Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Declare a Truce

George Harris sticks carnations in gun barrels during an antiwar demonstration at the Pentagon in 1967.
(photo by Bernie Boston, 1967)

The title of my forthcoming book (out to publishers now) is The Truce: 10 Weeks to End the Weight Loss War and Discover a Body You Love. Today I wonder, what would it take for you to call a cease fire on the negativity you might be hurling at your own body? What if, instead of judgments and criticism, you tried firing appreciation, gratitude, respect? (I get an image of those pointed guns with flowers being put in them from the sixties...)

Just for today, practice putting down your guns, the old war. Begin to pay attention to the constant dialogue that's going on below the din of your daily life. When does the criticism of your body begin? How much is it with you during the day?

As you practice turning the volume up on your thoughts, see if you can also place that flower in your arsenal. Even if you don't mean it yet, see if you can take whatever negative thought you're having and turn it around. Instead of, 'Yuck, you're too flabby,' see if you can say, 'I so appreciate everything you do for me; I know we're working together to get to our perfect weight.' Instead of saying, 'You're so gross,' see if you can say, 'You're amazing.' You might only mean it 30% of the time (maybe 20%, maybe 10%), but you also might just notice that if you say it enough you come to believe it.

Declaring a truce means that for the day--and I mean the whole day--you don't let yourself do the usual barrage of analysis and criticism. You acknowledge, appreciate. You choose to see the glass as half full. Just today you choose love.

Hard as it may be, I want you to give yourself this experience because I want you to see how you feel at the end of it--and, especially, how your body feels. What's different when you have practiced seeing, feeling, appreciating it instead of rejecting and chastising it? Do you have more energy, vitality, a sense of ease? What's different about any relationship when we lay down our arms and become more willing, more open to see another's possibility?

If the difference is significant, make a note of it and consider whether you'd be willing to start an ongoing truce, one you'll negotiate through dialogue, listening and honesty with each other. What if you could end the war and experience a different kind of peace, a lasting kind of partnership? Would you do it?

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