Tag Archives: lifestyle

Dying Slowly

Is this what I am doing???

You start dying slowly
if you do not travel,
if you do not read,
If you do not listen to the sounds of life,
If you do not appreciate yourself.

You start dying slowly
When you kill your self-esteem;
When you do not let others help you.

You start dying slowly
If you become a slave of your habits,
Walking every day on the same paths…
If you do not change your routine,
If you do not wear different colours
Or you do not speak to those you don’t know.

You start dying slowly
If you avoid to feel passion
And their turbulent emotions;
Those which make your eyes glisten
And your heart beat fast.

You start dying slowly
If you do not change your life when you are not satisfied with your job, or with your love,
If you do not risk what is safe for the uncertain,
If you do not go after a dream,
If you do not allow yourself,
At least once in your lifetime,
To run away from sensible advice.”

– Pablo Neruda 

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The Illusion Of Success

No matter what you do, someone won’t be pleased. Someone will think your choices are wrong. And someone will tell you what should do instead. No matter which path you take, someone will seem to be doing better. Someone will have more than you. And someone else’s life may look more impressive on paper. If you’re being true to yourself, none of that will matter because you’ll have something more satisfying than approval and the illusion of “success”: a life that feels right for you, based on your own wants, needs, values, and priorities.


What if your biggest and hardest critic is yourself and your own brain never leaves you alone telling you that you could have done better. What if you don’t know what you want exactly and those you need turned out to be not what you think they are the moment you have them? What if in spite of being true to yourself following your heart down the path your mind told you to take sorting out your priorities properly and you are doing impressively better and better but still nothing feels right?  What then? What then? What then????????????

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What is my life plan and destiny?

Ah, the big question. Personally, I think that if you haven’t asked this question, then you aren’t self-aware. So basically, if you have a soul, you’ve asked this question. And if you’ve asked this question, then I’m of the opinion that you do have a destiny.

But before you start imagining yourself waving to the joyful crowds on the day of your parade for saving the world from total annihilation, let’s pause for a second and think about what it really means to have a destiny and purpose in this life. Don’t roll your eyes. This is important. There are people in this world who have chosen to believe that it’s their destiny to blow up a train station or something. So, destiny and life purpose can be an unbelievably powerful thing to believe in.

Side note: please don’t blow anyone up. That’s not what life is really about.

Destiny.

Oooooo. Did you just get a shiver? Because I got a shiver. This is one of those words that carries so much meaning behind it, we don’t really know how to completely explain it. Those seven letters practically sing with purpose, importance, and a kind of unstoppable power that both whispers in your ear and shouts into the cosmos and back again.

But what is destiny?

Typically, when we imagine we have a destiny, we see ourselves accomplishing grand things. Saving princesses, slaying dragons, and quitting your miserable job to start a company that becomes so successful, your mean old boss begs to work for you. Fame and butt loads of money roll in, of course. What destiny would be complete without that? Oh, and while we’re at it, I’d like one of those replicating machines from Star Trek. We imagine conquering the impossible. We hope for superpowers. We picture victory, sweet victory.

Unfortunately, replicators don’t exist. 😦 And sadly, most of the above are, in fact, pure fantasy. Even if every person in the world had a destiny, surely there aren’t that many princesses. Or dragons. Or money, to be honest. So, if we believe that everyone has a destiny — and I do— then what kind of destiny should we be looking for?

The truth about destiny is that firstly, for most people, it’s not a singular grand task. Sure, saving a princess sounds very cut and dry. Difficult, but easy to grasp the concept of. Find the princess. Save said princess from evil _____. Tada! All done. But destiny, real destiny, isn’t like that. It’s entirely possible that a person might come across a situation in which it becomes clear that there is a task to complete and it is important. Life is a beautiful, and painful, variety of things. And things most certainly happen. However, in most cases, for most people, real true destiny is in the small moments. In the magnificence of every day.

Once you take off the fairy-tale goggles and gently set them aside. (Please don’t angrily rip them off, they get us through quite a lot of hard times, respect the dreamer in you and please don’t let it die. It’s a special part of your soul that allows you to imagine the impossible. Letting it die would be like ceasing to see several colors of life.) You can now have the ability to reshape the way you look at what having a destiny means, and also what your destiny might actually be. See, another reason why you keep dreaming about what your destiny is is because you haven’t found your personal destiny. Daydreaming is a kind of superpower, but it has it’s place. You can’t find your purpose if you’re looking in the wrong place.

Once you have truly embraced what destiny isn’t, you can now start looking at what you’re destiny, or purpose might be. See, destiny doesn’t need a parade to be grand, or a reward of vast riches to be important. Destiny is really, about being yourself. This is where fairy-tales aren’t wrong. A hero fulfills his/her destiny not by defeating the evil whatsitsface, but by learning to be true to themselves in that moment of decision. Look back at every story ever told. The good ones. The hero had some sort of personal problem to overcome or deal with, before being able to fight the big bad guy and save the day. More importantly, they wouldn’t have been able to defeat the baddie unless they dealt with the fight within themselves first. This is where destiny is found. Within, not in the external action. You can do the same thing, just minus the evil sorcerer.

So how do you figure out your destiny? Don’t ask the universe. Don’t ask your best friend, or your mom, or your coach. Ask yourself. If you don’t know, find out. It’s probably because you haven’t challenged yourself, or there’s something else going on, or you’re already in the middle of your big fight within yourself and either you don’t want to recognize it or you can’t see it. It’s difficult to recognize the scope of the storm when you’re just struggling to stand up in the winds, sometimes.

How do you get to know yourself, you ask? Put your phone down. Spend some time with yourself. Think, inside your own head without anything interrupting you for a designated period of time. Journal. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what to write. Getting started is the hardest part. Find a list of questions that you might ask someone to get to know them. Write that question down, and pretend someone asked you that question. What would your answer be? Write it down. No one gets to know a person in a day, give yourself some time. Be kind and patient with yourself. Your purpose isn’t going to arrive on a silver platter, served by a gloved and poised butler. You need to search for it.

It’s worth the wait, I promise.


By Melissa Wykes- Writer, dreamer, critic and believer. Freethinker, Skeptic/Realist, and Renaissance woman.

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Maybe

Maybe I’m really crazy. Like my sister. Maybe I have learned to hide my madness inside a seemingly calm, confident, strong package. Maybe I know from the start that there is no place in this world for someone like us, like me. Maybe behind this creative, free-spirited, mind, a raving lunatic with a taste for macabre is secretly lurking. Someone who doesn’t and will not fit in. Maybe I will succumb to the insanity which is in my blood and fulfill my destiny. Maybe there is no escaping my heritage no matter how hard I try and how far I run. Maybe I will come full circle in the end and repeat the errors and history of my tragic past. Maybe I am better dead than alive. Maybe I have to stop thinking too much and go quietly with the flow. Maybe I have to accept things as they are and quit analyzing every little detail. Maybe it will be better if I let things happen instead of expecting the worst. Maybe I have to sleep so I don’t entertain crazy thoughts.

What do you think?

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10 Signs You’re Being True to Yourself

“The most confused we ever get is when we try to convince our heads of something that we know in our hearts is a lie.” ~Karen Moning

It’s painful and stressful to feel like you’re living a lie. Like you’re hiding how you really feel, saying what you think other people want to hear and doing things you don’t actually want to do—just because you think you’re supposed to.

But sometimes we don’t recognize we’re doing this. We just know we feel off, or something feels wrong, and we’re not sure how to change it.

It makes sense that a lot of us struggle with being true to ourselves.

From a young age, we’re taught to be good, fall in line, and avoid making any waves—to lower our voices, do as we’re told, and quit our crying (or they’ll give us something to cry about).

And most of us don’t get the opportunity to foster or follow our curiosity. Instead, we learn all the same things as our peers, at the exact same time; and we live a life consumed by the mastery of these things, our bodies restless from long hours of seated study and our minds overwhelmed with memorized facts that leave very little room for free thinking.

To make things even worse, we learn to compare our accomplishments and progress—often, at things we don’t even really care about—to those of everyone around us. So we learn it’s more important to appear successful in relation to others than to feel excited or fulfilled within ourselves.

This was my experience both growing up and in my twenties. A people-pleaser who was always looking to prove that I mattered, I was like a chameleon, and I constantly felt paralyzed about which choices to make because all I knew was that they needed to be impressive.

I never knew what I really thought or felt because I was too busy suffocating my mind with fears and numbing my emotions to develop even a modicum of self-awareness.

This meant I had no idea what I needed. I only knew I didn’t feel seen or heard. I felt like no one really knew me. But how could they when I didn’t even know myself?

I know I’ve made a lot of progress with this over the years, and I have a mile-long list of unconventional choices to back that up, as well as a number of authentic, fulfilling relationships. But I’ve recently recognized some areas where I’ve shape-shifted in an attempt to please others, and in some cases, without even realizing it.

I don’t want to be the kind of person who panders to popular opinion or lets other people dictate my choices. I don’t want to waste even one minute trying to be good enough for others instead of doing what feels good to me.

I want to make my own rules, live on my own terms, and be bold, wild, and free.

This means peeling away the layers of fear and conditioning and being true to what I believe is right. But it’s hard to do this because sometimes those layers are pretty heavy, or so transparent we don’t even realize they’re there.

With this in mind, I decided to create this reminder of what it looks and feels like to be true to myself so I can refer back to it if ever I think I’ve lost my way.

If you also value authenticity and freedom over conformity and approval, perhaps this will be useful to you too.

You know you’re being true to yourself if….

1. You’re honest with yourself about what you think, feel, want, and need.

You understand that you have to be honest with yourself before you can be honest with anyone else. This means you make space in your life to connect with yourself, perhaps through meditation, journaling, or time in nature.

This also means you face the harsh realities you may be tempted to avoid. You’re self-aware when faced with hard choices—like whether or not to leave a relationship that doesn’t feel right—so you can get to the root of your fear.

You might not always do this right away, or easily, but you’re willing to ask yourself the tough questions most of us spend our lives avoiding: Why am I doing this? What am I getting from this? And what would serve me better?

2. You freely share your thoughts and feelings.

Even if you’re afraid of judgment or tempted to lie just to keep the peace, you push yourself to speak up when you have something that needs to be said.

And you refuse to stuff your feelings down just to make other people feel comfortable. You’re willing to risk feeling vulnerable and embarrassed because you know that your feelings are valid and that sharing them is the key to healing what’s hurting or fixing what isn’t working.

3. You honor your needs and say no to requests that conflict with them.

You know what you need to feel physical, mentally, and emotionally balanced, and you prioritize those things, even if this means saying no to other people.

Sure, you might sometimes make sacrifices, but you understand it’s not selfish to honor your needs and make them a priority.

You also know your needs don’t have to look like anyone else’s. It’s irrelevant to you if someone else can function on four hours of sleep, work around the clock, or pack their schedule with social engagements. You do what’s right for you and take care good care of yourself because you recognize you’re the only one who can.

4. Some people like you, some people don’t, and you’re okay with that.

Though you may wish, at times, you could please everyone—because it feels a lot safer to receive validation than disapproval—you understand that being disliked by some is a natural byproduct of being genuine.

This doesn’t mean you justify being rude and disrespectful because hey, you’re just being yourself! It just means you know you’re not for everyone; you’d rather be disliked for who you are than liked for who you’re not, and you understand the only way to find “your tribe” is to weed out the ones who belong in someone else’s.

5. You surround yourself with people who respect and support you just as you are.

You understand that the people around you affect you, so you surround yourself with people who respect and support you, which motivates you to continue being true to yourself.

You may have people in your life who don’t do these things, but if you do, you understand their issues with you are just that—their issues. And you set boundaries with them so that they don’t get in your head and convince you there’s something wrong with you or your choices.

6. You focus more on your own values than what society deems acceptable.

You’ve read the script for a socially acceptable life—climb the corporate ladder, have a lavish wedding, buy a big house, and make some babies—but you’ve seriously questioned whether this is right for you. Maybe it is, but if you go this route, it’s because this plan aligns with your own values, not because it’s what you’re supposed to do.

You know your values are your compass in life, and that they change over time. So you check in with yourself regularly to be sure you’re living a life that doesn’t just look good on paper but also feels good in your heart.

7. You listen to your intuition and trust that you know what’s best for yourself.

You not only hear the voice inside that says, “Nope, not right for you,” you trust it. Because you’ve spent a lot of time learning to distinguish between the voice of truth and fear, you recognize the difference between holding yourself back and waiting for what feels right.

You might not always make this distinction immediately, and you might sometimes be swayed by well-meaning people who want to protect you from the risks of thinking outside the box. But eventually, you tune out the noise and hone in on the only voice that truly knows what’s best for you.

8. You do what feels right for you, even if that means risking approval from the people around you.

Not only do you trust that you know what’s best for you, you do it. Even if it’s not a popular choice. Even if people question your judgment, vision, or sanity. You recognize that no one else is living your life, and no one else has to live with the consequences of your choices, so you make them for you and let the chips fall where they may when it comes to public perception.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you have everything you want in life. It just means you hear the beat of your own drum, even if it’s silent as a dog whistle to everyone else, and you march to it—maybe slowly or awkwardly, but with your freak flag raised nice and high.

9. You allow yourself to change your mind if you recognize you made a choice that wasn’t right for you.

You may feel embarrassed to admit you’re changing directions, but you do it anyway because you’d rather risk being judged than accept a reality that just plain feels wrong for you.

Whether it’s a move that you realize you made for the wrong reasons, a job that isn’t what you expected, or a commitment you know you can’t honor in good conscience, you find the courage to say, “This isn’t right, so I’m going to make another change.”

10. You allow yourself to evolve and let go of what you’ve outgrown.

This is probably the hardest one of all because it’s not just about being true to yourself; it’s also about letting go. It’s about recognizing when something has run its course and being brave enough to end the chapter, even if you don’t know yet what’s coming next. Even if the void feels dark and scary.

But you, you recognize that the void can also feel light and thrilling. That empty space isn’t always a bad thing because it’s the breeding ground for new possibilities—for fulfillment, excitement, passion, and joy. And you’re more interested in seeing who else you can be and what else you can do than languishing forever in a comfortable life that now feels like someone else’s.

As with all things in life, we each exist on a spectrum. Every last one of us lives in the grey area, so odds are you do some of these things, some of the time, and probably never perfectly. And you may go through periods when you do few or none of these things, without even realizing you’ve slipped.

That’s how it’s been for me. I’ve gone through phases when I’ve felt completely in alignment and other times when I’ve gotten lost. I’ve had times when I’ve felt so overwhelmed by conflicting wants, needs, and beliefs—my own and other people’s—that I’ve shut down and lost touch with myself.

It happens to all of us. And that’s okay. The important thing is that we keep coming home to ourselves and we eventually ask ourselves the hard questions that decide the kind of lives we lead: What am I hiding? What am I lying about? And what truth would set me free?

By Lori Deschene


Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She’s also the author of Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal and other books and co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. An avid film lover, she recently finished writing her first feature screenplay and is fundraising to get it made now.

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Truer Than True

“My experience of life is that it is not divided up into genres; it’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel. You know, with a bit of pornography if you’re lucky.” ― Alan Moore

I could not have said it any better.

Add thriller horror action and drama to the mix and it’s complete.

I wonder what yours is.

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Live And Let Live

“Right now I am happy where I am. 

I am okay, I feel this certain sense of freedom that I can be okay with myself without being blamed for the kind of life that I need, the life that I enjoy.

I don’t want to live a life with people I supposedly love and love me—will keep on judging me saying: Look at her, look at her houses her cars her things and look at what we have. I cannot be crucified for the life that I live and for the things that I have, that’s what I’m saying.

Why should I be with people who’ll always feel like they have the right and need to own what I own?”


I’ve read this somewhere and I thought: That’s it! That’s exactly it!

The above passage reminds me of a lot of things. One of them being an immigrant and second class citizen. You all understand what I mean. No need to explain. Being what I am evokes certain expectations from certain people. For example: While shopping, certain type of women look down on me and often openly hostile when in the parking lot the latest model of the luxury car they admire and wish to have which happened to be parked next to their old economical carriage happened to be mine. We both don’t dress up according to our standard, only I don’t give a damn until they behave the way they behave and even then…

But it’s nothing compared to what my family expects: I am one word to them: Mealticket. Oh, that is actually two words but never mind…

I know we are all humans but I’m not sure if being prejudiced/judgmental is part of being human. You see, I’m live and let live kind of person who happened to believe everyone is equal unless proven wrong and my eventual conclusion has nothing to do with money power and status but rather based on character and behavior. For me, a person’s worth doesn’t lie on material possessions but upon morals and values. Status never impresses me but a good disposition and a kind manner will.

I think if we focus on what makes us happy instead of what we think would make us happy, this world will be a more harmonious place.

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The Edge Of Never

“Just that dwelling and planning is bullshit, you dwell on the past, you can’t move forward. Spend too much time planning for the future and you just push yourself backward, or you stay stagnant in the same place all your life. Live in the moment, where everything is just right, take your time and limit your bad memories and you’ll get wherever it is you’re going a lot faster and with fewer bumps in the road along the way.” 

― J.A. Redmerski

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LMAO

I stumbled upon an article while searching for__ basically nothing and everything that made me laugh so hard it made my day. I have never been to the place and there is no way I would or could be there ever because it is in the country which will never ever be in my bucket list. But the author wrote the piece so graphically I could almost imagine how it looks like. She said:

You go there to feel good but you leave broke, disoriented, and with the new-found knowledge that you have a vaginal disease.

Unlike Vegas, Whole Foods’ clientele are all about mindfulness and compassion…until they get to the parking lot. Then it’s war. As I pull up this morning, I see a pregnant lady on the crosswalk holding a baby and groceries. This driver swerves around her and honks. As he speeds off I catch his bumper sticker, which says Namaste. Poor lady didn’t even hear him approaching because he was driving a Prius. He crept up on her like a panther.

Isn’t it hilarious?

Here’s another one:

Next, I see the gluten-free section filled with crackers and bread made from various wheat-substitutes such as cardboard and sawdust. I skip this aisle because I’m not rich enough to have dietary restrictions.

Ever notice that you don’t meet poor people with special diet needs? A gluten intolerant house cleaner? A cab driver with Candida? Candida is what I call a rich, white person problem.

Now, I know that I’m rich (I have lactose and gluten intolerance) and in danger of becoming a white person. (Not that it’s bad. I always dream of having long blond curly hair I can shake in the wind in a slow-motion fashion.)

This one is epic:

Next, I approach the beauty aisle. There is a scary looking machine there that you put your face inside of and it tells you exactly how ugly you are.

They calculate your wrinkles, sun spots, the size of your pores, etc. and compare it to other women your age. I think of myself attractive but as it turns out, I am 78 percent ugly, meaningless pretty than 78 percent of women in the world.

Isn’t she genius!

Her name is Kelly MacLean and if you want to read the whole article, head on HERE. And if you are feeling sensitive while reading, remember this ( directly quoting one of the commenters) Don’t take it literally or personally. The humor lies not in fact but in jest. 

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Find your fucking balls and reattach them

This is what I keep telling myself lately, find your old companion guts and get reacquainted damn you!

Where is the girl I used to know? The one who never stops at nothing to follow her heart. The one who didn’t let forces of nature detained her if she wants to gallivant. Now, a mere rain is enough to keep you inside? Pathetic!

You used to be fun, full of ideas and never have a qualm to put them in action. Remember the time you started hiking at four in the afternoon despite the thunder and lightning and the torrential downpour? You had to change clothes in the car because you were soaking wet. How about the time you went into the mountains to search for the missing head of a student who had been raped. You did it at one in the morning so nobody could see and stop you because an unauthorized person wasn’t allowed on the premises and they said it was dangerous. You armed yourself with a big bolo and head on. Where is that brave girl now?

Remember the cemetery? How about the collapsed subdivision where a lot of people had been buried alive. You sneaked in past the guard and spent the night there because you were convinced that where there are catastrophes and human casualties the odds of having contact from the other side are stronger and perhaps you’ll get lucky and could communicate with one of them.

And the time you rowed a boat for four hours to spend a night in an abandoned lighthouse in the middle of the ocean and got caught by a tropical storm and had to find your way to the nearest shore in the dark. How about that?

Others might say it is not bravery but foolishness and it may be so but that is not the point. The point is the fact that you changed beyond recognition. Not even the shadow of your former self which is preferable than totally disappearing altogether.

Where is the spontaneity, the passion, the drive the hunger? The hunger is there alright but you are trying to quench it with pseudo replacements. The doubt, the worry, the fear… where it is coming from?  Is it called getting old, like your daughter stated a long time ago which you refused to acknowledge? Your niece whom you adopted and brought up to keep from following the footsteps of her mother (and failed miserably) told you once upon a time when you first got together with your now second husband that you became boring as hell.  You didn’t acknowledge that too. Now, there is no choice left but to admit it.

What happened? What changed?

Okay, the situation is different so is the status and they go hand and hand with compromises but to forget who you are and become a totally different person is unacceptable. You can make loads of excuses but they will not justify what you have done to yourself. You are an embarrassment to all the free-spirited women out there. You call yourself a gypsy, a nomad? Once upon a time maybe but not anymore. Not for a long time. You become a hothouse flower, an invalid, a kept woman, boring and unimaginative the only adventures you are embarking are those that in your head. I despise you. I hate what you become. Where are your guts? Why you are existing (because I cannot call what you are doing living) against your principle and everything you believe in? For what? For security? For comfort? Bullshit! Nothing is secure in this world. You of all people should know that. And if I recall correctly, it was you who said you would rather live in the streets than be caged. Do you still think that way? Apparently not.

Your son said it is better to live and die than not to live at all. He told you that after you voiced out your fear for his safety backpacking two months in India and going on camping trips to war zones and being in the midst of a rally in Paris. That son of yours is a male version of you in every way. The once upon a time you. The wanderer adventurer fearless you. Look at you now.

Don’t cite age as an excuse. There is no such thing as too old for this and that. Age is just a number. And your condition? All the more reason to live right here and right now before you reach your expiration date. Live now that you can still walk and enjoy. Go out there and live without regret. That is what you supposed to be doing instead of being a prisoner in your own home.

You are not some caged exotic animal. You were born and brought up in the wild. That’s where you belong. Not in a fancy house with a fancy car full of fancy gadgets and designer items. Since you care about them anyway? Big houses and big cars and expensive things mean nothing. You can’t bring them where you’re eventually going. What matters is how you spend your borrowed time on this earth. I am telling you, find your fucking balls and reattach them before it’s too late.

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Lessons on Aging & the Juicy Stuff Beauty is Really Made Of.

“The self-respect and peace of mind you long for is not out there—it’s within. I hate that, I resent that more than I can say. But, it’s true.” ~ Anne Lamott

I fired a part of me the other day that has been demanding I look a certain way, weigh a certain number, and be a certain size in order to be “enough.”

It happened in my closet as I was trying to put on yet another pair of tight pants and felt a twinge of embarrassment that they didn’t fit anymore.

I heard that voice say, “See, you’ve gained weight. How could you? Hurry up and cleanse so you can drop 10 pounds fast.” For the first time in my almost 49 years of life, I finally heard myself respond differently. “No more of this madness,” I said out loud as I grabbed a different pair of pants that were a size larger.

I picked up the journal where I had written my health and weight goals for the month. With fresh eyes, I read what I wrote. The goals sounded great on paper. However, I had been so busy trying to fix what’s on the outside that I was missing the entire point.

It’s an inside job.

Sometimes the longest road we can travel is the one we make from our head to our heart. Suddenly, what I had known in my head for years finally made a direct heart landing. My goals had become barriers rather than stepping stones toward what I truly desired from the inside out.

Our bodies are not problems to be solved.

Anne Lamott once said, “One of the blessings of age is you surrender to the truth of time and life that things droop and sag and it’s fine, and if you worry about it longer it starts to argue a wasted life. You can spend your life burnishing the surface, but in the meantime, you could be on the floor playing Legos with your kids and grandkid.”

I opened a blank page in my journal, took my pen to paper, and set out to write a vision regarding my health and weight aligned with my spirit. I prayed for a bit and meditated for a while, asking God to show me what I needed to know. My hope is that what landed will be of benefit in some way to others who grapple with accepting their bodies and this thing called aging.

The Juicy Beauty Manifesto

I am not the size of my pants or the number on a scale. I am not the comparisons I make or the body I had 20 years ago. I’m not my triceps or once-upon-a-time firm ass or the before-kids flat stomach.

I’m not how I look in my jeans or whether my stomach has a roll or if my hair is turning gray. This confining version of myself that determines whether I am pretty enough or strong enough or thin enough or sexy enough or busty enough…whatever the enough is for that day, is officially fired.

From now on…

I will sincerely apologize to myself any time I want to criticize how my body looks. I will stand still and wholeheartedly soak in the apology so I can continue to really see myself and love all of who I am. The truth is I do not have the body I had in my 30s because I am not 30 anymore. I’m almost 50. I will look at my curves and rounded edges with loving eyes rather than through a critical lens.

It is a privilege to age, one that I no longer want to take for granted.

And, when I look in the mirror at my naked body, I will stop focusing on what I see as lacking, and, instead, I will be grateful for this version of me. This older me, the one who is now filled with deeper wisdom and a more relaxed spirit. I have earned the lines under my eyes and around my smile. I have lived and loved. I have fallen and risen. As a result, I am softening, easing into a gentle way of living and allowing for more grace to move through me. It’s quieter here, simpler, and far more pleasurable.

I will embrace the beauty that is staring back at me and allow it to be enough. Whispering to myself, “There is nothing here that needs to be fixed. Nothing is broken.”

When I begin to find my mind wandering, I will ground it in appreciation for my health. I will give thanks that my legs can walk, my fingers can move, my mind is still sharp, my breath is deep, my eyes see, and my heart pumps. I will mindfully and lovingly nourish my body with foods that breathe life into it. I will choose to live from a place of health and wellness. Eating will be about nourishment, rather than trying to obtain some endgame result of a certain weight or size.

If I make food choices out of love rather than fear or deprivation, the results will organically happen. I will allow my body to find its natural place at this time in my life.

I will no longer scare myself with black-and-white food beliefs or messages.

I will stop telling myself:
“I will never eat that again.”
“Once I start, I can’t stop.”
“I can’t trust myself with food.”

I will replace those messages with:
“Relax, dear one, and enjoy. You can trust yourself.”

I will move my body in ways that bring me joy. I want to do the stuff that makes my heart beat faster and eyes grow wider. I want to do those things as often as I can, creating happy, pleasure-filled moments.

The illusion that if I reach this weight then I’ll be happy or stronger or prettier is just the lie I keep telling myself. As I get consumed with that message, I start to miss all the juicy stuff that beauty is really made of. That’s a price I’m no longer willing to pay. Are you?

Starting today, let’s:

Give away the pants that no longer fit and go on a date with ourselves to find clothes we love and that no longer pinch. Life is hard enough than to be wrestling with tight pants.

Put the scale away and start to focus on what we are feeling rather than what we weigh. It’s flat-out mean to be stepping on that thing day in and day out.

Shut down the critical voice in our heads and replace it with kindness, love, and praise, offering ourselves the same messages we would a child or a dear friend.

Stop dieting, cleansing, restricting, and beating ourselves over the head with a stick that we will never be enough unless we look a certain way. Diets don’t work anyway.

Uncover how to unapologetically love ourselves and celebrate growing older and embracing the perfectly imperfect bodies we all have a right to age in.

There’s nothing more beautiful than a woman who recognizes her own worth from the inside out. From that place she is able to get out of her own way and focus on love and service, living a life from her highest self.

Now that’s juicy beauty.

Who’s in?

AUTHOR: ANNMARIE DEVLIN

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