You’re beautiful Mirror Decal by luxeloft on etsy
OK, so it should be all, but if you're like 75% of people, it can't be all, because you've already started listing out your go-to list of reasons why you're not really beautiful. That list that you pull out, whenever you get a compliment or are in front of a mirror. That list you practically alphabetize in your head when you try on clothes. Click to read the rest over at Kind Over Matter.
To help you claim and acknowledge your beauty, I’ve developed a simple 21-day e-course to develop a more loving relationship with your body. It’s not a weight loss guide or about changing a single thing about you. It’s about learning to love yourself EXACTLY as you are, every day. We’ll stretch into accepting and respecting these beautiful bodies of ours together. It starts March 1 and costs $15, you can learn more here.If you want to explore your dreams and open up more in your new year, please check out my Work page for more info on how we could work together. Or go here to set up a free Fairy Godmother Session to dig into your dreams and see what magic we can find.
Loving Pregnant Belly Abstract by teacupviking on etsy
I really have tried not to make all my posts about pregnancy but it is teaching me so much about life that I can't help it. And, I'm working on releasing all the 'shoulds' and just following the wisdom of my journey. Pregnancy is my current lens of experience and I hope you can learn from it too. I'm sure motherhood will be quite an interesting teacher as well when it gets here.
We talk a lot in self development circles about being present in the moment. Pregnancy has brought me into my body and into the present moment in ways I never thought about before. For one thing, I have a little being who will literally kick me occasionally to bring me back to paying attention to my body. That is a wonderous and startling and strange experience, certainly. And every movement brings me right to where I am and feeling my body. (My bladder also gets my attention fairly often, but that's another story...)
When I cook, I think more consciously about what I'm eating and I put more thought and love into it because it's for my little one. I'm taking self-care more seriously and trying to stay in optimum health so I can have a home birth. I'm drinking the amount of water I know I should, when before I sometimes missed. I have been lucky not to get too many bad side effects- no crazy cravings, not much heartburn, etc. But when I do get a pain or ache, I'm intensely aware of it so that I can make sure nothing is wrong.
I'm paying more attention to my body's cues. When I'm tired, I rest. When I'm hungry, I eat. I often have to move and stretch, so I'm getting up from my desk more often and sitting on a yoga ball at my desk sometimes. These all bring my attention back into my body. I'm enjoying reading and sleeping in and all the little moments to myself right now, because I know that soon those will all be different. When I bend over now to pick up something, I'm reminded that there's a little extra in my middle (although I'm very happy that my mobility is still mostly uninhibited). And I look at myself in the mirror all the time- looking for any changes or developments.
I've been taking more self portraits, to track the belly explosion, and noticed that people are so supportive about appearance to pregnant women. None of my other profile photos have elicited so many compliments and "You're glowing"s. Even when they're dimly lit and my hair is barely brushed and I am certainly not glowing. I think there's a lesson there for how we can support others- when a friend posts a photo, we should always tell them they're beautiful. Because we can always see it and they sometimes can't.
The bigger lesson, though, in all this, is that why do I have to wait until there is a baby in my body to care so much for me? Why can I nap now but not before? (Partly because the exhaustion won't let me get by without napping, but still, it's not fair to my body to push past tired.) Why am I paying attention to everything but what my body feels like right now?
I'm hoping I'll remember this, at least in glimmers, when I'm a mama, because I know mamas are the most notorious about forgetting themselves and their bodies. Maybe that's part of why we start out with these 9 months of intense presence, so we'll have something to remember when there are other beings calling out for our attention 24-7.
And I'm hoping that you'll be inspired to give yourself at least 20 minutes of paying attention to yourself today.
If you want to explore your dreams and open up to more self-care and attention, please check out my Work page for more info on how we could work together. Or go here to set up a free Fairy Godmother Session to dig into your dreams and see what magic we can find.
believe by BlueMoon*, on Flickr
As I was watching the American Idol finale last night, I kept thinking about how amazed those kids must be to find themselves smack dab in the middle of their dreams coming true. A national tour, singing on stage with their heroes, millions of screaming fans, etc. I don't mean the finalists, either. All of the top 12 are going to go on to some form of success in the music business because of the exposure and connections they've gained.
But mostly, because the judges chose to believe in them and their talent. They all came into the auditions with a dream and incredible talent and hope. So did thousands of others who didn't make it to the live shows. Some of them may even be more talented or motivated than the finalists, but they weren't chosen. For whatever their numerous reasons, the judges put their belief in those 12, and so their dreams are coming true every day.
I'm not saying that the belief was the only reason they're succeeding. They had to have the talent first. But when someone truly believes in you and shows you that they do, it gives your talent wings. It helps you to soar higher and faster. It moves you forward with strength that you didn't know you had until someone gave you that helping hand.
I see it every day in coaching. As soon as someone says their dreams out loud and we begin to focus on them, they grow and leap in ways that weren't imagined. I see it in my women's circles- when we share those deep secret talents that we long to share and someone tells us how amazing it is. That little bit of belief is just like Pixie Dust- with it and a good dose of happy thoughts we start to fly.
The wonderful Amy Palko has started a Beautiful Beliefs series and I'm thrilled to participate! To play along or read the other posts, check out this link. If you're ready for a bit of Pixie Dust and want to learn more about me and my work, check out this post or go here to set up your free Fairy Godmother Session.
our US wedding, 2010
I believe that… Love is for everyone- no exceptions.
My home state, North Carolina, just voted yesterday to add an amendment to our state constitution that says “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.” The last constitutional amendment here was in 1875 and it prohibited marriages like mine, between people of different races. I'm grateful that it has since been repealed, but it makes me think of how I would feel if it hadn't. How I'd feel if my state told me I couldn't marry the person I love. Love has been on my mind all week and now that it has passed, it is even more on my mind. I believe, deep in my heart, that ALL people deserve to be loved. Not just by their families and significant others, but by their community. I believe that we should all be showing love to others by respecting their rights and love to ourselves by not choosing hate. And I believe that if you fall in love with someone and choose to share your life with them, our state should not tell you that you cannot.
Many in this state would say that this amendment doesn’t limit love, just the ability to marry, but they are wrong. Many rights that you might assume are automatic in a relationship are not if you’re not married. If your partner is in the hospital in Intensive Care, only family members are allowed to visit. If you are not married and their family doesn’t agree with your relationship, they can order the hospital not to allow you in and you have no way to change it. Your life-long partner might be on their deathbed and you would not be able to hold their hand and say goodbye. If your home is in your partner’s name and they have not yet made a will, you could lose it if something happens to them, even if you’ve equally paid the bills. If your partner is not a citizen, you cannot get them immigration rights unless you’re married, so you might have to live on different continents. (I know TOO MUCH about immigration, because my husband is an immigrant and it took us 21 months to get him here.) Many other simple aspects of a life shared are denied to a couple when marriage is denied.
I am sad that there is hatred and bigotry limiting the rights of so many beautiful, committed, loving couples. But I’m also happy to see the love that is swelling up behind this issue as well. In my own family, I’ve gained a new connection with my cousins who are vocally opposed to this amendment. I have a cousin who is a woman, married to another woman, raising a beautiful daughter. She lives in another country where her rights are better protected, but her sisters still live here and they rallied around her with love and support. That’s not the way society was when we were growing up, but love is moving people, changing opinions, and expanding horizons. I’m watching all kinds of people stand up and speak out in ways I never expected. And the power of love is amazing me more and more, day after day. Love overcame Apartheid, it led Martin Luther King, Jr. to march, and it carried Gandhi to start a revolution. One day, it will carry us past this amendment as well.
I do believe in Love.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
The wonderful Amy Palko has started a Beautiful Beliefs series and I'm thrilled to participate! To play along or read the other posts, check out this link. If you're interested in learning more about me and my work, check out this post.