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Today I asked my body what she needed – Hollie Holden – Using Mindfulness for Self Love & Body Confidence

Today I asked my body what she needed – a poem by Hollie Holden

http://www.hollieholden.me

Today I’m talking about body love and negative self talk – something I think most of us need a little reminder about.

 

Hollie’s words  –

Today I asked my body what she needed,
Which is a big deal
Considering my journey of
Not Really Asking That Much.

I thought she might need more water.
Or protein.
Or greens.
Or yoga.
Or supplements.
Or movement.

But as I stood in the shower
Reflecting on her stretch marks,
Her roundness where I would like flatness,
Her softness where I would like firmness,
All those conditioned wishes
That form a bundle of
Never-Quite-Right-Ness,
She whispered very gently:

Could you just love me like this?

 

 

 

Transcript –

Hey friends, you’re listening to This Quote Changed My Life, a podcast about inspired action. I’m your host Tracey.

It is so lovely to have you back, I hope you are still doing okay out there were you are. I would love for you guys to reach out to me through Instagram to let me know how you are, I’m @makesunshineco – I appreciate you guys so much and am so happy to see you still listening to my podcast.

Today’s quote is one I know has really touched a few people I’ve shown in the past – when I came across it last year, I felt an instant shift in the way I was dealing with the changes I’d been going through with the start of perimenopause. Don’t worry I am not going to go into detail about my experiences with menopause and hormones, but I will say that it has hit me by surprise about how much I’ve had to stay mindful, sometimes on a daily basis, about the changes I’m going through.

So today’s quote is a short poem by a beautiful writer named Hollie Holden. The poem is

Today I asked my body what she needed,
Which is a big deal
Considering my journey of
Not Really Asking That Much.

I thought she might need more water.
Or protein.
Or greens.
Or yoga.
Or supplements.
Or movement.

But as I stood in the shower
Reflecting on her stretch marks,
Her roundness where I would like flatness,
Her softness where I would like firmness,
All those conditioned wishes
That form a bundle of
Never-Quite-Right-Ness,
She whispered very gently:

Could you just love me like this?

Now isn’t that an amazing poem? That last line just gets me every time – could you just love me like this?

That line has served me well since I first read it but especially now that we’ve been in isolation for almost 3 months at this stage, my body has definately changed slowly and the effects of staying in, not being as active as before, not having access to as many fresh vegetables and grains I was eating before. Even to the fact that I have less time to look after myself the way I did before isolation, because my 3 kids have been home with me the whole time. All these things sound like excuses, but this is just what life has become lately – and I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling this way.

So my body (and my mind) has started to show signs of stress and my very first thoughts where – oh my god, HOW DO I FIX THIS? What have I done wrong? What can I do now to make it go away? And the dreaded – I’m no good like this. Can you relate to these thoughts?

And it’s so sad that alot of us are programmed automatically to think this way – that when we’re already stressed, we add more questions and more ‘things to do’ immediately without thinking that maybe we’re actually okay right now. That we were already working on our health and we just needed time, or that we are aware of how we’ve changed and maybe instead of trying to panic and pivot, we cut ourselves a break and focus on the good things we’re already doing. Maybe instead of focusing just on how we looked, we listened to how we felt a bit more?

And I do bring it back to that question alot when I coach – how do you want to feel? How do you want to feel looking at your body after having your children? How do you want to feel after you’ve completed a workout? How do you want to feel day to day, no matter what?

Would you want to feel proud of yourself for how far you’ve come already?
Would you want to feel like those stretch marks are battle scars and are reminders of the children you gave life to?
Would you want to feel that you loved yourself enough to appreciate the work your amazing body has done for you it’s entire life?

Body image is such an important thing to talk about – especially if we have young kids watching our every move and they do listen to us, even if when we’re not aware, the way we look and treat ourself will have an effect on our kids, so this is part of the reason why I wanted to talk about self love and body image today.

The way we speak to ourselves, in words and in our heads, matters. The language we have around our self worth matters. So how do we start to turn this around?

It starts by noticing – noticing what we say about our bodies – what they look like, what they do – and notice if you’re inclined to be negative about it. Things like ‘i’ve put on 5 pounds, i’m huge’ ‘i can never go running, i’m not fit enough’ ‘i need to lose 5 kilos this week or I’ll be so mad at myself’ ‘i could never wear that, i’m too big and too old’ ‘i need to do 3 hours more cardio, i look bloated’.

And then once you start catching yourself being down about yourself like that – try to stop and take a deep breath. And if you can, go a step further and flip the script – ask yourself if you could love yourself a bit more today. Ask yourself that instead of launching into a full on training session, or express shipping supplements and the newest crazy diet trend. Instead of letting yourself THINK you’ve let yourself down in any way – show yourself the grace and respect you would give a dear friend, or even a younger version of yourself. Would you be saying those things to your children? Would you say those things out loud to yourself infront of others?

Instead of letting yourself believe that you’re no good – could you let yourself believe that today, right in that moment, you are and always worthy of love not just from others, but from yourself. Could you believe for a moment, that you ALREADY KNOW how to take care of yourself? That you don’t need to keep searching, keep hustling, keep buying into stuff – that maybe all you need is time and maybe even then, if this is the body you’re stuck with, could you let yourself appreciate what you have?

This is not to tell you to never seek out help or support if you do have health issues that needs addressing – I absolutely want you to find a health professional suitable to you. But I think it’s important that you also be mindful and acknowledge the part of you that just needed a little more kindness instead of panic and sadness. Imagine how much lighter you would feel – and I’m not talking about your weight – if you were mindful of change and how no one ever stays the same and there is always beauty and value in our current form?

I can tell you that I know I’m different – I always have been and always will be – and that is my ever unfolding human experience. I hope that this quote, this poem will become something you can always refer back to when you start to think unkindly of yourself. When you start to feel like you’re relying too much on quick fixes – because I am confident you don’t need fixing. You just need a little more self love.

Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode – what did you think of the poem by Hollie Holden? Have you heard it before? I will have a printout of the quote on my website if you wanted to save it – like I said, it’s one that I feel is important to everyone – men and boys, aswell as women and girls – because I think we lose sight of who we are today, by projecting too far into the future.

Taking care of yourself also means slowing down and letting yourself just be who you are today. I hope you can do that and I do hope you are staying safe where you are.

Come and find me on Instagram on @makesunshineco or visit my website makesunshine.org

I’ll speak to you next week.

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