Last week I talked about using visualization to navigate body-hating thoughts. Today, I wanted to share other visualizations to help us appreciate our bodies.
You can use these visualizations when you’re meditating or lying down in savanasa (usually the final pose in yoga). You can use them as you’re waking up or falling asleep.
You can adapt them in any way. You can add details, or create completely different visualizations on your own.
- Picture looking at your reflection in a calm lake, smiling at yourself. Picture smiling at yourself in other reflections — a mirror in your favorite room, the window of your favorite shop or even a series of puddles along a quiet path.
- Picture making something you love — baking a birthday cake, crocheting a blanket, stringing beads for a necklace, wrapping a gift — and thanking your body for helping.
- Picture your breath on a cold, cold day, and thanking your body for the gift of life.
- Picture hugging yourself with the same love you hug your child, parent or partner.
- Picture dancing in the most beautiful field you’ve ever seen. Maybe it’s surrounded by wild flowers or water on all sides. Picture feeling proud of your body. Picture feeling free. Picture the music you’re dancing to, and the ways you’re dancing.
- Picture talking to the body part you very much dislike. Picture having a heart-to-heart conversation. Picture talking to the body part as though it’s your best friend. Talk to it with the same gentleness, patience and compassion.
- Picture yourself in your favorite place, doing your most favorite thing. Picture the sights, sounds and scents, so detailed and tangible you can touch them. Picture being filled with gratitude for the body that lets these visualizations come true, that lets these dreams become reality.
- Picture yourself as an artist painting your body, lovingly and with admiration for every part. Picture the size of the canvas and the inspiring room you’re painting in. Picture the colors you’d use. Picture what you’d be doing in the painting, and how you’d be dressed. Picture making every stroke with your brush.
- Picture yourself as a young child who needs the nurturing of a parent — the other part of you. Picture this parent wrapping the child in a warm coat on a chilly day. Picture the parent holding the child when they’re crying. Picture the parent responding to the child’s other needs, again with compassion and patience.
Think of other activities you enjoy doing. Think of the things you don’t like about your body, the things you have a hard time accepting. Then picture yourself accepting them on different days in different scenarios or situations.
If this doesn’t ring true for you, no worries — skip it. Find an image that does feel true, or has bits which feel true, and experiment with that.
Because each of us deserves to appreciate our bodies, to love ourselves unconditionally, exactly as we are.
Which visualizations resonate with you, if any? What’s a visualization you created yourself?
P.S., Today, I published my very first post on “Make a Mess,” my new blog about creativity on Psych Central (eeek). I’m super excited about this blog, and if you’re interested, please check it out.