I have cellulite and I still love my body. Can you imagine?! Loving your body despite it’s very common and normal imperfections? Giving yourself grace instead of giving yourself shit? Speaking to yourself with kindness and compassion rather than disgust and disappointment?
Thankfully for me, this is a reality. I do love my body at every stage of it’s existence; I dofeel powerful in my skin despite the presence of cellulite, gray hair, and wrinkles; I dobelieve that I can love myself and still strive to be a higher expression of my being.
I’ll be honest with you, a few years ago, I couldn’t imagine such a possibility. The mere idea that I would ever not refer to myself as a “work in progress” was just completely out of reach; the concept that I would ever feel comfortable in my body, as is, was extremely foreign.
And what’s especially sad about this is that I’m not alone in this line of thinking. Women who engage in negative self talk and succumb to societal pressures of perfection are the majority, not the minority. In fact, most of the women I know either feel ashamed of their bodies or have felt ashamed at some point in their lives.
This is the fundamental struggle of the modern woman–and it’s total bullshit.
It’s total bullshit that we should ever feel unworthy based on whether or not we have “abs” or the media considers our body “bikini ready.” It’s total bullshit that women all over the world feel less-than based on their body fat, weight, or presence of cellulite. It’s total bullshit that we aren’t standing powerfully and unapologetically in our own skin–because that, in truth, is our natural environment.
We are all powerful and unique in our own right, and our worthiness is not debatable. It isn’t determined by our body, our career, or the number of “likes” we get on an Instagram post. It doesn’t decrease as our body fat and age increase. It can’t be challenged unless we allow it to be.
So what gives? Why are so many of us allowing our worthiness to be challenged by our bodies, our status, our age? Why are we trading in our inherent feminine power for feelings of “never good enough?” I believe it’s a combination of childhood trauma, external pressure, and societal conditioning–but perhaps an even more relevant question: How do we stop this madness?
WE STOP THE MADNESS BY COMMITTING TO THE WORK.
I won’t presume to tell you that it’s as easy as making the choice to love your body and own your power. I won’t lie to you and tell you that all you have to do is look in the mirror and say “I love you.” Because the only thing more bullshit than our loss of worthiness is the idea that you can simply reclaim it with trite notes and “positive thinking.”
Reclaiming your worthiness is hard, painful, committed work. Sure, you have to first make the decision to love your body and reclaim your power, and yes, reversing the way you speak to yourself and welcoming expressions of self-love are worthwhile strategies. But the real work happens when we touch the painful places that brought us out of our worthiness in the first place.
If we really want to step back into our feminine power and take back our worth, we have to be willing to open wounds, lean into pain, and ask difficult questions. And this, I believe, is what so many people who encourage us to “just love ourselves” are neglecting to tell us: Learning to love yourself can really hurt and we have to get a little uncomfortable so that we can truly heal.
We have to develop the courage to look deeply into the abyss and reframe the entire narrative that led us into unworthiness. We have to relinquish our role as a victim in our story, and even strip those who hurt us of their villain roles. We have to be willing to strip ourselves bare and face all of the painful, ugly thoughts that we’ve given so much power.
Reclaiming our worthiness is work, but it’s the most worthwhile work we can do.
HOW TO BEGIN THE WORK
I know I said it’s not as simple as just choosing, but choosing is an important step in the process. Yes there is work to be done (and fun to be had!) but none of this work can commence until we make the choice to stop being a victim of our past, our narrative, or our external environment.
A powerful way to commit to this choice is to create your own personal mantra. Your mantra should reflect feelings of love, power, worthiness, and compassion, but it can be as simple as, “I choose to stand in my power.” Mantras are extremely powerful because they provide a simple tool to bring us back to a space of worthiness.
Remember the work I was talking about? This is the meat of it right here. For so many of us wounds of our childhood have kept us from feeling a real sense of connection, belonging, and self acceptance. Childhood trauma comes in all shapes and sizes, from the more obvious atrocities such as physical and sexual abuse, to the less obvious such as enmeshment, neglect, abandonment, and perfectionism.
Going into our past to face our root wounds is painful, scary, and extremely powerful. But it gives us the chance to reframe our narrative, letting go of victim and villain roles, and truly hold space for our child-selves. In my experience as a coach, opening these wounds can take us right back to the moment when we felt abandoned, abused, and neglected–so it’s important that we’re prepared to lean in and not run in the other direction.
In every possible opportunity, practice extreme self compassion. This means that sometimes you have to leave the dishes in the sink, skip a workout, or eat a cheeseburger–and not give yourself endless shit for it. It requires trust in your ability to care for yourself and a constant reaffirmation that shame and disgust are not effective tools for change.
Compassion is a daily commitment, and it’s one of the most powerful tools you can use to shift your mindset, especially when it comes to your body. One of the easiest ways to do this is pull out your journal every morning and write down 3 things at which you are totally kicking ass; this shifts your focus from the things you beat yourself up about to the things that make you feel accomplished and alive.
CHANNEL YOUR ENERGY INTO THINGS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL POWERFUL
Channeling your energy into how your body looks is an intention destined for failure. All this does is make your body your main focus, and keeps your from seeing how much you have to offer the world. A more advantageous approach is to direct your energy toward things that make you feel powerful—things that aren’t at all affected by your cellulite, body fat, or corporeal imperfections.
I channel my energy into my writing, as well as specific strength goals that have nothing to do with my cellulite or body fat. Through these activities I harness my energy in ways that make me feel accomplished, instead of ways that break me down. The fact that I can use my writing and my stand on physical strength to help empower women all over the world is so much more meaningful to me than a number on the scale could ever be.
LEARN FROM SOMEONE WHO’S BEEN THERE & SUCCEEDED
I’ve spent time, money, and energy on this journey of self-exploration and I can tell you that nothing replaces having a coach to help guide you through the process. Getting help from someone who’s walked the walk is one of the simplest yet most impactful things you can to do help you become the most empowered version of yourself.
Because here’s the truth: you deserve to stop feeling uncomfortable in your body and unfulfilled in your life. You deserve to know what it’s like to live a life that is productive, happy, and fulfilling.
You deserve to be free in your body and confident in anything you wear. You deserve the permission to be powerful and the permission to shine brightly. But maybe you feel like this is all too BIG or too confusing and you’re not sure how to navigate. Maybe you know you want to change your life but you just can’t figure out where to start.
That’s where I come in.
I teach women how to love their bodies and stand in their power, and I’m able to do that for them because I’ve done it myself. I’ve been through the struggles and lived to tell the tale. I’ve worked through the pain and been transparent and informative about the process.
Teaching women how to create this kind of life is not only my gift, it’s my passion. I’ve worked with hundreds of women from all walks of life to help them work through their road blocks and into a more blissful life.
As your coach, my ultimate intention is to help you step fully into your power. This is what gives my life purpose and meaning, and being able to share that with you is a gift I don’t take lightly. For me, standing in my power means living authentically, abundantly, and compassionately–for myself, as well as others.
It means that when I wake up in the morning, I don’t moan and groan about the start of a new day. Instead, I wake up inspired, energized, and absolutely pumped to fulfill my purpose. It means that I have more positive energy in my life and fewer feelings of anxiety and stress. It means that very night I go to bed thinking, “yeah Neg, you owned shit today. No matter what, it was enough.”
You deserve to feel that way too. You deserve to have the life that you love, to be fully empowered and find freedom and compassion in your own skin. You can have the sisterhood and support of other wholehearted women who’ve got your back every step of the way. You can be free in your body and full in your heart.
I will help you cultivate a mindset that puts you fully and unconditionally in your power–but I’m only taking committed, enthusiastic clients until September 2nd.
This is your LAST CHANCE to enroll in my coaching program in 2016, and I don’t want you to miss out on your chance to change your life. Join me on this journey–we’re all waiting for you.