Ohio Trip Review

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About a month ago, I had the incredible experience of getting to go home for a month. I have not been home for this long in about 5 years. I feel so lucky for this opportunity to connect with family.

On this trip I created a million beautiful little memories and I feel overwhelmed by the thought of them…

I spent some time at my grandparents.

I had a handful of incredible dinners with the family. (Including a thanksgiving dinner!)

I spent some time without electronics.

I spent some time with some of my oldest friends.

I saw snow!

I spent beloved time with my nieces and nephew!

I explored Columbus, OH with a bit more intentionality.

I went to Nashville! (Hear all about that trip here)

Christian came to town!

I failed a time or two.

& I grew in understanding of the beauty of slowing down.

I think that was the big takeaway for me…it is beautiful to slow down and really take the time to enjoy the connections in front of you. It might be slowing down enough to watch the snow fall or maybe it is looking at art in a museum or maybe just some giggles on the couch with your family, but regardless of what it is…there is magic in slowing down.

I am a person that believes if I am not dead, than I can do more. I am constantly doing more things. I always have some sort of task to do: read this book, go to this store, do this assignment, and so much more. I get so caught up in what I could be doing. But, by getting caught up in what would be, I miss the magic of what is.

This trip to Ohio has reminded me to get captured by what is. It isn’t about getting everything done (at least not always). On this trip I wanted to read two different books and finish them before I returned. But, every time I picked one up, something better to do came along. Like, an opportunity to chat with my sister or send time with my momma. And towards the end of the trip I realized what was happening…that I was failing at my to-do list…that I was running out of time. But, I decided I couldn’t give up the simple magic. It was too important.

I guess, I am just saying that maybe our priorities aren’t what they used to be. And to remind you that family is always worth it, that beautiful connection is always worth it.

Young Living 101:

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What is Young Living?

Young Living is a company that has been around for over 20 years. They are the leader in the world of essential oils because of their quality products and the wide range of product. But they sell other products beyond essential oils, too! Young Living has a high value for the standard of their products. They want quality over quantity. They have farms across the globe that help ensure their crops are quality. Their standard for product is what sets Young Living apart from the rest of the essential oil companies.

One of my favorite things about Young Living, as a company, is the connection and support given by the distributors. I follow quite a few of them on social media and I have seen just about every single one of them go out of their way to help people. So many of these people’s lives have been benefitted by Young Living’s products and they simply want to help anyone they can. It is truly a community.

I, also, love how open Young Living is about the business. They are not hiding anything. In my past experience with any MLM it has seemed like they are hiding things and trying to trick me into buying their products. Having said that, Young Living is upfront and honest about how their business works and where the money is going (into the distributors pockets! Instead of paying millions for marketing…)

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils come from a plants flower, stem, bark, or fruit. Essential Oils are the “life blood” of a plant. These oils are kind of like the immune system of the plant– they are esential to the plants health. Basically, Young Living put these plants through a process to extract the oil (distillation). This oil is then used to benefit humans for all different kinds of issues. Within 20 minutes of use, the oil is in every cell of one’s body. Essential oils are often called “mans first medicine.”

How do you use Essential oils?

Essential oils are actually used throughout normal day things: toothpaste, perfume, lotion, etc. The difference between oils, though, is how they are created and their standard of product. The oils in normal products are often made synthetically, so your body processes it like a toxin, losing the oil’s positive effects for your body.

Essential oils can be used in multiple different ways: aromatically, topically, internally. Essential oils are most commonly known for their ability to be diffused in the air. You can use them directly onto your skin or even ingest them. Some people even cook with them!

(Disclaimer: not ALL oils should be applied directly to the skin without being diluted. Some oils need to be diluted with another oil, like coconut oil, and then applied. Also, not ALL oils should be ingested. YL does have a collection called “vitality oils” that have been FDA approved for consumption)

Why do people use essential oils?

There are soooo many reasons that people use essential oils.

  • People use them as nontoxic replacements for fragrances (perfume, candles, etc.)
  • Aromatherapy
  • To make their own beauty products and cleaning products (which is nice because then you know what is actually in your products).
  • For emotional support (through the limbic system).
  • To help different systems in your body: digestive, nervous, muscular, and more!
  • To help eliminate toxins in your body.
  • To promote healthy, breathable air & remove toxins in the air.

How do you get started with essential oils?

Getting started with essential oils is easy! Young Living has made it simple with their Premium Starter Kit. The premium starter kit has, honestly, everything you could need. It comes with 12 oils, a diffuser, and some of YL’s top selling products (other than oils). The beautiful thing about this kit is that it, honestly, has everything you need to begin your journey!

Here is a couple of photos with the starter kit breakdowns…

How oils work for me and why I am into them?

I grew up with a momma that was an essential oil believer. I used oils to sleep better, fight off sickness, and clear up my breathing.

When I moved out of the house, I left those magic bottles at home. After some time, I began missing them + searching for solutions to life problems (sleep issues, car sickness, headaches, etc). I am the type of person that would rather “power through” than take something to ease the pain. But, I realized how unhelpful that was to my life…I intentionally left myself in discomfort. But I didn’t want to fill myself with the chemicals of medicine. So, in search of solutions, I returned to essential oils. But, only the few that I had truly seen positive results from.

After some time, I began exploring the ideas of better ways to nurture my body. As a part of my self-love journey, I wanted to begin to extend intentional kindness to my body. It led me to essential oils, yet again.

I now use essential oils to help support my emotions + to aid in my internal healing process.

I use essential oils to help me with sickness or physical pain.

I use essential oils to help improve the quality of my life: better sleep, clean air, and nontoxic perfume.

As a Young Living distributor, my goal is to spread the incredible power of these oils. I want others to be aware of a nontoxic option to improve their lives. Another goal is to learn more about oils and how to nurture my body more. Not only do I want to teach others, but I want to get oils in people’s hands, because I truly believe they will improve your life. SO! If you have questions about oils/Young Living, are interested in oils, or just want to talk about them…hit me up! I would LOVE to talk more and help you learn!

If you are interested in buying a starter kit (+ have me as your mentor!) you can click this link, buy a starter kit, and become a member! (becoming a member simply means you have a YL account + get a 24% discount on your purchases!).

If you want to follow my journey + learn more with me you can follow my Instagram: @SmellyGalEssentials

D I S C L A I M E R :

Suggestions made on this website are are specific to Young Living and should not be used with any other essential oils. Statements made here have not be evaluated by the FDA. This information and these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent and disease. Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult a physician. If you are currently taking medication, please do not stop taking it. We do not take the place of your health care professional. Seek your licensed health care professional about your medications and possible interactions with what you are currently taking.  

Crashing Over Me

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Life is unpredictable. Sometimes we are laying in the sunshine and sand, content and managing everything super well. But other times we are being rocked and rolled, slamming into the rocks on the sea shore. We are constantly moving with the ebbs and flows of life.

I am the type of person that aims to accomplish. I aim to be successful. I feel great when I am successful. Often times success, to me, looks like handling my responsibilities completely and not feeling overwhelmed by my responsibilities. Which creates problems, since I am also the type of person that loves to accept more responsibilities. I am constantly inviting in more responsibility, making it harder and harder to manage it all, making me feel less and less successful.

When you have the perspective of success directly correlating to responsibility, I think it pushes us to hold onto those responsibilities too tightly. We cling to our responsibilities, fighting to hold onto them in order to prove to ourselves that we are worthy. We are looking for our worth to be proven.

Despite it being natural for me to think that my responsibilities are directly linked to my value, I think my thinking is wrong. I think that the two things are not remotely linked. I think each of us simply have innate value. And I think we are given responsibilities. But I do not think that our value has anything to do with our responsibilities.

What if I don’t hold so tightly to things that encourage the thinking that I must do in order to value myself? What if I accepted my innate right of value and used that to do incredible things?

What if I stopped holding my life tightly within my hands, suffocating each aspect of my life, but instead I keep my hand opened, allowing the ebbs and flows of life.

Tight grips are all about fear, open hands are about expectations. I want to live with more open hands.

This week I am learning, I am choosing, to open my hands in another area of my life. I am choosing that I am worthy, simply because I Am. I am choosing to trust the greater good, instead of my own plans. I am expecting incredible things from my life, not because of what I can do, but because I believe in it. I believe in myself and I believe in my future.

Is anyone else having to learn to let go and surrender? Is anyone else learning to love the ebbs and flows of life? I am…even when the wave crashes hard.

Thank you for reading!

XO,

M

What to do: Life Crisis

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Ya know those moments, in life, where you feel like you are reconsidering everything? Those moments where you are reevaluating who you are, what you’re doing, how you’re going to accomplish life, why are you doing what you’re currently doing? Welcome to my last two weeks…

I have been back in Cincinnati, Ohio (where I am from & where my immediate family is) for the last two weeks. Each time I come home, I feel as though I can finally exhale. I feel like I can take a pause on my “real” life in order to find peace again or explore my options. This trip home, though, there has been no rock unturned.

I have been evaluating my job, my education, my relationships, my future, my dreams, my 5 year plan, my personal identity, and more.

Do I want to keep working at my job? Do I want to change my major? What do I want to do with the rest of my life? Who do I want to be? Do I like where I live? Are my friends adding positive things to my life? Am I sure? Am I sure? Am I sure? Am I sure?

There has been a lot of self-doubt. There has been a lot of questions. There has been a lot of emotions. It has, honestly, been a really taxing experience.

I have discovered that I am at a fork in the road.

I have every possible choice within my grasp and I simply get to choose what I want.

As someone who prides herself on her core value’s about self-love, self-connectedness, and listening to one’s heart…you would think that the answer of what do I want would come easy to me. Wrong.

I have had to fight for the last two weeks to distinguish what my heart is saying. It was easy to hear the voices of my parents, or my bosses, or the self-critic. But it wasn’t easy to hear my quiet and insecure voice.

Have you ever been at this spot? This confused, clueless, and seemingly helpless spot? (I know that I am not alone!) Well, I am sharing all this for Y O U ! (and for me the next time I get to this place)

What to do when You’re Clueless AF?

Step One: Journal

Journal out all of your thoughts, feelings, concerns, etc. Write out (personally I recommend by hand…because it forces you to really look at your thoughts) all the mumbo-jumbo floating through your brain. GET. IT. ALL. OUT. Even the ugly stuff, or the silly stuff, or the seemingly unimportant stuff…write it all down.

 

Step Two: The Goal of Identity

Who are you? Who is it that you want to be? When you imagine your future, what kind of human are you? Write it down. This is the first puzzle piece of your answers.

Who you want to be is the goal for your character. It is the vision board of where you want to head.

 

Step Three: The Results are in

Take some personality tests. The reason I love personality tests so much is because they give words to things you’ve thought or felt that you might not have had language for. For example… I took the Strength Finders test and discovered that one of my top 5 strengths is Connectedness. This means that I believe there are links between all things in life and that everything has a reason. Knowing this about myself explains so much to me. It shows me that believing in connections isn’t an odd thing I do, but it is part of who I am and it is part of what I bring to the table. This test helped me learn a bit more about myself!

Myers Briggs: This test is incredible because it not only tells you about your personality, but it also tells you how you act in friendships, romantic relationships, work, and which careers would be good for you.

Enneagram: This test was interesting because I discovered that I am a Type 1. Type 1’s are called “The Reformers.” They are fixated on perfection, responsibility, and are constantly looking for improvement. These results are totally me, but I had a hard time hearing that. The qualities that I shared (perfectionist, high responsibility, and are constantly looking for improvement) are qualities that I have always resented in myself. I don’t like that I am constantly trying to look for improvement in myself or others. I don’t like that I am always striving for perfection. Despite the difficulty of accepting this personality type, I have taken these results are a positive thing within my life. Knowing this is the type of person I am, allows me to own it more and allows me to give grace to myself when those aspects of who I am rise up.

 

Step Four: Pros VS. Cons

I know this advice is a little overused, but it is honestly so helpful. Make a pros and cons list. Simplify the positives and negatives to each decision and organize then. Making a pros and cons list has helped me recognize what is important to me and what isn’t important. The list does not have to be long, just a few short things to help you see the decision for what it is.

I did this in trying to decide which degree I should pursue. Until I made the list, I had so many positive and negative thoughts about every possible major, but making the list allowed me to actually see the positives and negatives.

 

Step Five: Moments of Peace

My last little piece of advice would be to find your place of peace. It might be late in the night, or early in the morning. Maybe it is in the chaos of a city street or maybe it is within a coffee shop’s four walls. Whatever that place is, it is the place where your thoughts seem clear.

For me, it is the morning time. Just me & a cup of coffee.

When you get to your place of peace…it isn’t time to over think but it is a time to expect the best…to expect answers.

 

Step Six: Repeat Steps 1-5 as many times as necessary

 

As someone that is still very much within these steps… I’ll keep y’all updated on more things and keys that help me. But, I think I have gotten over the hump of the chaos. Sometimes life can be so difficult. But, it is encouraging knowing I am not alone.

Let me know your tips and tricks for making major life choices and for reevaluating your life!

Thanks for reading!

XO,

M

Ignorance is Misery

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So this past weekend I logged into my Facebook account and a video popped up on my feed titled Say “No” to Fat Acceptance. I watched the entire video, looking for the “punch line,” but there never was one. The video depicted an “overweight” man on an operating table and then flashed back to his life growing up. It showed him eating fast food, his mom “enabling” his bad habits, and him not exercising.

As someone that has struggled with her weight for her entire life, this video hit really close to home. I was instantly smacked upside the head with the shame this video was promoting. I reached out to the person that shared the video and tried to gain some understanding.

Was their intention to truly say “fat” is wrong? Was their intention to really say that society is accepting of “fat”? 

After the conversation, I was baffled by the scenario that I was in. I had never been hit with such dense opposition to something as unimportant as weight.

A few days later I was on my apple calendar (which, I am so proud of apple for recognizing this celebratory day) and saw the event “Juneteenth”. I have to be honest, I was super confused. After asking a few people, I finally learned that Juneteenth is a celebration of the freedom & release of the African American people back in 1865. This is their July 4th. Their day of freedom.

I, again, was stunned. I had no idea and instantly felt tremendously embarrassed and saddened that I didn’t know about such a momentous day.

As I processed my new learning, I recognized the similarities in these two scenarios.

Ignorance.

Meaning, the lack of knowledge or information. Or, being clueless. Or, putting your foot in your mouth (sometimes majorly) because you simply do not know better.

Ignorance sucks.

If I am being completely honest, the experience of the fat-hate video was one, out of maybe five, experiences I have had with total ignorance. It really hurt knowing that someone hated me so badly for something as unimportant as my weight. It really hurt knowing that someone truly thought I was wrong for my body. And then here I was, living and not knowing about such a momentous day as Juneteenth.

BARELY got a taste of what it is like to be face with ignorance. But there are all kinds of people that are faced with ignorance every day.

In regards to Juneteenth…I am lucky enough to have some friends that are teaching me. about the realities of being African American today. They are telling me the ways that they have to be humble, honor, and fight to be the people they are today. They tell me about their real and raw history (not the nicely framed history within the books I used to read at school). They tell me about what it is like to be an African American in society today: the extra conversations required, the many injustices they still face, and they correct my ignorances. I feel tremendously blessed to be extended the amount of grace they give me.

As someone that is eager to fix her mistakes, I am amazed to face people that are not.

I wanted to write this post to challenge each of you, lovely readers, to face your ignorances. Whatever it might be (sexuality, religion, race, weight, disabilities, gender, etc) get informed. Learn more (even if its hard)! Make mistakes (even if it hurts)! But always keep in mind that your little world of experiences are not all that is out there.

As much as it stings, it is always beautiful to be humbled.

What areas of life/this world are you learning about these days? Let me know in the comments!!

XO,

M

Hitting the Target of Self Love

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Yesterday I had a couple hours of unexpected free time. So I want to Target (classic). I have an upcoming wedding to go to and need an outfit to wear. I raided their women’s clothing section on the hunt for an outfit.

With a pile of clothes in my hands, I went into the dressing room.

I don’t know if anyone else experiences this, but I basically hate dressing rooms. It seems that the lighting within the dressing rooms always accentuate my “flaws.” My cellulite is always louder and prouder than any other time. I seem to always discover new curves and rolls. Also, dressing rooms can be fairly discouraging when nothing ends up working out.

When I entered the dressing room there was absolutely no one in sight. I thought to myself about how pleasant this experience was going to be…just a girl surrounded by some cute clothes. (Positive self-talk for the win!)

About half way through my stack of clothes, with nothing fitting right, two girls entered the dressing room. As they walked in, I heard them critique their bodies.

“At least things fit you. Nothing fits me,” one said.

While the other went, “Not really! I don’t have a butt. Things don’t look right”

As they went on their negative rants…I froze in my own little room. My heart broke hearing their self-criticisms. It stopped me in my tracks because I was having those same thoughts about myself.

I wanted to tell the girls that regardless of what their body looked like, they deserve love.

Regardless of what my body looks like, I deserve love.

Regardless of what your body looks like, you deserve love.

It was a really sad experience. But it was eye opening. I guess it reminded me that we are all a work in progress. We all have things to work on. We all have criticism towards ourselves. But my goal is to change that. I don’t want to have any negativity towards myself. I don’t want you to have any negativity towards yourself.

Recently, I have wanted to develop my fashion more. I have been feeling this urge to take bigger risks in my attire and this whole experience pushed me to do that. (Please appreciate this selfie of me in the Target dressing room wearing my oversized Steve from  Blue’s Clues sweater)

Does it really matter if I have a butt? Or that none of the dresses I tried on at Target seemed to fit right? Does it really matter that I have rolls or cellulite? Does it really matter if my outfit is trendy?

Ultimately, it doesn’t.

I want to live bold and fearless, which includes in my style and loving my body just the way it is.

Let me know your favorite part of your body down in the comments!!

XO,

M

Let the Flowers Grow

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This week is our final week of our discipleship program (where I work) for the 2017-2018 school year. Today I was asked to share my “life-message” and a final message to our students.

How do you sum up all the potential life encouragement into one short message?

I would say that my life message is all about learning to nurture oneself. I believe that we all are a three part being: body, soul, and spirit. And I believe that it is pivotal that we nurtureeach part of our being.

Nurturing yourself looks like checking your soil. It looks like checking the environment that you are surrounding yourself in. Are the habits, relationships, and the media that watching/listening to pushing you to the environment that you want? Are those things pushing you to be the person that you want to be?

Nurturing yourself looks like letting sunshine into your heart. Nurturing yourself looks like letting yourself really look into your heart to see the pains, dreams, desires and opinions that are held within your heart. It looks like giving the deserved attention to the things in your heart. Nurturing yourself looks like healing the wounds, valuing the desires, sticking up for the opinions, and believing in the dreams.

Nurturing yourself looks like watering yourself. This looks like practically giving your body the things it needs (good foods, movement, love). It, also, looks like pursuing things that fill your spirit (worship, meditation, learning). Lastly, it looks like putting in time and effort towards your passions and hobbies (creating, sports, learning).

Nurturing yourself looks like giving yourself patience, grace, and space to grow. Growing requires energy to get taller and stronger. But it also means sometimes growing dead leaves. Sometimes we fail (it happens to all of us) but we need to give patience and grace and kindness to ourselves when we do grow dead leaves.

Nurturing yourself looks like allowing yourself to bloom. This means to allow yourself to press in to the good things life has in store for you. This means believing the good things said about you. It means accepting the opportunities that you have. It means not running away from the good things, it means running toward them. It, also, means allowing the world to see your petals. Don’t shy away from being seen, but embrace it.

Nurturing yourself looks like moving with the breeze of the spirit realm (whatever that looks like for you). It looks like being in-tune with what the spirit is doing.

Nurturing yourself looks like growing seeds of love and spreading them around. It looks like expressing love to all those around you.

And it looks like receiving the new seeds of love that enter your life.

Thanks for reading!! Let me know how YOU nurture yourself in the comments below!

XO,

M

Love heals.

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WOW.

I am shocked at the responses from last week’s post! (If you didn’t check it out…check it out here. It is all about my story with pornography & freedom). Thank you sooo much for the support and encouragement. It truly means the world to me.

After last weeks post, I really wanted to give some encouragement/hope to anyone that might be in the midst of struggle. (Whoops. I guess that applies to us all (; ) Life is hard and sometimes we simply need someone to tell us that it. is. possible.

Now, I know that some of you are not Christians and may not believe in God, but I also think that everyone is spiritual and desires spiritual growth. My desire in this space on the internet is to be a place where anyone, from any background, feels free to be. By this, I mean that I never want to push my thoughts onto anyone else…but I, too, want to make sure that I continue to allow myself the space to share what I feel needs to be said.

So, in this post…keep in mind that I honor where each and every one of you is.

Something that some of you do not know is that I work for a discipleship program. This is a spiritual program that focuses on working with adults to help them to heal emotional wounds, actively pursue personal growth, and urging them to connect deeper and deeper to God’s undeniable love for them.

Personally, I went through this program and was radically changed (you can read more about it here!) This program sees all kinds of people come through it’s doors: addicted, tormented, broken, hopeless, insecure, young, old, and everything in between.

I have seen LOVE heal each and every thing. I have seen LOVE mend the deepest of wounds. I have seen LOVE heal years of torment. I have seen LOVE show people to dream, love, believe. I have seen freedom from addictions. I have seen anger resolved. I have seen insecurities become areas of confidence. I have seen hope fill people’s lungs. I have seen dreams flood people’s minds. I have seen purity affect people’s lives. I have seen shame brush off of people’s shoulders. I have seen bodies restored. The healing, breakthrough, and freedom that I have seen in people’s lives is ridiculous (in the best of ways).

I do not know what you’re facing right now in your life. I don’t know what your past holds or what future complications you will experience. But, I want to say that THERE IS HOPE. Regardless of what it is…LOVE can heal.

I know that this is a little crazy…but today at work we replaced lies with truths. We went after the lies involved with comparison. For me, I was believing that that I was unworthy. After that, I apologized to God and to myself for partnering with that belief. And then, I was intentional to receive LOVE. After that experience, I feel so much lighter and fuller and happier.

(Now, that does not solve all problems. I have to continue to be intentional to stick with the new truth that I have learned. But, I have hope that this new truth can be maintained)

So, whatever it is that you are facing, LOVE is enough. LOVE  can heal. LOVE  can restore.

This is a short post, but one I truly believe in. Also, I just want to say that I am here for you…feel free to reach out. I would love to connect and encourage you.

What is the new truth you’re believing? Let me know in the comments!

XO,

M

The Power of Me (Guest Post: Destiny Story)

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One thing I want to use this social platform for is to promote and celebrate the people around me. I am someone that searches for lessons & inspiration from those around me and I want to share those stunning people with you all!

This first guest post is by a woman that is dear to my heart. She has been in my life for almost two years and I am deeply blessed by her:

Destiny Story EFC06971-A31D-486D-A638-69E09A6FAE27.JPG

When I think about who Destiny is I think of one word: brave. She is a woman that looks at life, her challenges, her fears, her dreams and responds to them bravely. Destiny has bravely stood in the wilderness of life and come out to the other side. She has stood, alone and scared, and yet she has not turned away.

Destiny Story is a brave woman.

In this post she has written, she shares about some of her wilderness. She shares about a process that I’ve had the privilege to watch her walk through. And as a witness to this time in her life, I can safely say that she has a lot of wisdom & inspiration on the things she shares. So, let her sweet words inspire you!

XO,

M

Ps: You can check out D’s blog here: https://destinystoryblog.wordpress.com

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My whole life I’ve felt like I wasn’t enough, or honestly, that I was just too much. I’ve felt not skinny enough, not talented enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not funny enough, not good enough. I’ve felt too loud, too tall, too fat, too opinionated, too passive, too emotional, too sensitive, too different.

I’ve always felt like I was different and I’ve spent most of my life just trying to decide if what made me different was good or bad. But I think somewhere around 7th grade I subconsciously decided that it was a bad thing, a really bad thing, that would forever keep me separated from those around me. I thought I would never be able to connect with people because it felt as if people never wanted to connect to me (my parents and friends) or that I was always “too much, not enough” for the people around me to connect with. I felt creative but was never shown it was okay to be creative in ways that didn’t quite make sense and I was never shown it was okay for it not to be perfect. I buried myself in perfectionism because it seemed all the amazing people were, and the sad part was that people around me wouldn’t have known because it was all in my internal world! It revealed itself in my self talk and my constant attempts to “fix” myself that only led to me feeling suicidal.

Even after I became a Christian, it only intensified. Except this time thankfully I was healed enough to not feel suicidal, but I did feel like the weight and the pressure of always doing things perfectly would eventually break me. I had somewhere, along my journey in life, picked up this idea that the real me was too messy and would never be good enough so I needed to make up for it with perfect actions. Ha! Funny, huh? I mean this was definitely not something I would consciously know I was doing! It would look like me trying really hard, being praised for my actions, and then making a mistake and beating myself up for it for days and thinking “what else could I have done? I’m doing everything I can and it’s still not enough!” and then eventually trying to make up for it by pretending like it didn’t happen and continue doing more things that would look perfect.

But the problem with this is that I had equated being “enough” to things that were unattainable, like never making a mistake or never hurting anyone’s feelings. Anybody ever been through something like this? Ever try to perform for love? I’m guessing that I’m probably not alone in this. I’ve noticed as a human race, generally we have more grace for others than we do ourselves.

But sometime last year I decided this thing that made me different may not have actually ever been a bad thing! What if my imperfections made me beautiful? What if my emotions made things fun and are natural? What if my sensitivity wasn’t a weakness, but a strength? What if my chubby body could be enough for me and eventually someone else? What if making mistakes only made me human? Could I still be loved if someone saw them? If I were fully me, mistakes and all, would I be enough?

These were the questions running through my head and I made the decision that I was going to try being seen. I decided to show people that I was different. I decided to try allowing myself to be loved through my mistakes. Because when I try to be “perfect” I still don’t feel like I’m enough, and I never get to be truly authentic. And that life wasn’t working for me.

I went to Oregon last year on a missions trip and after days of barely sleeping and not being able to control a single thing, I could feel my emotions starting to rise. And as they got closer to the surface I could feel them starting to bubble over into my actions. I was short with people and I was crying uncontrollably. I felt embarrassed but free. I knew that these people doing life with me would see a side of me I was afraid of showing to people that hadn’t been in my life for an extended period of time. But I couldn’t care anymore. I decided to take a risk and be vulnerable and see how they responded.

And to my freaking surprise they still loved me!

And not only that, they complemented me! They asked me what I needed, they encouraged me, and they loved me through it. And not just once, but repetitively. I was UNDONE. This was not a way of life that I was familiar with! But I knew I could never turn back.

I’m coming up on a year since that trip and as I reflect I see that my journey of accepting myself and being vulnerably me, has not been a fun or pretty journey. I have hid, I have made some of the most painful mistakes I’ve ever made this past year and I’ve been the most myself I’ve ever been in my whole life. I’ve never been as open with those close to me quiet like I have in this past year. I’m loving who Destiny is more than I thought possible and I know there’s only so much more!

You see, perfectionism tells you that until you do everything right, you aren’t enough. But a life of freedom looks like vulnerability. It looks like showing the world who you truly are and not wavering in the truth that,

you are enough. No questions asked.

A life of freedom consists of making mistakes and allowing the people who are close to you into them because you do not deserve to be alone during it. A life of freedom looks like you being confident in what you enjoy doing and wearing. A life of freedom looks like creating without comparison.

Being vulnerably you will set you free from perfectionism or performance. There’s nothing quiet like when you allow yourself to be who you’ve always been in the inside. And I promise dear friends, there are people who are dying to love you as you. All your unique characteristics, all the things you’ve thought were too much, all of the parts of you that you thought weren’t enough, they are worthy of love. Because we all have them, let’s be honest. None of us have it all together. But none of us have to pretend like we do anymore. I’m starting to see that the people I admire the most are people who are unashamedly them. Unwavering to the opinions of others, they stand tall in who they are and they let themselves show. This is strength. This is vulnerability. Vulnerability is strength. And this is who I want to be. I am deciding that I will no longer look at people on social media, the models on tv or Pinterest, or even the people around me and think “I wish I were like them”, but instead I will say

“I’m thankful that I am ME. Because no one can be ME.”

So dear ones, will you join me in living a life of being vulnerably us? Will you join me in leaving perfectionism and comparison behind?? Let us celebrate who we are and what we create and what we do well, because we were always designed to do it the way only we can do it.

Xoxo

Destiny Story

#MoreSelfLove

#BodyLove

Blog Post

Happy February! The month of love! This month I have challenged myself to be a bit more active in my relationship with myself. I want to be more intentional about the love I am extending to me.

To start this month off, I wanted to write about the power of loving your body (yiiikes).

#BodyLove

As someone that has struggled with body image issues my entire life, I know that some of you will not want to read this post. I wouldn’t have, but I promise it is worth it! No Shame Allowed.

Why should we pursue a positive attitude towards our bodies?

Our relationship with our bodies affect everything. It affects our quality of life, our confidence, our perception of the world, our adventures, and our relationships. It affects our mental, emotional, and physical health.

Our bodies are a representation of ourselves. Our bodies are the first thing we share with the world. Our bodies is what takes up space in this world (a space that each of us deeply deserve).

The beauty standards of our society (at least in America) are impossible. Did you hear that? I M P O S S I B L E. Jes Baker, in her book Things No One Tells Fat Girls, states that for 95% of women it is completely impossible for their bodies to achieve the current beauty standard of America. In order for a man to achieve the current beauty standard of America, that man would have to dedicate his entire day, everyday, to achieve that body. To me, these statements make the beauty standard null and void (but does not diminish the pressure to achieve those standards).

Lastly, if we added more acceptance, more love, and more positive attitudes towards our bodies, we would change the world. The world is filled with comparison, anger, anxiety, and filled with people that believe they are worthless. If we all began to accept our bodies, allowing ourselves to take up space in this world, we would fill the world with more life. The world would become a fuller and more beautiful place.

How do we pursue a positive attitude towards our bodies?

I think it begins by making the powerful choice to fight. You must decide to face the monster of body-hate and instead, actively pursue more acceptance and more love towards your body.

After you’ve made the brave choice to fight, you have to be gracious to yourself. For me, I have about eighteen years of bad habits towards my body…I need to recognize that I won’t solve those in a day or two. It I going to take time. It takes time to change those patterns. Everyone has good days and everyone has bad days. I have bad body days and so does the next body positive advocate. So, be kind to yourself and recognize that body-love is not just a switch of a flip…but taking a step forward each day.

I think the act of body-love looks like acceptance. It looks like you stop fighting against your body and instead fight for your body. Instead of hiding who you are, boldly share who you are with the world and yourself. Acceptance is a journey, but each day you are presented with small opportunities to accept your body.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, flood your life with truth. This looks like being educated on topics about bodies, and specifically your body. This looks like surrounding yourself with people that are fighting this battle for body acceptance, too. This looks like drowning your thoughts and talk with truths. This looks like declarations (declaring what you want, higher truths, and positive things). I read this book once, Love Yourself: Like your Life Depends on it by Kamal Ravikant, about a man that hated his life and wanted to die. After spending one month consistently telling himself “I love myself” his perspective about himself and life completely changed. ONE MONTH. Declarations change things!

Body love isn’t an easy thing to talk about, face, or pursue. But, as a woman that has fought hard for the love she has towards her body…it is  w o r t h  it! If you are just beginning to give your body the attention and love it deserves, don’t worry! You aren’t alone and welcome to the #BodyLove club!

I want to leave you with this quote from Jes Baker (from her book Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls)…

“We build our lives around the belief that we are undeserving of attention, love, and amazing opportunities, when in reality this couldn’t be further from the truth.”

To all you lovely men and women, YOU deserve some body love, too! I would LOVE to continue this conversation down below. Leave your comments, questions below. Also, tell me how you are loving your body boldly today!

XO,

M