A few years ago I was the speaker for a women’s event at the Center for Spiritual Living in Seattle.
The topic was, of course, The Work of Byron Katie.
I had everyone in the audience (there were about 100 women) fill in Judge Your Neighbor worksheets on one situation that really bothered them, maybe for a long time, in their personal lives.
I noticed something interesting, and yet not at all surprising, when I asked for volunteers to share what they had written.
Seven out of ten of the volunteers wrote about something being wrong with their weight, body, appearance, or how they ate.
One woman said she hated the way her butt looked, and her size. Another said she hated her wrinkles at age 60, and that they kept getting “worse”.
Yesterday, I was interviewed (yes, the second time in a week, weird I know) by a wonderful friend and colleague Audra Baker who works with women in nutrition, fitness, exercise and finding freedom and love in all these areas.
She sought me out to share with her peeps about undoing some of the core beliefs about appearance….one of my favorite set of beliefs to undo.
She bravely used her own belief to show the audience how The Work can work.
Her painful belief?
My weight should be my ideal weight.
At the women’s conference at the Center for Spiritual Living I heard these thoughts: my wrinkles are ugly, my thighs are too big, my arms are to jiggly, my belly is too fat, I look too old.
Often, I hear people get angry at themselves for even HAVING these thoughts in the first place….I should know it doesn’t matter! I’m more than a body! I refuse to be so superficial!
But have you noticed, the mind will run these thoughts anyway, despite your best efforts at controlling these kinds of thoughts about your appearance?
So let’s dive into them, look at them head-on, and see what happens.
Your weight (you fill in the blank for what you find unattractive about yourself) is NOT the right weight for you.
Is that true?
Yes! I saw my body! I walked by the store window, I looked at myself in the mirror, I tried on my old jeans. All these prove that this is true!
But can you absolutely know that it is true? If you were all of divine consciousness, if you saw with the eyes of the absolute and infinite?
Are you positive your weight is not ideal?
Are you sure your body is ugly, unattractive, or that it will send people running for the hills? That people won’t find you beautiful? That it means there’s something wrong with you, or that you’re flawed?
No. I can’t know any of this is true.
How do you react when you believe the thought that what you saw in the mirror was repulsive, wrong, ugly, droopy, fat, thick, too big, too small, too old?
All the women I’ve ever done The Work with answered that they felt small, shrunken down. Sometimes they wouldn’t even go out to a party, or to the beach, or walk down the street happily. They’d cover their bodies up.
So now the big beautiful question….who would you be without that belief? Who would you be without the thought that what you saw to be wrong, actually IS wrong?
If you couldn’t even THINK that thought when you saw that reflection in the mirror? Or when you saw the scale read a number you don’t like.
During our interview, Audra said without that thought, her whole mind expanded, her consciousness grew infinitely bigger, she felt lighter.
A weight lifted off her heart.
I saw her put her palm to her chest, so touching.
I noticed I had the thought just the other day putting lotion on my face that my skin really was looking old and very wrinkled around the eyes.
Without that belief that there’s anything wrong with that, my actions move on to the next thing, I don’t avoid anything, I flow with the space of the day, the joy of being alive.
I notice that what’s inside, the deep inner center space inside, could care less.
Turning the thoughts around: What I’m seeing is gorgeous, ideal, perfect for now.
These wrinkles, this weight, this butt, this stomach should be exactly the way it is. It’s a GOOD thing.
How could this be true? Can you find three examples?
My wrinkles give me wisdom, the authority of someone a little older, I move beyond appearance because it’s too late to be involved with that (ha ha!), I surrender to the knowing that this physical, natural thing (this body) softens, bends, moves.
I see the groves of the canyons and mesas I see in Colorado and how phenomenally stunning they are. I notice I don’t believe the valleys, rivers, lines and canyons should not be there.
These wrinkles are absolutely beautiful. This weight is ideal. This butt, this stomach, these thighs, these arms, this body…all so stunning, miraculous, sensual, alive.
Live that turnaround! Oh happy day!
“Too fat, too short, too tall, too thin…bad, bad, wrong, wrong!… Every body is perfect, Now. Every body is perfect, NOW. It doesn’t mean it won’t change, but for now, this is the body you need to be you…..There’s a perfect thing going on here, there’s not one thing out of order.” ~ Byron Katie
Really considering what is good about this state of this body, in this moment, today, is the most heavenly feeling of liberation.
Freedom from all these thoughts of how the body needs to change, in order to be truly happy. Freedom from concern about ugliness, rejection, fear.
Can you find your good reasons for your current body being the way it is?
Share them on the Grace Notes page, I’d love to read your turnarounds!
Much love, Grace
P.S. I’m cooking up an intensive in-person immersion in The Work on the Body and Beyond…the spiritual path of unraveling your stressful thinking. More on this very soon in Grace Notes.