on this subject as well.
For example, a study (meta analysis) published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience titled “Predicting the unpredictable: critical analysis and practical implications of predictive anticipatory activity” examined a number of experiments regarding this phenomenon that were conducted by several different laboratories. These experiments indicate that the human body can actually detect randomly delivered stimuli that occur 1-10 seconds in advance. In other words, the human body seems to know of an event and reacts to the event before it has occurred. What occurs in the human body before these events are physiological changes that are measured regarding the cardiopulmonary, the skin, and the nervous system.
A few years ago, the chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Dr. Dean Radin, visited the scientists over at HearthMath Institute and shared the results of one of his studies. Radin is also one of multiple scientists who authored the paper above. These studies, as mentioned above, tracked the autonomic nervous system, physiological changes, etc.
Scientists at HeartMath Institute (HMI) added more protocols, which included measuring participants’ brain waves (EEG), their hearts’ electrical activity (ECG), and their heart rate variability (HRV).
As HMI explains:
Twenty-six adults experienced in using HeartMath techniques and who could sustain a heart-coherent state completed two rounds of study protocols approximately two weeks apart. Half of the participants completed the protocols after they intentionally achieved a heart-coherent state for 10 minutes. The other half completed the same procedures without first achieving heart coherence. Then they reversed the process for the second round of monitoring, with the first group not becoming heart-coherent before completing the protocols and the second group becoming heart-coherent before. The point was to test whether heart coherence affected the results of the experiment.
Participants were told the study’s purpose was to test stress reactions and were unaware of its actual purpose. (This practice meets institutional-review-board standards.) Each participant sat at a computer and was instructed to click a mouse when ready to begin.
The screen stayed blank for six seconds. The participant’s physiological data was recorded by a special software program, and then, one by one, a series of 45 pictures was displayed on the screen. Each picture, displayed for 3 seconds, evoked either a strong emotional reaction or a calm state. After each picture, the screen went blank for 10 seconds. Participants repeated this process for all 45 pictures, 30 of which were known to evoke a calm response and 15 a strong emotional response.
The results of the experiment were fascinating to say the least. The participants’ brains and hearts responded to information about the emotional quality of the pictures before the computer flashed them (random selection). This means that the heart and brain were both responding to future events. The results indicated that the responses happened, on average, 4.8 seconds before the computer selected the pictures.
How mind-altering is that?
Even more profound, perhaps, was data showing the heart received information before the brain. “It is first registered from the heart,” Rollin McCraty Ph.D. explained, “then up to the brain (emotional and pre-frontal cortex), where we can logically relate what we are intuiting, then finally down to the gut (or where something stirs).”
Another significant study (meta-analysis) that was published in Journal of Parapsychology by Charles Honorton and Diane C. Ferrari in 1989 examined a number of studies that were published between 1935 and 1987. The studies involved individuals’ attempts to predict “the identity of target stimuli selected randomly over intervals ranging from several hundred million seconds to one year following the individuals responses.” These authors investigated over 300 studies conducted by over 60 authors, using approximately 2 million individual trials by more than 50,000 people. (source)
It concluded that their analysis of precognition experiments “confirms the existence of a small but highly significant precognition effect. The effect appears to be repeatable; significant outcomes are reported by 40 investigators using a variety of methodological paradigms and subject populations. The precognition effect is not merely an unexplained departure from a theoretical chance baseline, but rather is an effect that covaries with factors known to influence more familiar aspects of human performance.” (source)
“There seems to be a deep concern that the whole field will be tarnished by studying a phenomenon that is tainted by its association with superstition, spiritualism and magic. Protecting against this possibility sometimes seems more important than encouraging scientific exploration or protecting academic freedom. But this may be changing.”
– Cassandra Vieten, PhD and President/CEO at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (source)
We are living in a day and age where new information and evidence are constantly emerging, challenging what we once thought was real or what we think we know about ourselves as human beings. It’s best to keep an open mind. Perhaps there are aspects of ourselves and our consciousness that have yet to be discovered. Perhaps if we learn and grow from these studies, they can help us better ourselves and others.
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