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This Body of Mine

If you do an internet search for 'middle aged female body' images, what will come up? I found many headshots of beautiful women from a lot of backgrounds and races. But the only full body shots that came up were of models or athletes, none were women you would see in day to day life. None of them correlated to what most of us see in the mirror. And if you add the word 'nude' to the search, there are no images available at all. The same thing happened when I searched the wix images collection. Even in paid images on Shutterstock, the options were limited but that is where I finally found the photo below.

The fact is most media outlets are not interested in giving an authentic representation of middle aged women. They don't want to allow normal aging and body changes to be accepted. They don't care about whether or not we feel visible much less beautiful. We have transcended beyond the border of child bearing years, and therefore are dismissed and no longer encouraged to feel beautiful or sexual. And yet, we are still beautiful and sexual and powerful and graceful... there are so many lovely adjectives to describe this segment of a woman's life!

The way we choose to respond to such typical media stimuli truly has deep impact on us beyond the present moment. Pause and notice- how do those images make you feel? Go beyond the surface level experience, what is that deeper and more visceral discomfort? What meaning are we giving to it? Mindfulness can be the key to having a beneficial internal dialogue that increases our self-love and enhances how we take care of ourselves, instead of following a path of harsh criticism which will only discourage us. Having grown up in the 80's-90's era of extremely thin models and as a former ballerina, being faced with images of models and athletes presented as the norm or ideal has the potential to trigger old patterns of negativity or disappointment towards my body.

These days, I'm all about improvement or enrichment of the quality of life. Meeting goals can be great and desirable, but not more important to me than feeling amazing. Feeling amazing in my body and in my soul. Choosing healthy foods and moving my body and utilizing holistic healing modalities, motivated to do these things because of self-love not self-loathing. Loving every piece of myself, doing the deeper shadow work to get there, cherishing my changing skin, my grey hairs that get a few more plentiful each year, the little drape of belly fat where my babies once grew.

While most of us continue to have some health and fitness goals, few aspire to be as thin as a model or as active as a professional athlete. My specialty is working with woman aged 40+ to heal from the inside out and create the life they desire to have. Here is a really special secret: the more you love yourself, the better you will feel. Inner healing can free you from more than emotional pain. It can free you from physical ailments and reboot a crippled metabolism. It can resolve brain fog and autoimmune symptoms. It frees you to hold healthy boundaries. Loving yourself makes receiving permission to be joyful and effervescent attainable when it seemed impossible before.

I invite you to sit in a peaceful setting and meditate on loving your body followed by journaling with this prompt: I am in love with this body of mine because __________.

photo credit: Shutterstock

(To see some gorgeous, positive and honest photographic artistry, please go explore the work of Jade Beall on her website

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