As women age, our bodies naturally go through multiple stages of transformation. These life stages can be unpleasant, uncomfortable, and even painful. But, like a caterpillar who undergoes metamorphosis to become a butterfly, the process of growth and change is a wonder of nature. And, the results are stunning. Even under pressure, we develop our own unique beauty, grace, and ability to fly!
But, did you know a butterfly can’t see its own wings? Imagine being admired by everyone for your beauty, only not to see what they see?
While it can be hard to watch your breasts sag, a tire grow around your middle, and the skin around your eyes crinkle like tissue paper, consider yourself a wonder of nature. From learning to crawl, walk, and run, take note of every growth spurt and ability your body has acquired. From illnesses to injuries, take stock of everything it has experienced and survived. And, from being born to giving birth, consider every transformation that has happened to create the life you have. Can you see the beauty in that?
You are a stunning creature capable of transformation. You can even choose to change any time you wish. You can choose to take care of your body and to see it differently. In other words, you can decide to love the skin you’re in at every stage of your life .
To love your body at every size, consider practicing ho'oponopono. The Hawaiian practice of forgiveness and reconciliation, this tool helps to shift your mindset, improve body image, and increase confidence. Use this verbal exercise to improve how you feel about yourself, a part of your body, or your body as a whole. It’s also easy enough to incorporate into your self-care regimen.
1. Focus on a part of your body that dissatisfies you.
2. Look into a mirror or place your hands on it to connect with it more.
3. Acknowledge out loud what you appreciate about it.
4. Say you’re sorry for what you've said about it or done to it.
5. Ask for forgiveness for hurting it.
6. Express gratitude for what it has done for you.
7. End with the mantra, “I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. And, thank you.”
For example, if you’re dissatisfied with your belly, you might say:
I love you, belly. I appreciate all you do to help me digest food.
I’m sorry for all the times I said you were too big, fat, or ugly.
Forgive me for saying you look pregnant, referring to you as a bowl full of jelly (like Santa), and for wishing you were a six-pack.
Thank you for being a part of me. I’m grateful for having a belly and body that wants to be healthy.
I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. And, thank you.
Like a butterfly, your wings are beautiful. It’s OK to need help cultivating the self-esteem, self-love, and compassion to see it. This exercise can help.
Live, Love, and Lead with Aloha.