'loving yourself through the process is where your courage lives....'
Not good enough.
Oh, those voices inside (and outside) our heads. Why do we listen and engage in these conversations? They're just stories and most aren't true, not even close . We play head games with ourselves, hold onto things that no longer serve us, and punish with deprivation. Where the hell do we learn this behavior?
That's why programs such as the Embody Love Movement are so vitally important to all of us, and the reason why we made a huge colorful mess on our front lawn at Laughing Elephant Yoga this past weekend.
The Embody Love Movement was created by our brilliant friend, Dr. Melody Moore. Melody is smart, compassionate, and funny as hell. But she is all business when you get her talking about girls, body image and self worth. 'I started the Embody Love Movement because I wanted to empower girls to know that they have value, and that they have a particular contribution to make to the world. I wanted girls to recognize that they are worthy, and that that worth is not conditional. The culture is sending the opposite message, and I grew weary of watching girls disappear into insecurity, depression, and Eating Disorders. I wanted to prevent more self-loathing and self-harm and contribute to self-love and self-acceptance. There will never be an end to the need for each of us to care for, value, and appreciate ourselves. And until we can do that, we will never be able to care for, value, and appreciate each other.
Just about every woman I've spoken with has a dysfunctional relationship with her body. We love it, we hate it, we're embarrassed by it. I still subconsciously judge how my day is going to be by whether or not I can see my hip bones. I've been doing this ritual since I was 12. Seriously.
My BFF Debbie Valois and I recently talked about body image, eating disorders, and the lifetime struggle with liking ourselves. Debbie has battled with an eating disorder for over 30 years. It has reared its ugly head every decade, and after the last fight three years ago, Debbie felt enough was enough. She was tired of battling numbers and labels and most of all not feeling good in her own skin. International yoga teacher Seane Corn suggested that Debbie seek out Melody and her program. 'I took Melody's workshop in Dallas two years ago and it was a game changer. I really feel it is helping me break the cycle.' The program teaches us to face our fears, insecurities and demons and realize they are just shadows in our bright souls. Acknowledge them with detachment, and let them go. Debbie felt so strongly about the Embody Love program that she now teaches it.
The Embody Love Movement never turns anyone away, so Debbie asked if we could do a fundraiser to help Melody and company at Laughing Elephant. Duh. But we can't do anything without a playful twist: an outdoor yoga class morphed into a splashy color class followed by everyone's childhood nightmare...dodgeball. Yep. Crazy colors evened the playing field, as everyone soon looked the same, and dodgeball? Well, let's just say no one was picked last.
Marianne Williamson famously stated "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us."
Don't be afraid of the Darkness; it makes our light seem brighter, gives us depth and helps us to learn to love the gray areas. We also need to stop giving cred to our critical inner voices. Changing these conversations within ourselves can be really difficult; so where do we start?
Use kind words for yourself. Find 5 things you are grateful for every morning. Seane Corn has a list of non-negotiables for her life. Make your own and stick with it. And remember: no matter how much of a Maverick you are, if you have ever felt isolated, please know you are not alone. Many of us have been there. Some still are.
change the vocabulary.
it'll change the dialogue.