This is a mini-post in lieu of the other two and a half posts that I’m currently in the process of writing and yes I realise that I should probably try just writing one at a time! However this post is more a case of sharing someone else’s wise words as they struck such a deep chord with me that I had to share them with you.
This week I started the second part of an amazing online self-portraiture course which I have been looking forward to for weeks. I have also been stupidly busy in that “how the hell is it November?” kind of way so I’ve barely had five minutes to soak up the course. I have now promised myself Saturday in case I don’t have the time this week and to stop beating myself up about it, but I did manage to eke out a self-portrait last night.
Let’s just say I felt like a 5 year-old having a tantrum. The theme is “full body” which may as well have been “dance naked in the streets whilst everyone points and stares in horror”. This theme strikes to the very heart of my worthiness issues. I tried and the above ‘hiding’ photo was the one that best represented how I was feeling. If you look through my portraits you will notice that most, if not all, are detailed shots, or parts of me. I am comfortable with the close-ups but the full body shots I find really, really hard. In fact it was the very reason I signed up for the second part of the Now You course (well, that and the incredible community of creative souls it fosters.) So I am getting exactly what I wanted and yet simultaneously I want to run and hide behind the sofa sulking.
However, after struggling with this shot last night I decided I would take ten minutes and dip into the course over lunch. There to greet me were the most beautiful words and I am immensely grateful to Meredith for sharing them because they are exactly what I needed to hear, and what I have been trying to voice (though perhaps not quite as eloquently on my blog). So please relish the beautiful words of Madisyn Taylor and really listen to what she has to say;
Many of us do not take the time to notice and acknowledge how beautiful we are as humans.
“We may be great lovers of beauty, seeing it in the people, places, and things around us, while completely missing it in ourselves. Some of us feel that it is vain to consider our appearance too much, or we may find that when we look at ourselves, all we see are imperfections. Often we come to the mirror with expectations and preconceived notions about beauty that blind us from seeing ourselves clearly. As a result, we miss the beauty that is closest to us, the beauty we are. Sometimes we see our beauty in a shallow way, noticing how well we are conforming to social norms, but failing to see the deeper beauty that shines out from within and that will continue to shine regardless of how we measure up to society’s ideal.
If we can cut through all these obstacles and simply appreciate how beautiful we are, we free up so much energy. We also become less dependent upon the opinions and feedback of others since we become our own greatest admirers. Many of us know that after a great yoga practice or a long, deep meditation, we are more able to see how beautiful we are. This is because we have released some of our baggage, thus unburdening ourselves and summoning forth the spirit that dwells within us. It is the heady combination of the divine spirit and the human body that conveys beauty more accurately than anything else.
To keep ourselves in touch with our own beauty, we can surround ourselves with images that reflect our beauty back to us—photos of a relative or child who has our eyes, images of teachers who embody spirit, or self-portraits that capture our essence in a way that allows us to see ourselves anew. The best way to keep ourselves in touch with our own beauty is to keep looking deeply into our own souls and opening our eyes to the human being we see in the mirror every day.”
Just remember lovely ladies; we are all be*you*tiful. Just. As. We. Are
P.S. Note to self, this includes you!