Does size really matter?
The beautifully pronounced structure of Hydrangea Quercifolia leaf. Look at the color variations, the unmistakable shape, the curl edging… I can admire it for hours.
Little babies love every inch of their bodies. They have no guilt, no shame, and no comparison. You were like that, and then somewhere along the line you listened to others who told you that you were “not good enough.” You began to criticize your body, thinking perhaps that that’s where your flaws were.
Let’s drop all that nonsense and get back to loving our bodies and accepting them totally as they are. Of course, they will change—and if we give our bodies love, they will change for the better.
The subconscious mind has no sense of humor and does not know false from true. It only accepts what we say and what we think as the material from which it builds. By repeating these positive affirmations over and over, you will be planting new seeds in the fertile soil of your subconscious mind, and they will become true for you.
I Love My Body
My body is a glorious place to live. I rejoice that I have chosen this particular body because it is perfect for me in this lifetime. It is the perfect size and shape and color. It serves me so well. I marvel at the miracle that is my body. I choose the healing thoughts that create and maintain my healthy body and make me feel good. I love and appreciate my beautiful body!
When you practice affirmations to Love Your Body, stand in front of the mirror and repeat each new thought pattern ten times. Do this twice a day. Also, write your affirmations ten times during the day. Work with one affirmation a day. You can also write your own positive affirmations. Then if there is any part of your body you still dislike or have a problem with—use that particular affirmation daily for at least a month, or until positive change takes place.
If doubts or fears or negative thoughts come up, just recognize them for what they are—old limiting beliefs that want to stay around. They have no power over you. Say to them gently, “Out! I no longer need you.” Then repeat your affirmations again.
Where you stop working is where your resistance is. Notice the part of your body that you don’t want to love. Give this part extra attention so you may go beyond the limitation. Release the resistance.
In this way, within a short time, you will have a body you really love. And your body will respond by giving you excellent health. Each part of your body will be working perfectly as a harmonious whole. You will even find lines disappearing, weight normalizing and posture straightening.
I love and appreciate my beautiful mind.
I love my eyes. I see clearly in every direction.
I love my nose. I am the power and authority in my world
I love my back. I am supported by life itself.
I love my hips. I carry myself through life in perfect balance.
I love my legs. I move forward in life, unencumbered by the past.
That which we constantly affirm becomes true for us.
– Appreciate Every Inch Of You by Louise Hay
I see you everywhere.
You’re on my Facebook, posting selfies of your latest workout as sweat drips from your brow, words like dying, puking, exhausting are hash-tagged underneath.
You sit opposite me, order your salad, no dressing, and berate yourself for being a kilogram heavier this week.
You are fraught with comparison, with how short you fall next to the mothers at the playground you’ll never be as fit as, the group of women at the gym you’ll never be as strong as, the bodies in the magazines you’ll never be as sexy as. You beat yourself up. Promise that tomorrow you’ll eat less and work out more. No excuses, no matter what. Push yourself, purge yourself, pressure yourself.
I was once like you. I obsessed over the number on the scale, lived by punishment or reward, survived on protein shakes, and applauded myself for staying under 1,000 calories a day. I worked out, no matter what. No matter how tired my body was, no matter how run down, exhausted, or unwell. I worked out until I almost threw up, head over my knees, rebuking myself with slogans. Go hard or go home. Unless you puke, faint or die, keep going. Excuses are for people who don’t want it bad enough. I pushed past the pain and worked out when my muscles were fatigued, when my body screamed for me to stop, when I injured my knee, my shoulder, until I eventually tore a disc in my back.
And that changed everything.
In an instant, I could no longer work out. My world ended. There was no worse fate that could have happened to me. I laid on my stomach for a month, unable to do anything. I cried with frustration, beat myself up with failure, drowned in self-hatred. I feared. I feared getting left behind, losing all the work I had put into my body. I feared people thinking I was lazy or weak. But mostly, I feared getting fat. Because in my eyes, that was the ultimate failure.
And so before my body was healed, I started to work out again. Each time would see me back where I’d started, in pain, on the floor, unable to walk. I did this for months until I just no longer could. Until I had to listen to my body, to surrender to what it needed. Rest. Recovery time. Gentle walks. Stretching. Yoga.
No more sweat-pouring, fat-burning, muscle-aching workouts.
At first it killed me, this surrendering. It yelled defeat, poked and prodded into my deepest places of insecurity and challenged my self-worth to the core; I was more bound in my body image than I realised. It’s subtle, the infiltration of what we are programmed to believe is beauty—we don’t realise the way it creeps into us, the way we yield to society’s standards even when we think we are immune to them.
Eventually, it became easier to surrender, easier to let go of the demands I had placed on myself to look a certain way. I stopped seeking my value in the number on the scale and found it instead in my mind, my heart, my character, and my contribution to the world. I shed lies, so many lies, of what I had come to believe beauty should be. I realised I had nothing to prove to anyone. Every day, I practiced kindness and spoke to myself the way I would speak to any other woman.
Beautiful woman, who you are, right now in this moment, is perfect.
I know you don’t believe me. I know you fill your head with your prerequisites of beauty. A flatter tummy. Toned arms. Size 10. Lose another five kilograms.
But I understand now.
And the moment you understand will be the moment you find freedom.
You’ll begin to exercise because you love your body, not because you hate it. You’ll eat food that brings you life and health because your body craves nourishment, not deprivation. You’ll run in the sunshine because it brings you joy, not because you’ve earned punishment. You’ll let go of striving, of negativity, of guilt and frustration and failure.
But mostly, you’ll come to realise how beautiful you really are. How strong, how brave, how kind, how intelligent, how clever, how funny, how generous, how thoughtful. How much you love. Not how much you weigh.
Beautiful woman, stop.
Stop striving to be skinny, as if that’s the only measure of your worth.
Instead, strive to change the perception of beauty, the lies we have been told.
Strive to empower women, our daughters, through the truth of their worth.
Strive to see how beautiful you really are, right now, exactly in this moment.
And then watch the world become more beautiful, because of you.
Author: Kathy Parker
That’s my personal fix_ creating something. I am addicted to it – better even- I was born with it in my blood. If you ask me where did I get or inherit the fix, I would say I don’t know. I don’t remember my parents creating something aside from us. They were not even able to provide a proper home for us or a proper upbringing. What the heck they didn’t even managed to have a decent relationship with each other. It could be also that my memories are clouded with emotional and physical traumas brought by regimented fostering I cannot remember things correctly.
Not that they don’t have the talents for it. My mother could draw anything beautifully and her aquarelles were legendary, or could be if she has dared to do something with it but as far as I can recall, I only saw her once doing it. She kept a sketchbook in her chest of clothes though full of inspiring images she I suspected created from imagination because they didn’t look like anything I’ve seen around or perhaps she might have seen them before there were us. Anyway, aside from that one occasion when she had drawn me a cow for a school project, I never witness her doing it again. Maybe real life was difficult to combine with her art (that I can understand) maybe she had enough work with the six of us. Maybe that’s why she hated us (except one) Maybe I am exaggerating again. I don’t know. My father… my father could build a shack, on his own, using whatever available materials he could find. And he once turned a bog into a proper garden. Yes, the two of them had talents to create, if only they set their minds to it instead of… too many and too painful to mention.
Back to me.
A day without creating something beautiful and preferably tangible is a day wasted for me. I love to see things materialize before my eyes by the power of creation. I enjoy the process of designing anything that will produce beautiful results. That’s why I love gardening and why I got into design business. Mind you, I can draw and paint as well. Even better than my mother. She could not draw portraits, I can. All of us can draw but only me can do portraits. Why I didn’t do something with it? Nerves. Nerves and self-confidence. Don’t ask me. It is a long and complicated story and I hate long and complicated stories that’s why I dislike myself. I think.
Anyway, creating sits deep in my soul and has me on its grip from the cradle on. I remember finding a broken truck front light when I was young and bringing it home turning the glass upside down and made the thing into an aquarium complete with fish and water plants. My father scolded me for it saying the fish belonged in the pan not in my far-fetched vision. It didn’t stop there. I created playhouses wherever possible and decorated them with the things I could find lying around. I filled big shells with water and floated colorful flowers on the surface, collected bottles of shampoos, powder, lotions, anything I fancy that have washed up on shore and I could use to beautify my private place. I made handbags from scraps of fabrics nobody wanted and filled them with paper money I fashioned from old newspaper and pretended I was shopping or going to the bank. The pink piggy bank I bought from my Christmas money was doubled as a vase for the wild flowers I gathered from the side of the road. I see beauty in everything and believe in endless possibilities of re purposing materials. Nothing is impossible. If I can think it, then it must be doable or otherwise how can I come up with the thoughts in the first place?
Once I was so despaired about our crumbling little shack I tried to elevate the place by planting colorful wild plants in empty milk cans I gathered from the neighborhood and put them on the front of our house at eye level so they were more pleasing to the eye. I also planted creeping ground cover in shades of purple and green placing them just under the eaves so I didn’t have to water them much for water where we lived that time was a precious commodity. Even then without proper training, I instinctively know what goes together. When it comes to design I have only one motto: If it looks good, then it’s good. I don’t care much about the process, what’s important for me is the result. Rules can go to hell, as long as the end product achieve what it needs to achieve then breaking design rules means nothing to me.
I would like to say more about the topic but duty calls. First thing first. I will come back and edit this piece if necessary and perhaps add a sentence (or a paragraph) or two to complete the thoughts. But for now I have to go. I really, really have to. At least even with this incomplete monologue you got ideas already what create (or creating) means to me.
(first time I wrote this abbreviation and it sounds like the things those pretty girls who are working on cam will write on a piece of paper and prop against the back of a chair to let their viewers know they don’t disappear forever only indefinitely. Maybe I will tell you sometime how I come to know this. Signing off for now)
Who believes in tough love? Sometimes we have to be cruel to be nice. Every decent gardener knows that. And anyone who has a half-sense knows also when and when not to apply it. Every situation is different and has to be handled appropriately and accordingly. I don’t really know what I’m saying, I’m about to take a quick nap and a bath afterwards to be fit shopping for outfits for the silver jubilee of a company tomorrow. I think what I’m saying is I don’t care much about tender. Green finger that I am I seem not able to keep houseplants alive. I’m killing them with TLC. And when it comes to romance, give me a skin scorching passionate all consuming fiery kind of love affair. I tend to find tender and sweet boring. Believe me I’m living it because they are the kind of relationships that last and you can build something on. What keeps them alive? Extra marital sidelines if you can afford. Thank God I’m over that now and so I keep telling myself as if being older means you lost appetite for excitements and resigned to the situation (read: cliche) that once you reached middle age you have no right to feel anymore. Not appropriate. Not the done thing. To hell with the done thing I say to myself often till I get into troubles for not doing the done thing like wearing distressed shorty shorts and why not when it becomes you. I’m getting sidetracked again. Anyway, TGIF enjoy your weekend and believe you me it doesn’t always have to be tender. You know what I mean.
It’s always nice to see things arranged in a proper order. Easy on the eye. Inviting. Inspiring. Shot worthy. Last Christmas I saw in the Supermarket rows of rows of gift wrapped chocolates. I am not fond of sweets but I can’t help but admire the colourful display. They are so tempting, neatly and appropriately dressed up for the holiday.
Last night D. and I touched the topic of confidence, mainly self-confidence. He knows I have a problem with low self-esteem, lacking of self-love and general dislike of my appearance. Funny because everyone who knows me (including D.) swears I am Miss Confidence herself, and I understand where they are coming from because though I am insecure about my looks I never doubt (not even once) myself or my capabilities. I always know who I am, what I believe, what I want and where I want to go. I never question my thoughts or my decisions. For some people I come on strong and very assertive and in some ways I am because I only open my mouth if I know what I am talking about and sure of my rights, otherwise I shut up.
About my appearance, I long make peace with it. I don’t care if I’m ugly. Putting on weight only bothers me because of the inconvenience it brings: new wardrobe, uncomfortable clothing, my ankles swell up and so on. I don’t care much how I look. For my part I can walk outside naked or wearing either jogging suits or pajamas. It’s the people that bothers me, their reactions to how I look.
I see myself as… let’s say a firefly. Others (I presume) can only see my light but not my shape or what I am. To me I am race-less, colorless, gender-less and ageless. I am me and me is neutral. I go on with my days thinking/feeling like this till other people make me aware of the reality, their reality. That a poor immigrant colored middle aged woman has a lot to prove in order to be treated right in this society. Then (and only then) I (time after time) realize that I need to be polished in order to be taken seriously that I have to look natty to belong, to get some respect and to be heard. Looking normal doesn’t do the job. Being normal get you only that far. Closer to the bottom of the ladder than halfway up there. In this society which is obsessed with appearance and fashion, looking normal is not the norm. You have to be polished, fashionable, glossy and all that jazz to be included and counted. First impression counts and first impressions are (sadly) always based on appearance.
When they are going to realize up there (where fashions are created and determined) that real people want comfort and trends to go hand and hand? They say one must suffer to be beautiful. I heard one stylist said: “If it’s comfortable [referring to clothing items] then it’s not good.” I can never wear pumps and stilettos. I don’t want to spend hours every morning in front of the mirror using eleven different brushes and endless pots to deem my face ready for public viewing. I hate the fact that people treat you according to the clothes you wear and things you own. And most are slaves of fashion and think they have to follow it in order to belong and if you are not part of the herd then you’re (what else?) automatically an outcast and not worth a penny. Do we always have to look natty to be respected? Can we not be ourselves and still be part of the tribe? Do we have to exchange our individuality and originality for a place within the group even though it means we will be lost in anonymity?
Unfortunately it is the case. Unless you are rich and famous and can justify your own fashion if not your own brand of clothing. Then whatever you might wear or do is forgiven because you are the fashion, you are the ‘it’ thing of the moment no matter how ridiculous it looks and sounds. Labels and boxes. We’re fond of it. We feel safe once we categorized everything and sorted them out in proper order according to our tastes and preferences. And I’m afraid I’m getting carried away again so I will stop here. You know what I mean.
“I’ve never seriously thought about whether I’m beautiful or not. But I do know one magical trick — I know how to create the illusion of being attractive. When a woman walks into the room, people don’t react to her beauty, but to the energy and strength which she radiates.”
This song of Don McLean about the late Vincent Van Gogh is not only a magnificent tribute to a genius artist of all generations but the lyrics itself appeal to most of the senses. The words speak of beauty, colors, weather, seasons, feelings, hopes and dreams. The accompanying video shows the paintings of Van Gogh for all to see. Truly Amazing.
Time remorselessly rambles down the corridors and streets of our lives. but it is not until autumn that most of us become aware that our tickets are stamped with a terminal destination.
I’m well into the autumn of my life and everyday I feel the chilling wind of winter approaching fast…
..besides, bad haircut grows back in time. Well, I had my hair cut yesterday.
Once a a year I make the dreaded trip to the hairdresser and get it over with. I regret every each one of them. I have yet to encounter someone who can cut my hair exactly how I want it. I let it done in my country, in the UK, in Spain… same result.
C’mon, how difficult a layered style with asymmetric pony can be? I want the layer to be pronounced, textured not blunt, I want the ends to be thinly sliced, the edges jagged, I want the hair framing my face in layers, shorter near my eyes and getting longer as it goes down my shoulders. I want a V cut view from the back. I also want the layers to blend, not choppy. Is that too much to ask?
I don’t want it to be cute or momsy. I want my hair to have more schwung, movements, edge, character, for crying out loud. If I can detach my head from my body, I have done it already so I can cut my hair the way I want because I can.
I am even willing to make a compromise.
What I really want is one of those anime warriors hair cuts with multi colored layers. Probably in the deep shade of burgundy or purple but I know that at my age (why I didn’t think of that sooner when I still can) it is a bit of a stretch and besides that kind of hair styles need maintenance every six weeks or so and I am not willing to do the effort, costs time and money. So, I am willing to settle for the more boring version but boring doesn’t mean tasteless altogether.
What I have now is a more modern (according to the hairdresser) version of my long hair (means shorter) something you might see on an eleven or sixteen years old, or older domesticated woman who lives somewhere in the mountains and have no idea about fashion or emancipation (I know it is just an idea and yet to fully become a reality but) somebody who is soft and sweet and happy.
In short not me.
Tomorrow if the sun shines (I need plenty/good natural light) I will remodel and re shape my hair closer to how I think/envision it supposed to be like I always do every time I came back from the hair saloon.
Wish me luck.