Unless you are a model, personal trainer or adult film star, it can feel awkward to consider your body your biggest asset. It feels shallow to praise our exterior rather than our interior, especially when mothers around the globe have promised, “It’s not the outside but what’s on the inside that counts."
Your relationship with your body is tied to how you engage, experience and flourish in the world, yet fully connecting with that concept can be a major mind flip.
More often than not, you probably throw your body under the bus, believing it’s simply another hurdle, another thing you to take care of. Or maybe you are all about yoga and kale, yet still wonder how people really love their bodies unconditionally. How do you ever truly believe your stretch-marked hips are an asset?
Let me break it down for you: Your body is the physical medium taking you through this life.
She is your vehicle, your cruise ship and if she isn’t being treated well, nothing works. Sure, you'll continue to “get things done,” running around with your hair on fire. However, living a full life without your body being ONBOARD is like strapping 50 pound weights to your legs and running a marathon. You could technically do it, but it’s going to be slow, seriously painful and absolutely unnecessary.
To turn your body into a brilliant asset you first have to be open to seeing things in the gray area. Truthbomb: Your body will never be perfect and the body bashing you do when looking in the mirror immediately turns your body from an asset into a liability. And the problem is that the longer you put off making your body a beloved partner, the longer it will take to hit your desired milestones.
Using your body as an asset that moves your life to unforeseen heights is about changing the way you feed and think about her. It’s a lifestyle shift, a way of existing that will forever change how you experience your relationship to yourself, your community, your work and your life.
Here are my key steps to turning your body into your biggest asset:
1. Check in.
We often only check in with our brain, which tells us what to do and when, along with a heavy dose of judgement and criticism. Lovely. Yet when we check in with our bodies, we're able to access what we really crave without shoulds and have-tos.
To check in, place one hand on your heart and one on your belly. Take 3 deep breaths and notice how your body feels. Are her shoulders tight or her stomach in a knot? What would feed her fully in this moment? Maybe it’s a creative project, 10 minutes of quiet space or dinner. Whatever it is, checking in with your body will always get you calm, clear and realigned, which is why she’s your biggest asset.
2. Eat clean.
If you put dirty oil in your car it won’t run very smoothly. The same principle applies to your body. Sugar, caffeine, low-quality animal products and processed foods all junk up your system, making it near impossible to focus.
Think of junk food as a giant wall you’ve got to hurdle over in order to fully inhabit your body. By eating local fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, organic meat and a touch of dark chocolate, the wall will come crumbling down on its own, making your body an asset. (Really want to figure your food out? Check this.)
3. Move your ass-et.
Moving your body is essential to feeling light, sprite and connected to your life. The problem is that we think it has to be a head-throbbing, two-hour ordeal we hate. NOPE!
Make a list of all the ways you find pleasure in moving your body. Dancing, kayaking, stretching and long walks all count as exercise and will do wonders in giving you the mental space to see your body as a brilliant benefit.
4. Get vitamins D and P.
That is, vitamins Deserving and Permission. When you give yourself permission to put your body first, you're better able to serve those around you. Think of it like oxygen masks on planes. You must first put on yours to then assist those around you. However, permission only works when you believe you deserve it. All too often, people think they don’t deserve the kind of joy they dream of because they aren’t good enough. Someone is always better, right? Granted, someone may be better but that does not degrade your own contribution.
Every time you put your body off or say something snarky to her, remember that you’ve given her permission to deserve being cared for. And when you give your body permission to deserve, your life automatically gets the same treatment. (Have a tough time your doses of vitamins D & P? Click here.)
5. Quell the comparison commandos in your brain.
Comparison sucks the life out of your body. When you get wound up about someone’s flat stomach or newest business success, you immediately spiral into self doubt and fear. This paralyzes your body, making it a major anti-asset that keeps you from what you want.
Turn that comparison into collaboration and reach out to women you admire (and silently hate). You will be shocked by the lightness you feel and how their strength allows you to show up loud and proud in your own body.