One of Flora Bowley’s Bloom True Boot Camp prompts for this past week was to draw yourself: The Original Selfie. Which I did, but not ready to share those drawings yet. But I did want to give acknowledgement to Vivienne McMaster’s class Be Your Own Beloved for helping me get to the point of doing those drawings today.
In February, I took an online photography class Be Your Own Beloved which was about learning to love yourself more…to gain a better self-image and body-image. The daily assignments of this class were taking self-portraits. It helped me so much being able to see myself and talk to myself in a way that I would to someone I care about and love. In speaking to myself with more kindness and compassion, it helped me accept myself even better than I have in my past. It also helped me see that how others see me really doesn’t matter. How I see myself is more important.
I haven’t overcome the battle of negative self-image, but I do think I have gathered some tools to help quiet those negative tapes that play.
Tools in my toolbox…lessons learned over the years things to help me view myself differently….
* It’s all about attitude. It doesn’t matter what size I am – I am attractive because of a variety of factors, but mostly my attitude and personality seem to be the main factors in attraction.
* How I see myself is more important than how others see me.
* Through others eyes. So although how I see myself is more important – looking at myself through others eyes has helped me see myself with more kindness and compassion.
* Friendship with myself. Treating myself as I would a good friend. I would never tell a good friend she is fat and ugly so why do I do that with myself? I shouldn’t so I try to create a friendship with myself and talk to myself as I would a good friend.
* Gratitude of where I have been and how and where this body and taken me there. Meaning I have survived a lot and through it all – I have had pain in my body, but experienced pleasures as well and in the end my body got me to where I needed to be. Being grateful for this body and my experiences – good and bad have made me who I am today.
* I feel good….when I wear clothes that reflect what is inside. Meaning when I wear clothing that reflect my feelings and who I am such as when I am happy my clothes show joy. When I am feeling soft, vulnerable, delicate, feminine – I wear soft feminine clothing maybe with lace or a little delicate detail. When I am feeling blue, I wear clothes that sometimes reflect that too such a soft warm sweater to help embrace me. Maybe I feel sexy and sultry – putting on clothes that reflect that always makes ME feel good. It isn’t about what others view as sexy. It is what makes me feel good. What makes me feel whatever I am feeling inside putting it outward.
* Looking at the whole instead of the parts helps me focus on what matters. Seeing me as a kind, compassionate person instead of the girl with a big belly or chunky thighs. Instead of focusing on the parts I don’t like I focus on the overall picture of me. I focus on who I am inside and out.
* Stop comparing myself to others. Truthfully do I really want to be like anyone else? Many things I love about myself and would I really want to give those up to be someone else? NO. So when I find myself comparing myself to someone else – I try to look at them and send them on their way with light and love and talk to myself with the same light and love focused inside.
* Stop the negative talk or tapes. What goes with the one above – but doesn’t just happen with comparison, but also when trying on clothing, during bad hair days, or just for whatever reason they start up. This one is the hardest for me. But when I can recognize the negative talk, I try to re-frame the critical voice inside and to actually look at the truth of the situation or moment. I can slow those tapes or eventually stop them. Affirmation of who I am – helps catch those thoughts and stop them each time they crop up.
* We are all the same. We all struggle – no matter what size or shape we all struggle with body issues. I had a girlfriend once upon a time who was a size 0 and she was very self conscious of her body. She felt her breasts were too small and her hips were boyish. When I was skinny, I thought I was fat so really struggling with body image happens no matter what size. I will always have struggles. Everyone struggles – so we are all the same.
I still struggle with body image – on and off. But with those tools in my toolbox and the Be Your Own Beloved class, I now know how to see myself and talk to myself with kindness and compassion.
If you struggle from body image issues, you need to find the tools and lessons that work best for you. As you will notice I don’t have affirmations or mantras on that list, it works for some people, but not for me. So do what works for you, find the core of your issues and find solutions and tools to help re-frame how you look at yourself. And even better take Vivienne McMaster’s class Be Your Own Beloved.
Flora Bowley ‘s prompt for #bloomtruebootcamp yesterday was Art Abandonment and before I was even past the first paragraph of her explaining it – I was recalling the happy notes Michael and I have planted around town a few times. I knew that is what I wanted to do for this prompt. Michael and I went to Denver for the day so I knew I didn’t have time to do art and leave it, but the notes would be perfect.
I took a handful of Project Life cards and decided to use them for my notes. Many #projectlife cards have designs or sayings on one side and lines for journaling on the other. I scribbled things like “enjoy your life. every minutes of it.” “Hello beautiful soul. Have a good weekend.” “You are amazing. Smile.” Every place we stopped from Denver back to Grand Junction, I left a little note.
Cards in photos are are from We R Memory Keeper’s Chalkboard kit and Captured kit and the one with the yellow hearts in the first photo is from Becky Higgin’s Project Life Midnight Core Kit.
I am going to be make this a regular part of my blog: Inspiration Ripple and have it once or twice a month. I love when I come across good things other people share so I want to pass it on too. My first thing to share is the black marker that wrote on the piece above.
Sharpie Professional – I picked this up at Home Depot, but what caught my eye was the package. It is blurry above as I forgot to take a photo of it before taking it out of the package. It says it marks on oily or wet surfaces. I am so impatient when it comes to writing on paint. I have ruined so many pens and markers that way. Well, I can tell you this one writes on wet paint! Yay! It wrote on that top piece when the paint was slightly wet still. I tried using it over oil pastels and it wrote, but not as well as it did on wet surfaces. It isn’t a fine point, but it is easy to write with on rough surfaces as I had texture to the paint. I am going to have to buy a few more as I see myself going through them quickly. I can’t remember the price on them, but I believe it was under $2 which is nice in comparison to some of the Sharpie brand markers. I have always wanted to try their Paint markers, but they range from $3 to $5 each. This is a nice alternative for now.
Art of Everyday Photography – A book by Susan Tuttle. Susan takes amazing photographs and is a great teacher. I have a photograph in it so I am especially excited about this book by Susan.
wish list: inhale love exhale peace necklace from Liz Lamoreux
Fall Intensive Class – Kathie has always been my go to guide (read expert) on Homespun Seasonal Living. I took Kathie’s summer class and it was so inspiring and informative. Kathie is knowledgeable and open in teaching people to connect with the seasons. I am not really what I would call an outdoorsy person, but I do like to connect to nature and the cycles of each season so Kathie’s class was perfect for me as she taught me more ways to infuse the summer season into my daily life. I believe all levels of knowledge and interest would find Kathie’s seasonal intensive classes encouraging as well as useful in connecting with the season and making it a daily lifestyle.
Last night I started these art journal pages. I smeared 8 different colors on the page with an old credit card and my fingers. I rarely use a brush these days, but I love using my fingers instead. I usually do 2 or 3 colors on a page, but yesterday’s prompt was disruption. So I disrupted my art routine by using 8 colors.
After I painting the bright colors, I doodled and scribbled with black ink to make marks across both pages. It was mostly just feeling the emotions of the day as it was a long hard day. I just marked and marked getting the day out and with each mark – I released the emotions. I let it sit there for a bit. Letting everything release. I then finger painted the white paint all over – only leaving some circles of bright color and doodles exposed.
Today I was thinking about the pages as I went about my day – cleaning house and running errands. I was wondering what I should do it it next. I thought all these different ideas….wondering which of them I should do….journaling of the yesterday’s events all over the white? Writing a big quote across it? Adding some color back to the white? Zentangle on the white? Covering it all up with one solid bright color? But while thinking of all these ideas and several others – I kept having another art journal page I did last year come to my mind. This one…
So I trusted my intuition and worked the journal pages with doodled circles around the exposed colorful areas just as I did with the above piece. It felt really good after I was done with it this evening.