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Discovering My “Harmony Zone” of Health & Vitality ~ Wholesome Well-Being


 

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It’s hard to believe this was once me and this share will be revealing in terms of things and photos from my life experiences that unveil more pieces of my journey. I’ve lived a very diverse life at both extremes of the spectrum, exploring the dark, the light, the in between….I’ve immersed myself in society’s illusions, spiritual deceptions, and walked in the shoes of being part of the bombardment of messages that are sold to us daily – all to know myself, to know these dynamics, to understand their energy and purpose, and to be able to see that I am all of these and none of these…that I can choose my own reality that now more purely reflects this transmutation I’m coming to experience more and more of, daily.

It’s an ever-flowing evolution of creative execution requiring constant, increasingly conscious presence to hear the voice within.

One of the most visual and tangibly easy ways to share this evolution is through the physical body – my body – the epitome of our divinity that has been abused, mutilated, manipulated by force, neglected, made to feel less than, evil, dirty, and simply hated and made to feel like a punishment for being born as a human in female or male form.

You may not know that at one time I used to:

  • drink and in fact used to be an event and convention model for beer, tequila, and rum
  • I used to eat meat and dairy, wore leather, and modeled it for promotion to female consumers
  • modeled and basically sold sex through scantily clad, “just” covered birthday suit, and lingerie photos in campaigns and fashion shows
  • promoted accepted idealism of beauty and physical fitness through exposure of my body and image spending hours in make up and hair chairs for photo shoots
  • was a model in an exercise video and promotional photo shoot for it
  • modeled for caricatures made of me that were featured as the main character in a zombie comic book series where I was a female military leader combating the zombies and then became one (I do have these comic books, but they are in storage so unable to share at this time)
  • modeled and promo modeled for other companies that included sunglasses, California apparel, lingerie, car shows, bars and alcohol based events, upcoming L.A. fashion designers’ shows, California Mart, etc.
  • went on rigorous auditions for product commercials I had no connection with and reality dating show call-backs where my essence and personal integrity ultimately made me a mismatch vibrationally and finally not chosen in the end because of that
  • filmed public access channel spots that were odd to say the least under the tutelage of a past life abuser that showed up for closure to be rectified
  • stayed conscious of every little pound to ensure the right weight for the camera – knowing the difference between 104 and 105 pounds quite intimately
  • at one time was a gym extremist monitoring everything that went into my body spending 3 hours a day 5+ days a week working out and exhibiting a fitness model body at 13-14% body fat (that’s the low end of average female athletes)
  • evolved into a pescatarian for a while, a vegetarian, and then extreme vegan raw foodist for 2 years
  • and when in my teens, like so many today, was drawn in by images in magazines that I idealized and yearned to emulate and look the same as

All of this is of course being my own choice along my path to choose to experience and emulate what I saw all around me in varying forms and through various modes of marketed “ideals” being advertised and being accepted and manipulated into multiple versions of these “ideals” by different channels of the collective that I tuned into. And later, that included even “ideals” in the spiritual/new age community.

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Captain Morgan girl me

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Tequila girl me in Vegas

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I’m sharing some photos (ones I could easily find) from my modeling (above), one from when I was a raw foodist, and a few of me currently, in order to reflect what I’m sharing and the actualization of it.

I wish I had photos from my extreme gym days, as that would really present a contrast, but for some reason I never took photos then, which seems interesting given I was obviously very physically focused in manipulating my body during that time.

I’m sharing several, as I want to share this side of me that people would not associate with me so that you can really get the “picture” of my journey I’m trying to convey.

These fitness photos you see are from my modeling days (post gym days, which were 8- 10 years earlier) when I did an exercise video and photo shoot promotion for it, which I mentioned above.

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And although I never became addicted to alcohol, never once touched a cigarette, drug, or any form of altering substance outside of alcohol, never had an eating disorder, nor got sucked into anything truly harmful, I still had an unhealthy lack of self worth, body dysmorphic perception which plagues a large majority of the population to some degree or another, used extremes to make up for energies I had neglected, and immersed in the illusion and numbness that while I thought was to help my body, I feel was still not really actually listening to it.

I was listening to ideas in my mind that weren’t taking into account what my body truly desired, but instead were aligning with what the industry was promoting and women were idealizing. Although everything is always perfect and valuable in its experience, there was in fact a reason energetically for every choice that my body would patiently accompany me on to work out the journey I personally needed to experience.

I am grateful for the fact that some part of me always had this lifeline to my purity of frequency that although was muddled and at times pushed aside to listen to other voices I chose to play out on the experiential scene, it was always there to reel me back in, keep control of things, and aided some level of discernment, even if tiny.

Without that I may have developed major challenges, addictions, or worse. But it also kept me aware of not only what I was continuing to subject myself to, that runs through the history of our DNA as a collective, but what I was reflecting to others in message and continuing to support through that.

I was also grateful that my modeling didn’t take place until I was between 29 and 31, as I was able to walk in that world by appearing young, but bringing along with me some of the consciousness, wisdom, and strength I’d managed to work on in the years before.

Not to mention, I got into it for fun and made it a thing of fun, wondering if, at my older age and at my shorter height than the industry standard, I could enter in and try on these collective roles for a while.

It was not my life or life line. There was no desperation involved.

I merely wanted to experience this realm that I’d been enamored with like many others, from a place of immersion for sake of knowing that energy from experience, and for observation.

I received much in doing so, which included some beautiful experiences of creative self expression, confidence and working through some layers of my shyness, my enjoyment of morphing into different me’s, exploring my shadow literally, working through deep seeded beliefs and conditioning around the body and being a female, stepping into the unempowered AND empowered woman simultaneously, and experiencing vulnerability.

I also got to see and experience firsthand this side of the coin and the underlying currents there, including a continuing disregard for body honoring in ways that lifted the female and male counterparts into their strengths, but rather fed off of the weaknesses instilled over ages of forgetting.

And although I had much, much to learn still, my small lifelines were enough to keep me above water and I think was also the saving grace of my pulling out when I did, right before things could have gone a different course if I’d chosen.

I share this background to express that I have walked in different worlds and I do know from experience what these things are like and have been exposed to much along the way.

When I share this, it’s not coming from someone who doesn’t get it, nor from jealousy because I haven’t been there and wish I was something other than myself in looks or otherwise, or even from a place of out right judgment, as I do really get the perfection of all expressions of energy, dynamics, why they are there, and why individuals feel called to different paths in their life to mirror things they are wanting to learn or simply experience as a soul in physical form, not to mention the collective reflection and expression all of these energies play a part in for us all.

What I share is my personal experience having immersed in much that goes beyond the realm of what this post is about, and what for me, personally, it’s led to as to the reality I experience and create now of my choosing – in this case relating to my body and the relationship I have with it now and my health.

It might perhaps have something that resonates in it for who ever is drawn to find this post and read it. And if not, I’ve put it out there energetically as my contribution to the collective energy pool.

Again, I’d like to reiterate that I do see the purpose in all of this and the things I chose, I came to realize the dynamics of while involved in them and yet still felt compelled to follow it through for purposes of living in these shadow aspects of myself while keeping that lifeline to the core of me. That’s not to mean I was aware of every little thing playing out, but I was aware of this underlying pull to see it through for a reason I couldn’t explain to others and even to myself. And where I allowed unconscious acts to fold in, they were the acts chosen as necessary to my evolution.

I’m so grateful for all of it, as truly, even though I went through some crazy and challenging stuff, my life is richer and I’ve come to know myself quite intimately inside and out of the dark and the light.

In dancing with each, I feel we then can create true alchemy.

That has been the case for many things I went through…and although could have chosen otherwise, I chose to live these things out because for me, that was the way to transmute them and how I evolved the most – by living the experience.

Some more facts about me:

When I was younger, I appeared older and more mature.

When I got older, I appeared younger.

I used to wear revealing clothing when younger and never left home without makeup and looking a certain way – while I am an artist and some of this satisfies my need to be creative and morphing, it also was extreme in living as a certain image I felt I needed to portray, a face or mask I hid behind, or an energy I had out of control within my experience.

I used to own a scale and monitored each pound, which was easy with a strongly placed Capricorn ascendant and Mars in Capricorn in my first house to discipline, control, and shift my outer body’s structure without ever having to become bulimic or anorexic. It was simply mind over matter.

I used to have a personal trainer and wrote down everything I ate, while we monitored my body fat and muscle shifts, measuring everything and doing what the body didn’t want because the mind willed it into tight muscley rigid, command.

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The 100% raw vegan me at my art booth in the Sedona Raw Spirit Fest at 105 lbs of waif, lean, floaty presence when I lost my curves including chest, hips, and the bubble butt I always had as my trademark 😉

 

Later I went to the extreme of inhaling every superfood, holistic supplementation, doing every cleanse, juicing, and colonic on continual intervals to rewire myself, hiring a personal raw food chef, purchasing raw food books, and adamantly refusing anything that wasn’t raw vegan. I was fanatical in a new extreme way. I went to Bikram yoga and sweated out the “toxins” and immersed heavily into a new version of health and body consciousness that I was surrounded by.

And somewhere in between my extremes, I indulged in so-called “fine” foods and drinking to just drink and do like the others around me. I could hold more alcohol than most people if I wanted and yet still never had any affinity to it, no addiction, nor even really liked most any of it. It was an idea and I could morph into that to assume the experience.

And within each experience and time period of my life I wore clothing that “fit” each of these images I was swimming in.

I’ve lived in the extremes. And I never found or experienced true self love and peace in any of them.

And having immersed in these extremes of realities with focus on different versions of dictating the physical body, which are received in messages from varying camps of thought and then executed by my choice to join them, it had an affect on detaching from honoring the sacred wisdom my body had all on its own, which knows what it wants and how that looks and feels, which isn’t about getting caught in any small or large stream of information and messaging that is being offered by that which is outside the cellular and DNA wisdom within.

In some way or another, although all of these messages are provided with intent to help in their own way, it all still felt to me to be limited, restrictive, and obsessively addictive….to be a way to keep me in subconscious dislike of myself and the physical body’s divine partnership with spirit that is ever-flowing.

The me now:

I no longer strive to be a chiseled woman – my version of dancing in the male energy I yearned to strengthen.

I no longer strive to have a yoga body – my version of dancing in the female energy I then needed to strengthen in direct respect.

I honor each of these and their male and female energetic purposes and value, and yet I’ve been led to find a different way most resonant to the balance and integration I seek. One that honors both my sacred male and female in honoring each’s wisdom and embodying this as an emanating quality where my body relaxes into the expression of each in ways I would not have reasoned out with my mind, but it comes through in listening and supporting action of their wisdom alone.

I now listen to the new male and female within that are learning to recreate themselves in core ways.

What that looks like is not an ultimate end goal result, but an ever-evolving one, day-to-day.

This is not to say that either the extreme chiseled or extreme yoga woman me was wrong in any way, but they truly aren’t me at the core. They may be what others feel is their essence or one might find their own mix of some of each combined with a whole gamut of other versions…like an athlete, dancer, gymnast, etc. too.

We each have a different energy signature and individual expression of All That Is to play out….and for some that will shift along the way, as we uncover the layers to our trueness.

I know that when I was a child it was all about dancing and being a ballerina, which goes along with the Faery me, no doubt. And I continued dancing into adulthood at clubs – even considered at one time being a go-go dancer 🙂 and later took salsa lessons. The dancer would definitely be me, but not in any professional way that would involve rigid discipline and competition, as that doesn’t feed my soul personally.

I dance for the sake of my soul being on fire with passion flowing through me and that might just be in private, or whenever the moment moves me.

This is the difference, for me, with any of these things, as there is a yearning to just flow now, which is what going through my rolfing sessions reiterated to me, which I did in the years later after the gym.

Rolfing helped me to undo and release layers of the old memories and core emotions that were held in my muscles so tightly and to be more of that free dancer, returning my body to its elongated flow and flexibility I resonated with. I’ve even considered doing that again, as I loved what took place in that process of return, which may be potent at this point. Who knows what I might be led to. I’ll listen to my body, though, that’s for sure.

I’ve now melted into my own version of natural, which my body is guiding me toward.

My “diet” of body, mind, heart, and soul is a “nature diet” honoring the “nature of me” and following my soul’s joy, which then my mind supports the actions shared by my body’s rhythms of flowing intelligence.

This to me being a partnership of sacred male and female honoring one another.

And now I have chosen my balance – a balance that most resonates with my soul frequency, the embodiment I choose to inhabit, and the celebration of my nature and inner harmony that continues to find the comfort, self value, and true self love that isn’t about any of this, but about listening to the energy moving through me, who I really am, and what I am really here to experience, embody, and reflect.

Now I just am what I am, melting into all that I’ve processed through these experiences and come to create as my own new reality that isn’t about trying to portray something that has been force fed to me by any realm – media, society, the spiritual community, the health enthusiasts, doctors, “experts”, and even the do-gooders that want to share their revelations they feel others should follow to receive equal happiness and health.

I know what it feels like when we discover things that create such amazing shifts in our lives….there’s excitement to shout it out to the world, as we do have a connection and love shared collectively and there’s this innate feeling to want to be supportive.

And so I still walk that line of feeling challenged on what to express and how to express it, especially knowing that what I say and put out there has its own effects. Sometimes this experience is one of learning out loud in the process of sharing it, from the current place I’m at, how that feels, and readjusting and tweaking things for the future.

I’m a work in progress and have chosen to make that public and be vulnerable about it. That’s my way of being personally accountable. That’s part of my purpose.

But I’ve settled into the same place with this expression, as I have with my own health, vitality, body, weight, physical appearance, etc. – to just be me in the fullest way I know possible, embodying my truth, and the beliefs I hold important enough to walk in the shoes of.

This is what I’m experiencing in terms of my now physicality and health that has come to be reflected, as this is what I’m focusing on for this share:

  • looking more integrated, I suppose
  • a mixture of innocent and ancient
  • having both dark and light
  • celebrating my silver hairs that are growing in, even creating an Elvira Faery stripe and letting them adorn my crown with grace as a mirror of the depth of who I am and what I’ve been through

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  • getting rid of the scale and happily wearing larger sizes
  • loving the round curves, the extra Earthy weight, embracing both my fat and muscles and enjoying the softness of my real femininity
  • wearing makeup only when I want to express a different creative feminine part of myself or have Faery fun, but am completely at home 90% of the time without
  • only being drawn to natural forms of exercise that take me into nature like hiking, biking, and kayaking, yet only with the goal of enjoying and connecting with Earth’s gifts – I never see it as a means to an end in terms of exercise for weight control or to make up for something I ate – and yet I’m still physically fit with a natural balance of fat and muscle
  • wearing clothes that mirror how I feel and my unique creative expression alone, which is why I wear skirts and dresses hiking, for example – because it’s more comfortable and me
  • being 100% vegan, but muddying up my diet to eat what ever I choose and enjoying things in moderation that my body determines alone and not my mind, not monitoring everything I eat or feeling guilty or like I need to make up for something and not depriving myself. I basically eat what I want – cooked or raw, but pretty much solidly cooked at this point, as that is what resonates for my path right now and my physical needs, along with what I want to manifest – all within my vegan lifestyle choice that matches my soul’s essence and mirrors the expression of my spirit in physical form.
  • I don’t drink and haven’t for the last 11 years.
  • I am physically fit in terms of my ability to do the things I love, which include hiking and biking several miles pretty much daily (we do anywhere from 2 – 10 miles depending on the trail that calls) and quite quickly when/if desired or the energy moves me, can ascend several thousand feet in elevation or hike at extreme elevation without breathing issues, have complete flexibility with my body even though I don’t do yoga anymore, my bones are stronger than they were when I was eating in any other way (I have fractured multiple bones in the past, whereas an accident I had recently where I clearly should have had a break, hearing things crack, in fact did not happen with the way things are currently).

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  • My skin is clear and has no more issues with acne that I faced during large parts of my past.
  • My hair and nails grow excessively fast – it was only 3 years ago that my hair was buzzed close to my head like a guy, trimmed into different styles since, and now is at the middle of my lower back.
  • living a spiritually Earth-based life that I keep learning to balance more and more, as all things are an ever-evolving journey

And I know I will continue to morph, as I continue to grow along my path.

It’s constantly shifting as to what this looks and feels like for me, but this is as best as I can describe it above, for the current experience I’m having and seeing with myself.

If I wanted to change what this physical expression of myself is, I could do that at any moment, but I have no desire to change what has, and is, naturally settling into harmony inside and out.

I’m not thinking it into being…it’s a process of relearning to just “be”.

I may not look like the sleek model me at 104 pounds.

I may not look like the fitness athlete me at 115 pounds of muscle bound physique.

I may not look like the 100% raw vegan lean, light, and waif me at 105 pounds.

I am 43 and a half in Earth years, this go around.

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The present, natural me

 

I am 5’5″ and likely weigh about 125+ lbs since the last time I was weighed on a doctor’s scale with clothes on I was 128 in Utah when I had my elbow checked from a mountain biking fall I shared having with miraculously no break. That’s 20+ lbs or more of “natural” love, joy, and harmony than what I allowed as an ideal at one point. And it’s a mix of fat, muscle, soft, firm, thicker and more solid, smooth, ripply, and of course heavily tattooed since my modeling days when I only had two small tattoos – basically fully embodied and grounded.

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The present, natural me

 

 

But best and most importantly of all – I feel at peace.

 

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The present, peaceful me

 

None of the rest of the above would matter, other than sharing what has evolved as means of where the journey has taken me, as peace is my truest expression to experience even if that means for one more day, week, or 50+ more years of life on this Earth.

My body has found its “harmony zone” where I can basically do what I love most and eat anything that brings me joy within the realm of my “nature” when I listen, nurture, and support what I feel without punishment, guilt, and “ideas” or “charge” about rights and wrongs.

Simply put…it’s in it’s personal harmony zone by following “my” authentic, personal joy, which I’ve been coming to know by walking through many versions and extremes of experience.

I have no issue with sharing my age, weight, etc….as well as have no need to prove anything with sharing them either.

I know that they don’t define me, just like everything shared here doesn’t, but also I have no fear of them.

I don’t need to prove that age and weight don’t matter, just as much as I don’t need to prove that they do.

I share them just as celebration and honor of the totality of who I am right here and now with no need to withhold and no need to say, “hey look at me!”

This is a share of vulnerability.

Exposing my journey.

Exposing my body.

Exposing my dance with shadow and light.

I don’t need to be extreme on either end, but feel that my personal expression and path is about undefining things and being able to move in and out of experiences without taking a side and without need to continue being an extremist or feel a charge around anything.

I honor and am grateful for my entire journey and the energy that has played a part in who I am today that gives me an appreciation and understanding for the spectrum of realities playing out collectively as well.

This is my experience and where I feel most at home. And yet each of the places I found myself in at one time or another, served their purpose in knowing where home is for me.

While I know it may not sound like a huge shift to some people to be 20+ lbs more than I used to be, all experiences are relative and it’s not to be compared, but to be taken at the level of the experience of the individual.

It’s a huge deal, coming from a lifetime of restrictions, monitoring, and delegating to my body in one way or another, to now relax and let go into its own wisdom and comfort that has settled into where it really wants to be.

Although people may say I’m still on the spectrum of “thin,” the key I’m focusing on is how this natural zone of my own health and vitality has come to take root by honoring the core within and having no restrictive measures other than honoring what my essence truly is about, which is the same messaging from spirit of what my soul vibrates at in terms of being 100% vegan – that’s not an idea I contrive – it’s the sustenance needed for my personal frequency and vibration.

I’m my own version of “ideal” that my body wants to express itself as without manipulation. It has settled into the comfort of its own personal haven of peace and pleasure that celebrates my sacred feminine and masculine within.

I’m loving this new me.

I’m loving the ancient me coming through.

I’m loving that I still vibrate youth as well because of my constant heart connection and desire to see the beauty and magick within it all rather than attach to a “look” to strive for or that creates fear and hate around wrinkles or extra weight that is simply nature’s cycles.

Could we defy all of this and ascend into light forms?

Certainly and may do just that, but there is beauty in the process and the stages and dynamics of life that Nature mirrors to us daily. There is nothing wrong with living in the grace of this. We are in human bodies for a reason. We are physical and mirror Nature for a reason.

This “now” me is a reflection of my Middle Way that comes from having explored and deciding what feels most naturally aligned and reflective of my soul signature at this time and where I feel led to move into.

I realize and celebrate that others are not on the same path as me, but in sharing this perhaps it might provide another perspective to create your own version of reality and what you want as YOUR experience of soul in flesh.

Afterall, what we put out there, like it or not, is influencing others and sends a message you may not even realize you’re sending.

And while we all (including myself) may have the best of intentions and truly are experiencing what we in this moment feel as ideal, motivational, or proving a point or message, we might also be carrying a load of underlying messages to others that are unattainable on so many levels including that everyone has different motivators, that it’s not their energetic path as it is yours, and that create extremism in other ways that can still create issues around self worth, self hate, and feeling less than, or more.

And still, this is all perfect too, as there is purpose to the paths we are each currently on, and to what we are drawn to, what we focus on, and the growth these choices have in potential for us.

Being conscious of the full spectrum of dynamics and effects our choices and messages make, make our choices….well….more conscious. 🙂

We impact the collective with everything we do, feel, and say.

If we recognize that our journey here is about our individual self expression of our piece of the collective, we can understand that it all has its place, and the most important piece is YOURS, as the clearer you are with YOUR expression of All That Is, the clearer others will be with theirs.

We place a lot of focus on the outside (and that goes for any realm of society and communities – spiritually or physically focused – that all magnify ideals at us, which include the physical, but also every other level of experience as well).

The physical is the easiest to manipulate, and yet perhaps the inside might know exactly how to formulate the outside if we softened into listening to it.

I don’t have all the answers, and continue to explore, observe, and try to understand the energy streams out there.

But I do know that in my own exploration, the peace has only arrived now.

I have discovered that the body has its own sacred wisdom and divinity that basically knows the perfect balance that honors our essence and will always align us with what it knows as health and vitality if we listen to it, rather than dictate it from a place of dishonor and disregard to its wisdom.

Sure, that is a process and will take some time to balance out, but the more we honor its voice and the very richness of knowledge within its cells and DNA, the more we we find ourselves experiencing true well being.

What ever you do, DO IT FOR YOURSELF and know that it’s about the energy YOU are working with and working out in YOUR own life right now and it’s NOT EVERYONE’S path at this time.

That includes the one I share here of mine.

My journey is simply my expression of this that has naturally evolved, offered as another perspective in the energy stream to explore, and as celebration and honor of your divine human body and its own wisdom to guide you harmoniously.

This may release that charge every time you meet or see someone you feel instantly compelled to judge or change.

This may release that charge every time you meet or see someone you feel instantly compelled to emulate.

There is no perfect way to express any message, as the second you say or write a word, it immediately takes you out of the formless energy that has more expansive meaning than the limiting words that will either be heard differently based on someone’s personal filters and experience, be charged with any residual energy you might not be aware of operating beneath the surface, create an opposing side merely by finiting something, will feel like a personal attack to someone who’s in the middle of their own journey with strong beliefs, come across in a multitude of ways you haven’t even considered by people on all spectrums of conscious and less conscious paths, or so much more.

Anyone on the same frequency stream as you, or that your frequency stream would be supportive to as the next step on someone’s path for what ever reason, will hear through to the energy behind the words.

All I can do is share from where I am in the present moment and I’ve been willing to vulnerably put my experience and thoughts out there publicly, knowing they will not resonate with everyone, let alone any kind of majority.

One must simply be and be okay with that.

And that is a huge part of health and vitality to me….simply being me, as most naturally as possible.

Health and vitality has a new face.

It’s the face of YOUR heart in harmony with YOU.

It is wholesome well-being.

Asserting Yourself Equals Greater Balance, Well-Being, Health & Vibrancy


I was tuning in this morning to see what theme was important to support others with and again got that “being true to oneself”, “taking action on the feelings and intuitive guidance you have in support of that truth”, and “boundaries” were speaking out.

I also know that a lot of people have body image challenges and confusion around wellness “idealism” because of a lot of conditioned messages we’re bombarded by (more than you may even realize from all sources around you), which is why I reblogged and added to this older post of mine last week: True or False? I Am Perfect Just As I Am, which only but scratches the surface of some of these things.

(I went on this last weekend to having a really in-depth discussion about even more myths I started cracking that were so freeing when I brought them to light – you’d be surprised at even the seemingly “positive” conditioning that is controlling your life by some other people’s/person’s/collective idea of idealism)

Anyway, these themes all go hand-in-hand and all of them have a common thread of consistent self-assertion being important.

I then decided to go open up a couple of books I have from Shakti Gawain and Louise L. Hay to see what they may want to share on the subject for everyone and what do you know?

They had a couple of things to say on the pages I opened to that went right along with this and that were in line with one another.

So here are just a few words from Shakti and Louise to help you to begin a new dialogue with yourself, open new perspectives, trigger a shift, and inspire you into living a more authentic, healthy, balanced, and empowered life.

From Shakti Gawain:

Assert Yourself Consistently

“The most important key to creating your perfect body is learning to assert yourself consistently in your life. For example, overweight people may have a pattern of doubting themselves, of being afraid to trust their feelings and act on them. We especially need to learn how to say no to others when we don’t want to do something. Overweight people often try to please and take care of others. When our first priority is to please and take care of others, we are denying who we really are and what we really feel. When we are afraid to be true to ourselves, our bodies will always serve us by reflecting those fears, so we can become conscious of them and heal them.”

Take Action

“The key to asserting yourself is to take action on your feeling and intuition. I have seen people begin to lose weight or become physically healthier simply by doing something they’ve been afraid to do, or by expressing some feeling they’ve suppressed. By becoming more assertive, underweight people become more willing to take up space in the world. By continuing to speak and act your truth, you will dissolve blocks and find your proper weight.”

Risk Asserting Yourself

“At first the prospect of asserting yourself moment to moment can be frightening. We are not used to stating what we need and taking the action necessary to give it to ourselves. It takes a conscious effort for us to tune in to how we feel and to risk doing it. But once you start, you’ll want to keep doing it. You will have more energy and look more radiant.”

Balancing weight easily and naturally

“Once overweight people learn true assertion, they are often able to lose weight easily and naturally, without any type of deprivation. The increased energy circulating in their bodies dissolves the blocked energy and the extra weight gradually melts away. They do not need it for strength or protection so they release it effortlessly. By the same process of assertion, underweight people release their fear and are able to take in more life and more nourishment. It becomes safe for them to take up more space. If any particular food plan is needed, they will be intuitively led to an appropriate nutritional consultant and diet.”

From Louise L. Hay:

“We need to do more than just treat the symptom. We need to eliminate the cause of the dis-ease. We need to go within ourselves where the process of illness began.

Listen to your body’s messages.

The body, like everything else in life, is a mirror of your inner thoughts and beliefs. Every cell responds to every single thought you think and every word you speak. (My personal note: And might I add, and EVERYTHING that you FEEL)

Good health is having no fatigue, having a good appetite, going to sleep and awakening easily, having a good memory, having good humor, having precision in thought and action, and being honest, humble, grateful and loving. How healthy are you?

Only accept what is best for you.

Some people don’t know how to say ‘no.’ The only way they know how to say ‘no,’ is to be ill.

If I threw a hot potato at you, what would you do with it? Would you catch it? Would you hold it while it was burning your hand? Why would you even catch it? Why don’t you just step out of the way? It is possible to refuse anything, even a gift. Are you aware of that?”

How Much Are You Filtering Your Truth? – Image Alterations Aren’t Just For Big Media Anymore


laura and me (2)

Cloud Gate sculpture — referred to by locals as “The Bean”, by British artist Anish Kapoor in Millennium Park, Chicago – Laura and I take a photo of ourselves that creates an interesting perspective.

We are all aware of the mass deception behind images in advertisements and media with the use of airbrushing, photoshopping, digital alteration, etc. And while many are outraged at this deceit and manipulation of distorted, “perfected”, and some one’s strange version of idealized images that are feeding disorders and damaging self-worth values, there seems to be a trickle down effect that is now being carried out by the hands of consumers themselves.

Given the advances in technology, one has to wonder if this is a) the effect of manipulated conditioning to join in the self-deception and devaluing of all that is naturally beautiful and perfectly imperfect, b) the product of our acceptance and odd love/hate relationship with it and ourselves, or c) both.

While I recognize these advancements as tools for freedom of expression and creativity, there are some pitfalls to this accessible means of “filtering” and “editing” that unknowingly is mirroring the deceptive hands of big media and the pained parts of ourselves crying out for love.

Some may argue that we are being force-fed the ability to do as advertising firms and corporations do, so as to perhaps lessen the focus on their role in these harmful practices, since now it is easy for you too, to manipulate your own self-image, as you would like to project it. While others may cringe at the strange twist of fate that has us now responding to the law of demand they have created us to desire with the illusions and manipulation, so that we can mimic the same deceptions, without the middle man, and do it to ourselves.

Have we become so conditioned into accepting these “idealizations” and rejecting our beautifully “natural” and “real” authenticity that we now would do this? Think about it.

What am I getting at you ask? Well, simply that fact that the public is now widely adopting the similar practices because of the ease of attainable technologies that are being created in response to a twisted demand. What people feel to be a serious and unhealthy abomination affecting the psyche of young and mature women and men alike, across the globe, is now strangely being implemented on a daily basis to imitate the very thing we feel is damaging to us, albeit, in the name of creativity.

I’ve been contemplating this over the last few months, discussed my observations with a few close to me, and shared how incredulous this is. But the reality is, it has become a reality and I felt a nudge to voice it because I find it to be potentially damaging to all of the invested personal work being implemented in terms of self-love and embrace of your authentic personal frequency and true, luminous beauty that you’ve been doing. And it seems so harmless since it comes under the guise of creative expression, which makes it even more threatening.

I see images that people post and I hear comments from many people about the kinds of photos they post of themselves. Like anything I share, it’s never a blanket statement of everyone, but because it is such a big and growing group, I feel there is something important to take away from the observations and perhaps this may spur an inner dialogue with anyone who reads it. Maybe it reveals some of the ways we might be counter-productively buying in to this mass acceptance of devaluing or false projections, and how it not only may be damaging to yourself, but anyone who you are reflecting to, if in fact being used to hide behind, as opposed to creating “art”, which it is thought to be there for.

What I’m talking about is things like the digital filters, especially in social networking platforms like Instagram and built in apps to other social media like Facebook, as well as through our cell phones, which alter the photos we take. Not only do we have Adobe Photoshop where every kind of manipulation can be made, but now we have at-your-finger’s-reach-ability to manipulate instantly and easily.

Instagram advertises: “Take a picture or video, choose a filter to transform its look and feel, then post to Instagram — it’s that easy….It’s a new way to see the world.”

But at what cost are we “seeing the world” if we are false projecting to each other? 

This sounds a bit like popping a pill to erase your memory and thinking/feeling capacity – think “Blue Pill” (blissful ignorance of illusion) in the Matrix.

Deenesh Ghyczy

One of Deenesh Ghyczy’s fragmented figurative paintings

There’s a whole lot of value in widening our perceptions and seeing from different perspectives, but if the new way to see the world is by taking something that feels not so good, and falsifying it through an alteration to temporarily relieve us and gain outside appreciation that we are craving from ourselves, within, then this world we’re “seeing” isn’t the kind I personally would like to have as my new reality.

Now, I know this may seem like I’m reaching or that it is borderline creativity vs. deceptive illusions. But I’m not knocking the artistic abilities that are simultaneously being offered to many to create interesting imagery that at one time was only available to an artist with the gift to paint or draw, to a photographer who had different lens attachments we don’t have, or to someone who could afford pricey programs to digitally create things.

The fact that anyone can now create “art” and play with creativity is great, but is it worth it to entertain in the ways that some are, and what are the hidden downfalls to watch out for if you do?

What I’m hitting on is the ways it is damaging to how we view ourselves and how that may affect our ability to function from a whole state of well-being, along with the collective message we are empowering through acceptance of this practice. Everything starts out small, but has the potential to escalate from there if it isn’t recognized for what it is and reined in early.

I have heard many people say they won’t take a photo of themselves “unless it is through an Instagram filter” or “thank goodness for Instagram because it’s the only thing that makes me look good”. Referring to hiding this, that, or the other imperfection.

Really? What happened to not liking how magazines manipulate how people look? Why are we now becoming the very thing we felt was damaging and an absurd and fabricated lie of false advertising?

It used to be that a woman might not leave the house without her makeup on. Now, it’s a matter of not sharing a photo without your filter on.

Now, I know it’s not that people are creating longer limbs, chiseling waistlines, enlarging, decreasing, adding where there isn’t, etc., with these applications, but the filters are in fact being used to “hide” things in some way or another, or make us into what we feel is a more attractive image that feels better to project.

I also know that cameras can be unforgiving and put on extra pounds where there aren’t, or that some people simply don’t translate on camera the same as in person. This has always been something people were aware of and made adjustments for. (Not necessarily making it a thing we should accept as an ok practice to avoid because it’s always been that way, as it is our judgments against self that has increasingly become the culprit) But it seems to me that little by little we are being given the tools to not just shift this way to feel better, or completely refuse the photo, but instead can manipulate and alter to appease our egos. And the thing is, it isn’t stopping there, as editing through many different platforms is increasingly taking place whether through photo-altering programs (like Adobe Photoshop), when there’s more time available, or even editing our words we share in all social media platforms, so that nothing is raw, real, or in the moment.

Filters have become the “quick-fix”.

Everything is devised into an “ideal” way we want to be perceived based on what we think about how others will think of us.

And beyond the filters, haven’t we all heard, and said ourselves, “this is my good side”, “only take a photo of me at this angle when I’m sitting or standing between people, or from above to make me look tall and thin”. We have become our own judges and magazine editors to not only tear ourselves down, but to hide behind illusionary filters, rather than “see, feel, and be” the raw truth of our nature without worrying what others think.

I have worked with many photographers in the past when I was modeling and have seen some of them manipulate my photos in ways I didn’t like, taking away my beauty mark on my chin if they saw fit, or airbrushing away at the skin to take away any natural indications of a life well-lived through lines, the sun’s kiss on the skin, or natural pores.

Back in the day I didn’t have a say in what they did to some of my photos, but now I do, and if I were to have a professional photo shoot (especially after I’ve really explored the meaning and implications of all of this), I’ll be sure to exercise it, as well as would seek out a photographer who is more of a “soul essence” photographer rather than handy at Photoshop.

But for the most part, I find that photos taken by amateur photographers, which can be a friend, partner, or family member, and sometimes even yourself, can just as much capture your naturally beautiful essence, if “you” are in your naturally beautiful essence.

I don’t know about you, but I rather prefer that when you see/meet me in person, the same person shows up that you are seeing in the photo.

As an artist, I believe wholeheartedly in art and creativity and there is a time and place for that and conveying a certain quality to the imagery projected (ie. creative quality as fun and art vs. purposeful illusory alterations of what is meant to be a natural image to perpetrate something it isn’t). So it does depend on the context it is being used. But when we are specifically manipulating the natural beauty of people or even nature, in a real-time photo, to make it fit a better looking ideal to receive acceptance and praise for, does that make it art? Or, is that deceptive and harmful in more ways than is realized in the moment when we are fixated on this altered image?

Some may say that it is helpful in visualizing the ideal you, to see yourself in these manipulated versions. My only answer to that, are questions.

Are you visualizing this particular “ideal” because you were conditioned to and as a response to not yet repatterning yourself into self-love? Is it truly a natural version of you if you were in your vibration of authentically balanced well-being, so hence is a projected vision you are naturally manifesting?

I think the key is to understand who you are as an individual and what is naturally within the personal, vibrational framework of your creation that will result from a healthy embrace of life, expressive sharing, and integrated healing. For instance, I believe we each have a “natural” weight that we would be if we were in balance, love, and joy of ourselves and the expression of who we are. It will likely not be what you “think” that ideal is and nor can it be compared to someone else, as we are each unique. Nothing about us will be the same.

Aren’t we always regurgitating the importance of loving ourselves exactly as we are? Well….again, another opportunity to walk the walk. And yes, I know this comes with a lot of conscious commitment and work to move through the pains and misunderstandings of the past, but it is possible.

I wrote a post that looks a bit further into this, so you can read more about self value here: True or False? I Am Perfect Just As I Am

The main point of THIS post is to share a perspective to individually explore in how we may or may not be hindering the very values we are working toward embodying, as well as to help us be more mindful of the practices we are engaging in and accepting, in terms of how they relate to the bigger picture.

Technology can be used in synergy with nature if we wisely utilize it as such. But unfortunately, I am seeing a lot of technological advances getting out of hand and driving us farther away from our relationship WITH nature, rather than bringing us to a better understanding and the productive partnership it could be. Not all advances are healthy advances. And manipulations whether of food, nature’s cycles, ecosystems, DNA, information, or even images, are definitely on the radar for making the hair on the back your neck stand up.

Idealizing specific images, genetics, physical traits, or anything unrealistically natural or celebratory of diversity, is not only personally harmful to each, but creates the potential for major segregation, mass judgments, and worse.

This has the ability to alter our perceptions of what is healthy, beautiful, natural, and attainable. Why is it that we are accepting media’s representation of abnormal ideals into our daily lives, even if that is in what we think are harmless and fun ways?

Is it really harmless? Or is it yet another way of deceiving ourselves and setting us up for bigger and more harmful deceptions down the road?

For what it’s worth, I felt guided to share this and as always, you can do with it as feels aligned with your own heart, as we all have free will.

It’s a harsh enough reality that we hear of so much depression, disorders, plastic surgery, and medications to suppress the associated feelings, but there are the damages of deaths also taking their toll, and unhealthy relationships all stemming from things like acceptance of these “industry standards” that we are now, little by little, in trickling ways, accepting into the mainstream of life. Companies are making tons of money off of the insecurities being created.

Self-empowerment and love is freedom.

As mentioned, image manipulation can be done for artistic reasons, but are also being unfortunately used as deceitful tools or harmful false projections. People are easily swayed by photos, as vision is a powerful stimulus to belief. We’ve all heard people say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”  So when that visual cortex of the brain is triggered to process information seen, it creates a responsive acceptance, unless you have other ways of filtering your beliefs and behaviors.

Image manipulation transforms images to convey what you want, instead of offering what the original image is. If creating art with a specific purpose, this may be appropriate, but if just sharing yourself with friends and family, wouldn’t it make more sense to have it be real?

So the next time you choose the photo to represent you and contemplate the filter to convey it, it may be interesting to listen closely to the inner dialogue going on while doing so. There’s nothing wrong with choosing a photo that shows you at your “natural” best, conveys the essence of feeling or quality you desire to share, or really highlights your special and unique features and characteristics.

However, if you find yourself caught up in damaging self-dialogue and deeply fixated on “altering” your images to “hide” a beautiful reality of you that others would likely find reflective and comforting of their own unique and natural beauty, then maybe there’s something to what I’m sharing.

The more we each can take courageous steps to share our vulnerability a little more each day, the more we help others to do the same.

I see these filters to be much more than a creative tool. I see them also being symbolic of a way of filtering and numbing out what we don’t want to see, hear, feel, and experience, which is a form of self-denial. Like anything that has productive and nonproductive qualities, this makes them a tricky, yet useful tool for learning and growth. I’ve come to see the filters as equating to the illusions and veils we would like to see erased so that we can see clearly and stand in our power.

However, the way that happens is to remove the filters.

If not being consciously monitored, I see these filters as a potential hindrance that could symbolize our keeping blinders on and numbing us to the raw, refreshing, renewing, and freeing reality we so desire. And I don’t feel that it will stop at just this, unless we connect the dots and make the conscious connections with everything in our lives we are engaged in. 

I see the filters hiding our natural beauty and falsifying our relationship to self, others, and to the nature of reality, and Nature, itself. They’ve taken photoshopping to the instant-editing platform of social media and it won’t stop there.

So keep your senses about you and your heart full of self-love.

What drives the choices you are making? Are you faking your way through life, hiding, or embellishing in order to feel alive and connected, when in fact you don’t? Or are you living and loving out loud, who you really are?

True or False? I Am Perfect Just As I Am


mirror reflectionsSelf worth.

Self love.

These are likely things you have come to know as being so vital and important to embrace within yourself – the source from which the rest of your life will reflect – and yet they are the very things that present the most challenge and can undermine all of the positive work you have invested into changes you desire, when they are not exercised and nurtured within.

The way you value yourself can show up in many different forms that are not always blatantly obvious. That can be the times you settle for something less than what you desire – be it a job, relationship, friendship, or even verbal/emotional abuse. It can even be depriving yourself of an experience you don’t feel deserving of, censoring yourself out of fear of judgment, wanting to please everyone else, or wanting to fit in to some social or cultural obligation, not allowing yourself to experience happiness in the moment when something wonderful happens, working yourself hard without giving yourself time to do something you love, not honoring, being grateful for, and rewarding yourself for every step you’ve implemented, and of course when you are looking in the mirror and allowing something beyond your true worth and beauty to speak to you in a way that makes you feel unattractive, not good enough, embarrassed, ashamed, or worse.

It also shows up when your food choices are riddled with and driven by guilt and the never-to-be-satisfied drive to look like some ideal others have created to be of worth, rather than authentically chosen from a vibrational reflection of your body. And yes, it even is there when you obsess with guilt over having to make up for eating some fun foods with forced, stringent bouts of strict eating, juicing and cleansing obsessively (rather than in natural flow with your body’s rhythms), over-exercising, and even using spiritual practices in the form of an ego “sentence” ruled down upon you to make up for doing something you think is “not” spiritual.

Even the things that can actually be healthy balances in our lives can become obsessions of an ideal, fabricated from within the doctrines of its origin, as being deemed “the way” otherwise you aren’t on “the path”.

And which path might that be, is what I would ask?

These and more, are ways in which we undermine ourselves, forget our value and the importance of loving ourselves unconditionally, just as the Universe loves each of us. They are ways we avoid hearing the authentic messages within our very being and body and instead place the power outside of ourselves when we listen to untruths.

Something becomes true for you only because you give it power. It becomes your reality because you choose it. That doesn’t mean it is “the way” or “the truth” or the “ultimate reality”. It merely means that’s where you’ve temporarily decided to invest your decision making process for what you are choosing to learn in the moment. And at any moment you can choose to invest in yourself, instead, and actualize a new reality that is authentic to you and brings you great inner and outer harmony.

And all of this pertains to both men and women, equally.

We have learned to see not from our own heart’s vision, but through a filtered lens fabricated from conditioned societal patterns that are being driven from fear of self-love. Much of the images, advice, and protocols to take, make it appear that if we really loved ourselves we would do this and that, which creates a vicious pattern of chasing after the very thing they say is the reason you are doing them for. When in actuality, if you come to truly understand your worth and love yourself for the authentic beauty of who you really are right now, you would realize the false distortions these stories are telling you. You’d recognize how you are perfect in your imperfection. You’d recognize that you don’t have to prove something to anyone else. You need only to be true to you.

Hard to imagine, right? with everything bombarding you otherwise, but it is the truth.

It reminds me of a “house of mirrors” that you experiences at fairs, carnivals, and amusement parks. These mirrors present distorted reflections that can be either humorous or frightening. In this case, the information we’ve been conditioned to believe is a fabricated mirror like these that present a distortion, which feeds off of our level of self worth, or lack of. If you have a low level of value and love for self, the false distortions we see and are told, take hold and start to become the frightening reality you believe in. If you have a high level of self love, value, and confidence, then you find the humor in the distortion reflected and mirror back the real reflection, which shatters the source from which the fabrication came.

In fiction, battles sometimes take place within a hall of mirrors because this is a great way to symbolically show the trickery potential of a villain. In this case the villain is merely a shadow aspect trying to get our attention and help us to evolve into the empowered, loving essence of who we really are. It’s really not a devised plan to deliberately hurt you, although it does when we choose to give power to that story. It is a way we have created to get our attention via different messaging triggers to realize our wholeness and step back into it.

I often see, even within the spiritual, new age, and healthy living realms, these idealized versions of a particular body type and life style that are being marketed as the ideal to live up to. I see the same obsessions with looks, weight, surgical body alterations, hard-core exercise to push the body to the extremes, and even comparisons of yogic abilities, the right clothes and image, what your life should look like and where and how you should live, and can sense and hear even the jealousy over spiritual abilities you feel you need to attain to be like others, etc.

It’s the same kind of mass-marketing media projections, just under a spiritual guise of the need to turn back the hands of time and be these sculpted lives and bodies that reflect your so-called spiritual achievements.

No, you don’t have to be a certain weight, have flawless skin, no traces of cellulite, be muscularly chiseled, have a flat tummy, no wrinkles or white hair, be able to bend backwards, take only one deep breath per minute, live on juices alone, be a fluid psychic, channeler, or have some huge mystical experience, or speak and feel “bliss” every other word and every second of your day, nor do you have to become proficient in everything, have a certain type of “job”, or move to some exotic location and live by a new set of spiritual rules that don’t align with who you are.

You CAN have these things and may even be led to them or manifest them at some point, but they aren’t pre-requisites to your being on a spiritually enlightened path, nor something you need to “attain” in order to feel worthy. As long as they are natural extensions of your personal frequency match, then they just may naturally happen for you simply from relaxing into loving and flowing with the heart of who you are and emanating that through everything you do consistently and with every being you encounter.

However, none of these make you any less than or greater than. They have attached definitions creating their “ideal” nature by some people, but the Universe has no judgment, attachment, or final destination for you to arrive at. All there is is the now moment for you to unconditionally love every single part of you and your experience, which will provide the real benefits and lasting fulfillment these other false achievements seem to promise.

And, by the way, you were born worthy. Worthy of the abundant being that you are to have an over-flow of wholeness in your experience.

Now, more than ever, is time to relax into the nature of you, as we are globally responding to a call to “return to natural harmony” and that means both within and without. You can’t expect to honor the natural cycles and flow that are inherent in Earth’s experience, if you don’t honor the same for yourself.

And yet, while I share this, I know this is not so easy to always practice in your life. But I do promise, it gets easier, the more you release the judgments and self-punishing ways you defeat your true power. I know that the stories can feel so real at the time you are experiencing them, but they really mask and take you away from committing to the love of you.

Obsessing over things is a diversion where we invest time and energy into feeling bad over something or punishing ourselves for not being enlightened, for example, because we have a pimple that day. So you then disempower yourself by looking at what you did wrong to create the thing you’re focusing on as a problem, rather than relaxing into continuing to hold your light and strength, knowing that everything is just a cycle of your transformation, shifts, processes, and is perfect. That one thing does not define you unless you give it permission to. But nor is there a “problem” with it either.

And guess what? When you do focus on it and find fault with it, then others will mirror that too. But when you feel beyond it and relax into the experience that “just is”, you will find that nothing in your experience changes, and likely will increasingly be beautiful and helpful to others, because you stood in your reflection of self love and acceptance.

There are many reasons why we adopt habits opposite to our true nature, which include childhood conditioning and past life experiences, but the bottom line is, we do not have to continue to feed the ways in which we sacrifice ourselves for instant gratification. If you want your children and the children of the world to love themselves, then you need to be an example of that for them. This doesn’t just extend to the dialogue you choose to speak to them with, but the dialogue they hear (both literally and subliminally) that you are speaking to yourself through your actions.

We are constantly bombarded by advertisements for everything under the sun projecting an idealized version pushed as “the way”, products to aid physical appearance and to achieve impossible body-stereotypes and over-blown lifestyles, and negative thought patterns about the satisfaction of belonging and joining in with others doing the same. It’s no wonder there are challenges of stress, anxiety, and some degree of self esteem issues as a result.

Even the focus of negativity and violence in news, movies, and attacks from one group on another, and sometimes even within a group all play on the insecurities and fears within, adding to a lowered sense of inner strength and weakened solidity in your centeredness.

Are you striving towards a particular devised end point, or are you living in the now point where all is in divine perfection?

Scientifically, it’s been shown that all emotions create chemical responses in the body and these convert into matter. Dr. Masaru Emoto also demonstrated this when observing crystal structures of water and how they react to thoughts and words creating balance or chaos in response to the “alkalinity” or “acidity” of their source. So what you feel about yourself will have an effect on your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. When this is depleted, you are susceptible to things in your environment, as well as are capable of fighting a battle AGAINST yourself, rather than joining in harmonious co-partnership WITH yourself.

When you think of these statements below, what do they bring up for you?

I love myself unconditionally just the way I am right now
I am perfect just as I am
There is nothing more I need to do in order to be deserving of my love and love from others
I feel safe to be exactly who my heart naturally desires to be
I deserve to be happy and balanced
I deserve love
I see everything and everyone with loving eyes
My life is a beautiful reflection of who I am

If any of these things feel uncomfortable or even impossible to say without some kind of cringe, heaviness, tightness, sickening, or painful emotional reaction, then you can start to understand the source of things you’ve been challenged with. It’s not something to get down on yourself for or to berate and judge yourself about when you find a hidden gem such as a core belief because, until now, you likely hadn’t been taught or shown how to feel anything differently, nor been supported with how to shift this, and in some cases may not have made the connection of what you’re experiencing being connected to how you felt about yourself.

While affirmations have been the go-to quick fix for this, it is only a part of the story, as it never addresses the core issues of how to integrate the old foundation before you try to layer it over with a temporary new structure. Collapse at some point the new will, because it never really addressed the foundation it was built on. So there will be a process, which doesn’t have to be drawn out, to rebuild from the ground up in order to have all of the years of judgmental conditions become realized messengers directing you back to you.

But back to specific ways your level of self love and worth can manifest. One such way that has come up on my radar to touch upon is a very debilitating experience called “body dysmorphic disorder”, which stems from self-worth and distorted body perceptions being weighed against societal stereotype ideals.

About 1 – 2% of the population experiences the severe form of this disorder with a larger percentage showing milder symptoms of the disorder (equally in both men and women).

I watched a documentary on this many years back that I still very clearly remember. It really demonstrated how deep this can go and truly is heart-breaking to witness. But this “distorted” way of viewing things about yourself can also take on offshoots of less severity, which can be very subtle and seem hidden to you as a normal part of your daily repertoire. And then can be more associated to things like obsessions and compulsions of OCD, or even social anxiety, eating, and depressive disorders. Some of these are avoidance techniques our ego provides us with to take us on a course away from responsibility and committed action, which would come from empowering and embodying our Higher Self potentials.

To shed some light on this, body dysmorphic disorder is a type of chronic mental illness that fixates you on thinking about a flaw, or flaws, in your appearance. This absorbs your focus and some people can end up spending their entire day, when it is severe, thinking about the flaw and trying to find ways to “fix” it. The flaw can be something minor that is overblown, or can be imagined since a distortion takes place in how the person views themselves – kind of like the hall of mirrors I shared about earlier – and this can stem from many core emotional reasons from life experiences, including something someone may have said that they couldn’t shake and stuck with them, something they heard or saw their parents say to each other or themselves, from media, from watching peers, from a chemical imbalance (certain biological and environmental factors may contribute including genetic predisposition, and neurobiological factors such as serotonin malfunctions in the brain), from a childhood or past life experience, etc….And it can become so challenging and even shameful and embarrassing to the person that they will not want to leave the house, or want to be seen by anyone, or spend hours getting ready in a way that helps them to hide their flaws so they can have some bit of temporary relief.  

It becomes a very intense obsession about body image that reflects a decreased sense of self value, unembraced, and can cause a huge amount of distress that impacts fuctionability in day-to-day life. This, in turn, can create even more damage to the person’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Some people that suffer from this experience may also become pre-occupied with cosmetic procedures, excessively exercise, or purchase every new product on the market to try to “fix” the problem, but will never find satisfaction because the root of their experience has not been addressed.

I’m not a doctor, so not only do I not diagnose, but I also do not prescribe any certain protocol treatments. That’s between each person and the experts sought out for support, to find and tailor something that aligns with individual needs, on a person-to-person basis.

What I will say, however, is that many of us at some point or another have or have had something we don’t like about our appearance, or about ourselves in general, whether small or large, temporary or permanent, and these may have caused you pain or distress in another way, which still comes down to our ability to learn how to love ourselves all over again, the way our soul innately knows as truth.

Whether you experience subtle or poignant reflections in your life from a sense of lowered self esteem and self worth – and this can manifest also as the kinds of, as well as lack or abundance of, opportunities, experiences, and intents you are trying to create in your life – the bottom line is that at some point, if you want a different experience than what you have, you will need to choose to see yourself, embrace yourself, support and nurture yourself, cherish yourself, relax into yourself, and love yourself just as the Universe does – unconditionally and unequivocally.

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