The first commandment of self love is: Honor Thyself.
What does that mean? It means to accept, acknowledge, recognize and take with pride, everything that you are. What makes us who we are?Our choices, our thoughts, what we decide to be, our experiences, our beliefs, and whatever composes our mind, bodies and spirits. For some people it’s easier to focus on the parts of their being that seem untouched, un-phased, un-wounded. The other parts, are typically ignored or looked at with shame; the SCARS.
Scars are the result of healing. An imprinted reminder of a painful experience. They can also be a consequence of an incident that resulted in major change, whether natural or not. Scars can be seen and unseen. They can be physical or emotional.
Far too often women are ashamed of their scars and today I ask you, may you choose to Be Proud? Be Proud of your scars, whether physical or emotional. They tell a story and are a shadow of your beauty.
With an obsession for perfection, women are ashamed of stretch marks, acne scars, moles, facial birthmarks and bruises. Too ashamed to wear certain pieces of clothing for the fear of judgement, ridicule, or glances you may get from someone else. In the end, does it matter?
If you lost or gained weight, had a baby, have marks from conditions like chicken pox, or whatever else, that is YOUR experience and has nothing to do with anyone else. You had that experience and you know what, millions of other women around you have had the same experience. You are human, change happens, scars occur. Embrace them, and proudly include your scars in your story.
What about the scars no one can see, but you walk around with shame because of their occurrence? An abortion? Infertility? Trust, hurt or abandonment issues due to a relationship? Sexual assualt? Emotional or Psychological Abuse? Self-imposed disappointment? Do you realize how much extra weight you carry in your body because you resist as oppose to embrace these incidents? Embrace does not mean you are happy or joyful that these events happened to you, but you accept that they are a part of your journey and you can continue to live. In Christianity there is the notion that God will give you beauty for ashes. It’s a beautiful concept and life truth, that once you give up what you deem as dead, hurtful, ugly, or negative, life will be more beautiful. Your spirit will be more at ease. Your mind and body will release whatever you’ve been holding on to.
We as women let the invisible scars keep us away from love in platonic, familial or romantic relationships. We let them become barriers to walk in our purpose when in actuality, embracing and accepting these scars can bring us closer to our purpose. We let the scars keep us away from a life of abundance, opportunity and fullness. Release the fear. Release the shame. If you are reading this, you are still here. You are strong. Those scars are sign of healing. Once you’ve healed, you have to give yourself permission to be more, do more, love more, and think higher of yourself and what life can offer.
Your past experiences shape you, but they do not define you. You define who you are. Walking proudly with your scars allows you to live in a space of freedom. Walking proudly with your scars gives someone else the power to be free.
By: Tiffany W.
As "BE" drives to promote a message of women embracing, accepting and loving their full selves, it's a celebration when stories about empowerment and body positivity make it to the headlines. For years, there always at least one video or picture that goes viral showing the dramatic "transformation" that Photoshop Editors drag a magazine or advertisement photo through. The exposure of such practices, have recently created more and more conversations about how "unrealistic" images of women are in the media, especially in print. Such conversations have been crucial in creating a sense of transparency around what it means to really Honor Your Body. The first step, acceptance.
I do very well believe we are in this space of transparency when it comes to real women and their relationship with their bodies and those seen in media. It's a fuzzy space though.
See, the road seems to have several paths.
1. An obsession with health and "fitness." I put fitness in (") because while many women live a healthy lifestyle to be healthy, there are women who feel the need to overdo their fitness to fit in an ideal. They feel the need to "push themselves" because that's what all the memes say... -_- . As a wellness advocate, I believe living a healthy active lifestyle can transform your entire being, but if you embark on it and you are constantly on the scale, comparing yourself to others, and being hard on yourself, it really defeats the purpose.
2. "Curvy" has been equated to extreme hour glass figures. The Idealization of entertainers like Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, and Kim Kardashian create this body ideal that most women will never meet unless they indulge in cosmetic enhancements.
3. Then their is the full blown Body Positivity movement!
Even though social media sucks a lot of millennials into this vortex of comparison (which has monstrously negative effects), there are many positive accounts that promote self love and women loving everything there is to love about their bodies. Now, the heat is being turned up a notch! Major modeling agencies and magazines, are slowly but surely loosening the reigns when it comes to the images they portray. Granted, we have a long way to go, progress must be celebrated.
Within the last week, the 3 ladies above have been celebrated for breaking out, embracing themselves, and being representatives of the "average" woman. In a world that says, get this sucked in, tucked, clipped, or removed, they stand to be themselves. They are proof that walking in your truth may not always be easy, but it is always worth it. Making sure to Honor yourself, body, mind and spirit, is an absolutely liberating journey to a life of Freedom.
When you learn to accept and just BE yourself, the Universe responds. The light, the God in you shines, and you attract such a magnificent life. SO let's embrace these women, and embrace ourselves. Just by them BEIng them, they have broke barriers. The average woman in the US is estimated to be a size 14, so even though Ashley Graham is actually more "normal" than plus, its a start.
Cheers to BEing You! Happy FEARLess Friday!
By: Tiffany W.
One of the greatest blocks that I'm learning to overcome is shame.
It feels good to be in a place to feel comfortable in yourself. Comfortable not having the answers most people expect. Comfortable with not knowing the future but staying in belief about the possibilities. Comfortable in knowing that I am doing my best despite what others may feel.
I think I got to a point of thinking, why take away my own joy in life and weigh myself in shame and guilt, when I can own my life, and float in the joy of just BEing?
I mean I used to feel shame for the smallest things. If I over committed to plans, I'd feel really guilty about telling certain parties, I'm not going to join you for x,y,z. Even if someone came over my place and I had dishes in the sink or they walked in my room which may have been unpresentable to them. If I didn't have money to put in a collection plate during offering at church. Heck, even if I realized that I totally forgot to call or text someone back in a "decent" window of time.
I'd feel shame if someone pointed out I was hypocritical about something. If I forgot to give someone a birthday card or call. If I didn't have money or take time to create a holiday gift. Even more, being 20 something with no job, little money, no car, and pretty much floating. But let me tell me you about the power of self love!
Haha...I let that mess go. I own my stuff. All of it. I accept everything in my journey, and when I "mess up" I admit it. When I'm wrong or have contradicted myself, I own it. If I do or live in some "unconventional" manner, I own that. Do you know what that feels like? It feels like freedom and obligation to only myself. I don't have children or a husband, so the only person that I'm accountable for is myself. Receiving insight of what others feel about the productivity of my life or even the alignment of my behavior no longer imposes guilt or shame on my spirit.
It is not to say I don't consider what others say, or how they react to me, but I've learned to truly embrace the 5 Commandments of Self Love, and that has allowed me to really just honor and accept myself. That is a feeling I wish more people, especially women could feel.
Women shame themselves about their bodies, their romantic choices, their sexuality, sexual or emotional traumas, eating sweets or unhealthy foods, not going going out, going out a lot, and not hitting goals "on time." Stop the shaming! Stop the guilt! I believe that when you are aligned in your mind, body, and spirit, and make decisions from a place of doing what you know is best at all times, you will be able to avoid shame and guilt. Especially for things you really didn't do.
Traditionally taboo topics such as sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, and even depression have received more of a platform because of stories that have circulated on social media in massive numbers. Understanding that no matter what struggles or traumas you experience, you are never alone or the only one experiencing them, is definitely a step towards self love and acceptance. You didn't ask to be assaulted. You didn't ask to be taking advantage of. You didn't ask to be drugged. You didn't ask to be abused mentally, emotionally, physically or financially. You didn't ask to experience feelings of hopelessness. Do not feel shame. Own your story, and maybe connect to a higher purpose, and share your story. Empower someone else. Connect to someone else.
Embrace your truth. Live in your truth. Share your truth. Heal from your truth.
Release shame and guilt. Stop wronging yourself. DO whats necessary to avoid those feelings, but if you walk into that territory, just own whatever you did or didn't do. Honor your self. Forgive yourself and forgive others.
By: Tiffany Wright.
This doll is revolutionary. Why?
In my book, BE Love: Daily Intentions Guiding You to Self Love, I discuss the value and importance of Honoring Your Body. In reference to how we as women see our bodies, "too often, young girls become women who believe their beauty is identified through the perfection of anther woman in a magazine or on a TV screen. When women become ashamed of stretch marks, varicose veins, moles or any other natural impression, it's as if they are denying their life's journey. p. (14)
I was beyond ecstatic to come across an article in TIME today, discussing the release of this "New Normal Barbie" whose name is Lammily. She is created with the intention to show "what the Barbie would look like if she actually had the measurements of an average 19-year-old woman’s body (based on CDC data). And brown hair. (She also comes with a sticker extension pack, complete with cellulite, freckles and acne, but we’ll get to that later.)."
There is even an amazing video that shows young students' reactions to the doll.
I've read reactions on the doll and it's amazing how many millennials think its "stupid."
Awareness will change your world. People who are confident and conscious seem to forget what it was like to not be that way and question who they were. Or on the flip side, maybe they have no idea what its like to not be the most confident. Feelings of awkwardness and damaging body acceptance does not stop at 17. It continues way in to adulthood and can even become more damaging.
Women have to deal with images like the recent Kim Kardashian magazine cover. Ideas of perfection. Perfect hair; if its curly you want it straight and vice versa. The right touch of makeup. The most figure flattering outfits. Eyebrows. Nails. Waxing. Etc,etc.etc. Have a fit and toned body. Don't get too muscular because that's not feminine. Thick and big booties are in, squat or inject. Big is beautiful. Everything in between.
For someone, who is not grounded in their BEing, all these images and standards can be very overwhelming. The foundation of who you are begins at childhood. No matter how you choose to veer or transform, your childhood experiences shape who you are. This doll might not completely change how girls who become women view themselves, but I guarantee, it will make a difference.
The reality is, you are BEautiful. At minimum, make sure you are eating well and are physically active 3-4 times a week for at least 30 minutes, after that embrace nature, and let yourself BE! One step beyond yourself, make sure you take time to affirm a young girl, in your family or even the daughter of someone you know. Affirm her beyond what she looks like. Affirm her strength, character, intelligence, creativity, compassion, etc.
By: Tiffany Wright
Women begin dreaming about their big day as little girls. Planning extravagance and preparing for one of the most special days of their life.
There are approximately 2.5 million weddings a year. Everyday someone gets married. The wedding industry is a 30 billion dollar industry.
In the US we are used to witnessing the announcements of celebrities nuptials. This was no different when this weekend, pictures of the style icon, DJ, and artist, Solange Knowles emerged. Something was a bit different though...people went crazy over the pics, in an awe-inspiring way.
The photos were symbolic of so much, but in an effortless manner, Solange was the embodiment of beauty and the value of simplicity. There was no large wedding, over the top location or dress. Everything was simple. She wore a beautiful customized pants jump suit with a cape. All of her wedding party wore simple white dresses of their choosing. Her and her husband departed the scene on two white bikes. Simple.
The classic simplicity is what really has people buzzing about the event, but even more so, it’s a reminder, you don’t always need “more”, “bigger” or “better.”
It’s in the pursuit of appeasing our ego that we often lose sight of what values and people in life matter most. Applying matters of simplicity to all areas of life can contribute to balance.
Pressure is great. Wanting more, keeps you moving and growing. Desiring to obtain as much as you can get is proof that abundance is always available. Yet in all those desires and environments that may exists, they don’t make up for the intangibles like emptiness, loneliness, love, joy, and health.
Anyone that follows Solange, knows she's an earthy, simple, and au naturale woman. She is truly an ambassador of self love because she often talks about people learning to become comfortable in their own skin, embracing their individuality, and living a life of passion. Values that are simple and lead to so much gratitude.
So next time, when you feel discontent, truly consider your blessings. Take time to consider the difference between things you really want vs. need. When it comes to bigger, better, or more, could you be simple and still be satisfied? Consider, what would really make you joyful? Not artificially happy, but joyful from your core.
Written by: Tiffany Wright
What can we learn from Claire Leeson?
BEauty is not only in the eye of the beholder but it's also uncomfortably perfected in the mind of spectators. BE is all about self love and choosing relevant stories in pop culture that teach the importance of self love are extremely easy to come by. Today, we can take a lesson from the BEautiful BEing that is in the picture....She has made headlines this week for spending $30,000 on cosmetic procedures and enhancements to look like Kim Kardashian. Claire Leeson said that she struggled with confidence but admired everything about Kim, and figured if she could look like her, she would feel better about herself.
We all want to feel comfortable in our skin. We want to feel comfortable in our clothes. We want to look at ourselves in the mirror and believe we are beautiful. Every one is entitled to such reflections but they don't necessarily connect to such realities.
Beauty and perfection are not new concepts. From an evolutionary standpoint beauty is parallel to a trait that allows a species to survive. Beautiful people are often granted opportunities others wouldnt be. Beauty fosters a general purpose, mating and reproduction . There is an actual science to beauty, but what happens when people are obsessed with manipulating science to become more beautiful?
Nowadays one can practically restructure their entire body. Whatever you choose to do, to be happy, by all means its your life and you are granted that freedom. I just want to provide some ideas. The interesting idea floating around is that the concept of happiness is a result of external choices, when in fact you realize at some point its a purely intrinsic, mental, and physiological driven process. For most people, I believe happiness is a choice, but as someone with a background in mental health, and with personal experience with depression, there are true chemical imbalances that no positive thinking can overcome. This is also why I understand self love, self esteem, and self image for some, are 3 very challenging concepts, but I want to offer some insight.
When over judging how beautiful or perfect you are, consider the following:
1. You didn't ask to be born, nor did you have power to request your physical features
Taking into consideration that you are able to practice good hygiene, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and manage stress, you appear how nature intended. Your height, eye color, width, color, and natural build is not wrong or right, it is what it is. Learn to accept that nothing can be wrong with a thing if that is its' nature. How can a red rose be mad it's not a yellow rose...that's what nature intended for it to be. What happens around you, what you take personal, and what you let get to you to influence how positively or negatively you view yourself, is your choice.
2. Health, wellness and hygiene will make a difference.
When you feel your best on the inside, what you look like doesnt matter. Your love and confidence is a direct reflection of how you feel. Live food like fruits and veggies give you energy, mental clarity, and keep you going. When you have alertness you're more likely to work out. Working out produces endorphins, or " happy chemicals" in your body. You're more
likely to be positive and stay in route to doing things that make you feel better. Food and exercise also help manage stress, which can take a physical toll on your body on the outside and inside. Your diet and hygenie also affect your skin, which is a major area of concern for people
3. Self Love is the outcome of a cycle.
When you know you're taking care of yourself and living your best life, you love yourself more. When you're doing positive things, thinking positively, and are around positive people, you feel better about yourself and see beauty as an intangible force.
4. Few people look perfect
Consider this. If Kim K didn't have botox, breast implants, and the extensive diet and fitness regiment she does...she'd look a whole lot different. Someone spent $30,000 on an image that doesn't even exist! She's not the only one. Numersous shows on TV show us how often non-celebrities go under the knife to look like the people they admire. Again there's nothing wrong with shooting to look your best but consider what the journey involves, and how it affects your idea of yourself, in your most natural form. Even everyday women who don't get cosmetic procedures obsess over idolizing other's perfect bodies. Wake up...people sculp their bodies with exercise. 6 packs, flat tummies, sculpted butts, thighs and arms...don't exist without effort and continuous effort. It's not natural, it's effort. Even myself, I have a natural athletic build, but if I don't work out at least 20minutes a day 3× a week, keep low stress, and really manage food, I blow up really easily. There are people who don't need to exercise for aesthetics, and that's very few people. Most of us need to do it for health, and if we want to maintain certain shapes but again, it's effort. You love others looks...enhanced looks. Not their natural selves. How they look after being done up or edited in print. Don't obsess over what is not real. Open your minds.
Think twice before praising what seems like the celestial beauty of another whether its face or body. It really is the soul, spirt and heart that shines thru our eyes, reflects in our actions, and radiates in our presence that really makes us "attractive". It's the confidence, strength, peace, and love of people that make them seemingly more beautiful. It's their aura...something completely unduplicatable by procedure or application.
Written by: Tiffany W.
As women of today, it seems that perfection of beauty continues to reach a higher level. Especially in the US, we are bombarded with enhancements: body, face, and hair. We all have different definitions of beauty, but across the board there's something about a curvy fit body, with stunning makeup,and long hair that people love. Because of the selfie revolution, women are constantly gagging for attention thru the "likes" of their duck faces, puckered lips, or prophetic "I woke up like this" photos. Instagram has become a new playground for business owners in fashion and makeup.The fantasy went from the magazines to our smart phones, and so many of us stay wrapped in it. My little sister refers to the ladies with the perfect nails, eyebrows, makeup, and trendy clothes as "instabaddies." Sometimes I feel kind of guilty as a sister because she admires that so much, and I will never BE that; she probably wants someone to emulate like that, but none of the women of family are like because we truly are naturally BEautiful and confident in it. Makeup may be limited to eye and lip for the most part, with exceptions of special days and outings, but what exists for many women, is foreign to me, and even my closest friends.
Makeup is BEautiful in it's mere existence. Make up artists create masterpieces on women, and its absolutely astonishing how BEautiful some women look. Even though we are virtually exposed to so many BEautiful women who are just "normal everyday people," does this impact the reality that there's a lot more of us "normal," non-adorned, perfectly fine with being imperfect looking women out there? Secondly, how will "instabaddies" ever learn to unconditionally love themselves if they fear walking out "normal" or "natural"?
The idea of perfection and obsession with narcissism and esteem based on looks, especially via social media runs deep. Think about it. Ever know someone who had to take at least 10+ pictures before posting because it had to look perfect? How about using photo shop, not for fun, but to truly enhance perfection? They say image is everything, but I say, if you are so attached to your image, your beauty, and especially your youth, BE advised that time will change; your body and face, WILL CHANGE! Continue to radiate and shine! Allow us to see your beauty bother enhanced and natural, just just make sure that you can say you LOVE yourself in the mirror, no matter what.
Written By: Tiffany W.
In honor of The BE Experience: Love the Light Within, I wanted to post in relevant to the topic discussion: Who are you really?
Do you know how to embrace your inner and outer beauty naturally?How caught up in your enhanced beauty are you?
Are you the "Before and After?"...you know, the before and after "BEat Face" transformation picture.
That's not you. That's your face. Your hair. Your adornments.
Who are you really?
This is inspired by the mighty Before & After picture. The testimonial revolution influenced by the influx of amazing make up artists building their businesses on instagram. We've all seen them. Pictures of women that look like night and day created offspring. Beyond the Before & After, there are women who are known for or have an online image as actually looking perfect at all times. These women are enhanced head to toe. Some may have natural bodies, but are fitness obsessed to look perfect. Others may not care about their bodies, but their hair, nails, lashes, and face are all done and "BEAT" to a T! Before there's any confusion, I acknowledge the beauty you represent and present to the world. I acknowledge the time you spend in taking pride in your appearance, but for some I have concern.
Why do these transformations often create more importance in our lives than our inner transformations? the transformation of our minds? of our spirit? Tell me who are you really.
Yes you are beautiful enough to be a canvas. Yes I understand all that you decide to where is a Beautiful form of art, that has been around since our early kingdoms in Africa. You are the result of a masterpiece but do you know that it is not real. Art is meant to be captured forever. In most cases it does not last one day to outshine it's canvas. Of course, with meaning, purpose and intention, there are pieces of art that are meant to be temporary, but more the sake art on a canvas; the canvas was created to for the art. Not the other way around. You were created with a purpose, and so was all you were adorned with.
Up to the many perspectives of interpretation, makeup is meant to enhance, and help you feel Beautiful, but your BEauty is not the result of the makeup. It was created to make you feel and think a certain way. It contributes to fantasy. Fantasy is great to escape into, but when we stay in a realm of fantasy, we ignore the realness of the present. The BEauty of the presence.
Could you comfortably and confidently walk around with just you? No makeup, eyebrows, lashes, nails, fancy clothes, or hair? If those items do not complete you because you feel whole as soon as you wake up, truly flawless, then pay no attention. But for the women, who find it hard to truly face themselves, face their face, we have a bit ways to go on this journey of self love. if your existence is wrapped in the arch of your brow, the hue of foundation, the shade of your lipstick, the length and texture of your hair, or the success of your contouring, I ask to re-examine bucket of self love. Believe me I understand. Makeup was never my thing, but hiding behind my hair was, which is why I cut it off. I wanted to learn to accept me because I never truly had.
The world will continue to give you reasons why you're not good enough, why good enough is bad, and why better is always better. You have to strive for something...but what if what we strove for, wasn't SOME THING (eg. the idea of perfection) but it was Some BEing? I understand that my thinking is not reflective of the masses, but BE! is a movement of self love. No matter what you wear, say, look like or do, as long as you are on a journey to truly, unconditionally love and accept your raw self, success is present, and the world is better because of you! Self love allows us to accept ourselves, project and nurture love unto others. The world always needs more love, and always needs more people, accepting themselves, and learning to BE their true selves. Makeup is Beautiful! It serves it purpose. It's fun, allows you to escape and express yourself, but never forget who you really are, and what you have to offer the world! I challenge you to tell yourself at least 3 reasons why you're beautiful/ whats beautiful to you about your BEing?
BE BEautiful~BE You
Written By: Tiffany Wright