How many women have gotten ready for the day, looked in the mirror, and then swiftly thought, “Ugh. My hair is too straight.” “My thighs are too big.” “My boobs are too small.” “My tummy is too squishy.” “I have no ass.” “I was the inspiration for ‘Baby Got Back’.” “My legs are too skinny.” I am quite sure most women have gone to battle with the mirror a time or 2 and barely made it out unscathed. And how many times have we left our homes feeling like something that just crawled out of a slimy swamp only to arrive at our planned destination and have a friend compliment us and we go from feeling like the Loch Ness Monster to being confident that Vogue will be phoning any minute to let us know that our latest Instagram selfie will be featured on the cover. I know I have been guilty of this. But why do this? Why do we look to others for affirmation?
Body shaming as become an epidemic in our society. For ALL shapes and sizes. If a woman is petite in nature she is too skinny and looks like a boy. If a woman has curves she is fat and must not take care of herself. If she is dedicated to fitness she is obsessed and doesn’t know how to enjoy real food. Or worse. She is not feminine. It’s exhausting and yet we don’t stop thumbing through magazines and our Pinterest boards are full of the latest workouts and fashion trends. There is nothing wrong with any of those things. Please don’t misunderstand me. I love fashion. I love running. And of course I love a good glass of Cabernet and the latest issue of Vogue. I just think we need to do some soul work and ask ourselves why we are doing these things. Does it make our heart sing or are we tirelessly trying to meet society’s standards for beauty?
We talk about our pant sizes like we are quoting Scripture. I know I have done it. When I speak with other women about my weight loss journey and they ask how much weight I have lost I say, “Well I went from a size 16 to a size 10.” I am done with that fucking bullshit. From now on when asked about my journey in shedding those extra pounds I say, “I went from a size sexy to a size sexy.” We as women must do away with the utter rubbish of shaming our incredibly delicious, feminine, make men’s hair stand up on their necks bodies and instead we must start loving every inch of our magnificent bodies. I mean really loving ourselves. Why? Because we are so worthy. We are so strong. We are so sexy. Why? Because we are women. And we are Divine. Our bodies and our weight do not make us sexy. The heart that lies within these miraculous bodies is what make us sexy and desirable. Let us rid ourselves from the utter bullshit and negativity of body shaming and instead let us #bodysurrender. Let us stop fighting the need for perfection and surrender to our beauty. Let us surrender to our curves. Let us surrender to our petite physique. Let us surrender to our muscular strength. Let us surrender to our light. Let us surrender to our shadow. Let us surrender to caring for our bodies and let us treat them like the glorious temples they are. Let us be ever mindful of what we fill them with. Let us surrender to supporting each other as women and as individuals. And finally, let us surrender to the unparalleled honor of being a perfectly imperfect woman. Our daughters need this kind of woman. Our sons need this kind of woman. Our partners need this kind of woman. Our mothers need this kind of woman. Our fellow sisters need this kind of woman. Our soul’s need this kind of woman. It is this woman that will call forth the love that resides in each one of our souls. It is this love that will heal the skewed and unrealistic expectations and thoughts that we have about ourselves. And when we tap into that fierce self love we will change the world. And most importantly that love will change the woman. Much love goddesses.
This afternoon I had to make a Target run for toilet paper and other essentials. As I was leaving I hit up the Starbucks to grab a much needed caffeine fix. In front of me was a beautiful mother with 2 children. One looked to be around 7 and the other was a baby. Before I continue I must note this woman’s stoic bravery for stepping into this establishment with children. With baby on hip she reached down under her cart to retrieve her purse. I swear this was some crazy acrobatic move that you would only see at the circus. I was impressed. I ordered my coffee and moved out of line to wait for my elixir. While we waited she received a phone call from someone who I can only assume was her husband. As she attempted to have an adult conversation with the individual on the other end her children started to acting up. I overheard her quickly say, “Nevermind, bye.” She received her drink and I could hear her baby wailing off in the distance as they continued on with their day. The woman who was behind me in line looked at me and nervously laughed, “That was awkward wasn’t it?” I smiled and said, “Oh not at all. I am a mom and I totally get it.” I bid the woman farewell and as I left this mother stayed in my memory and on my heart all afternoon. I decided to write her (and all mother warriors) a letter….
To the woman with the screaming child at Target,
You have been on my heart. I too am a mother and the last time I took my daughter into Target with me she smacked a stranger’s ass. So I want you to know that I was encouraged by your presence this afternoon. I now know that I am not the only mom who walks into that store full of hope and leave feeling completely defeated. Sometimes as a mom I feel like people don’t really see me. They see my unruly child and swiftly make judgments about my parenting choices. Of course that is only my perception. So I want you to know that I see you. I see you dressed in your yoga pants and no make up and I want you to know that you are beautiful. I see you pick up your Venti Egg Nog frappuccino and I know from experience that you ordered that size because you have children that will undoubtedly ask for some and you will probably only enjoy 5 sips of it. I hear you on the phone with your husband and as quick as you answer you have to hang up. You are such a great wife for taking the call because you know your children are not the only humans that need you. I see you lovingly interact with your busy little girl while you quietly soothe your crying baby. You have the patience of Job. I watch as you hurry off all the while attempting not to make eye contact with another human as you pass by. I want you to know that I have been where you are. I have made that walk of shame too many times to count. You need to know that I do not judge you. I am in awe of you. You taught me a valuable lesson today. You reminded me that we are all doing the best we can and we all need a kind face smiling back at us. Just maybe we will look into that strangers eyes and see our beautiful reflection mirrored back to us. You reminded me that as moms we are our worst critic. We need to stop that. We are raising our children to be functioning humans in this world and that is no easy task. As I watched you with your babies I witnessed the pure grace and messiness that is motherhood. You also reminded me that there should never be any shame in being a mom and God forbid shame when our children (and they will) act like an untamed beast in public. Their breakdowns have nothing to do with how well we are parenting. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that their fits are proof of our unconditional love for them. They know that no matter how poorly they act we will get frustrated, but their is no tantrum that will change the love we have for them. I also am frightened of children who never throw fits in public from time to time. I end this letter thanking you. Thank you for reminding me of my humanness and that my struggles as a mom have no bearing on my capabilities. You are amazing and your children are so blessed that you are their mama. You are strong and brave. You are nurturing and patient. I saw myself in you today and what I saw was an extraordinary soul. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Our silent interaction today was anything but awkward. It was enlightening and empowering. Just thought you needed to know that.
a fellow mom who has been known to hide in the dressing room at Target
To her, water was life. It was how she learned to breath. While others found themselves drowning in the powerful riptide she found her strength. She became fluid. She had found her direction in the seemingly still current. With each deafening crash of waves she had learned to listen. For some the ocean was a place to drown out the repetitious and unruly thoughts of self doubt, but for her? For her the ocean was a place she went to awaken the thoughts of love and self assurance. The ocean was her home. As a girl she would stand in the shallow waters, plant her feet firmly in the sand and as the tide rolled in she curled her toes into the sand even further and allowed the waves to crash right into her legs.
It was in this moment that this little one had learned the art and power of standing still and finding balance. In a world that was so uncertain and daunting she always knew that if she could find her way back to the ocean she would be ok. She would survive. She would become buoyant. And her worries would wash away and vanish. But what if she couldn’t find her way to the body of water that had rescued her so many times before? What would she do? Who would she become? Time had passed and she had grown older. She had seen heartache, death, new life, more death and more heartache. And even in the midst of those tumultuous days she saw love. She saw happiness. She saw bliss and she saw joy. She fondly remembered her time as a girl skipping and frolicking along the shore line. She returned once more in search of those feelings of balanced fluidity. And what she found shook her to the core. She had never left. For she was the thunderous, deafening, expansive, powerful force. She was the ocean. She was water. She was always the one who gave her Soul, her Higher Self direction. And with that recognition she was humbled. There was only one left to do. Float in the deep waters of gratitude. And so she did.