a self / body positivity 30 day challenge | olive june

a self / body positivity 30 day challenge

"if you wouldn't say it to your friend,
don't say it to yourself."

i strongly believe that beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself 

have you ever found yourself both confident and insecure at the same time? the girl who grew up in a tight knit, midwestern town, but dreamt of seeing the world (but maybe wasn't sure how to get there through all the corn and cows) ... the girl who moved to a city near the mountains and beaches alone in her twenties... leaving the place where her heart always felt held. looking back, i struggled. through the changes and the insecurities and the wounds; the mysteries could sometimes be too much. and sometimes they still are. yet, i know that i have made significant strides. if i am honest though, after the birth of our first son, parks (when winter lasted longer than anticipated due to my foreign, new body and as the trauma from childbirth lingered) and then after i stopped breastfeeding nash this past summer, uncomfortable emotions and thoughts resurfaced. hormones can be scary and powerful and can make you feel unknown... even when you look around and deeply know how wonderful your life is. motherhood has made me become who i know i was meant to be and is something i am forever thankful for- i know this to be true. becoming a mother has encouraged me to dig deep and to be really brave and to shine for my boys. i want them to see everything in my heart. i want them to see beauty in the simple and genuine ways that God intended.

not long ago, i felt compelled and knew that i needed to apologize to my body- because isn't this where the healing often begins? 
to heal
 this past spring, i went to a women's event at our church that was focused on body image... and i walked away feeling incredibly empowered. i felt like i recognized myself possibly for the first time- for whom God created me to be. we listened to speakers and songs and poems, we responded to journal prompts, lit candles for other mothers, did affirmations through yoga poses, and took the bread and wine while looking into a floor length mirror- that image is still ingrained in my mind. because you know what? i felt proud. i felt different than what i thought i would feel. (this thought still breaks my heart.) we reflected in small group discussion sessions and then underneath twinkle lights and a few shadows from the moon, we engaged in deep conversations around a campfire. i chatted with a woman about twenty years older, a beautiful soul, with many more life experiences than myself- and i found her to be so wise. maybe it's because we share the same enneagram number (nine) but she was just so inspirational... it was moving and was an evening, moments, i knew i would always remember. i felt worthy. i felt loved in a very tender way; i felt a renewed confidence.

yet, i often need reminded to echo positive thoughts to myself
when i am feeling inadequate or like i am not enough
will i always need to do this?
i can't answer that question.
but what i do know is this:
 it won't stop me from striving for better
 for nicer and better thoughts 
-for my family and for my children and for myself-
knowing that how desirable i am or what my body looks like doesn't define my existence

i know i need to throw out the shame 
shame from my past 
and everything that comes with postpartum
and instead, whisper - 
you deserve to be at a place where you feel comfort and peace and gentleness
not just as a woman who carried and mothers babies 
but first, and foremost, as a woman.
"and i said to my body. softly. 'i want to be your friend.' it took a long breath. and replied, 'i have been waiting my whole life for this.'"
ways i practice self + body positivity |

01. i list all of the things i have accomplished that have nothing to do with my body
02. i do yoga and mediate and pray 
03. i listen to inspiring music and diffuse oils
04. i surround myself with people who lift me up
05. i remind myself that i choose what i become
06. i wink at a challenge 
07. i use my failures as a stepping stone
08. i have the courage to say "no"
09. i am in awe of what my body is capable of 
do you want to join me? 

thirty days of only telling yourself positive thoughts
-reminding yourself-
"if you wouldn't say it to your friend,
don't say it to yourself."

to begin
look at yourself in the mirror - really, really look:
you are a beautiful work of art.

and then go do something nice for your body--
something that lets your body know how much you appreciate it.

and remember
we can do hard things, you're not alone
and we are stronger together.
(this came recently via text from my forever best friend, my sister. i am so grateful for her.)

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