By Bec Howard & Dannie-Lu Carr, The Good Witches of the North
It is that time of year again when we all get bombarded with the latest food or fitness plans, all promising the secret to a better beach body. However, waiting to look perfect is something robs us of time that could be spent being happy for many of us every day, and actually even the most powerful workout is no good without a healthy mind.
The Good Witches of the North have developed a plan with a difference – a magical plan of self-acceptance, self-love and fitness training for the mind with simple spells that really will help you get ready for the BEACH.
B is for BEING genuinely happy inside
Happiness starts on the inside. Let’s face it; all of our bodies are pretty great as they have carried us around so far in life, so maybe it is time to start appreciating them for all that they are, in all their glory, nourishing them and acknowledging what they do for us.
Take a moment to find three words that you feel represent your biggest qualities, such as strength, warmth, courage etc. Say these words to yourself think about where in your body you associate them – for example, strength = arms, warmth = heart, courage = stomach. Now stand in a space where you can create a posture that allows you to embody the three qualities simultaneously, and hold it for ten seconds. Repeat it twice a day – it might feel silly, but a sense of humour is important for a happiness boost.
E if for EMBRACING who we truly are
How many hours of your life have you wasted standing in front of a mirror giving a full negative commentary? “This isn’t right”, “That doesn’t look great”, “Oh my goodness, do I really look like this?!” Does that sound familiar?
Don’t waste time wishing you had a magic wand to change all those things. Stop and think how many times you have told yourself that something looks good? Embracing the bits that you love and the bit that is uniquely you can create a powerful sense of self. Say the things you really believe out loud, “I have great eyes, I have strong legs,” and if you find it too difficult, do it with a good friend to help each other out and have a giggle.
Make this a habit you do every time you look in the mirror. Only put attention on what you do like and speak it out loud as much as you can. You will quickly feel better and even notice things about you that are wonderful that you hadn’t even realised.
A is for ACCEPTING AND ACCESSORISING the body we have
Growing older also means growing wiser, so let’s use the life lessons we have learned and dress for the body we have now, rather than the one we wish we still had.
Start to dress and adorn the body that is yours. Find a swim suit, tankini or bikini that suits you and your personality then dress and accessorise accordingly. Maxi dresses, sarongs, etc are excellent for the beach and there are fantastic pieces of dress jewellery, flip flops, sunglasses and hats that can make you look and feel amazing. Really enjoy the huge array of choices you now have rather than dreading the changing cubicles – accept that you look like you, and you are awesome just as you are. So there!
C is for CONTROLLING your inner voice
We all have an inner voice, but did you know you can train it? Our inner voices can say the cruelest things that we would never ever say to anybody else, yet we listen to it!
It is time to have a strong word or two with your negative inner voice and choose a more one. Remember, you are in control of your inner voice, so if you don’t like what your hearing tell it to stop – out loud if necessary! Imagine you have a magic remote control and try hitting the mute button or changing the sound until it sounds just right. Choose a new voice, one you love, and imagine it talking to you in the loving, supportive and positive way you’d want from a best friend.
H is for HONOURING your body
You cannot honour your own body unless you also honour others. We all must stop judging others as we are only projecting our own inner fears, in a vain attempt to make ourselves feel better about ourselves.
Start by giving compliments and acknowledgments to other people. Practice receiving compliments too – we can all be guilty of brushing them off rather than simly saying ‘thank you.’ Next, honour your body. Rest it when it is tired, nourish it with good food when it is hungry, move it when it is lethargic – go for walks, swims, whatever makes you feel good. This is not about losing weight but simply giving your body with what it really needs. Wrapping yourself up in snuggly blankets when you are feeling low is a great example of a way to nourish your body, and laughter is a fantastic tonic.
Above all, remember that perfection doesn’t exist. A quest for perfection causes misery, whereas a quest for brilliance is doable for all of us because brilliance is subjective and YOU get to choose what brilliance looks like. If we feel great then we look great because our real beauty shines through.
The Good Witches of the North are Expert Leadership Coaches, Bec Howard and Dannie-Lu Carr. Places are currently available in September 2015 for both their “All in A Good Day’s Work” retreat and “Grab Your Wand” group sessions. For more information, spellcast sign-ups & down-to-earth magic visit www.thegoodwitchesofthenorth.co.uk. Follow them at @thegoodwitches