How to Become Alive in Your Own BodyBy Lauve Metcalfe, M.S., CWC
"Mirror, mirror on the wall, reflecting all you see, if only you'd reflect the one that lives inside of me."
Our society has conditioned us to buy into the quick fix, the magic pill, and the instantaneous diet that will allow us to hold on to the hope of youth and beauty forever. Media images constantly bombard us with what we "need" to make us look younger, thinner, fitter, sexier and more attractive than what is currently reflected in the mirror.
What is it that we really need?
I think what men and women really need is to applaud one’s personal effort to age authentically and naturally in a body faced with the real challenges and emotional struggles of everyday life! Am I anti-appearance enhancement? Not at all, but I don't think it's the answer we crave it to be. Much like the quest for the ultimate diet, when you put too much hope in external solutions without any internal focus, you come up empty, deflated, and generally feeling worse about yourself.
So, if you've begun to give up feeling good about yourself in your present stage of life, consider another option before selecting the next external fix. Start focusing on your own development and re-creation of your self from within. I think you'll find starting from a filled-up, nourished inner self will make the reflection on the outside that much more dazzling.
So, what's currently going on in your life? Are you out of balance in nurturing your physical, emotional, intellectual, or spiritual self? Commit to investing the time and energy to replenish any of these areas that may be depleted. Because, tired as this phrase may be, it's true: you can't look good on the outside unless you feel good on the inside.
I care about my appearance and image as much as any woman, but the need for external validation about my beauty, or my "perceived" beauty plays a lesser role in the equation. My take on beauty now, as a wellness and body image coach in my fifties, is that it is primarily an internal creation. It is, to a large extent, a combination of attitude, healthy eating, and physical action. I now realize these are aspects of my life that I can choose to be in control of.
Twenty years ago I was a much thinner version of me, a part-time model and fitness promoter trying desperately and unsuccessfully to keep my balance in a very competitive business. With each fashion shoot, I'd hear some version of the following, "You look great—good bone structure, great height, big ey