I am currently writing this from Maui where I am surrounded by the most natural vibrant beauty. Lush grass, gorgeous green palm trees, turquoise blue water, perfect flowers, and spectacular sunsets. It is truly magical all around me. 

Yet I, like so many people, struggle to embrace my own inner and outer beauty. While I have been here I have noticed my inner critic come out numerous times. She has been judging, berating, and hating on my inner spirit and my outer body as well as my whole being. At times I have felt completely rattled and ungrounded which has required me to be very intentional about grounding in my heart center. I share this because no matter who you are, how you are, what you do in your profession, or how "perfect" the world might see you, no one is exempt from the struggle for self acceptance. 

There are many reasons why we reject ourselves. Oftentimes, we internalize and adopt an authority figure's voice and/or actions done to us from our childhood. Along with this, some people may be more sensitive to the feedback and criticism of others based on our internal make-up while others have "thicker skins"--although everyone is impacted even if they present as if they are not (different coping). 

The inner critic can impact a person to where they deprive themselves of emotional, physical, and sexual nourishment in their relationships. It can impact one's health, friendships, surroundings and choices. It can also affect people to where they act out in ways that are destructive in order to escape, avoid, resist, push away, or drive out the pain of their own self-loathing. All of this only serves to further torment one's heart, mind, and soul. 

With such a strong inner critic it can be hard to think that there are tried and true ways to improve one's self acceptance. However, it is possible! 

Here is how:

1. Take a break from social media accounts that trigger your inner critic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sL8AsaEJDdo After all, it is so easy to compare yourself to everyone else's clothes, hairstyles, relationships, lifestyles and posts about life seeming "perfect."  

2. Find one positive thing you like about yourself and focus on that daily for a month. Say to yourself, "I love that I...." or "I am..." Make sure it is positive. If you feel like you are an amazing swimmer, focus on that. If you love your hair color, focus on that. If you feel like you are loving towards animals, focus on that. 

3. Be kind to another person. Each day, make an effort to compliment someone else. Notice how you feel and what comes back. It is truly amazing and heart warming.

4. Replay a loving memory in your mind when you feel the critic creep in; notice how you feel in your body and breathe that into your soul.

5. Use Mel Robbin's 5 Second Rule http://melrobbins.com of counting down, 5-4-3-2-1, then saying something positive about yourself.This will activate your pre-frontal cortex to change the negative habit you have of being critical. You may find yourself counting down multiple times per day, but it works! 

Self acceptance in a critical and shaming world can be challenging but with moment to moment practice each day it is possible. 

As always, friends, know that you are worth it.

Click below for my short youtube video clip on this topic. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFES8R6acdg&feature=youtu.be

Aloha and Namasté,  

Candice

Coming Sept 2017! Gottman 8-Week Couples Class. Register now and learn to have more love, argue effectively, and enhance your emotional bank accounts in your relationship. https://www.smore.com/b0ewx