Falling In Love

As we move into autumn, in North America at least, we see the farmers harvesting the last of the summer crops and preparing for the final bounty of fall and the fallow period of winter…a time of rest and rejuvenation for the soil.

For us too, fall is a period of activity between the hot and hectic days of summer and the cooler, if not always calm days of winter. This is the perfect time to prepare ourselves for our most important harvest—love for ourselves.

With the kids back in school, it is time to fall back in love with ourselves…whether you have gotten away from the habit of appreciating yourself or never developed it.

For so many women this is a foreign concept…one we equate with conceit or narcissism.

I’m talking about neither of these…I’m talking about a deep, honest appreciation and respect for who you are…right now…imperfections and all.

Too often we love ourselves only conditionally. We say we will love ourselves when we’ve lost 10 or 20 pounds (or in my case 100). Maybe we’ll love ourselves when we get a job or a raise or a promotion. Or maybe we are waiting to love ourselves until we find someone else to love us…the perfect partner. We place conditions on loving ourselves that we would NEVER place on another in order to be worthy of our love.

We don’t have to go into why this is true…it just is…but we can change this, and when we change this, it changes everything!

One of my favorite teachers, Louise Hay, teaches us to look in a mirror and tell ourselves, “I love you, I really, really love you.” In her book, You Can Heal Your Life she teaches us that this simple affirmation (best when including your name) is the answer to healing so many of our ills in life…including our weight.

This isn’t an easy task for those of us who have had years (*ahem* decades) of experience hating our bodies…and equating “us” with our bodies. I struggled with this idea for years. Every time I would try I would hear these little (and sometimes big) voices listing off all my negative qualities…and of course, the list was HUGE (and completely exaggerated) and I ended up feel worse and less loveable than when I started.

I’m pleased to say I rarely hear those voices any more, at least about my body! And I CAN look myself in the eye and say “I love you, Laurie…I really, really love you.” Honest, it can be done…but it didn’t happen overnight. And to get there I developed a little technique that I write about in my book.  I’m going to share it with you now…

Here’s what you do…find a photo of yourself as a child. Choose one that you can look at with only positive or neutral feelings. In other words, find a photo from an time before you began to criticize yourself, a photo where you can look at it and feel love for that child or infant. (Hint: for most of us, this photo will be pre-teen years!)

Tape that photo at eye level on your mirror. Look at the photo and repeat the “I love you” affirmation. Repeat the affirmation and look back and forth between the photo and your current reflection, looking in your eyes as a child and your eyes today.

Practice this every day. Make the connection in your mind between that lovable child and you as the adult you currently are. That’s why I want you to focus on your eyes because they help you connect to your soul, that inner energy. When you start this process, focus on the irises and pupils of your eyes, peering deep into your core. This is not the time to notice your physical “imperfections.”

Your soul knows you are the same being as that innocent, loving and lovable child.

If you find you can’t shift your gaze to the mirror and say “I love you” then just look at the photo that day.

As you become comfortable saying “I love you” to yourself, place your hands on your chest as you say the affirmation so you physically feel the words vibrate as well as seeing the emotion in your eyes. This gives you a kinesthetic or tactile event which adds to the visual and auditory experience. By maximizing the senses involved, we reach different parts of our brain. People tap into the emotional centers in different ways, so by having all these senses activated we better assure that connection.

Once you get pretty comfortable saying “I love you” and feeling the vibration, on one of your repetitions change your focus so you look at your entire face. Gradually work up to five repetitions alternating between the deep eye focus and overall face focus.

Don’t rush this process. It will take several days, possibly weeks or even months. There is no time table, no “right” length of time. The important thing is for you to be comfortable with the previous step before progressing. You’ve had lots of time practicing feeling bad about yourself…cut yourself a little slack and give this new pattern a little time.

The next step is to visually take in your body. Again start with one repetition, the first repetition have deep eye focus, then your face, third deep eye, then fourth entire body, fifth-10th in the series go back to deep eye and face, and the photo of the child can be interspersed in the mix, too.

As you increase the entire body focus affirmations, if you notice any hesitation on the next repetition go right to the deep eye focus and keep your focus there until you are comfortable again, even if it is for the rest of the set.

When you are doing these affirmations it is normal to have your progress vary…some days you may feel like you really need to stay on the deep eye focus and not look at your body at all—even if you had “progressed” to being able to look at your body before. Our feelings are not on a fixed straight path, so just because one day you can be confident with the process doesn’t mean that you will never have times of discomfort with it. Remember that little child and connect with her.

As overweight people, we are not used to looking at our bodies with love—if we look at them at all. So it is important that you connect with your soul by way of the deep eye focus between the body scans.

When I talk about being “comfortable” looking at your body while repeating the love affirmations, that doesn’t mean you have to believe it 100%. You may still have some level of doubt, but as long as you are not recoiling or unwilling to look at your body, you are planting the seeds.

Once you are comfortable looking at your body and stating the good, general love affirmations you can add some new affirmations. I suggest these, but you can use other affirmations that you find in the Resource area or from Louise Hay or other sources.

  • I am willing to change
  • I am willing and able to change
  • My body aligns with its perfect and natural health
  • I am moving towards a healthy, energetic, slender body
  • I deserve to have a healthy body

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