Body Love

Often times we can be so critical of ourselves and our bodies. Sometimes what we see in the mirror isn’t exactly what we imagine ourselves to look like. Do you go a long time without truly looking at yourself? Your body? Your marks? Your skin tone variations? I've been there a lot more than I'd like to admit, but we're human. Manipura (solar plexus), the third of 5 primary chakras (energy centers of the body), relates to self-esteem and your personal energy and power. A lot of us have this chakra blocked. Whether that obscurity is small or big, it can impact your confidence level. This chakra is located right around the abdomen of your body. Pain in this area can be rooted in emotional issues and chakra misalignment. Now, I'm not talking about period cramps, or stomach aches from bad food; I mean when your body reacts to the way you're thinking, feeling, and acting. This could also present itself through high blood pressure, acne, fatigue, and more.

To balance this energy, you can utilize meditation practices to hone in on this power source. When I do this, I wait until the whole house is quiet, or use headphones, and play some calming sounds (because living with a workaholic mom and a video game-obsessed brother can get noisy sometimes). I focus on my breathing and I think inward instead of outward. I'm a hardcore over thinker (perks of being a Virgo), so sometimes my thoughts overwhelm me. When this happens, I will turn to journaling.

Sometimes when I talk to people about meditation they say that it doesn’t work or that it’s too hard. For those of you who feel like meditation is not for you, truly ask yourself why. What does it feel like when you try to meditate? Uncomfortable? If yes, then ask yourself why. Ask yourself why being alone with your thoughts may be hard for you and think about what it is you need to confront that you continue to push away. When I meditate, I do it because I need to feel one with myself and because I’m trying to balance my energy centers to reach relaxation and peace. You can try writing, singing, or listening to music and then reflecting on it.

Our bodies can show us when and where we are lacking focus and love. When I learned this, I began to look at myself more, feel myself more, welcome solitude, and understand myself. I remind myself of my inner and outer beauty by doing healthy things that make me feel good and enhance my emotional and physical health. Meditation is one of them, skin care and exercise are others. Photography has become another outlet for me and has allowed me to explore my vuln