Three Practices for Loving the Skin You’re In

There is just so much excess in terms of the market for self-remodeling. I think most women are perfectly gorgeous and beautiful the way they are.
~Eve Ensler

Leonard Nimoy (yes, of Spock fame) did a series of photos
called The Full Body Project

You know what is hard?  Looking for an Eve Ensler quote and then picking only one.  To me she is the guru of body acceptance.  Speaking of hard tasks – body acceptance is something I struggle with every day.  On most days I feel only capable of being aware of my self-defeating inner dialogue.  Actually changing it proves much more difficult.

I find most discussions of body acceptance center around changing the way we think of ourselves.  And, no doubt, this inner monologue is horribly insidious and a necessary thing to change to find any lasting improvement in how we treat ourselves.

I find though, that there aren’t very many tools for physically practicing self-acceptance.  If we wanted to learn to relax we could think about what stresses us and how we want to feel but we would also be able to implement daily practices, like breathing and meditation, to help us embrace the change.  Here I present three practices for learning to love the skin you are in.

Touch

Touch provides a channel for connecting to others and learning about the world (Human Haptic Behavior, 2008). 

Touch is one of our most important senses and we can use it to learn appreciation of our bodies.  My first practice I call “Moisturizing with Love.”  It is really about bringing your conscious attention to your body.  As Eve said (another quote!), “When you bring consciousness to anything, things begin to shift.”

Take 5 or 10 minutes a day to massage moisturizer into your skin.

  1. Pick a healthy moisturizer (no sense in loving yourself with a cancer causing agent).  I use straight coconut oil – it is a wonderful moisturizer and only has one, organic ingredient.  
  2. Start with your toes and rub the oil into your skin.  
  3. Pay attention to how your skin feels.  Try to do so without judgement.  If you find yourself judging (“ugh, my feet are so hideous”) replace it with a neutral description (“my heel is so rough but my arch is smooth”).
  4. Concentrate on massaging any tense spots.

Sight

Using photography is an accepted therapy for body dysmorphic disorder.  We can all use this method to learn some self love.  There are professionals that do boudoir and other artistic photography of bodies but I just use my webcam!  Every morning when I get to work I take a snapshot of myself with PhotoBooth on my Mac.  I started using it because I didn’t have a mirror – how does my hair look, is my lipstick on right? – but I ended up having this catalog of my face for several consecutive months.  You know what I found?  I’m kinda cute.  lol.  Ok, I’m going to be brave and post a montage.  Yikes!  This self-acceptance thing is hard!

Sound

Sing in the shower!  Sing in the car!  Sing even if you can’t carry a tune!  (for that matter, go ahead and dance!)

If You Talk, You Can Sing
If You Can Walk, You Can Dance
-Old Zimbabwean saying

What things do you do to love the wonderful, unique you?


This post is participating in the Body Image Carnival being hosted by Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! and MamanADroit who will be posting articles on themes pertaining to body image all week! Make sure you check out their blogs everyday between April 12-18 for links to other participants’ posts as well as product reviews, a giveaway, and some links to research, information and resources pertaining to body image.


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6 thoughts on “Three Practices for Loving the Skin You’re In

  1. I love your photo montage :)To love my body, I very occasionally soak in a bath, then use my “nice” lotion everywhere. Definitely need to do that more often.

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  2. I love your photo montage :)To love my body, I very occasionally soak in a bath, then use my "nice" lotion everywhere. Definitely need to do that more often.

    Like

  3. Another wonderful wonderful post. I have to get the button and send you my entry… I do the photobooth thing too… It’s a secret vice of mine 🙂 Oh vanity :)I have my hubby moisturise me every day 🙂 with shea butter

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  4. If I knew how to do a photo montage I think this would be a great project for myself. Luckily I do already like to sing. I’m not great but I’m not bad either. Singing is so freeing! Touch, I need to do more of more often. I tend to not moisturize because I feel it’s too time consuming. I’ve stopped seeing a massage therapist since mine moved away a year ago. All things I need to get back into to feel good again. Thanks for participating in the carnival!

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  5. Pingback: Body Image Carnival Post Round Up | Breastfeeding Moms Unite

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