I've been trying some self-portraits the past couple of days, but I've winced at how I look and deleted every one. Too serious, too goofy, too fat, too old - the ego yammers away in my brain, trying to convince me that my body is always undeserving of my love. I guess that makes me just like a lot of women in the world. I could always find plenty of flaws, even as a teen, but now that I'm firmly middle-aged, the image in the mirror seems even more like an enemy.
So I've been practicing a little self-kindness here and there. Looking at myself naked in the mirror and saying things like: thank you, body, for taking me where I need to go and doing what I need to do, every day of my life. It sounds totally corny, but it makes me realize how very grateful I am for my health and my strength. I have my share of aches and complaints, but every breath is a gift, and I aim to use it well.
For many years, I often awakened with my brain grumbling about the day ahead. Now I try to be in the moment, noticing what the morning feels like, and then stretching and saying "thank you" to the Universe for another day. On a whim, I placed my camera by the bed so that I could take a photo upon awakening. I purposefully smiled some love into the lens, and I finally got a self-portrait that I liked, bedhead and all.