Always Love You

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Today’s message. I looked down and this was there, telling me what to do.
Always love you.
Some days it’s difficult. Some days it’s easy. There have been days when it was impossible, and I couldn’t see past the pain, yet I am still here, with more hope and love in my heart than I’ve ever known. That’s because it was more painful to think about giving up. That’s it. I wasn’t willing to let go and managed to find that ray of light to hold on to.
We all have our personal trials and hardships. Some are visible, and some are not. Much of it is placed on us by others, but we need to find a way to rise above that.
We cannot change what we were born into, or what has happened to us at the hands of others. We need to find our value and want to do what we can to forgive those who have wronged us, so we can free ourselves. We can then move on to create change for ourselves, and those who are suffering, those whose struggles we know all too well.
If you can’t see past today, or can’t find a reason to love yourself, please hold on and know that you matter. You are not alone. If you need to, message me and know that you will be heard. Your words, your story, are safe with me.
We need to work together to create genuine connection, to create hope. It starts with seeing and listening to one another. From there, we can lift one another up with love and purpose.
What can you do today to take a step towards this? It can be as simple as getting out of bed and looking out the window. Feeding yourself something nourishing. Taking a walk outside. No one said it was easy, but it’s worth it. You are worth it. ❤️

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It’s Okay to Be Different

 

It’s okay to not be doing what everyone else is doing. It’s okay to not want the same things everyone else wants. It’s okay to live your life in the way that feels right to you.

Judgement, bullying, and responding to others without hearing what they’re saying is easy via social media. It makes us feel small and defeated. More of us feel like we are alone in the world than ever before.

We want to fit in and be accepted, and trying to make that happen in a world that screams for conformity forces our emotions down. It creates overwhelming emptiness, and a disconnect from our true feelings.

It causes us to create relationships based on false realities. This is one reason why we can so easily talk over and dismiss others. When you’re disconnected, you don’t empathize with others. You are able to name call, mock, and decide who is or isn’t worthy in your eyes. We need to change this, starting with ourselves.

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In this moment, quiet the voices around you. Tune out your to-do list, the television, the voice in your head telling you you’re not good enough. Give yourself the gift of ten minutes of “me time”. You don’t need to check your email or to see how many people liked your last post, to be happy or fulfilled. Just breathe and enjoy the moment. Think about something that gives you joy.

It’s not about buying things. It isn’t about promotions, money, or even control. It’s about listening to your gut and your heart. It’s about getting back to the wonder of simple things. It’s about what you tell yourself you don’t have time for in your daily life. Ask yourself this – What you would do if you didn’t have to worry about a paycheck? How would you invest the time you have on this planet?

That is your path, and it’s what we neglect when we get caught up in the expectations of our daily life. What would happen if you chose to slow down? To get off of the fast track? What if you let yourself play more? Rest more? Breathe and laugh more?

It’s okay to be different. We are caught up in the cycle of what we are told is acceptable, but when we quiet that voice, and tune into our inner calling, we find happiness. True joy and fulfillment lives there.

Be different. Be gloriously imperfect. Embrace it and let your light shine. The world is waiting to love you, just as you are.

You Are Beautiful

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A thought for today, and every day.

When you open your heart and share who you really are with the world, you will find connection with those who resonate with you. This is where you will find genuine beauty and happiness. They are found in letting go of society’s expectations and embracing the truth of who you are.
The pressure to conform makes us harden and protect ourselves from being different or standing out. It’s crippling and kills our opportunity for happiness and self-love. How can you experience real joy when you’ve buried who you truly are?
We are all shining stars, and are interconnected with those around us. When you let go of hiding, hating, shame, and acting out of fear, you soften and people see who you really are. That’s what true beauty is – being authentically you and shining brightly in a dark world. Step out and be seen. Know that you will find those genuinely attracted to who you are through your vulnerability.
What steps would you like to take to move in this direction? What is stifling your voice? When you look at people you admire, what attracts you to them?
Confidence? Bravery? The things they create or the words they say? That they’re not afraid to admit their flaws? Or talk about tough things honestly?
You are seeing yourself reflected in them. Embrace those qualities in yourself and let that guide you into using your voice to inspire others in your own way. You have that within you.
You are beautiful.
It’s not about makeup, your weight/body type, the things you own, or the right clothing/styling. It’s about loving yourself enough to be who you really are, and to say what you need to say, without fear of repercussions of others. Would Beyoncé or even Brené Brown be where they are if they hadn’t stepped out and allowed themselves to be seen?
I’m 50. It’s never too late to start this process. Take baby steps if you have to, but do this, for yourself and those who are waiting for you to connect with and inspire them to do the same. Let your beauty and light shine through.

✨🦄✨

Let Your Freak Flag Fly

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This is the reality of trying to take a selfie outside of your childhood home, in the desert sun. My eyes watered for ten minutes after I attempted to get this shot.

I love seeing outtakes and real life. We are all so busy trying to look like whatever we want to convey on social media, we often miss the moments of seeing one another being imperfect.
Real is charming, unexpected, and rare.

I admit that I delete the photos I don’t like of myself, but then, as a photographer who documents life, I have taken so many of myself, it would be a bit crazy, and narcissistic, to keep everything I shoot.

The point is this – trying to be so perfect that you’re no longer yourself is harmful. We are all flawed. Perfection is a myth. The more I open my heart and show myself to the world, the more I get back in return. Don’t be afraid to do the same. The world needs you, and your voice.

When we think of icons – Maya Angelou, Beyoncé, David Bowie, Bill Murray, Betty White, Madonna (for example) – how do you think they became iconic? They stepped out, took chances, were authentic to themselves, and blew us all away.

There is a reason people have such strong responses to certain individuals. It’s what we see of ourselves, and who we want to be, or what we want to say, that’s shines through them.

Dare to be you, to use your voice, to express yourself in a society that wants you to fit into its mold. Be weird, imperfect, and different. That’s where greatness lies – in digging in and figuring out who you really are at your core, and being unafraid of what others will think of you. I guarantee you will find more admirers than haters when you show yourself to the world.

We are waiting to love you, just as you are. Show us what you’ve got. ❤️

You Are and You Can

Are you familiar with Celeste Barber? I love following her work, as a comedian and social commentator. This delightful woman knows no fear when it comes to looking ridiculous and sharing it with the world.

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An example of Celeste’s work.

It’s time for women to stop worrying about looking silly, or not being polished and perfect. We burp and fart and eat and poop. We have pores and body hair. We are human. We have become so airbrushed and photoshopped in every representation we see that it’s impossible to achieve what society tells us to.

It’s time to be us, by embracing our wrinkles and muffin tops and scars and grey hair. That’s where true beauty lies. When we see women we admire, like perhaps Meryl Streep, or Kathy Bates, or Celeste, ask yourself why. I often hear, “I wish I could do that”, or “I wish I were brave enough to do that”. You are and you can.

You can take baby steps and start small or you can shave your head and stop shaving your legs. You are you and that is a beautiful thing. Embrace that.

•Dance without caring what you look like.

•Go out without makeup on.

•Take a day when you’d clean the house and stay in your bedroom with snacks and a journal.

•Take a nap, even if you have to cancel that non-vital meeting or appointment.

•Eat toast or cookies in bed without worrying about crumbs.

•Let your dog cuddle on the couch with you.

•Order the hamburger (or veggie burger) and eat it when you go out to a restaurant without worrying about people judging you. (I love salads, but too many women feel they have to appear to be eating tiny portions to “maintain their figure”. Just say no, unless you’re craving a salad.)

•Treat yourself to a desert when it sounds good.

•Don’t say, “but I couldn’t”, about anything you really do want to do/eat/achieve.

•Take time for yourself and things that feed your soul every day. Even five minutes will increase your joy.

Remember that you have one life and if you can’t find joy or peace in your existence, you need to step back and reevaluate. Simplify or step out of your box more. One thing I’ve learned is that once it’s over, there are no do-overs. When facing your mortality, please don’t find yourself saying you wished you’d done it all differently. Don’t wait. And definitely surround yourself with images of women like Celeste, who are doing it their way and succeeding. ❤️

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Another example of Celeste’s work. “Don’t Stop Believing” – perfection.