Ritual: Heal Body Shame, Heal the World.      Growing up, I had a tumultuous relationship with the girl in the mirror.     On the one hand, I was fascinated by her, finding her intriguing and beautiful. But in other moments – too many moments – I deemed her body not thin enough, her face not desirable enough, and her overall being just not “good enough” to receive the love I craved.  I wish I could tell you that these harsh judgments were mere side effects of adolescent hormones, but sadly, they ran much deeper. This relationship continued well beyond my tumultuous teenage years, and into my “awakening” years of spiritual seeking and devotional practices.     I knew something needed to change.       So with eyes wide open, I began to recognize the source of my discontent with my body and self-image, and felt the deep necessity of healing this wound within me so that I could offer my body – my temple, my home –  the reverence and adoration it deserved. But how?          I began to study the power of my beliefs, and noticed how they affected my self-perception and insight about the world around me. I could see that my harsh self-judgments reverberated in every corner of my existence and reality, and without fail, attracted difficult challenges into my life. I desperately wanted to free myself from the trap of constant critique, but the illusion and temptation to compare myself to the “perfect woman” was strong, and at times overbearing.  After all, everywhere I turned, my sisters were (either consciously or unconsciously) battling the same illusion about themselves.          Learning how to honor my body and take care of my appearance without buying into the myth of a woman’s value being in how she looks was tricky to say the least. And in the process of finding this balance, I would waver between self-neglect and self-obsession. It took a change in perspective, and the courage to take accountability, to authentically start to love my body.        

  
     
    
       
        
           
                
           
        

        

       
    
     
  


           If we look at the current energetics of our world, we can clearly see that masculine and feminine polarities are out of balance, which has led to the devaluing of feminine qualities in most cultures. I have known this for many years, but the change in perspective I needed came when I stopped placing blame on men. This imbalance in our world is far deeper than the “battle of the sexes,” “man oppresses woman,” “man objectifies the female form” scenario. This energetic imbalance is the root cause of these scenarios, and it inflicts harm on men as well, but to a polar effect.  It is something that affects the entire human race – a global wound, so to speak.          This imbalance can be clearly seen in the media, and it influences the way both men and women relate to each other, their sexuality, and to their bodies. With these damaging messages so prevalent, how do we rise above the pressure to engage with our bodies in damaging ways?          It took me recognizing that the only way to transform it is to assume responsibility for playing my part in the devaluing of the feminine in our world-  as I had actively participated in the devaluing of myself, my emotions, my intuition,  my unique shape and appearance.       If we view ourselves as spiritual beings living in a body, then we must believe that our body is our temple, our home, and what allows us to live and evolve here on Earth.          Throughout our lives, we develop a relationship with our body temple. If our relationship has been one of criticism and judgment, then most likely there are hard feelings needing to be transmuted. Before we can live beyond the paradigm of self-criticism and body shame, we must assume responsibility, and actively seek our body’s forgiveness for the cruel thoughts, deeds, and in many cases, harsh actions.  Once we do this we are able to live in deeper harmony and enjoyment with our bodies and with ourselves despite the temptations to “be better.”  We can then become role models for a new way – representatives of a true type of beauty – that is exemplified thought the radiance of self-love and love for all.  Little by little, we change the world. We usher in a new reality for the generations to come.           The most powerful revolution is self-love, which requires radical self-accountability, compassion, and forgiveness.         

  
     
    
       
        
           
                
           
        

        

       
    
     
  


              Here is a ritual I have used for years to aid me through the process of learning to love my body. I use it in times where temptation is strong and my thoughts have weakened towards comparison and self-judgment.             You can do this ritual in the bath with flowers and candles, or anywhere relaxing, private, and sacred for you.                1.      Breathe and feel your body. Allow yourself to breathe into different parts of your body – particularly parts that you have judged and allow yourself to feel whatever sensations may be present there.          2.      The first step is to take compassionate responsibility for the negative thoughts, judgments, and in some cases the abuses we have inflicted upon are bodies. I suggest stating out loud:    “With compassion for myself for living in a world that is still learning how to honor the feminine form, I take responsibility for the harsh thoughts and actions I have inflicted upon my beautiful and sacred body.”         3.      Place your hands on different parts of your body, and as you lovingly touch these parts ask for forgiveness by saying the ho’ ponopono prayer    “I’m sorry, please forgive me, I love you, thank you.”         4.      When you’ve completed this, allow yourself to feel gratitude for your temple.  You can say:    “I am forever grateful to live in such a beautiful temple. My body is sacred, and I honor it with nourishing thoughts, foods, and play. I love who I am, and I am grateful for being exactly as I am.”           True self-love takes some de-programming   .  We have been taught to be harsh to ourselves in many cases. Humbly honoring your body as a sacred home, rather than as a mere tool for getting us what we want, is an important step to living an inspired and radiantly happy life.           There is nothing more gorgeous than a woman who loves herself, honors her body, and has forgiven herself for any judgments, harsh thoughts, or harmful actions her insecurities or self-doubts may have caused her to take.  When a woman lives in compassion for herself, she more readily lives as a compassionate and wise light in service of humanity.          This woman is my hero.    This woman is healing the world.    This woman is who I want to be.               Lauren Elizabeth Walsh is founder and Co- Director of Unify Global Sisterhood        Want to engage in the conversation?  Join the  Global Sisterhood Facebook Group   or visit  www.women.unify.org  to discuss this month’s theme and many others, as women all over the world are transforming themselves and world though sacred sisterhood.                                          

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Ritual: Heal Body Shame, Heal the World.

 

Growing up, I had a tumultuous relationship with the girl in the mirror.

On the one hand, I was fascinated by her, finding her intriguing and beautiful. But in other moments – too many moments – I deemed her body not thin enough, her face not desirable enough, and her overall being just not “good enough” to receive the love I craved.  I wish I could tell you that these harsh judgments were mere side effects of adolescent hormones, but sadly, they ran much deeper. This relationship continued well beyond my tumultuous teenage years, and into my “awakening” years of spiritual seeking and devotional practices.

I knew something needed to change.

 

So with eyes wide open, I began to recognize the source of my discontent with my body and self-image, and felt the deep necessity of healing this wound within me so that I could offer my body – my temple, my home –  the reverence and adoration it deserved. But how?

 

I began to study the power of my beliefs, and noticed how they affected my self-perception and insight about the world around me. I could see that my harsh self-judgments reverberated in every corner of my existence and reality, and without fail, attracted difficult challenges into my life. I desperately wanted to free myself from the trap of constant critique, but the illusion and temptation to compare myself to the “perfect woman” was strong, and at times overbearing.  After all, everywhere I turned, my sisters were (either consciously or unconsciously) battling the same illusion about themselves.

 

Learning how to honor my body and take care of my appearance without buying into the myth of a woman’s value being in how she looks was tricky to say the least. And in the process of finding this balance, I would waver between self-neglect and self-obsession. It took a change in perspective, and the courage to take accountability, to authentically start to love my body.

 

If we look at the current energetics of our world, we can clearly see that masculine and feminine polarities are out of balance, which has led to the devaluing of feminine qualities in most cultures. I have known this for many years, but the change in perspective I needed came when I stopped placing blame on men. This imbalance in our world is far deeper than the “battle of the sexes,” “man oppresses woman,” “man objectifies the female form” scenario. This energetic imbalance is the root cause of these scenarios, and it inflicts harm on men as well, but to a polar effect.  It is something that affects the entire human race – a global wound, so to speak.

 

This imbalance can be clearly seen in the media, and it influences the way both men and women relate to each other, their sexuality, and to their bodies. With these damaging messages so prevalent, how do we rise above the pressure to engage with our bodies in damaging ways?

 

It took me recognizing that the only way to transform it is to assume responsibility for playing my part in the devaluing of the feminine in our world- as I had actively participated in the devaluing of myself, my emotions, my intuition,  my unique shape and appearance.  

If we view ourselves as spiritual beings living in a body, then we must believe that our body is our temple, our home, and what allows us to live and evolve here on Earth.

 

Throughout our lives, we develop a relationship with our body temple. If our relationship has been one of criticism and judgment, then most likely there are hard feelings needing to be transmuted. Before we can live beyond the paradigm of self-criticism and body shame, we must assume responsibility, and actively seek our body’s forgiveness for the cruel thoughts, deeds, and in many cases, harsh actions.  Once we do this we are able to live in deeper harmony and enjoyment with our bodies and with ourselves despite the temptations to “be better.”  We can then become role models for a new way – representatives of a true type of beauty – that is exemplified thought the radiance of self-love and love for all.  Little by little, we change the world. We usher in a new reality for the generations to come.

 

The most powerful revolution is self-love, which requires radical self-accountability, compassion, and forgiveness.

 

Here is a ritual I have used for years to aid me through the process of learning to love my body. I use it in times where temptation is strong and my thoughts have weakened towards comparison and self-judgment.

 

You can do this ritual in the bath with flowers and candles, or anywhere relaxing, private, and sacred for you.

 

 

1.    Breathe and feel your body. Allow yourself to breathe into different parts of your body – particularly parts that you have judged and allow yourself to feel whatever sensations may be present there.

 

2.    The first step is to take compassionate responsibility for the negative thoughts, judgments, and in some cases the abuses we have inflicted upon are bodies. I suggest stating out loud:

“With compassion for myself for living in a world that is still learning how to honor the feminine form, I take responsibility for the harsh thoughts and actions I have inflicted upon my beautiful and sacred body.”

 

3.    Place your hands on different parts of your body, and as you lovingly touch these parts ask for forgiveness by saying the ho’ ponopono prayer

“I’m sorry, please forgive me, I love you, thank you.”

 

4.    When you’ve completed this, allow yourself to feel gratitude for your temple.  You can say:

“I am forever grateful to live in such a beautiful temple. My body is sacred, and I honor it with nourishing thoughts, foods, and play. I love who I am, and I am grateful for being exactly as I am.”

 

True self-love takes some de-programming. We have been taught to be harsh to ourselves in many cases. Humbly honoring your body as a sacred home, rather than as a mere tool for getting us what we want, is an important step to living an inspired and radiantly happy life.

 

There is nothing more gorgeous than a woman who loves herself, honors her body, and has forgiven herself for any judgments, harsh thoughts, or harmful actions her insecurities or self-doubts may have caused her to take.  When a woman lives in compassion for herself, she more readily lives as a compassionate and wise light in service of humanity.

 

This woman is my hero.

This woman is healing the world.

This woman is who I want to be.

  

Lauren Elizabeth Walsh is founder and Co- Director of Unify Global Sisterhood
Want to engage in the conversation?  Join the Global Sisterhood Facebook Group  or visit www.women.unify.org to discuss this month’s theme and many others, as women all over the world are transforming themselves and world though sacred sisterhood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Peace Day Prayer

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Peace Day Prayer

I gazed beyond the clouds into the abyss of blue and whispered “ I don’t know if you’re real, but if you are.. I could really use your help right now”.

I paused for a minute hoping to hear a response, but nothing came.

Never the less, something inside of me continued speaking, “I don’t know how to talk to you. I don’t know what it means to pray, but IF you are real…teach me”

This was the first conversation that I can remember having with “God”.  I grew up rejecting anything that appeared dogmatic and was much more comfortable with terms such as “energy” or “universe”.

But this time I was desperate…

I was deep in the throes of my most tumultuous year ever. I was a rebellious 21 year old girl, broken, and seeking a miracle. On this particular day, everything was about to change because I had only one choice left- to get on my knees, and hope that something or someone would come to my rescue.

Time went one, and as I continued my seemingly one-sided conversations with this great mysterious force, I began to notice something strange develop. I had never been an eloquent or graceful speaker, but when I found myself alone and attempting to pray, I began to use words that I had never used before. I noticed poetic phrases, which described how I was feeling with remarkable accuracy, would emerge from my heart and through my voice.

 I would learn something new about myself each time I prayed, as if I was speaking directly from some undiscovered wisdom in my soul that desired to teach me.I learned that there was way more depth and grace inside of myself than the choices and events in my life would  have suggested.

It was this realization that changed my perception of myself, and catalyzed my transformation.

Through prayer, I discovered who I am.

Last Sunday I spoke a prayer with 1,500 people gathered in honor of International Day of Peace at the Texas State Capitol. Never in a million years, would I have imagined myself in the center of a massive convergence of amazing people to offer a prayer of peace.

Prayer is vulnerable, and prayer is raw. Prayer comes from that tender place inside that feels everything from infinite love and bliss to deep sorrow and rage.

“And you want me to do this in front of HOW MANY people?”

I was asked to say the prayer at the capitol just a week before the actual event. I knew in my heart that I wanted to say yes, but I had to be honest with myself. If I said yes I would have to prevent my ego from getting caught in the trap of self consciousness because Peace Day is about something much greater than me and my life.

It’s about us all.  It’s for us all. 

We have all experienced suffering. We have all felt the pain of judgment and rejection. We have all experienced periods in our lives of anxiety and doubt. We all have felt the thrill of falling in love, the beauty of birth, or the passing of the ones we love. Each one of us is a brilliant contribution to the whole, and the whole needs our personal contribution.

Prayer is a contribution.  

Prayer doesn’t have to be affiliated with any religion. Prayer is a humble way to address the Divine in everything. It’s a practice that deepens and leads to self-discovery. We have already been shown that collective intention is incredibly powerful, and it was a true gift to participate in the intention of peace for the whole world through this prayer.

I offer it to you. This prayer is our prayer.

 

Universal Creator

Divine Light that guides and gives life to everything

We ask you for peace, peace, and more peace.

We ask and we affirm

Peace within our hearts and peace within the deep waters of our emotions.

Universal Love,

Soothe our anxieties

Calm our fears,

Soften blame and pain

And heal our wounds.

May Peace always reign in our thoughts towards ourselves and may peace always reign in our thoughts towards each other.

May all our judgments and feelings of separation be transformed now and forever into the sweetness of unity and compassion.

We honor the light that lives within each one of us.  I honor the light within you.

I am, I am, I am

We are, We are, We are,

I am the vibration of peace

We are the vibration of peace.

Peace for our families, Peace for our children, Peace for our neighbor,

May the intention of peace for all people govern our actions, and may the power of forgiveness heal all discord and division between nations.

Divine Presence in all human hearts

Awaken, awaken, awaken

awaken your Love within the hearts of all people and within the core of all governments

so that we may be guided by the laws of Harmony, Truth, and Justice in our thoughts and in our actions.

And in this way we will overcome accumulated karmas

To create a new time, a new life, and a new world

Ruled by higher consciousness,

Inspired by Peace

And Universal Brotherhood and Sisterhood.

Today, unified with Brothers and Sisters around the world in one single intention

We are, We are, We are

One family,

One heart,

And we beat to the Rhythm of Peace, Peace, Peace.

And so it is.

 

Please feel free to share and use this prayer in whatever way your heart desires.  Much inspiration and some phrasing in this prayer came to me from a gifted women and teacher from Brazil, to whom I owe much gratitude.  I invite you to make this prayer your own, rewrite it to suite your deepest longing, and say it whenever you feel the need.

To learn more about workshops, classes, and events that I offer,  click here  to stay connected and continue this work of conscious intention and healing together!

With love,

Lauren Elizabeth

 

 

 

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