The weekend before last, I was feeling great in myself, no feeling of self-loathing in sight and whilst tidying my room I decided to go through the clothes in my closet. I was in the mood for a deep clear out, and it was definitely needed!
My Closet and My Body Image
Around two and a half years ago I put on a substantial amount of weight (around 10kg) and within a number of months another 5kg got added more gradually. This was a consequence of not wanting to move forward in my life, and instead digging my heels in. As a result a lot of my clothes, especially jeans and dresses, didn’t fit me any more. My body image hit rock bottom, and my self-loathing skyrocketed. Continue reading “Self-loathing, My Closet, and Me”
Image is huge in our society, with a constant bombardment of what you should look like from all sides in media and social media. Thankfully, as a society we are starting to become more aware of how the images we see everyday affect us and especially influence our younger generation.
Recent studies show that the impact of early exposure of sexuality to a girl’s development is indeed very harmful. A report by the American Psychological Association task force (APA, 2007), found that girls who are exposed to sexual messages from popular culture are more likely to have depression, low self esteem and to suffer from eating disorders. Unfortunately, we are only currently seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the devastating effects of over sexualizing our young girls, especially with the advent of social media. Continue reading “The Effects of Image in Media – Not so Sexy for Young Women”
by Adrienne Ryan, Brisbane, Australia
I went to a presentation for women today hosted by Jenny Ellis and Mary Louise Myers from Universal Medicine. What was shared there about ‘True Nurturing’ inspired me deeply…
Nurturing is something I had begun to invest in by taking time to be attentive to what was needed to support me throughout my day. Before this, I can see how my way of life was designed to waste no time: a 2 minute shower, 5 minute dressed and ready to go, multi-task my way through many things at once, not wasting time painting my nails or spending too much time on my hair or paying too much attention to what to wear on an ‘ordinary’ day, and so on. In all this speedy efficiency there was no quality time, no space for just enjoying being with me – it was all about ‘moving on’, ‘getting things done’, ‘not holding other people up’, or ‘not taking up too much of their time or space’ and certainly not indulging in any perceived self-absorbed frivolous-ness or girlie-ness – these were just big unnecessary, indulgent, time wasters.
But today things are different. I have come to love making time to take my time getting ready for the day, tenderly and lovingly looking after myself, enjoying putting on makeup and clothes that highlight (not hide) my beauty and womanliness. I make time to take my time now, and because I do I get to enjoy the feeling of me – the loveliness that is within me – and I notice that I don’t want to brush this off, dismiss, diminish, play it down, reject or deny my innate preciousness anymore. Instead I want to honour it, embrace it and confirm the truth of it: I am worth TIME.
Today at the Brisbane Women’s Presentation I discovered Continue reading “True Nurturing – The Way I Return to Me”
by Danielle, 31, Goonellabah, Australia
I have had many experiences in my life where I felt that I was never good enough. It was like I could hear a silent language in everything and everyone around me, underlying or hidden in words or comments that were said to me, or in a gaze from someone’s eyes that came my way. Even ‘nice’ and ‘kind’ words that were spoken to me carried a silent language that there was something wrong with me.
I was either too outspoken or too withdrawn, too emotional, too sensitive or not sensitive enough, too abrupt, I was too serious, too blasé, too fat or too thin, too hard, too girly, not womanly, I didn’t listen or I wasn’t saying enough, I did too much or I didn’t do enough, I cried too much, I didn’t care enough, I was stuck up, I dressed too casual or I over dressed, I was selfish or I fussed over others too much, I never smiled or my smiles were fake, I demanded too much or my standards weren’t high enough… Continue reading “Reclaiming My Self Worth”
by Julie Ferguson, Mackay
A little while ago I attended an Esoteric Women’s Group in Mackay. This is my experience…
As I sit here, trying to support myself to write what I truly feel instead of what my head is telling me, I realise how challenging for me this is.
The me I have become is all about how I look, the house I live in, the car I drive, the friends I have, the way my children behave or any of the million other boxes I feel I have to tick to show the world I’m doing just fine.
I feel vulnerable, fragile even to go here with myself, as I realise I don’t feel fine.
I breathe gently, allowing myself to feel how afraid I’ve become to simply be myself as I, like many women and men I know, have grown up with feelings of not being enough. Continue reading “Who I Am Not, Discovering more of me as a Woman”
by Elena Light, London, UK
I was contracted for so long… And I cannot be any more.
That’s what I felt for very long while reading sensible and beautiful posts of other women. I can relate to everything everyone wrote, some more than others, even though sometimes I need to keep my dictionary nearby.
I grow up in the Soviet Union with centuries old believes about women, men and relationships. In that society was absolutely normal to live with a drinking man if he doesn’t beat his wife. If he does drink and abuses but brings money and ‘loves’ her and children it still would be better than being alone. There was, and still is, saying “not the best but my own”. And being married is absolute MUST.
From my early years I saw my grandmother being very patient with her husband drinking; my mother had two husbands, both alcoholics and violent. So from this age my idea of love was patience and sacrifice. Continue reading “From Russia, With Love”
by AP, Sydney, Australia
I was really looking forward to hearing Natalie Benhayon talk about the new ‘Period and Full Moon Diary’ App she was launching. This is not just for women who are still menstruating, but is also just as applicable for menopausal women, like me, or even young women who haven’t started their periods yet. This new App will be a perfect way to record how I’m feeling from day to day so I can see when there’s a pattern emerging. Was I frustrated for just a few days, or was it actually a lot more than that?… and if so, I can then think about what caused that frustration. Did something happen at work, or with a friend? With this honesty and awareness, I have the opportunity to make different choices moving forward. Maybe I speak up more when I’m with my friends and say how I really feel about something, rather than just going along with the group. Or at home, I could explain to my teenage sons that I’m really tired and would love some help with dinner, rather than feeling frustrated and then snapping at everyone because I’m annoyed that I’m doing everything myself! As we can make notes on a daily basis with the period diary, I can see how the changes I make affect me, not just on a daily basis, but also with regard to my cycle. I know how I am feeling each day, but I can honestly say that I can’t remember, with clarity, how I felt yesterday, let alone the days before. I’m really looking forward to using the App, specifically as I’d like to look back over the days and weeks to see what I can learn from it. Continue reading “New Period and Full Moon Diary App And So Much More”
by Emily Billsborough, Wollongbar, Australia
As women we quite often can get caught up in looking outside of ourselves for attention or approval. This ‘seeking of approval’ is something that many of us get affected by in various ways throughout our lives. For example, we may seek approval from being recognised as the ‘best mother’ (or best wife, girlfriend, daughter); the ‘most attractive’, ‘smartest’, ‘most successful’ or ‘athletic woman’.
In the past I have felt that I was ‘not enough’. And I mainly sought attention or approval from men. It could be my partner (if I had one at the time), male friends, or in fact any young man around my age who caught my eye whilst I’d be walking down the street and whose directed attention could easily help make me feel better about myself…
It didn’t seem to matter how I received this attention or approval. Continue reading “I Am Enough – The Confirming of ME”
by Shevon Simon, London, England
As I sit here twisting my hair I keep having thoughts of how beautiful it is and how beautiful I am.
What a turnaround!
The changes both in and towards myself began to occur three years ago, when I started regular sessions with an Esoteric Healing Practitioner in London. At this time my hair was at its worst. It was in its natural state as I had stopped all the pressing, chemical relaxing and even blow drying which had started at least 7-10 years earlier. However, my hair was still thinning and falling out. The purpose of having these healing sessions wasn’t to do with my hair at all, and in fact ‘my hair state’ was only ever mentioned once. The reason I chose to have these sessions was to feel better in my body, since at the time I was living with an enormous amount of emotional pain and stress. Slowly, slowly as I began to make changes in my life, and lifestyle, I turned my attention to my hair. I began by buying quality products, noticing the effects that such products had upon my hair, and also seeking professional help from a Trichologist. This all helped me to understand my hair, and what it needed to help repair it. Continue reading “Me and My Hair”
by Victoria Lister, Brisbane, Australia
Recently I attended a meeting of a group of women who regularly get together to discuss issues that arise in our daily lives. It was a beautiful chance to catch up with friends and re-cap on all we’ve covered so far. During the meeting, I found myself drawn to a very simple, yet key, aspect of our latest get-together – nurturing – and how we can all go deeper, and what that truly entails.
Simply, it was presented to us that although we have all come a long way in terms of developing a more nurturing connection with ourselves as women, we can all go much further by looking at what this means for us personally, and how we might develop simple routines and techniques we can use to support us in our daily lives.
Many of us could feel the truth of this, with several women commenting on the things they have found (or suspected) prevent them from being truly nurturing towards themselves. One woman linked it to a lack of self-worth, with the premise that we cannot truly nurture ourselves if we don’t believe it is worth giving that time, attention and loving support to ourselves. Continue reading “Self-Worth and Nurturing: How One Leads to the Other”