Looking for a simple, daily practice for cultivating self-love? Look no further than the triangle. Love Body is an action-based method and one of the pillars of that method is the practice of mindfulness. The Triangle of Awareness is a powerful mindfulness technique accessible to anyone. The idea behind the triangle is that body sensations, emotions and thoughts can be considered separately and each can be considered with curiosity and non-judgment.
Let's use a real life example to illustrate this. The other day, Tara and I recorded a podcast episode for Michigan Runner Girl and Tara shared a poignant story involving a Love Body moment for her. She was looking in the mirror and noticed her belly, the appearance of which has changed after having two children. She had an intense bodily sensation, a pang, a deep ache of sorts. Because she is trained in mindfulness techniques, she was able to consider this pang with compassion and curiosity and without spiraling into a deep sadness by tethering the sensation to thoughts and emotions about her belly. She could be in the experience without judgment. She could allow herself to have the thoughts and emotions, recognizing that they are separate from the physical sensation and recognizing that she is not bound by any of these. And, ultimately, she could remind herself that her value and her loveability have nothing to do with the appearance of her belly.
When we get caught up in sensation, emotions and thoughts and clump them all together, they can snowball into an extreme reaction, depriving us of the space or possibility for allowing, accepting, and, eventually, releasing. When we can recognize them as separate aspects of awareness, we can prevent the snowball effect, approach each section with curiosity, and honor our experience without having to judge or change it. It will naturally soften in the field of allowing. It will naturally soften in the container of compassion. It's ok to have a pang. It's ok to have a sad moment. It's ok to have a negative thought. What matters is how you choose to meet those things.
The more we practice mindfulness, the more we are able to meet our challenging sensations, thoughts and emotions gracefully. We are not trying to stomp out negativity; we are simply changing the way we relate to it and recognizing that we are not bound by it. We are recognizing that we have choices.
Interested in this topic? Want to discuss it more? Join us for a conversation about choice, anti-diet, self-love and togetherness. Conversations with Women is taking place Sunday, February 23rd from 10:30am-12pm. We'd love to have you!
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