Can you love yourself where you are?
I’ve noticed some things since giving birth this second time.
I am way more compassionate with my body.
A few times I have noticed myself sitting on the couch and lovingly placing my hand over my pooch of a belly. It doesn’t take long for me to remember, wait there is no baby in there, anymore. That’s just your stomach. And my unconscious reaction is to pull my hand back like that’s wrong to have it there, with no baby inside.
But every time I have caught myself and realized or reaffirmed to my judgy mind that I am allowed to love myself. Even if there is no baby inside me. Even if there is not a flat stomach. This thing that happens so naturally when pregnant, women placing their hands lovingly on their bellies, likely NEVER happens to the non-pregnant. Because pregnant we are showing love to the baby inside, not our bodies but we deserve that love too. That unconscious love that brings our hands to our bellies in adoration.
My body is amazing and resilient and it deserves my love. It may not be my ideal at the moment as I haven’t found or created much time to workout since birth and breastfeeding makes me so HUNGRY. Way more than pregnancy. Yet, when I find myself in the mirror even naked I don’t flinch or grimace or feel shame.
Yes, I do want to be fitter and firmer and I do sneak bits of exercise in throughout the day. But more so because it makes me feel good not because I don’t feel enough as I am. Feeling strong and flexible feels good and the movement helps my mind.
Another thing I have noticed is compassion for where I am at in my fitness and flexibility level. Often in the short moments kid one is playing with toys and kid two is tolerating her fancy chair I do some stretches and short yoga flows and am often slightly shocked to find how unlimber I am. How things that used to be so fluid to me take way more space, more breath, more care.
Where long ago I might become frustrated that I am so far from where I once was and what used to feel so naturally to me, instead I feel excitement at remembering what is possible. Of what will come.
Instead of being frustrated and pushing myself too hard. I allow the openness to come naurally and I truly feel excitement for getting back to the flexier me that once was. And hey maybe someday I will finally be able to hold a fancy handstand far far away from a wall. It’s possible and it will come in its own time.
I am feeling so much compassion with myself. It feels better this way. Too not beat myself up. To not look in the mirror at my stomach and legs and arms with shame. Do I wish they were smaller and more firm? Yes. And I am creating the space for that to happen without shame or disgust or shoulds.
I am loving myself where I am. For what I am. And that love and appreciation inspires me to take the best care of me and sometimes that means fitting in mountain climbers when my hands are free and a baby isn’t strapped to me and sometimes than means thoroughly enjoying a batch of cookies. Yes I said a batch. Not just one.
I don’t know if it’s my age or having birthed to kids in two years or the culmination of decades of a growing self love practice and teaching, but damn it feels good to be fully accepting, fully loving of myself inside and out.
Meet yourself where you are. Love yourself where you are and for who you are now. That is the way to create change. Not from self loathing. Because it is likely even when you do lose weight or get in better shape you still will be self loathing.
Start on the inside and the outside will come naturally and be more sustainable because it will come from love and appreciation not loathing and comparison.
PS. This I am notepad is available in my shop and perfect for creating your own affirmations!
PPS. Need some real help on loving yourself FULLY. My next round of Be Your Own Joyologist. The Program will be enrolling soon!