Visualization is a valuable way to cope with our emotions. It can help us when our brains start churning out body-hating thoughts. It can help us pause and refocus.
It can help us when we need a soothing break, when we’re seeking comfort.
In her book The Emotionally Sensitive Person: Finding Peace When Your Emotions Overwhelm You psychologist Karyn D. Hall, Ph.D, defines visualization as “a way of coping by using your imagination to picture relaxing events.”
Today, I have vulnerability on the brain. That’s because yesterday I sent off my contribution to Susannah for the April Love challenge (sign up here; like everything Susannah does, it’s going to be wonderful).
And it’s vulnerable. Bare bones honest.
It’s scary to be that honest with others (especially people you don’t know). But it also feels right (and, did I mention scary?). It feels right to embrace our truth, thereby embracing ourselves.
Barbara Abercrombie wrote one of my favorite books called A Year of Writing Dangerously: 365 Days of Inspiration & Encouragement. In it she includes a powerful quote from Richard Rhodes which actually makes the perfect reminder for learning to love our bodies and ourselves.
This week Rachel penned this excellent post encouraging us to make ourselves comfortable. Because many of us make ourselves needlessly uncomfortable every day.
This discomfort isn’t about challenging ourselves and exploring our courage. It isn’t about learning big lessons. It isn’t about nudging ourselves toward our dreams, and navigating uncharted but exciting territory.
We throw around the word “stressful” often. It’s become an umbrella term for all sorts of experiences.
My day was stressful. My life is stressful. Work has been stressful. Learning to like my body is stressful. That new class is stressful. The home renovation is stressful. Trying to figure out what I want to do with my life is stressful.
It’s a word that rolls off our tongues at many turns. It’s similar to saying “I feel fat.”
Today is International Women’s Day, so how about celebrating yourself and the women in your life?
Here are some ideas, which of course you can do any day and every day:
I subscribe to Anna Guest-Jelley’s newsletter (and you should, too; it’s filled with excellent and practical insights). Recently, she wrote something really powerful, which I knew, as soon as I read the words, that I had to share with you.
It’s a beautiful way of thinking about body acceptance. And it’s something I think so many of us forget. I forget.
Because body acceptance can feel tough. It can feel unnatural. But even though it feels uncomfortable, or awkward, or itchy or really hard, that doesn’t mean we’re doomed to hate our bodies or to feel disconnected from them.
Today, we tend to view exercise in the same way we view sweeping the floors, doing the laundry and organizing our dresser drawers: a necessary chore, a nuisance, a should.
We also see exercise as a punishment. A punishment for eating ice cream, a brownie or too many calories. A punishment for relaxing for too long. A punishment for a fun weekend.
Last Sunday we talked about creating meaningful mornings. Today, let’s talk about evenings.
How do you normally spend your evenings? Do you plop on the couch and watch TV? Do you continue responding to email? Do you wash the dishes and clean up most of the night? Do you read or write?
Think about how your evenings look. Write down what you normally do. Then consider how you’d like your evenings to look.
The beautiful and intimidating thing about yoga is that it’s a time to stop and be still. It’s a time to be quiet with ourselves. Which many of us don’t do very often.
The other types of exercises I do are mostly high intensity (which I also love). Go. Go. Go. We sprint from one exercise to another, from running the stairs to doing push-ups to doing burpees.
And even though I work from home, my thoughts are usually focused on articles and ideas and errands and to-dos.
Even when I’m relaxing, it’s not the same as whatever happens when I’m practicing yoga.