When it comes to the body, from early on we are bombarded with different, often quite confusing messages. We are cultured thought our schooling and media to judge our bodies according to some outer criteria: how it performs at given tasks, how it looks, how well it fulfills our expectations…
If left unguarded, these requirements cause an underlying feeling of inadequacy and discontentment with our bodies and with ourselves. They make us believe that our source of contentment is always somehow outside of us.
Mindfulness practice helps us to remember that contentment comes from within and that it is our birthright.
Being self aware means being aware of the body from within, non-judgmentally and with kindness is an elegant tool every woman can apply to stay independent from subtle and not so subtle messages about how female bodies should look like.
It helps us to stop and appreciate the body just the way it is.
Here’s a simple experiential inquiry I’ve created for you to demonstrate the effect of mindfulness.
You can try it out right now, it takes less then 5 min:
Stand in front of a mirror, or in front of a shop window if you’re on the street.
Relax and watch your reflection for a while.
Then start listening to the narrative unfolding in your head while you’re watching your reflection in the mirror.
Do you criticize yourself in any way? Are you liking or disliking what you see? Are you seeing the whole or just the parts?
How does this narrative feel in your body? Give yourself time to gently notice.
Now close your eyes and tune inwards.
Become aware of your inner landscape. Feel your feet touching the ground, feel your legs holding you, feel the softness of your belly, the breath in your chest, your arms hanging freely, your head centered.
Watch internally for some time. Listen to what is happening inside of you.
Be aware of your body from within. Be the body.
What’s different between those two perspectives on the body?
Which one feels more authentic?
You can do this anytime, anywhere.