Perfection in the Present Moment

Recently I have become aware of the meaning I give to my body and what it looks like. For as long as I can remember, I have not liked how my body looked. Nothing was ever good enough. I was either too big, too skinny, not enough muscle, too much muscle, too big of an ass, too small of an ass, etc. I constantly felt like my body was not good enough.

I found ways of feeling good about my body through running, weight lifting, and eventually yoga. I was able to see my body as strong, flexible, and capable of things I never knew were possible. This definitely made me feel more positive about my body and about myself. However, the feeling of my body not being enough was still there. I would beat my body up instead of treat it with compassion and love. Even if I was exhausted, sick or in pain, I would still work out and not listen to my body asking for a rest. Because if I didn’t, then I felt guilt, shame, and even fear. So although I had a more positive attitude about my body, the underlying issues were still there.

Yoga has brought more acceptance into my life in a huge way. It has allowed me to be more authentic and aware of myself. The negative thoughts about eating and body image were becoming more and more apparent. I learned to witness the thoughts and feelings without getting caught up into them (another awesome thing yoga and meditation brought into my life). So last night when I returned home from leading a yoga training, I was sitting on the couch looking at my body. I noticed the roundness of my belly, the curves of my hips and thighs and I was completely detached from it. I was admiring what the shapes looked like. I asked myself, “who said this is supposed to be different?” Why is a straight line more attractive than a curvy line? I started to realize it was all about not accepting and appreciating what was in the present moment. Why are our bodies supposed to be something other than what they are right now? Of course, there are images in our society as to what is viewed as beautiful and not beautiful but remember that is totally culture-dependent. I was so blown away by this “Ah Ha” moment that all those thoughts are just thoughts based on other people’s agreements and not my own. More importantly, I do not have to keep believing those thoughts and there is nothing I need to change about my body or the present moment.

As I sat and looked at my body, I think I was really seeing it for the first time through the eyes of love and not fear and it was mind-blowing. I had never seen this body before. In the past, I was not seeing what was presently before me and I had only seen my body through what others said it was supposed to look like. As I get more and more clarity, I can see that there really isn’t anything to fix and that everything is absolutely perfect in the present moment.

I Am Happy…Now What?

The other day I woke up and I liked myself. All of myself. What I looked like, who I was, what I did for a living. I was content. I was living in Joy. It was the oddest feeling ever. There was nothing to fix, nothing to cover up, or change. Now what? Really now what?

I realized that the reason so many people stay unhappy is because it is uncomfortable giving up the identity of being sick, depressed, the victim, what have you. Once you are no longer miserable, who are you, what do you focus on, what do you talk about? For as long as I can remember, I have always looked at the calorie content on everything I ate. I constantly thought about what I ate and what I was going to eat. I was obsessed with staying “thin” and what I believed was the perfect Christen. Well, lately I have been doing this thing called- Intuitive Eating and it has made a huge difference in my life. I eat what I want when I want and I listen to my body. It was super uncomfortable but I kept doing it because I am all about stepping out of the comfort zone. The other day I realized that I did not hate my body and it was weird because it was a new feeling. The craziest thing is that I am weighing about 10lbs. more than I typically allow myself to weigh and I have never been happier with myself. For me, I was ready to give up the identity of the calorie counter, the depriver, the thin one so that I could live in joy. It was not comfortable at first but it was worth it to feel the ease I experience now around myself and my body.

If you are feeling stuck, it is only because of you. That is the good news because only you can get yourself unstuck. Ask yourself…how is your unhappiness or current situation serving you? It might be how you get attention, or how you view yourself. What would life be like without this situation? Being happy, content, and in joy is a different feeling. If you are willing to step out of the comfort zone and stay in the discomfort of the newness, then you might find that there is a whole new world waiting for you.