Category Archives: Self Love

Mojo Monday ~ A Beautiful Body Project

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A Movement Of Women Rising Up 
To Transform Body Image 
In Mass Media Through 
Untouched Photographs, 
Essays, Audio, And Video! 


A Beautiful Body Project is an upcoming series of book volumes & an online media platform dedicated to women & body image, dedicated to sharing stories about motherhood, aging, cancer, still-births, miscarriages, weigh-gain, weight-loss, dysmorphia, and beyond. 

Lulani #1
It all began when photographer and dancer Jade Beall posted this photo above of a friend of hers that she took in her studio Tucson, AZ.   She had already posted photos of her post-birth body to show the world what she was going through after her son Sequoia came into this world. And through all of this she realized that there were hundreds and thousands of women who also wanted to share their life stories about their bodies! The emails started flooding in and she realized she had to build this project, that it was her calling. 

A Beautiful Body project is movement of women coming together to tell their stories and celebrate their ever-changing bodies so that future generations of women can live free from self-suffering.


Portrait of Jade Beall with son Sequoia.
A few weeks back in a Mojo Monday post called My Body Is Magic I mentioned this project and shared a video about it.  This week I found myself inspired yet again by Jade Beall and her co-creator and husband Alok Appadurai with two poems they shared on Facebook and on the web site for the project.  

Here is the first poem by Jade that will also be featured in my upcoming Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine article entitled The Embodiment of I AM in September.

You can wear makeup
or nothing at all

You can wear heels

or walk barefoot

You can drive a BMW

or take the bus to the store

You can have plastic surgery

or leave your body alone

It all means the same to me:

We are all variations of truthful beauty

I honor you as you choose to be

while I pray for freedom from unnecessary suffering

and I pray for the wisdom of listening to one’s truth

Our paths are unique while uniting as one

One Love!

And there is an urgency for compassion for one another

that begs us to

honor

and listen

and treasure

those around us

While we live our lives

As authentically as the DNA that is being danced

by the beat of our one heart.

-Jade


Here is the fierce and inspiring poem by Alok Appadurai.


Industries are born on the backs of Women hating themselves. 
It’s an emotional slavery that milks these women, dollar by dollar, 
Like chained dairy cows, Oozing vicious droplets of self-hate
That rot the roots of a woman’s inner beauty… 
You see, executive bonuses don’t swell when women feel naturally beautiful
Just as they are. 
You can’t push lipstick, eye shadow, foundation, and blush 
Like crack cocaine or heroin, 
On a woman who sees her true worth, you dig? 

Millions are milked from the financial breasts of women 
Simply by convincing them 
A Grand Canyon exists between them and being beautiful.
Magazines and movies are complicit in this lie that warps all of our minds
into a silent submission prostrating to the Lords Of Media
Who enrich themselves on the suffering of a woman,
as she whips herself leaving emotional scars that don’t have to last a lifetime
but all too often do. 

Diet pills, Spanx, and photoshop are foot soldiers in the war on women’s self-esteem,
hell-bent on their own Crusade to convert unsuspecting teens, or worse, preteens,
into self-critical consumers of false hopes offered by surgeons, photographers, and others
who want to hide, reshape, retouch, or fix what actually isn’t wrong with you. 

Millions are milked from the bank accounts of women who have been brainwashed to believe they aren’t good enough. 
Industries thrive when she looks in the mirror and hates herself just a little more with each day, each wrinkle, each magazine consumed. 

Embodied self-esteem breaks the chains of dependence on products that merely momentarily massage our bandaged egos,
Cutting the umbilical chord of self-suffering that has been feeding their bodies and their brains
with toxic imagery of fake tits and other ideals that are nothing more than comparative trampolines:
Your mind soars on the amphetimes of a shopping spree
yet crashes when the superficial effects wear off. 

Ask yourself this:
Who would buy what is being sold if women actually believed they were beautiful for who they are,
not what they look like?
Industries would crumble. Bonuses would deflate.
Executives would scramble, Board rooms would be abuzz.
What would they do if women stopped buying the lie that they are flawed,  that they aren’t enough?

And the best part of the corporate magic trick to maximize profits built on women hating themselves:
women do a bangup job making other women hate themselves too,
and have become the front line warriors destroying other women’s fragile sense of self. 

You can blame everyone and their mother
or you can believe: It’s time. 

It’s time to close your eyes, ears, and wallets to the pimps of self-loathing
who want you hooked on their drugs that manufacture dysmorphia in your brain.
Self-esteem doesn’t come in a bottle.  You were born beautiful.

There is only one way forward. Women rising up &
Empowering each other to leap into the unknown chasm
of life’s greatest love affair with one’s own self.
Alok_Professional_Cropped.jpgAlok Appadurai is a writer, co-Founder of “A Beautiful Body Project” & “Fed By Threads”, an advocate for animals & the environment, and a proud father to baby Sequoia.


Alok, Jade and Sequoia
Founder Jade Beall has been a photographer, a massage therapist, and an inspiring dance teacher for women for over a decade. Her work is touching thousands of lives around the world. 
More about Jade in her own words:
“A quiet yet profound love for photography took me by surprise my senior year of high school (1996, yeah, a while back) because of an incredible teacher at Tucson High, Mr. Halfmann.  Today, I gather inspiration from poets and local photographers alike, finally finding my true passion for what I call Medicinal Photography for Women a few years ago in 2009.  Medicinal Photography means to serve as an empowering tool to facilitate healing for women to feel beautiful and irreplaceable, just as they are, without need of digital alterations.
I have taught weekly dance classes for self-empowerment with live drumming for over a decade, I run a made in America sustainable clothing line that feeds Americans in need with my husband.  I in-joy listening to people and looking into their eyes and seeing THEM, the real, beautiful them.
Becoming a mother in February of 2012 brought forth this Beautiful Body Project.  Through this journey that motherhood in all her glory and raggedness has generously gifted me came a new-found desire to connect to other women on a much deeper and more meaningful level.  This inter-connectedness, this unity with other mothers and other women has been one of the most precious gifts of all (besides my gorgeous and perfect son, of course).”
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Please visit and explore the web site for A Beautiful Body Project.
You will be inspired and moved by the stories and the images.
Do you feel inspired by this project?
Does it have any impact on how you view yourself?

What are your thoughts about accepting and loving your body ~ imperfections and all?


Mojo Monday ~ My Body Is Magic

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“I like my body because it’s magic.” – 5-year-old Sofia (aka Lola)

Interrupt Magazine published an article that caught my attention.  Writer Marie C. begins by sharing a startling statistic.  “By the age of 13, 53 percent of girls say they are unhappy with their bodies. When were they happy?”

In order to find out, Marie C. photographed and interviewed girls between the ages of four and eight and asked them what they liked about their bodies. These girls share wisdom the rest of us have forgotten.


Sharing this article was already on my agenda for Mojo Monday.  Yet I took note last Saturday during a water aerobics class how many women were making critical remarks about their bodies.  Comments were made now and again that reflected how many of the women wished they looked different.  A part of me wanted to address the whole group and ask “How many women here like their bodies?” I had a strong intuitive sense that most of the women would not have responded positively.   


Consider the wisdom in the answers of these other young girls when they were asked what they liked about their bodies.



“I like my body. I like my eyes because they help me see different things. I also like my hands because they help me write different things. I also like my feet because they help me walk and have fun. My name is Jeniah and I’m 8-years-old!” – 8-year-old Jeniah



 “My whole body I love I love.” – 4-year-old Layla


“Something I like about my body is how fast I can run,
and how healthy I am.”
 – 9-year-old Lana


“I like that I can move with it. I like that eyelashes are long. I like that my skin is half white and half brown. I like that my hair can shake.” – 6-year-old Bayan


“I like my hands they help draw.” –  6-year-old Laila


“My body is magic because…
…of my bright green eyes that are soulful and shine.
…of my ability to float, glide and swim in the water like an otter.
…of my big smile that is warm and toothy.
…of my hands that can transform my creative thoughts into art and written words.
…of my strong legs and big traveling feel that support me well.
…of my arms that give comfort, bug hugs and serve a volleyball fast and hard.
..it provides me with the tools to live and love this life.”
 –  44-year-old Michelle Ida Fairchild

Now it is your turn.  
List some things that you love about your body.  
How is your body magic?
Take a self portrait.
The photo(s) can be your whole body
or of parts you particularly love.  

Lastly, be sure to embrace yourself as your own beloved.

Come learn more about A Beautiful Body Project
and watch this video for a very inspiring experience.






The Red Boa Perspective

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Today in Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine
is my latest article called 


Perspectives are a lot like opinions in that everyone has them.  I am quite intrigued by perspectives.  Much like our opinions, our perspectives are also formed and influenced by our perceived identities and our life experiences.  Yet just as our identities can change during the course of our lives, so will our perspectives transform and evolve.
However, I have this suspicion that the one perspective at the core of them all is the one you have of yourself.  Do you think highly of yourself?  Do you think you are lovable? Do you love yourself?  Do you see your beauty?
Did those questions make you pause or did you feel immediate conviction in your answers?
Buddha quote and photo by Michelle Fairchild

Buddha quote with photo by Michelle Fairchild
To read more come visit this article at Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine

Mojo Monday ~ Coming Home to Yourself

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Art by Michelle Fairchild
The spiritual life is about becoming more at home in your own skin.
~ Parker J. Palmer

As our Cosmic Cowgirl tribe of writers dives deeper in contemplating and wondering about topics like identity, perspective, vision and so on, I find greater clarity.  My latest article in Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine is called We Are Stardust.  It expresses my thoughts on the topic of Identity.   Here is an excerpt from the article:

Can you wrap your mind around the reality that both you and I are literally made of  stardust?  How does an identity of being made of stars feel when you try it on?  Do you stand a little taller?  Does it blow your mind, just a little, or maybe a lot?  Does it make you want to swagger or maybe just stare up at the night sky and say “Why hello there my friend, I had no idea we were related?”

In next months article about Perspective I share my suspicion that the one perspective at the core of them all is the one we have of ourselves.  What I know is that there is a theme, a thread of connection, in my writing.  I feel a calling to shine a light and offer up ideas and tools on how we can heal our wounds and really learn to be a guest in our own hearts, and truly love ourselves.  I also believe as the quote at the end of this posts suggests “Each time you remember the Truth of who you are, you bring more light into the world.”

This weeks Mojo Monday is about Coming Home to Yourself.  It is about as the opening quote by Parker J. Palmer states “…becoming more at home in your own skin.”

Today I share with you an excerpt from Mark Nepo’s book entitled The Book of Awakening Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have.  Mark even includes several grounding practices at the end.

“Anything that removes what grows between our hearts and the day is spiritual.  It might be the look of a loved one stirring their coffee as morning light surprises their groggy eyes.  It might be the realization while watching a robin build its nest that you are only a temporary being in this world.  It might be a fall on ice that reminds you of the humility of your limitations.


As Parker Palmer suggests, the aim of all spiritual paths, no matter their origin or the rigors of their practice, it to help us live more fully in the lives we are given.  In this way, whatever comes from a moment’s grace that joins us to our lives and to each other — this is spiritual.  For example, I was having coffee the other day in a cafe and suddenly, from the rain of noise around me, there arose a word of truth in the exposed voice of a stranger whose face I couldn’t even see.

I don’t know her context or her story or whom she was revealing herself to. I didn’t even turn around to see her face, because in that moment, there was a perfect beauty in our staying anonymous.  I only felt, simply and deeply, that without her ever knowing, her moment of pointed and unexpected truth made me more at home in my own skin.

The life of spirit is everywhere: in dust waiting for light, in music waiting to be heard, in the sensations of the day waiting to be felt.  Being spiritual is much more useful and immediate than the books about books would have us think.
  • Center yourself, and as you breathe, realize that your spirit fills your life the way your ones and blood fill your hand. 
  • As you breathe, realize that your life fits the world the way your warm and living hand fits a glove.
  • As you breathe, feel your spirit fill your skin and feel your skin fit the world.”

Mojo Monday ~ Am I Pretty

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My most recent article in the Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine is called Am I Pretty?
One of the quotes I ask readers to contemplate is from
Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, PhD:

“Destroying a woman’s instinctive affiliation with her natural body
cheats her of confidence. It causes her to perseverate
about whether she is a good person or not, and bases her
self-worth on how she looks instead of who she is.
It keeps her preoccupied , colors everything she does, plans, and anticipates.
It is unthinkable in the instinctive world
that a woman should live preoccupied by appearance this way
.”
Come read the complete article over at the
Cosmic Cowgirl’s Magazine by visiting this web link:

Mojo Monday ~ Loving Yourself

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Dr. Margaret Paul holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years.


Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages.

Dr. Margaret Paul and Dr. Erika Chopich

 After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, and together they created the Inner Bonding® process. They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years.


 Margaret shares that the number one problem in relationships is self-abandonment.  She explains how common it is for people to enter into a relationship with the belief that this other person is going to love them and will make them feel good, and make them happy.  They also often have high hopes that this other person will make them feel worthy and lovable.  The result of such expectations is that both people end of feeling very disappointed.  What often follows is that each person then wants to make their past, their partner, God and other things responsible for their unhappiness.  According to Dr. Paul and Dr. Chopich the key is to learn how not to abandon yourself and how to deeply love yourself.  They are very clear that if you do not love yourself you will not be able to love another in a healthy manner. 


When you heal the core shame of believing that you are not good enough, and create the vital connections which bring joy to life, you also heal self-abandonment. When you heal self-abandonment, you also heal problems with spouses, partners, friends, kids, family, co-workers, aloneness, emptiness, anxiety, depression and addictions.

Have you tried everything to feel good about yourself but you still experience feelings of unworthiness and inadequacy?

Do you turn to various addictions because you don’t know any other way of managing your painful feelings?

Self-abandonment, which comes from core shame, is the underlying cause of all these problems. Self-abandonment is the cause of disconnection from self, loved ones and Spirit. The practice of Inner Bonding develops the deep self-worth that creates inner peace, joy and loving relationships

Dr. Paul has written a series of books, has a series of DVD’s and the on-line program called Inner Bonding®.  Her books are as follows:


•Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?
•Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook
•Healing Your Aloneness
•The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook
•Inner Bonding
•Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids?
•Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God?

 Here is an article by Dr Margaret Paul called When You Love Yourself, You Let Others Off the Hook


Do you believe that loving yourself is selfish? Discover why this is not true!


Frequently, when I start to work with a new client, they believe that loving their self is selfish. Nothing could be further from the truth. A more accurate definition of selfish is expecting others to give themselves up and do for you what you can and need to be doing for yourself.

Letting Others Off The Hook

How are others let off the hook when you love yourself? Let us count the ways!

• Others don’t need to read your mind when you are meeting many of your own needs, and asking outright when there is something you need help with.
• Others don’t need to hold back, be careful, or walk on eggshells when you are taking care of your own feelings.
• Others can receive great joy in giving to you when they don’t feel obligated.
• Others can speak their truth when they know that you are open to learning and wanting to grow. They can be honest when they know that you will deal with your own feelings rather than blame them.
• Others are free to take loving care of themselves when they know you are doing the same, and that you support them in their highest good as part of being loving to yourself.
• Others can be spontaneous with you, knowing that if they ‘make a mistake’ you will take responsibility for your own feelings about it.
• Others feel free to be with you because they want to, not because they feel they have to.
• In a primary relationship, your partner will likely feel attracted to you when you are coming from your power rather than from your fear. If your partner feels obligated to have sex with you because you have made him or her responsible for your happiness and sense of worth, your partner is likely to feel resistant to sex with you.
• Laughter, fun and play flow spontaneously when neither person feels responsible for the other’s feelings, or feels obligated to spend time, give approval or have sex.
• Each person feels free to pursue their passion and purpose, knowing that their partner is taking care of themselves and not waiting for the other person to make them happy.

Loving partnerships are about learning, growing, and sharing love and companionship. They are not about taking responsibility for making the other person feel happy, safe, secure or validated. Paradoxically, when you fully take on the responsibility of making yourself feel happy, safe, secure and validated, a loving relationship supports and enhances these wonderful feelings. But when you expect your partner to do this for you, then your self-abandonment creates your misery, insecurity and lack of self-worth. As long as you are abandoning yourself and expecting your partner to do for you what only you can do for yourself, your partner’s love will never be enough to give you the happiness, safety, security and sense of worth that you seek.

Loving Yourself Means….

• Attending, moment-by-moment, to your own feelings, so that you know immediately when you are abandoning yourself with self-judgment, addictions, staying in your head, or making someone else responsible for you.
• Compassionately opening to learning about your own fears and beliefs that may be causing your self-abandonment, and open to learning about what it means to be present and loving to yourself in the face of life’s challenges.
• Exploring your limiting beliefs and resulting behavior that may be causing your painful feelings.
• Opening to your higher self for information about the truth regarding your beliefs, and the loving action toward yourself.
• Taking loving action in your own behalf, based on truth rather than on false, limiting beliefs.
• Evaluating how you feel as a result of taking loving care of yourself.