Happy Friday, friends!
Before we enter into the weekend, I just wanted to share with you how thankful I am for all of your comments on IG related to Body Positivity. It’s part of being human, fixating on our “flaws”, BUT it’s really important for us to also recognize when we do this…and how to turn it around to CELEBRATING our beauty.
I also believe that who we follow on social media, the blogs we read, the sites we search up, and even the people we do life with have a HUGE impact on how we feel about ourselves. So I thought I’d share with you three social media platforms I love to visit that exude body positivity.
I love these ladies of Colorful Eats Podcast….so much! I think what I love most about one of my best gals, Justine and her sweet cohost, Caroline’s podcast is there raw talk about life. They’re both extremely knowledgeable NTPs (Nutritional Therapy Practitioners) who are passionate about the holistic health of their clients, friends, family, and listeners. What’s refreshing is there non-judgmental educational stance they have when sharing topics like fertility, hormone health, BODY IMAGE, and diet. These women are the real deal. I’ll link one of my favorite episodes to date here…of course it’s about body image!
I’ve fallen victim of searching for answers on the internet (ok, Pinterest to be exact) for health scares, allergies, recipes, you name it. When my friends over at Positive Health Wellness found me I was thrilled to read their content and discover that the articles are credible (and not just someone’s opinion). This is a great space to look up answers for diets that work best for you, workouts, even MENTAL HEALTH information that can help people on their journey to a more positive outlook for their body. And what’s really amazing is they understand that for you to be happy with your body…you need to be happy in all areas of your life. So stop using Pinterest to search for the answers to your health questions and check these guys out for credible resources.
This beautiful, brave woman is not only one of my teachers and coaches, I call her a friend. She exudes body positivity and confidence, and has worked DAMN HARD to get there. If your’e looking for a woman to help you understand your sexuality and sensuality as a woman (not in any creepy or scary way) she’s your girl! Her yoga videos are what brought me to her, but after being a part of her Sophia Sessions on FB and finally spending a weekend away in Palm Springs on the Sophia Experience (you can read about that amazing time, here), I was blessed to learn from Morgan face-to-face. And she is FULL OF KNOWLEDGE. I’m so excited for her to be launching her trainings on Youtube for No More Shame. Great things are going to happen because of this and I can’t wait to see it all manifest! A lot of what I’ve learned from her and the other Sophias has spurred on my creativity lately…or brought it back up to the surface.
Give these a listen, a read, or a watch, friends! And remember to fill your day and life with people who LIFT YOU UP. If you follow or read social media platforms that leave you feeling deflated and hating your body, mind, soul, spirit…maybe it’s time to unfollow. In fact, it’s not a maybe, it’s a MUST. Your happiness is precious. And if you’d like, share with me some social media platforms that you’re loving!
I wrote this caption on IG the other day based on the photo above:
“There are a handful of insecurities I have about my appearance in this photo. I start seeing the parts of me I was made fun of as a child. So insecure I didn’t want to share. BUT…I was laughing so hard with new friends in this photo and felt SOOOO good in that bathing suit and loved @singlewithahappyheart was snapping photos of me. I felt gorgeous! And I am. I don’t have to let what kids and adults said about me when I was 7-HS determine how I feel about myself. I can proudly show off my ears, forehead, white-as-heck legs and my scar running down my chest because I LOVE WHO I AM. Friend, if you don’t love yourself, and you struggle with your body, you’re not going to win the battle. Dig deep and find yourself. And don’t be afraid to let your body insecurities shine for YOU to see.”
It’s a blessing when it finally clicks for you…what your purpose is in this world.
Obviously, I know I am a wife and mother and I hold these roles as THE MOST important (although I feel as though I fail here and there…don’t we all?).
But I’ve seen the story God has written for me, lived it these last 32 years of life, and finally realize why He’s created me to love the passions I have. Let me explain.
I grew up loving to draw. I knew no matter what, I’d always be an artist. I also always wanted to dance but was never put in any kind of dance class. However, I was in colorguard all four years of high school (huge nerd over here people!) so I credit any of my proper dance training to that 😀 . Yoga found me in college and was a way for me to express myself with my body and also find my communion with God.
I majored in Psychology and Art Education to become an art therapist or teacher. Teaching was what I ended up doing and impacting the self-esteem of my students was more precious than their finished projects. Teaching yoga and a love for our bodies and souls is a passion.
And it’s all because I really wanted someone to teach me these things when I was growing up.
My mom is wonderful. She wants to make sure I’m happy and safe and if she can she will help me if I need her. Yet we all struggle with areas in our lives, and my mom struggled with body image.
I remember hearing my stepdad or other family members comment on her size, and sadly I participated in this. I remember hearing the sounds of her “being sick” in the bathroom at night. There were times when I knew she was confident and dressed well and looked beautiful on the outside. And there were times when she just let herself go.
This is where my love for beauty comes from. Not out of vanity. It’s out of making sure the cycle ends. I want to be a role model, a crusader, for those who’s inward beauty isn’t free to shine outwardly because of past and current hurts. When your self-esteem is so low, or you are taking care of everyone and everything around you you barely recognize the face staring right back at you in the bathroom mirror before bed.
I do this for my mom. It all comes down to her. Maybe it’s because I’m trying to be the positive feminine role model for her I maybe needed growing up (because this girl right here has had major issues with body image for FAR TOO LONG).
Lots of inner work, counseling, praying, yoga-ing, art therapy, retreats, have helped me come to love myself. And that’s what it is. Once we love ourselves…then we are freed up to love our AMAZING BEAUTIFUL BODIES.
We take care of ourselves.
We show up for ourselves.
We can look at ourselves and LOVE what we see…no matter what.
And my mom? I think she is so beautiful. She has olive skin, baby blonde hair, a gorgeous smile, and I think looks great when she’s wearing golf clothes! She’s happiest outside, relaxed, especially with a book in her hand…and getting real honest here, a rum and coke! I love her and am thankful she loves me so well. She inspires me to be my best self…and she’s the reason I want to help others love themselves as much as I do.
Painting portraits of women I know has been very therapeutic for me…and maybe for them? Celebrating our unique beauty is a gift I wish to translate through my artwork and the way I treat myself.
With these portraits my goal is for women to see another woman celebrating their beauty. I don’t see any flaw in you. I’m calling it my “Women Are______” series.
A self portrait is not for your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, friends, family…IT. IS. FOR. YOU. I’m painting a portrait of YOU. For YOU.
If you’d love a self portrait, message me on facebook, IG, or email me! We can go over pricing and shipping. These are 5×7 watercolor portraits inspired by photographs shared with me (or found by me). I’ve loved every minute painting friends and women I admire…and getting the chance to create again! But if you get one w/out asking…know I’m celebrating your beauty.
Melissa, 2017 “Women Are Beautiful“
Morgan, 2017 “Women Are Sexy“
Tasha, 2017 “Women Are Hilarious“
Mondays: 6:15-7:30pm Mansion Yoga at The Burrage Mansion. This class is a mix of vinyasa flow and yin (30 minutes each). This is a Holy Yoga class that incorporates both secular and worship music as well as prayer and meditation. What I love most about this class is we are fundraising for Magical Days, families in need. Plus we practice in a ballroom, in a historical Redlands Mansion, that used to house nuns! The ballroom used to be their bedroom/living courters…how cool is that?! To register for classes, go to Mansion Memories.
Tuesdays: 11-11:40am Mommy and Me at Seed in DT Redlands. This class is a Holy Yoga class of 40 minutes of gentle stretching and core work for mommy and baby/kids. Feel free to bring your kiddos. The space is perfect because if your little one doesn’t feel like doing yoga with you they can play with the toys while mommy gets to take care of herself! It’s a win/win! This class is Free or Donations welcome.
Thursdays: 5:15-6pm Sloga at Reveille Yoga Studio in DT Riverside. Sloga is a class that focuses on 45 minutes of breathing and focus on fundamentals of vinyasa and yin. This is a great class for ANYONE. If you’ve practiced yoga for years or have never stepped foot on a mat, are out of surgery and need recovery, or just need a space to relax and breathe, this class is perfect for everyone. To register go to Reveille Yoga.