Over the years, I’ve worked with women from all walks of life and from all parts of the world.
I’ve noticed a very distinct trend: Disconnect…
Women who can’t -or won’t- stop waging war with their bodies.
Women who can’t -or won’t- stop hating themselves, perpetually playing old tapes of self-sabotage and low self-esteem.
Women who can’t-or won’t- stop running from themselves.
Neglecting your Inner Self comes at a high price… a mighty high price. If we refuse to trust ourselves, or value and honor ourselves, how in the world can we expect the World to love us? Honor us? Value us? Embrace us? If we flee from our past and the lessons it provides, however can we break free and move forward?
The inability to make peace with ourselves has far reaching consequences that can -and often do-span generations. Like attracts Like. The patterns we habitually display, our children go on to mirror.
Patterns of depression, low self-worth and/or abuse perpetuate and are hard to break. But it is possible to do so.
We live in a time of the #MeToo movement and the Women’s March. A time that finds women voicing their worth, loudly and proudly; demanding R-E-S-P-E-C-T but how many of us actually believe we’re deserving of it? REALLY.
So many women don their pink hats, lock arms with other women and take to the streets in solidarity. They then return home individually, only to fall right back into the negative patterns of self-abuse and self-neglect.
1 step forward, 1 lurch backward?? How do we break this cycle and all the Negative it perpetuates?
I started implementing a truly powerful meditation while working with Domestic Violence survivors, cancer patients and women with eating disorders and I find it works quite well for every woman because we are all in Need. I call it: The Mindful Moisturizer Meditation.
This little exercise can take as little- or as much- time as you wish to spend and is based on the life changing impact just 5 minutes of concerted self-care per day can -and will -have. All that is required is a small bottle of high-quality lotion that represents something special to you and a bit of lip balm. Not bad!
Sitting quietly- either before bed or after a bath or shower is great- take some of your special lotion and pour it in the palm of your hand. Emulsify and warm by rubbing the lotion between your palms for a moment. Breathe in and breathe out…
Starting at your feet, begin to gently, lovingly and mindfully massage the lotion into your skin. While doing so, lovingly caress your feet and think of all the thousands of miles they have carried you in your life; the dances you’ve danced, the worried steps you’ve paced… the places you’ve been on those feet…
Perhaps they walked you down the aisle to live happily ever after- or to divorce court to start your life anew.
Perhaps they danced with loved ones, ran to care for a fallen child… walked at jobs that crushed your spirit but helped put food on the table… jogged miles to help you be healthier and feel better about yourself… think about the thousands of miles you’ve walked in your life and thank your feet.
Take another calming breath in and out…
Next, with a bit more lotion, lovingly, gently and mindfully massage your calves and your thighs. Think of how your legs have carried you, squatted down to pick up heavy loads, tiny children, beloved pets… think of how those legs have helped navigate you through life to this point -and love them.
Ignore the cellulite you think you see, ignore the muscle tone that may not be what you wish you had – lovingly caress your legs and thank them for all they have done to serve you and move you through life. Breathe in… breathe out…
Take a bit more lotion and apply it to your abdomen and thank your very core for all it has accomplished for you in your life. If you find this area a battle zone, be willing to suspend critical judgment and really embrace your middle. If you have stretch marks from past pregnancies, or scars from surgeries- touch them, love them and thank them for what they represent. They are a part of you; a road map of your life and they should be honored. They represent Life renewing itself. Embrace that miracle and the signs of it that are left behind.
If you have more padding or ‘fluff’ there than you might like, just this once embrace it. Love your womanly middle and appreciate the powerful organs that lie just under your skin: life-giving, pleasure giving organs; the very essence of Womanhood- and they’re yours! Honor the part that your abdomen has to play in driving and propelling your body throughout its many rounds and make peace with what is there. Caress that area with love, and honor it.
Breathe in… breathe out…
Next, with a bit more lotion, move up to your breasts and your upper chest. Take a deep breath and feel your chest expand. Lovingly caress this part of your body and think of all it does for you: Without our chests we couldn’t breathe, talk, sing or laugh. Without our breasts we couldn’t nourish new life, or be deliciously curvy.
Many women have a hard time accepting this part of themselves: too small, too large–or gone because of cancer- this is a profoundly important part of our bodies and we MUST take time to touch, caress and honor it! Touch the stretch marks, lay your hands upon the scars you might have there and think about the journey you’ve made in this body- with this chest.
Pause- and breathe as you place your hands there and connect with YOURSELF.
Do you have ‘something you need to get off your chest?’ Spend a moment checking in with yourself and determine your answer. If the answer is YES, then determine what you must do to free yourself.
Take another deep, centering breath… in and out…
Gliding your hands down your arms, gently massage away any tension and think about your arms as you apply your lotion; the lovers, loved ones and pets these arms have embraced, the books and groceries they’ve carried, all they’ve allowed you to accomplish with your hands…
Wrap your arms around yourself for just a moment and really FEEL yourself being embraced by YOU.
Take a deep breath and apply a bit of lotion to your hands…
think of all the comfort and pleasure your hands have brought throughout the course of your life; all the meals cooked, the wounds bandaged, the loving caresses given to others- but so rarely to yourself…the art created, the words written, the music played… Look at your hands, marvel at your hands- and thank them.
Next take a bit more lotion and glide over your throat area and your face. Look at that area and marvel at it… so full of Life’s expression… so full of YOU… your eyes, your nose, your throat, your strong shoulders…
think upon the wisdom that resides in your head, the beauty you’ve seen with your eyes- the music and the words you’ve heard with your ears… the burdens you’ve carried on your shoulders-and love them… thank them… caress them.
Take a deep breath and feel yourself let go.
Take another deep breath and feel yourself enveloped in LOVE.
Take another deep breath and feel the peace of acceptance and self- respect wash over you.
Now, take a tiny bit of lip balm, and apply it to your lips. As you do so, think of all the loving words your lips have spoken throughout your life, the songs your lips have sung, the stories your lips have read aloud to sleepy children, the kisses your lips have given to lovers and family members, the food your lips and tongue have enjoyed, the delicious beverages you’ve sipped throughout your life, the loving and sexy things your lips have whispered… the prayers of thanksgiving, pain and grief your lips have prayed…
Apply your lip balm for a moment with a gentle, massaging touch and take a deep breath. Next, stand before a mirror and look yourself in your eyes. Lovingly say the following words of Sahara, the Indian Mystic, out loud to yourself:
‘Here in this body are the sacred rivers. Here are the sun and moon, as well as the pilgrimage places. I have not encountered another temple as blissful as my own body.’
Close with ‘I am wonderfully and fearfully made and I love and accept myself in this precious moment, exactly as I am.’
Sit for a moment, breathe- and then go about your business. Very simple, very easy.
Do this exercise as often as you wish- but a minimum of once per week the first month.
Granted, this concept is really nothing new or unique. It’s really just common sense but you know what ‘They’ say about that: ‘If common sense is so common, why don’t know people have it?’
Start today choosing to love yourself, embrace yourself and sit with yourself, instead of pushing Her away. Doing so just might save your life. But even if the end result for you isn’t that dramatic, you will never be the same…I promise!
Copyright 2019 Carrie E. Pierce all rights reserved
Health and Beauty has been Carrie E. Pierce’s career focus for over 28 years.
Throughout her career, Carrie has served as: Guest and Corporate Makeup Artist for numerous major, international cosmetic companies and as a Hollywood film, TV and special effects makeup artist.
She’s provided skin care and makeup services for the fashion industry, as well as restorative make up procedures for burn and scar patients, cancer patients, domestic violence survivors and women suffering with self-esteem issues.
Carrie is a licensed Aesthetician, Certified Color Analyst, Menopause Skin Care Specialist, Author and Co Host of a nationally syndicated radio show.
Together with Life Coach Kris Cavanaugh Castro, Carrie has co created a coaching program created especially for Midlife women- and the men who love them. Called ‘Making Peace With Menopause’ this program covers the myriad health, beauty, emotional, spiritual and mental aspects of the Menopause journey.
It’s Carrie’s mission and her passion to help women be the best they can be – especially as they move through Midlife!