Hands and heart

May your hands be an extension of your heart – isn’t that just a beautiful thing?

The hands as an extension of the heart?

I tried a little meditation practice – I put my hands on my chest, the left one falling over my heart, and I held them there – palms flat to the chest – it felt great, it felt like I was holding myself – supporting myself, comforting myself.

Everyone says happiness comes from within, and everyone knows this is literally the hardest thing to cultivate, but when you break it down into smaller more approachable, bite sized chunks like this, then it works.

When we pour all our happiness into someone else, we stand to lose a hell of a lot if that person’s mind changes, our choices and decisions get taken out of our hands – our world can collapse.

This isn’t to say we should be total ice Queens (or Kings) to everyone and never invest in loving anyone else, it just means, we need to find more happiness within ourselves – and really do find ways that we can do this.

Many of you will know I have had years of hating my body, overweight at school, too tall to get guys to talk to me, unruly messy curly hair – and that’s just the surface – scratch a little deeper and you get a very long list:

  • The way my left eyebrow raises slightly higher than my right
  • The gap in between my eyebrows being uneven as a result
  • The way the right side of my hair has no volume whatsoever
  • The whole of the right side of my face – I just won’t ever be photographed on that side
  • The line of moles down the left side of my face
  • My goofy smile and the way I have a massive overbite
  • The fact that I still have to wear retainer braces and will do for my whole life
  • My thin lips, especially the top one
  • My big nose
  • The fact that one nostril is bigger than the other
  • The way my nose glows bright red like rudolf when I go from a cold to a hot environment

And that’s just my face – things that I despise about my own face – I look in the mirror sometimes and think ‘I hate the way I look’, ‘I hate myself’.

But hate is SUCH a strong word and what a daft word to use when I have the ability to talk, walk, see, hear, touch, smell, love, hug, teach, run, jump, write, create – all these beautiful things that we so often take for granted.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, just over one in five adults and 40% of teenagers said images on social media caused them to worry about their body image.

That’s shocking and yet not shocking at the same time.

Irony is, through the power of social media, and from my learnings as a yoga teacher – I’ve finally found a way to start loving the skin that I am in, and embracing all my quirks because I know that to worry about them or want to change them is total and utter pointless energy – and in sharing this sense through my blogs and social media posts, I can hopefully help others to see this too.

And although I have never been vain, never been ‘the pretty one’, and never put any amount of focus on what people think of my physical appearance (genuinely getting more offended if they said they don’t like my personality or don’t think I am funny) – I put so much stress on myself for the way that I look it is unreal. So it’s not even pressure from anyone else – it’s just all me.

And in reality – when I teach a yoga class – is anyone looking at my eyebrow, or my nose, or my lips, or any part of that? No, they are (hopefully) just listening to the message that I am delivering – and taking me as a person on what is said, how I act, and the actions I take to help other people.

So this week I ask you to #BeBodyKind – to yourself and also to others, but especially to yourself – and embrace with open hearts (and hands) the blessed gifts that you have.

 

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