“Right now, can you make an unconditional relationship with yourself? Just at the height you are? The weight you are, with the intelligence that you have, and your current burden of pain? Can you enter into an unconditional relationship with that?” —Pema Chödrön
Positive thinking and (re)training of our inner soundtrack is an important and essential step on the journey of wellness. However positive thinking does not guarantee that we will make healthy decisions & take healthy actions each day. On the flipside, healthy actions and habits alone do not change negative internal talk if we do not reprogram our brains or manually change the station! It take a combination of both: the healthy daily habits/tools that create a lifestyle AND positive, loving acceptance of who we are now.
Positive feelings about ourselves do not happen at a magic moment, a magic number on the scale or a magic size on the tag of our jeans. They are ours to cultivate & feel now, as we continue to grow, change and improve.
I recall reading an interview with Demi Moore in Harpers Bazaar a few years back. She spoke about her journey and struggle with food, eating, body image & weight in the film industry. Even after the release of GI Jane, where to the outside world she had achieved a fit body, she realized that the happiness and contentment she had searched for through apparent physical perfection was still missing. The external work was had been done but the internal/spiritual work had not been addressed.
Some of us go through phases believing that if we’re THINNER, RICHER, _______-ER, _______-ER we’ll be happier (or we’ll find a lover/spouse/perfect job/etc). While it is fine to work towards specific goals it is imperative to remember that they will not be the bearers of happiness and self-contentment. Instead, happiness and contentment are ours to feel and experience today. We start by turning off our auto-pilot thoughts. We start by changing the standard script and background music that accompanies our every step. We start by changing small variables and stepping with awe outside our comfort zone. We start by acting and living as if all those elements are already in place.
As you retrain your body through daily positive habits of exercise and nutrition, consider a mantra to retrain your mind: "I am comfortable and confident in my body. I'm infinitely proud of my strong __________. I am calm and running smoothly at work/home. I am proud of my boundaries. I'm open for ways of being more effective." Adjust to suit yourself.
Negative thoughts: re-write, re-say, re-think, re-program. Support and praise that which is (and who is) good and uplifting around us. Leave behind what is not useful (think relationships, environments, entertainment and social media feed). From this place you can better spread love. Now go spread love!