Friday, September 27, 2013

'Perception'. Do you let the way others see you affect how you see yourself?

*the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.
• the state of being or process of becoming aware of something in such a way.
• a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression.

I work at a nursing home and teach Chair Yoga to the elderly. See my webpage Chair Yoga for more info. So, the other day I'm at the nursing home and a student I haven't seen in a long time says- "Hey Tuesday, you look like you've put on weight. Are you about ten pounds heavier than before?" -

WHAT? I think to myself. Omg, I've been working out, watching what I eat and maintaining my happy weight of 160 pounds. If anything, I should be looking sleeker and more toned.... How could he say such a thing? I smile and reply "Oh no.. Actually, I have not gained a pound.” I realize I hadn’t weighed myself in a long time and I hoped I was in fact correct! “Maybe it's my loose fitting top." I added.

All day I did double takes of myself in the mirror to make sure I hadn't inflated. After not using a weighing scale for months, I even weighed myself. There was no change in the numbers on the scale. Even still- it got under my skin and I had to eventually put my foot down and stop my mind from allowing this man’s perception of me- to become my perception of myself.

 Perception is a double-edged sword. It is the meeting point of two or more minds. There is how YOU see yourself in your mind, and there is how others see you in their minds’. Who’s perception is strongest, wins! Meaning if I let the man’s perception of me ‘win’, I would be allowing him to be correct about my body image. Don’t get me wrong, if he sees me as being heavier, then that’s up to him. But it’s up to me not to take on his perception, to not take it personally, AND to not react emotionally. Get it?

I could have decided that my student at the nursing home was correct about my weight, even through I knew it was not true. I could have let it get to me. If my positive thoughts were not stronger than my negative ones, I could have gotten depressed about 'his perception of me', and bought a bag of cookies and ate them all -while sulking about how fat I had gotten. In this way, I would surely start to feel bloated and begin to match HIS perception of me. Believe me, I've been down that road. My mind was weak in the past, and would take personally, and to heart how others saw me. I have news for you- 'You’ve got to toughen up- and decide you are Beautiful- and stick with it... Even when you are having a rough day- you gotta pick yourself up and at least let yourself think beautiful and loving thoughts about yourself. It’s all in the mind. Only you can do this for you. The mind decides how the body will look, feel about itself- and be seen. I read a quote recently that said "The body follows what the mind thinks." So true! If I think of myself as beautiful, no matter what- and truly believe it and FEEL it, then my body will hold itself up a little taller and I will walk with more confidence.

We all see each other in different ways. Your definition of fat or unattractive may be my definition of fit and handsome- and vice versa. Your never gonna make everyone happy- nor will everything everyone does or says make you happy. Bottom-line; YOU have to make yourself happy.

Ultimately it’s about where you put your energy. If you believe someone when they tell you are fat or unattractive, you are giving your power away to them. When you have built a strong foundation of positive self-loving thoughts, then other people’s negative- incorrect, or seemingly ‘hurtful’ words and perceptions of you will have less affect on you. Their distortions will bounce right off. Now this is not easy, it takes commitment and work to build a strong resistance to the dark side haha..(you know what I’m talkin about)- and I still go through it with my boyfriend. When I’m not in my strongest mind of positivity, or not feeling beautiful, I can take a comment he makes; be it about another woman,  or myself- and decide to become miserable, feel ugly and unloved. He has no idea I’m taking his words ‘there’- and I begin riding a rollercoaster of my own inner dwellings that spiral into hurt feelings, rooted in childhood self hate and distorted patterns of body image. Gosh- lets all take a deep inhale and exhale! This can be deep- but perception rules, along with self love- so the practice of seeing yourself as perfect, beautiful and just right, right now is the most potent medicine you can give yourself. It can be hard battling old thoughts of negativity- but YOU CAN DO THIS! One thought, one day- at a time.

Love Tuesday May

I am not a certified nutritionist, doctor or therapist. 
Please consult your healthcare professional before participating in any
 lifestyle changes you may feel are questionable to your health. 
I am not responsible for any action you resume, You are- Make it pleasurable.
© Tuesday May Thomas 2013

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