Photo by Lukas Müller
Are you ever content with yourself, exactly the way you are? I would be stunned if you said "Yes" and I would also give you a really big "high five"! For women, feeling like we have to change something about ourselves is as natural as breathing. Actually, maybe more so since usually we practically hold our breath or take shallow breaths in an attempt to not take up too much space. It's sad and common. In fact, Pantene even created a campaign about, "Sorry, Not Sorry".
Compliment any woman on some aspect of herself and she'll minimize it. Ask any woman what part of her body she likes and she'll often be stumped. Yet, she'll be able to wax on and on about her faults and shortcomings.
I spent years hearing my mother lament her "short, heavy-thighed legs" and she made sure to let me know that I was afflicted with exactly the same problem, "like her".
In the 60's and early 70's we aspired to have long, straight hair like Cher or Joni Mitchell or Marianne Faithful. I remember ironing my curly locks and it wasn't uncommon to nearly ruin one's hair or even have a burn on the side of one's face. Fortunately, there was also the option of rolling our hair using large, frozen orange juice cans!
I remember growing up feeling mostly discontent about my looks and my body and always comparing and sizing myself up to others ... and coming up short, literally! Being only 5'2", even that was an "issue" and "drawback"! Of course, my tall girlfriends found fault with their height, too.
This needs to end if we are to fulfill our true potential. So, what's a gal to do?? Here are a few suggestions to get started:
Form alliances and bonds with other like-minded women who want to support each other.
Start looking in the mirror, several times a day and repeating, "I love and approve of myself". (Thank you, Louise Hay)
Learn to accept and give compliments with a wide-open heart.
Honestly appraise ourselves and make the realistic tweaks that help us live healthier, happier lives. As I've often mentioned, this is better accomplished when we enlist help.
Take a conscious, deep breath several times a day and revel in being
We truly are magnificent simply because we exist. When you add in all our accomplishments, it's staggering. We do not have to apologize for our existence or presence and when we celebrate another woman's essence we are reinforcing our own. Let's not "fix" ourselves, but reclaim what's been lost -- this is what I wish for you.
By the way, this is my last blogette from Portugal. Next week I will be back in the U.S. I know some of you follow my travels on Facebook and look forward to my next "adventure". Did you know that I look forward to hearing about yours?!? I also hear from people that they'd like to create some of their own escapades. Please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like some support or assistance in achieving a particular goal and we can set up a time to chat.