Comfortable in my own skin (and it only took me 30 years to do it)

A few years ago I used to co-facilitate a  workshop for pre adolescent girls. The themes of  the workshop  focused on body image, and increasing self-esteem. Bi weekly my co-facilitator and I would have sessions with these girls to assist them with  becoming comfortable with themselves, and learning how to see themselves as beautiful both inside and out. During one of our sessions we began the group by handing each of the girls a mirror and, asked them to look into the mirror while telling themselves that they were beautiful.  None of the girls were able to do this task. They were not able to say “I am beautiful”. The girls told me if they said that then they would sound conceited, and they didn’t want to come off as conceited. I gave them permission to be as conceited  as they wanted. They continued to struggle. We were in a room with nine girls aged 11-13, not one of them were able to stand up, look in a mirror, and tell themselves that they were beautiful.

When is it acceptable for us to be comfortable in our own skin?

Now that I am 30, I can safely say to myself that I Am Beautiful. I wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and think to myself, hey I look pretty cute. Am I being conceited? Some people might think so. But honestly, I don’t even care. As long as I am happy with me, my whole self, inside and out, what other people think is a secondary notion that spends little time in my mind.

Now that I am 30, I am at peace with myself. To be comfortable with myself goes far beyond the way I look in the mirror. I am a girl, so some days I will have my “fat days”, or my “I look like a hot mess” days, but even on those days I will be comfortable with who I am. This is only possible because I have found a sense of inner peace. I have calmed down from over thinking what everyone else expects of me, and what everyone else wants me to be. What is the sense of working so hard to please everyone else, when I am not putting any energy into pleasing myself? I have chosen to please myself first. If others do not agree, then its a great thing that this is my life. I can only be affected by those things that I allow to affect me. If it is positive then bring it on! If it is negative, well then it can stay far far away from me.

Now that I am 30, I choose to be in control.  I am in control of what happens in my life. At 30 I am at the most mentally, physically, and spiritually stable point in my life. I know how to control my moods, I am aware of my body’s emotional regulation so I do  not feel like a crazy person. I can run faster and longer than ever before, exercise has become a daily fixture in my life, and my body has the strength to overcome many physical challenges because of its constant conditioning. I am doing things that I have never done before, like actually sign up for races (who knew I would be doing that at 30?). I look forward to physical challenges, sweat is great, and exercise pain is my new best friend.  I am spiritually ready for what God has in store for me. Years ago I was far from ready for what God had planned for me. God knows exactly what he is doing, walking by faith, I will let him take the lead. With God and balance I will continue to be just fine.

Now that I am 30, I just like being me. I will always say it, I am a little bit different. I am slightly to the left, I am clumsy, I hesitate to wear white because I know something will spill on it. I hate getting my hair and nails done because I think it takes too long to finish, and I dislike shopping because I hate waiting in lines. Some days I never know if I’m coming or going, and I work best when I can just wing it. That is me. I laugh at my own jokes, and I can easily laugh at myself for doing something silly. I have a ton of faults, and I love them all. I am a consistent marcher to the beat of my own drum, and my beat sure does sound damn good (well in my head). I can only be me. And finally, I have fallen so deep in love with me!

So hopefully now it is acceptable for me to be comfortable in my own skin. Because if not, I don’t have another 30 years to waste on being someone else.

 

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences.

 

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P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Something Happens)

prayer..Pray Until Something Happens. I remember seeing that somewhere (probably on a  Facebook status), but it is a line that has been stuck in my mind recently.

Recently I have been undergoing severe writer’s block. I have been going through a period of having ideas to write about, thoughts about what I want to say, yet I am missing the words to express these thoughts. My mind is not connecting properly. It is a frustrating experience, you ever want to speak on something but cannot find the right words to say it. I feel like that now. I attribute that feeling to a period of overwhelm. I like to describe it as brain overload. Some days I feel like my brain is about to explode. Too much information, but the inability to disseminate the information properly. The outcome, an inner explosion of meaningless thoughts. So once again I come to a point where I don’t know what to do, I don’t know how to change it so I take the easy route I PUSH (Pray Until Something Happens).

I am a firm believer of the power of prayer, if you are not that’s fine.  I wont force you to pray or force you to believe in a higher power. I believe in the power of prayer because it has worked for me. Now no I haven’t had a life changing miracle moment where I am suddenly healed from a deathly illness, but I have had small moments where prayer has kept me going in life. When I get scared, I pray, when I feel angry, I pray, and when I feel like my life is lost and I don’t know what direction to turn, I pray. I keep praying because I know something will happen. I don’t feel alone anymore, God takes the burden with each prayer so I am assured that something is happening.

In my career, some days I feel overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by confusion and lack of immediate thought. I am a Therapist, I find people look to me for answers. Most days I don’t have an answer. The constant interaction with clients who suffer from strong feelings of depression or suicidal thoughts is emotionally draining. Clients look to me for help, they look to me to make it better. I pray that I am able to do that. But some days I feel like I can’t do it, I start to feel as if  I have given all my positive energy away to clients and I have nothing left for myself. The burden has then caught up to me. I want to crawl in between the sheets of my bed, put the comforter over my head and disappear. When I get the feeling of wanting to go away, I have to find just a small amount of energy deep down inside to keep going and PUSH. In order to PUSH not much energy is required, so it is simple. To keep going and believing takes a leap of faith, a faith that has to stay constant for something to happen. I then get back to finding me.

Eventually I get up. I wipe the problems of others off me. I keep going. I find my energy and eventually I am better able to  help my clients to keep going. I often find myself asking them what helps them to keep going, and yes they usually have a response. Many of them have faith that it will get better, they have the belief that life will always get better. So no matter how bad it seems, no matter how stuck you are in the moment, and no matter how overwhelming life may get, if you are able to just PUSH, God is already working to make something happen.

 

 

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

What does Christmas mean to you?

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is coming to an end in Hawaii, on the east coast Christmas day is now a memory.  So I must end the night by saying a Very Merry Christmas to all.

I hope the day was celebrated and enjoyed by all. I hope we all remember the reason for the celebration of Christmas, and gave a very special shout out to Jesus for the celebration of his birth.  God has blessed us all, so lets celebrate life, blessings, and the spirit of the season for the next 365 days.

I spent Christmas in Hawaii. While I was in Waikiki, I sat at Starbucks for a short period of time. As as looked outside the window, I noticed a garbage can outside the front door of Starbucks. In a span of about 5 minutes I watched two different men look in the garbage in search of  food. One man found a box of Burger King chicken strips and ate what was left in the box. To him that was his Christmas.

I began to think. Today is Christmas, while some people woke up worried about gifts that were under the tree, other people woke up worried about where they were going to get a meal from today. Some kids were excited to get toys, while other kids were excited just to get food, and a warm place to sleep. While some people were complaining about spending time with family, other people were wishing that they had family to spend the day with. This is Christmas.

For everyone who celebrates Christmas it has a different meaning. Whatever your meaning is, lets not forget why it should be celebrated, and what the true meaning is.  Stuff can be bought any day of the year, we do not need to designate a day to give gifts. Lets celebrate Christmas with purpose, celebrate the gift of Jesus, the gift of life.

Hope you enjoyed your day! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

Positive thoughts, Positive energy, Positive experiences