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Body Image and Wellness

July 2, 2014 1 Comment

Being Blonde

Being Blonde

Our bodies serve us as the vehicle with which and for which we live our lives.  If we are strong, flexible, ambidextrous, and well coordinated we are likely to feel good and be healthy.  Improving diet and exercise habits can bring about changes in attitude and vice versa.  The key to being the best body you can be for your whole life is unconditional gratitude for the body you have now.  You may train to become more graceful, more balanced, or more relaxed, but you must work with what you have.  Start by loving your skin and everything inside of it.  An understanding of basic anatomy is helpful in cultivating well-being.  Learning about customs of folk medicine, healing techniques, or diets of foreign cultures can expand the options for self care.  Knowledge and understanding are not the key ingredients in radiant health.  Acceptance and love for all the ways your body serves you are the foundation on which strong healthy lives are created.  What are the different aspects of our physical realm?

  • Thinking me and all the thoughts that I think
  • Feeling me and all the emotions I feel
  • Remembering me and all the memories I recall
  • Sensory me and all the sensations I experience

The body contains all these different ways of sensing life.  Poise, grace, and fitness result from practice.  Practice requires focus of  mind and body to achieve results.  To refine our movements as well as our thoughts we need training.  Staying fit and flexible may be the best way to avoid injury.  Feeling healthy does uplift the emotions and add to self confidence.  Self image is a strong determining factor in the way health is pursued.  To clean up and clear up some possible issues from the past answer for yourself these questions:

  • What message did my mother give me about my body?
  • What message did my father give me abut my body?
  • How did my friends and schoolmates form my body image?
  • What does my lover tell or show me about my body?
  • How do publications and popular culture influence my feelings about my body?
  • Do I compare myself to others in terms of physical beauty?
  • What physical ideal do I wish to have without making any effort ?
  • How delusional are my thoughts and feelings about my body?

If you reflect well on these questions and your honest answers to them you may reach some enlightenment.  Your thinking, feeling, remembering, and sensing selves can invest in better habits when they are grounded in a healthy self image.  First do no harm to your own idea of your body.  From there it is possible to heal misguided thoughts about wellness and self care.  We deserve the best we can give our bodies for as long as we are in them.  Clearing away false judgements from the past makes way for positive changes.

The Essence of Beauty is Truth

November 8, 2012

I will have one pass to make an impact on a group of 13 year old young ladies soon. I have given so much thought to this presentation that I wondered if the end result might be a big fat flop. My theory of how to reach them has changed along the way, and drastically recently. I have received guidance with some first hand information on the realities of being teen today. I chat on twitter with Emme, Super Model, who is all of that and an advocate for healthy body image and healthy living. She covers subjects from make-up technique and selection to healthy living. I was lucky to win the prize on #Emmetalks after a wonderful chat with Marci Warhaft-Nadler who wrote the book The Body Image Survival Guide for Parents. Her book arrived in the mail just in time to both shock and inspire me.

Both Emme and Marci are parents who strive to model a healthy lifestyle that includes appreciating and nurturing one’s own body. They understand the culture of bullying and shame that is prevailing. They know that boys suffer from body image issues that are compounded by the fact that they believe those issues are strictly for girls. They suffer the shame of being ashamed in what they think is an unnatural manner.  Both the mom of our featured teen young lady and I are veteran spa culture fitness instructors.  We have witnessed the crazed disconnect that can and does happen between adults and the image they hold of their own appearance and its importance.  In the book I learned that things have gone from bad to worse with parents now imposing very unhealthy thoughts about adequacy and appearance, even recommending plastic surgery to very young kids.  Although learning how hard the kids have it today was very rough on me, I am very pleased to know that the dignity and well being of children is supported in this book with practical suggestions for parents.  These concrete suggestions are very much needed for kids to be guided to healthy love, care and respect for the body they have for this lifetime.

When in doubt, scarf dance.  That is my teaching creed  and I am sticking to it for this lesson.  The group of six girls have all known each other for years, growing up on the beach.  In fact, I clearly recall monitoring a play group at the beach back when they all ate sand and toddled.  I plan to bring back the carefree days of playgroup one last time with a lavish prom dress scarf dancing on the beach extravaganza.  We have a professional photographer lined up to record this.  I am not sure how each of these young ladies feels about her image, but I am collecting cold hard proof of the artfulness and beauty  that results from purposely sharing  joy.  Pictures do speak louder than words. I look forward to this shoot with 6 supermodels on the beach.

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