I Finally Love my Body! YAY!

A little over a year ago I was introduced to something called the I Love My Body Diet.  It helped me SO much that I spent the majority of last year helping with the programs and bringing it to women.  It is truly a movement I believe in.  Here’s why:

  • The core values of the program are faith, authenticity and community.  The program really helped me to connect with myself and God, be authentically me and be involved in a community of women with similar values.
  • It helped me to truly love my body.  I carry some extra weight.  I have for a long time and it’s something I have held my body hostage for.  I tried to guilt and shame my body into losing weight a few times, but I hated myself more as a result.  I truly learned at a new level that my body is a gift to be loved, valued, and respected.  I can be healthy and I can release extra weight if and when I choose to, but it will be because I love myself and not to fit what I think I “should” be.  These photos were taken last spring in California and I share them now because I truly can look at these pictures in total love right now.  Before that, I would never have even allowed such photos to be taken.  I’m so grateful for this place I’m in now.da20bc45-59c1-4a95-8e79-026a51783b42def0b6b1-b671-4067-bfba-c08f01738ace
  • The way I see food has completely shifted for me.  I listen to my body now and eat intuitively.  I bless and infuse values into my food which is changing me from the inside out.  I also exercise daily.  That has NEVER been a consistent thing for me.  I do it because I love my body and I want to take care of and bless it for serving me so well.  I also recognize when I’m pushing my body too hard, or I need a rest from it.
  • I feel connected to my body.  I love it and it loves and supports me.  When there are issues within, I listen and make corrections.
  • I am comfortable in front of the camera.  This was HUGE for me.  I am comfortable in pictures, videos, at the grocery store.  You name it.  I feel like I finally gave myself permission to just be me.
  • I live in value.  I choose what I want to feel instead of allowing my emotions to control me.  Mostly.  I am intentional everyday.
  • I stopped thinking about me.  This is HUGE as well.  I noticed that now that I am comfortable in my body, I don’t stress about what I look like, who’s watching, or how ridiculous I am.  It’s not in my thoughts anymore.  I remember a time when these thoughts consumed me.  I am free to show up in love for others and myself.  It’s all about love baby.
  • My judgements are melting away.  I realized that when I was in judgement of others most of the time it was because I was constantly judging myself.
  • I finally LOVE meeting new people!!!  This was a really hard thing for me for so long. When I first started focusing on my mission of helping women, it required me to meet lots of new people.  It was really scary for me and way out of my comfort zone.  For 2 years, my face and body was covered in a horrible rash.  I now know it was stressed induced from choosing to step out of my comfort zone daily.  Meeting new people is no longer a stress for me.  It is a joy!  Huge victory.  This picture shows me with some of the rash.                                             d6036912-368b-46a8-b585-30af6c30b130

These and many more things have been such a blessing for me.  They were things I didn’t even realize I lacked.  I have been working on healing for a while and I honestly didn’t know I still had issues in all these areas.  This program brought it all to a deeper level for me and I will be forever grateful.  I am so grateful for women and men that are stepping into their personal missions so that I can be the recipient of the gifts they have to offer humanity.  AND I am grateful for ME!

Charity: The Pure Love of Christ

I have been thinking a lot about charity, the pure love of Christ and wanted to share a few of my favorite quotes, scriptures, and poems.  I am saturating this post with all things love and purity.  Enjoy!

 

 

“Inner peace and love are the greatest of God’s gifts. ”

-Teton Sioux Proverb

 

 

“If God is love,

The source,

The spring,

Should not the lover

Pilgrimage there-

Reverently

Seeking supply?

 

That the cup he gives

Will not be dry?”

-Carol Lynn Pearson

 

‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

-1 Corinthians 13

From the Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary:

charity

CHARITY, n.

1. In a general sense, love, benevolence, good will; that disposition of heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellow men to think favorably of their fellow men, and to do them good. In a theological sense, it includes supreme love to God, and universal good will to men.1 Cor. 8. Col. 3. 1 Tim 1.

2. In a more particular sense, love, kindness, affection, tenderness, springing from natural relations; as the charities of father, son and brother.

3. Liberality to the poor, consisting in almsgiving or benefactions, or in gratuitous services to relieve them in distress.

4. Alms; whatever is bestowed gratuitously on the poor for their relief.

5. Liberality in gifts and services to promote public objects of utility, as to found and support bible societies, missionary societies, and others.

6. Candor; liberality in judging of men and their actions; a disposition which inclines men to think and judge favorably, and to put the best construction on words and actions which the case will admit. The highest exercise of charity, is charity towards the uncharitable.

7. Any act of kindness, or benevolence; as the charities of life.

8. A charitable institution. Charity-school, is a school maintained by voluntary contributions for educating poor children.

What are some of your favorites?

Let’s Talk about Sex

I have known for awhile that I was going to do a post about sex, and in all honesty it has been difficult for me to go there. Partly because I am going to share experiences that are raw and vulnerable for me, but mostly because I love the sacred nature of intimacy so much that I desire this post to be pure and unexploitable. I pray that my words are filled with truth and healing.

I grew up in a home where sexual intimacy was both celebrated and conflicting. My parents had 11 children, and I always felt secure in their love for each other. We had a strong spiritual and religious foundation of the sanctity of sex within marriage that could be felt but wasn’t discussed. I just knew with my whole being that my parents were true to each other and to their family. While my parents held that beautiful space for me and I learned about it in church, there was major conflict inside of me about sex. There were undercurrents of sexual exploitation in my family and all around me. I experienced sexual molestation as a child and through my teen years, and I couldn’t seem to get away from the shame and secrecy of it. It all came to a head for me when I met and married my amazing husband. We were both entrenched in the shame of sex and brought that shame into our marriage and our sexuality.

When I think of all of the years with my husband, (20 in October) my heart leaps for joy at what we have overcome together and are still overcoming. We truly had so much stacked against us, and yet we continue to come back to each other and choose our budding relationship. It has not been easy and I have felt that in talking about it, someone else can be helped. Is that you?

In the beginning I can honestly say that sex became a dreadful thing to me. I felt it was my duty to fulfill my husband even though I was completely empty. Sex was a physical thing, no more. At times, I could feel a deeper connection, but because of my past I had numbed myself to love, believing it didn’t exist for me. I hated sex and wanted nothing to do with it but I would force myself to engage out of fear of losing my husband and a belief that I wasn’t lovable and I shouldn’t punish my husband. At times, I did use my sexuality as a punishment, withholding because it gave me a reason to escape. Many times, I cried through it and afterwards sobbed from the depths of my soul. This perpetuated the shame cycle for my dear husband, who deep down wanted nothing more than to share his love with me. It really was a hot mess for a long, long time.

I realize now that one thing that kept me holding on was the beautiful but imperfect example from my amazing parents. I knew there was something better. I knew sex and love could be beautiful, but I had no idea how to get there. The seed was buried deep for me, covered up by lies, doubt and fear.

I now feel that we have touched the beauty of intimacy. We are scratching the surface, but I have had many glimpses and experiences of the sacredness that my husband and I hold in this beautiful God-given act. Sexual intimacy is truly meant to join two people; heart, mind, and soul. It is when we take it internally and truly connect at a spiritual, not just physical level that nourishment is attained for both partners. So how do we do that? Looking back, I am noticing the pattern of healing that is occuring.  Here are 5 steps in the pattern and some possible action steps, depending on where you are in your healing.

I. Tune into the true source of love.  It is not my husband’s job to fill me.  I am meant to have a personal relationship with my Creator.  When my husband and I are both filled from the true source, our intimacy becomes a partnership of creation with our Creator.  We are both coming from a place of being filled and that love naturally pours out to each other.

POSSIBLE ACTION STEP:  Ask God to show you who you are and how he sees you.  Ask him to help you feel His love for you.

II.  Weed out the lies and shame.  There is much of sexual exploitation all around.  It becomes confusing for all of us.  The truth is, sex is beautiful, fulfilling, and God-given.  It is a way to connect and celebrate each other and our love.  It is creation in it’s raw form.  It is meant to encompass all layers of our being.  Spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental.

POSSIBLE ACTION STEP:  Read this book to assist you in discovering the lies that are hanging out in your bedroom.

III. Declare what you desire in your relationship and sexual intimacy.  It is difficult to tune in to what we truly desire when we are full of limiting beliefs and lies.  Once we begin the weeding out process, we create space to really see the truth. When we begin to see the truth, we can then create it! There is much power in the written and spoken word.  It is truly the seed of creation.

POSSIBLE ACTION STEP:  Create your ideal relationship and intimacy.  Write it all down.  Include all the senses.  What does it look like?  What are you experiencing?  How do you feel?  Write in detail and visualize it on a regular basis.  Speak it out loud.  Hold space for the creation of it.  Believe it is on it’s way.

IV.  Set an intention.  What intention do you want to create with your intimacy?  Is it connection, trust, love?  Or something else?  Identifying values we are desiring to live in helps us to really stay present and create what we desire.

POSSIBLE ACTION STEP:  Set 1-3 intentions before lovemaking.  Pray for those intentions to be present with you.  Even better, connect to your partner’s values as well and set those intentions too.  This can result in a soul filling experience connecting all aspects of you.

V.  Receive in gratitude.  Remember this step.  It’s super important.  Part of receiving is letting go.  We have done the work, now it’s time to simply let go and receive.  Gratitude is regeneration.  It completes the cycle and begins it anew.  It also keeps us in a higher vibration of thought that continues with us long after the experience is over.

POSSIBLE ACTION STEP:  Visualize yourself letting go, trusting, and receiving.  Express gratitude daily for the reception of all good things into your life.

Thank you for allowing me to share a piece of my heart with you.  I truly hope it blesses your life and your sexuality.  Sending love and blessings.

 

P.S.  This formula works for so many aspects of life.