Dear Self, I Love You.
I recently gave a client the assignment to rave about herself.
This is something I do in my workshops as well– I force beautiful, wonderful women to endure the horrendous torture that is standing up in front of a group and bragging about herself honestly, until the timer is up.
This exercise might sound kind of fun, but I assure you it brings up some really interesting stuff. It’s incredibly uncomfortable, as a woman, to break the unspoken law that we must be humble and modest.
I once watched a woman fight such an extraordinary inner battle as she stood there sweating and crying, that if I hadn’t given her the assignment, I might have thought she was trying to will herself to transform into a werewolf.
This inner battle is exactly why I assign it.
The person doing the bragging often learns a lot about how powerfully she has bought into certain social guidelines, and it opens an important discussion on what it would look like to really “own” your strengths, gifts, power, and beauty.
But something even more interesting often happens to the observers.
Watching a woman brag about herself is kind of shocking. It’s startling, and disorienting. We are experientially blind to the experience of watching a woman truly own her greatness– it has a way of making your brain go WAIT WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW?!
That’s why I want to share the following guest-post, written by a client.
This woman took my assignment (rave about yourself unapologetically) and turned it into a beautiful blog post, and as I read it I felt the familiar tingles in my brain.
This kind of self-celebration by a woman is powerful, because it’s so rare. I want you to read her work (I’m posting it below exactly as she wrote it) and see what comes up for you.
Does it make you uncomfortable? Inspired? Brain-glitchy?
If you feel so inspired, I want to hear from you, too. Will you rave about yourself in a video or written post?
Will you celebrate the shit out of yourself, just to see how it feels?
If so, please tag me in it so I can see, on Instagram or Facebook.
Without further ado, here is my second-ever guest post, shared with permission by Kate. Her original post can be found on her brand new blog: KEWE Life, here.
I’M GOING TO A RAVE.
Have we met? If not, nice to meet you. I’m pretty awesome. Not in a boastful or cocky way, but in a subtle, confident kind of way. Whether we know each other or not, sit back, relax, and settle in. Because I’m about to throw my subtlety to the wind in a radical exclamation of my love for myself.
Have you secretly admired someone but were never quite able to muster the courage to tell that person what you thought? Ever realize that person you were secretly admiring was yourself? In a long overdue acknowledgement of my awesomeness, I invite you to celebrate me with me as I finally send my lifelong crush a love letter.
And so, let the rave begin.
You’re a woman. An awesome woman. A powerful woman. A strong woman. A brave woman. A devoted woman. A curious woman. An affectionate woman. A kind woman. A caring woman.
You impress me every day with your bravery. Seriously, that shit is in-fucking-spiring. You wake up, get out of bed (most days), brush your teeth (most days, hah), then you go out into the world, and you show up, fully. Day in and day out. There you are. Standing, waiting, ready to work. To work on yourself, to work to connect with your soul, to work to sort through all the dark, messy clutter to make peace with yourself. You do all the work.
You’re organized as fuck. Honestly, sometimes it’s concerning. But mostly it’s amazing.
You want to help others. You seek out ways to. You are drawn to the desire to effect change. To lend a hand. Or an ear. Or a shoulder. Or whatever you can manage to share.
You’re starting to learn boundaries. Boundaries to help yourself flourish, not boundaries to tame your desires. You’re learning the power of “no”. Not in a defiant way, but in a way that is caring of your own needs.
You say “thank you”, more often than not, now when someone compliments you. You don’t shy away from the light of your life. You walk into it, you welcome it, you seek that light. It wakes you up.
Superficial, you are not. Depth is your power. Depth of self, depth of connection, depth of commitment.
Your ass is amazing. Truly. It’s a work of art. A creative expression of your strength. Powerful, ready to work.
Your smile is incredible. Your eyes are beautiful. Your laugh is warm. Your giggle is endearing. Your wit is intoxicating.
You are strong. Emotionally. Physically. Mentally. You do not sacrifice your kindness for your strength. You are cognizant of your rough edges and you look to buff them when you think it’s necessary. Because you care deeply about other people. About their feelings, their hopes, dreams, wishes, about their whole beings. You are willing to get hurt a little (or, sometimes, a lot) in the quest for connection. Because without connection, what is there?
You stand really fucking tall. You are confident. You are funny. You are an amazing woman. You are generous. You are charismatic. You are goofy. You are secretly a great dancer, with enviable rhythm but also sometimes two left feet. Please share your dancing with the Universe; I’m sure it would love to see more of it.
You are accepting. You are gifted. You are smart. You are inquisitive. You are headstrong. You are adventurous. You are talented. You are ballsy. You are sarcastic. You are interested.
You lean in. You open the doors to the dark places. You walk boldly into the face of fear and shame and guilt and those big, scary emotions and you ask them to come out into the light. You see your demons as your muses. You seek to see the good in people, in the world, in life.
You are beautiful. You are sexy. You are curvy and bendy and soft. You are hard and tough and gritty. You were made to do more. To bring joy. To share your experiences. To offer guidance. To offer support. To embrace life’s challenges as gifts.
You are all I ever need you to be. You are everything you were meant to be.
You have a voice. It’s big. Bold. Beautiful. Courageous. Inspiring. Funny.
You’re an awesome aunt. Aunt Tatie, to be exact. You give, whatever you can, whenever you can.
You are a writer. Your words were meant to be shared. Your voice, meant to be heard. The sharing of your words liberates your soul, eases your angst, soothes your heart and mind. Your writing is for you.
You’re succeeding in a male-dominated world. Some might even say you’re thriving. You’ve been promoted, rewarded, fought over. You make decisions for yourself.
You cook. You grill. You bake. You broil. You blend. You chop. You build. You demolish. You garden (meh). You clean. You vacuum. You polish. You launder. You iron. You steam. You fold. You straighten. You refresh. You are curious. You tend to whatever it is your heart wants.
You’re willing to suffer in order to find your own happiness. Your willing to suffer for others. You’re willing to suffer for peace. Because suffering is temporary in the name of peace. Peace is subjective. You choose peace for yourself.
You’re on a path to self-identity, self-confidence, self-definition that will lead to amazing things. You’re making your own identity. Arriving at it through hard work and a shitload of help.
You’re humble. You ask for help when you need it. You raise your hand when you don’t understand. You seek clarity when you’re confused.
You overthink things. That’s okay. Doing so has developed in you an awareness of human emotions and experiences that allows you to uniquely connect with others. You’re okay if those other people don’t want to connect.
You’re not ready yet to share yourself with someone else. You’re not yet whole enough to fully let someone else in. You’re strong as fuck for putting your own needs first. You are not alone. Do you hear me? You are not alone. I am here. We are enough. For now and for always. We. Are. Enough.
You’re trusting. Eventually. Until that point, you’re protective and that’s an admirable mechanism of self-care.
When you couldn’t find the words, you baked. You baked dozens and dozens of cookies. And somehow, your love was what people remember from those dark days when we lost a loved one too soon. You saved people with your kindness, with your caring, with your generosity.
You are awesome. Your calluses and blisters and scars and bruises and stretch marks and cellulite and saggy skin and veins and freckles and beauty marks and blemishes and skin tags and hair and torn cuticles and dry skin and squishiness and tautness and muscles and fat and all the things that make a woman’s body, they are the fabric of you, they weave together so beautifully, they tell the history of your very amazing body. The history of your very amazing body that once weighed 192lbs. The history of your very amazing body that once weighed 142lbs. The history of your very amazing body that now weighs somewhere in between.
The history of your very amazing body that has withstood your hatred, your restriction, your loathing, your attempts at sabotage, your bingeing, your embarrassment, your shame, your fear, your downright disdain for this body you’ve been given. That history is history.
We now have a loving relationship where cellulite is sexy (say what?!), where stretch marks are womanly, where bruises and scrapes and blisters are reminders that you’re fragile, where calluses are reminders that you’re adaptive. Where squishiness is a reminder that you’re fucking human, where torn cuticles are reminders that manicures aren’t miracles, where muscles are a reminder that the work is never done.
You apologize. Because you’re strong like that.
You respect your body. You value serenity.
You’re adventurous. You try new stuff. You’re not afraid to fail. You are willing to change. You’re ready to adapt. You’re pretty fucking awesome. You’re resilient. Like the waves that keep on crashing, you keep on showing up, methodically, religiously, consistently.
With all the love,
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