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How to give yourself Body Kindness

SOUL SCHOOL with Audrey

Release Date: 09/21/2020

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I posted an instagram post a month ago of 2 photos in my bikini 5 years apart and wrote that I cringed looking at the photos and seeing how far I’ve let myself go, along with the main message of loving yourself. 

There were a lot of comments, but I received a negative DM from a woman who wrote: “you should be ashamed of your last post. you’re the problem for women. You’re degrading yourself and fishing for compliments.”

It takes me a while to thoughtful process things and I want to share my response to her here with you because if I offended you in any way from my post, hopefully this will shed some light here:

She’s right. As women, in general, we do have a problem with belittling ourselves.

Have you ever overheard or been in a group of women having lunch, and one woman starts with “Oh, I’ve gained so much weight.” And then another chimes in, “you’ve gained weight? I’ve gained more weight than you have. I look awful” And then it becomes a competition of who is the fattest and saddest.

Sadly, I’ve been there but it’s not healthy for us to degrade ourselves, because what that does is it gives others permission to do the same. If I think you look good, but you’re judging yourself, then geez, what do I look like? And there goes our itty-bitty-shitty-committee running a rant of how we’re not good enough.

Ladies, we need to stop the group competition for who can criticize themselves the most, because, honestly, it’s lame and you’re so much stronger and better than that.

In a world where we’re taught that thinner is better and being younger is more desirable, it’s hard for us to push through that noise and be stronger than societies expectations. My intention for my post was to inspire women to love themselves, not degrade themselves.

My intention for this post was to let everyone know that it’s okay and completely normal to have any and all feelings.

Feelings come and go, but it’s how we choose to respond to them that matters.

In the past I would’ve been hooked by my inner critic who would obsess about the weight gain. Now, I can look at the photos of how my body has changed, and even though I can still cringe and feel disappointment, I can also then give myself grace.

Because giving ourself grace can be very powerful in shifting how we treat ourselves.

Giving myself grace looks like, instead of looping a negative body story, I can realize that in the past 5 years, I’ve experienced a lot of change: I moved across the country, had to create a life and new career in a new city, got married, had a miscarriage, 2 D&C operations, had a cancer scare where I got my blood drawn every other week for 10 months, then had the darkest moment in my life with my dad passing, where I didn’t know if I wanted to live anymore, and two weeks later, gave birth to our beautiful daughter, and to top it off, we’re all dealing with this pandemic and the grief over loved ones, our health, our businesses, our dreams, our freedom and what we used to count on as stable outlets. Change can trigger a sense of loss. When we’re feeling grief, this is a time for grace and compassion, not judgement and criticism.

So I’ve done the work to be okay with whatever feeling arises, get quiet to be with myself to drop beneath the noise to touch my truth.

And that’s the intention of that post: Be with your feelings, know that anything you feel is okay and normal. And then give yourself a ton of grace and lots of kindness.

As we shift into a new season, things are still shaky and uncertain. We’ve found a new normal, but still can’t see the end outcome, so we’re exhausted fatigued.

Being gentle with yourself right now is a non-negotiable.

Many of us did gain weight, or didn’t live up to our promises of working out every day or journaling every day during quarantine or maybe you didn’t finish the goals you wanted. Grace. Lots of grace my friend! You have a lot on your plate so don’t let the itty-bitty-shitty-committee drag you into a shame spiral. Breathe, be with yourself and extend yourself kindness.

 

As we transition into fall, where personally, for me it’s a time to cozy up and go inward, I invite you to cozy up to yourself and go inward to generously listen to yourself so you can be with yourself and honor yourself through kindness, humor and compassion to touch your innate warmth, love and strength.

 

I want to hear from you – what do you think about this discussion? What way do you belittle yourself and what ways can you give yourself grace right now? Also, please post only positive comments that are helpful to us all. We don’t need to judge this woman or any other woman for that matter. We’re all showing up where we are, doing the best we can. Let’s rise up to meet each other and lift each other up.

At the beginning of this pandemic, I said we’re in this together, and we still are. We’ve risen through uncertainty and are still here, and now it’s time to be kinder towards ourselves so we can be kinder towards each other. Together.

If you want to join me, I’ve created the #selfkindnessproject which starts on sept 21st, a free 4-day challenge with self-inquiry prompts and easy mindfulness tools to be kinder and more loving to yourself. This challenge kicks off my self love lab which starts oct 5th. Hope you can join me for any or all of it. Link is in my bio if you’re interested.  www.audreysuttonmills.com