The habit of speaking cruelly to your body parts can be so deeply ingrained, that you don’t even realize you’re doing it.

Looking in the mirror might trigger the thought, “Ick, my body hair keeps growing in the ugliest ways.”

Or as you glance down in the shower you might utter, “Damn, my skin is getting grosser every year.”

As you try to find the most flattering way to tuck in your shirt, you might frown at your middle, “I’m so embarrassed by you, you jiggly belly.”

Sometimes I am downright shocked at the thoughts I hear banging around my head.

Caught off guard by an unflattering photo, or a sharp angle of light while looking in the mirror, I suddenly morph into Cruella de Ville.

I would NEVER let anyone say to me some of the cruel things I have said to my body over the years. They are so mean that they would warrant a total and complete ax to the relationship.

So why do they persist within? And what can be done?

The fact is, kindness to oneself (aka self-love) is a practice. We can’t just flip a switch and turn into our own biggest fan, we’ve got to do the gradual re-wiring work of changing our mind.

You’ve also got to believe that it’s worth it. It’s worth it to become friendly with your body parts. It’s worth it to treat yourself well. It’s worth it to go out of your way to make the relationship you have with your physical self the kindest it can possibly be.

One reason you might stay committed to your self-sabotaging self-talk is because you think it protects you.

It’s common to carry the belief that by being your own worst fan, you won’t be caught off guard by anyone who is angling to cut you down.

Ha! You can’t cut me down! I’ve already cut myself down to a nub! Beat ya to it!

But this is no way to live. Especially at our age. We are FAR TOO OLD for this nonsense and FAR TOO YOUNG to give up on a more loving relationship with ourselves.

So I offer you a practice to counter the mean-spirited voice within: Learn to thank your body parts.

It’s simple. When you hear yourself saying something mean to your hips, shift your attention to something they do for you, like walking you through your favorite park. Then thank them for that. Preferably out loud.

“Thank you hips for taking me on that brisk walk through Prospect Park… you navigated the icy stretches with such agility!”

Notice how you inwardly feel different when you speak appreciative words to your physical self.

Start with the body parts that are easier to love, then work your way toward the zones you’ve been blaspheming for years.

Build your tolerance for kindness to your body parts and your whole countenance will change. You will feel lighter, taller, freer. You will come to believe in the beauty of this form, and update how you expect the world to treat you.

Wanna take this into daily practice? Join my Wide Awake Soma Program for live daily embodiment classes, Monday through Friday.

The February theme is BODY LOVE. We’re gonna be glowing with inner goodness come March 1st.

MORE INFO ON THE SOMA PROGRAM HERE.

Best wishes to you and your glorious body parts…
Ariel

3-Min Body Thanks practice you can do with me RIGHT NOW: