Neutrality implies impartiality between the two spheres of positive and negative. In yoga we call this walking the middle way. It basically means to let go of comparisons. In the material world we only know something because we know it’s opposite. Remove the image of thin from the world and the image of fat does not exist. But how do we come to that sharp edge of neutrality and remain there without falling off and slipping to either side? It begins with acceptance of our uniqueness. Imperfections only exist because we allow certain impressions to enter our consciousness without any evidence to substantiate their claim. Who defined the perfect body image?
Detachment means to let go of comparison and be without personal desire. It does not mean to be indifferent. It means to be harmonious and unified with all of life. It simply means to let go of our attachment to things. One day the body is young and vital and the next it begins to show the changing signs of aging. Change is inevitable and necessary if we are to evolve. When we detach from comparison, uniqueness arrives. What can be more beautiful than the uniqueness of you? We simply need to celebrate our uniqueness rather than focus on our differences. What is so unique about you? Name one thing that makes you uniquely beautiful.
Many times, in my classes and in my private practice, women come up to me with concerns about their body image. They complain about being too fat, the wrinkles, the sags and the bags. But what I see is a beautiful smile, sparkling eyes, flowing hair and glowing skin. I remind them of their rare beauty and to let go and detach from comparisons. Beauty is as beauty does. Beauty is radiant health shining outward from the soul. This always gets reflected onto the body image. Ever seen a classically defined beauty that is angry or sad? Where is the beauty in that?
Body neutrality implies a detachment from false images of perfection. Body bashing is really a striving for perfection, which is rife with self-criticism and judgement. Neutrality accepts by simply removing comparison. Detachment is simple; just let go of comparison. In a world of uniqueness, comparison is meaningless.
The advantage of having a neutral attitude towards your body is the freedom that exists when we accept ourselves. No longer caught up in the emotions of comparison and competition we are free to enjoy the essence of life, which is to be happy and content. It's called, "being comfortable in your own skin”.
Certainly everyone might benefit from this approach. Young women especially need to be free of the self-imposed image of seeking perfection. Neutrality is simply an impartial view of the world. It removes stigma and makes room for self-approval. If you don’t approve of yourself, who will?
Older women, as they mature, also must endure the acceptance of aging. There is a tremendous stigma placed on aging females. We even have names for them; old bag, witch, crone, gramma, old lady and other expletives. No matter how visually beautiful you are when you are young, the years will steal away that image replacing it with lines and grey hair. But if you look beneath the surface and step aside from supporting either side of this conflict (young vs. old) you’ll find beautiful neutrality. It’s called acceptance.
To put this into practice, take the focus off image and focus on health. Nothing is more beautiful than a healthy body and a stress free mind. Find your uniqueness and let that be your calling card!
Everyone needs to detach from false images, focus on health and be free of judgement. When you free yourself from comparison, the neutrality of your self-acceptance will endure under any circumstance. Your unique beauty will never fade. It is the essence of who you are. Walk the middle road, stay neutral and let your unique light shine through.
Lynn Anderson Ph.D., N.D. E-RYT, ACE, IAYT, SPIN