Not for everyone.
When you’re sensitive about your weight, a day at the beach is no picnic. The more revealing clothes of summer can pull body insecurities right to the surface.
It’s hard to enjoy summer activities when your mind is preoccupied with negative thoughts about your body. But with help from your Higher Power you can enjoy that day at the beach feeling cool, confident… and wrapped in love.
In religious and spiritual traditions, the shawl—often used while praying—represents comfort, peace and spiritual shelter. Drawing from this centuries-old tradition, I’ve developed a process to help you feel confident and safe wearing summer clothes. By creating your own sacred “wrap” you can receive Divine strength and support. This process helps my clients feel more confident and I hope it helps you, too.
Your Higher Power—or the God of your understanding—doesn’t care how much you weigh. She loves you unconditionally. When you wear clothes infused with the love of your Higher Power, you call forth an energy that helps you feel embraced and supported. Insecurities melt away. You feel protected and safe knowing you’re held in the arms of Divine love.
Create Your Sacred Wrap
To help you feel secure and confident in your summer clothes—or in any season—use these four steps.
1. Find It
Look for a pretty shawl, shirt or jacket in a natural and light summer fabric, such as linen, cotton or gauze. Perhaps you already own something you love that can be your sacred wrap. If not, buy something new that feels great to wear.
Your sacred wrap is to be worn on top of your clothes so keep that in mind as you search for something. It can offer both sun protection during the day and warmth during cool summer nights. For example, your sacred wrap could be a long-sleeved cotton shirt, loose light-linen jacket or gauzy shawl. Each could be worn as a bathing suit cover-up, over a sleeveless top or with a sundress. I actually have about a dozen shawls in different colors to wear with most any outfit. I always feel hugged by God when I wear them.
2. Bless It
Once you’ve found the right piece of clothing, bless it with the love of your Higher Power.
Give yourself about 15 minutes of quiet, uninterrupted time. Put on your sacred wrap—be that shawl, shirt or jacket—and gently fold your arms as if hugging yourself. Then sit or lie back comfortably.
Begin by focusing on your breathing for a few moments to calm your mind and relax your body. Then, say a prayer invoking God’s love and support. Use whatever words resonate for you and align with your beliefs. Here’s an example:
May this shawl (shirt, jacket) be blessed with your love and support.
When I feel weak, help me feel strong. When I lack confidence,
help me feel brave. When I think mean thoughts about my body,
help me speak kindly to myself. May I feel safe and secure
in your loving embrace. Thank you for comforting me, empowering me
and grounding me. Amen.
After you say your prayer, sit quietly for a few moments. Feel embraced in God’s love and support. Breathe in that energy. Imagine your shawl, shirt or jacket infused with this love.
Store your garment safely and respectfully, hanging in your closet or folded neatly in a drawer.
3. Wear It
Thank your Higher Power whenever you use your sacred wrap. When you go out you may choose to wear it, carry it over your arm or tuck it in your beach bag or purse so it’s available when you need spiritual strength and support.
If you want to tell a close friend or family member about your sacred wrap that’s okay. It’s important to have people in your life to share things with. But I suggest you discuss this with only a few people. Otherwise you may allow the judgments of others to affect you. Also, when you share too loosely about spiritual symbols that sustain you, you potentially dilute their power. Other than a few trusted people, keep this between you and your Higher Power.
Here’s what my client, Susanne, says about her sacred wrap:
“I love the beach but used to dread the thought of wearing a bathing suit. I thought people secretly laughed at me. My sacred wrap helps. It’s a large, colorful gauzy shawl. When I walk the beach, I tie it as a sarong over my bathing suit. It helps me feel grounded and calm. It’s not just because it covers my body. It’s because I feel God with me, reminding me I’m okay just the way I am. I don’t wear it all the time. Just carrying it or putting it over my shoulders helps me feel strong.
I feel self-conscious about my arms but I love sundresses. When I drape my wrap around my shoulders, I feel God hugging me. Even when I’m not wearing it, I keep it nearby to touch when I need reassurance. It’s funny… I love my sacred wrap but the more I wear it the more I don’t ‘need’ to wear it. It’s helping me feel more comfortable and old insecurities stop getting in my way.”
Think of your sacred wrap as your spiritual embrace. Whether you choose to wear it, hold it or keep it in your purse, trust that feeling confident, secure and safe… is only a hug away.
How will creating your sacred wrap help you feel more confident?
Photo Credit: Paulin’a