I’ve been listening to my old friend Brian Tracy lately (yes, him again!). He never fails to offer me something new to consider, even though I might have heard a particular cd or track many times.
In a recent listening I picked up the following. He states that the only thing in life we can control are our thoughts. Hearing this stops me obsessing about little things that can make me unhappy.
Instead of looking at my skin and thinking it looks older and is there something I can do about it (beyond my usual skincare regime I mean), I focus on my inside and think about what makes me feel happy. Happy people are beautiful people because it comes from within. And someone with a big smile always looks wonderful to me, no matter their age or how ‘commercially’ good looking they are.
I have noticed too, that people who are rigid and negative have a face that matches their attitude. Coco Chanel said you earn your face and now I am thinking it’s not just about the skincare regime, it’s who you are that comes out and settles on the skin. This has helped enormously to keep my thoughts soft and kind. I am not as cynical as I used to be and I endeavour to look at others with more compassion too. And don’t forget, include yourself in that compassion, that’s a tough one to remember for me sometimes.
I’m not saying I am completely letting myself go physically though. I do the best with what I have, I try to look after my body with nourishment, light exercise and lots of moisturising. I style my hair and apply soft, flattering makeup and wear clothes that make me feel good. However beyond that, I don’t think much about my appearance at all.
I think my ideal life is to have a perfect balance of taking care of my outside, whilst equally or perhaps even more so focusing on the inside (the soul/thoughts etc). I have been guilty in the past of forgetting about the inside and this never makes the outside better. In fact some of the most beautiful women in the world are quoted as saying they never feel beautiful.
One of Brian Tracy’s main things is to repeat over and over (in your thoughts or saying it quietly to yourself) ‘I like myself’. It sounds a bit silly and superficial, but trying it I have found makes me feel better and also make better decisions, whether it’s not being lazy, eating good food rather than crap, avoiding stupid spending and the list goes on.
He states that saying ‘I like myself’ raises your self-esteem which changes everything in your life for the better. You are happier, more productive, more loving, you may earn more money and so on. Even though we may feel quite ‘normal’ and happy, we often have this negative, nagging voice in our head bringing us down. I know I have, and saying ‘I like myself’ helps change/silence it. And then I feel much better.
Another self-talk saying I like is borrowed from EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique. It begins ‘Even though (insert issue here)… I deeply and completely love and accept myself’. It could be ‘Even though I overindulged in chocolate and icecream tonight and now I feel sick, I deeply and completely love and accept myself’. Even though I was rude to someone at the supermarket today and I felt bad afterwards, I deeply and completely love and accept myself’. Sometimes I’ll just think ‘I deeply and completely love and accept myself’ and it feels good.
Imaging talking to a friend or family member like we talk to ourselves. Imagine watching them get dressed for work and when they look in the mirror saying to them ‘I can see your fat roll and muffin top in that shirt’. Imagine watching them get something out of the cupboard to snack on and saying ‘You’re already overweight, why are you eating that?’. Imagine watching them in a shop about to buy a magazine and saying ‘what a waste of money, you’ve already got magazines at home cluttering up the place.’ Would you want to spend more time with this friend, or less?
Not only are these things (though they may be true) horrible to hear, but they probably won’t stop the self-destructive behaviour. On the contrary, out of rebellion (against ourselves) we do it anyway.
Saying ‘I like myself’ or ‘I deeply and completely love and accept myself’ in any of these situations and often during the day (especially at waking time too) is so much more helpful. I have even had times when dumb behaviour is averted quite happily.
There is a little clip about it here, spoken by Brian himself. He also has lots of other short videos that I sometimes click onto at work or home if I don’t have one of his CDs or my iPod handy and need a little happiness boost.
My yoga teacher said of a standing pose we were doing once, to have the crown of our heads feel pulled up to the ceiling. She then said to make our heads feel light, and straight away my head felt weightless. It was wonderful. You can try it for yourself instructing your body to feel heavy, or light. Both work!
She often talked about relaxing certain parts of the body as we went through the exercises, and feeling lightness. I do this at home now too when I think of it. When I was washing my face last night before bed, it was lovely and early about 8.30pm, plenty of time for winding down and relaxing myself to drop off. I was massaging in the cleansing cream ready to tissue off and I was telling myself to feel light, calm and peaceful. And I really felt like those words too as I got ready for bed.
Do you talk to yourself lovingly? In a harsh way? Are you ready to change the way you talk to, or about, yourself?