My toxic message cleanse
According to the crap that swims around in my head:
My butt is too big.
My upper lip too thin.
My nose is crooked.
My neck is stupid long.
My arms are freakishly long.
My hands look so masculine.
My legs are too short.
My hips are too wide.
My brows are too thin.
My lashes too sparse.
My skin is so tired looking.
My biceps are flabby.
I weigh too much.
I hate that I think these things of myself. I wish I could remove the part of my brain that constantly tells me these lies. I wish I could escape the pressures I feel as a woman to even consider these things important.
In my business, I see these insecurities magnified! Just like me, my clients and friends desperately want to feel beautiful, sexy and powerful on her own terms. Not because she fulfills society's standards of what those things mean.
It really comes down to wanting to be free! Free of all that criticism, exploit and pressure. Free to truly love, honor and cherish herself.
And being able to stand within our true power.
I made a decision a couple years ago, to cleanse myself of the toxic messages that I was allowing into my life about female bodies, relationships, desire, sexuality and leadership. I am going to share with you where I found these toxic messages and how I got them out of my life.
1. Stop reading celebrity gossip and fashion magazines.
At one time, I had subscriptions to People, Us Weekly, Marie Clare and Elle magazines. I used to love getting my mag in the mail and flipping through the pages. People and Us Weekly were particularly juicy. Exposing all the celebrity drama: relationships falling apart, fueds, weight gain, drugs, alcohol, partying, pinning one celebrity against another in "who wore it best" or "bitch stole my look". UGH!
Particularly ridiculous is the "they're just like us" spread. Umm, yea of course they are just like us... they are human. Only they have to do it while being photographed.
I never felt good after reading those magazines. I didn't learn anything valuable. I didn't feel empowered by the messages. Yet I read them mindlessly every week and month.
You know what I did feel after reading them? I felt like I needed to buy new shoes/clothes/accessories/makeup, etc. I felt like my life was so boring. I thought to myself: "if you think that person looks hideous in a bathing suit, then what must everyone think of me in a bathing suit?"
All that shit-talking played on a loop. It was awful!
So I stopped. I cancelled all my subscriptions and stopped buying them at the grocery store. I find that I can survive not knowing that so-and-so's third marriage is on the rock or what Kim Kardashian looks like eating a salad.
2. Stop watching Real Housewives of Anywhere.
In what real world do women beat each other down like they do in the Real Housewives worlds? They treat each other with such cruelty, anger and even violence. They talk about things that are not important. Their lifestyles are over-the-top and completely destructive. There is no love, friendship or compassion. They are all disasters trying to out disaster each other. And I know it is all produced that way so that it has maximum entertainment value. I'll admit it...I found it entertaining myself. But I also found that I could not live a whole hearted life if you are finding women hating on other women entertaining. I want to live in a world where we support one another and help one another. To live in that world means seeing that world represented in my entertainment too.
3. Stop calling other women terrible names.
Out of my vocabulary are words like "bitch", "slut", "whore", and anything else used to put down women as well as ugly words that are used to describe female body parts. There is no such thing as "running like a girl" "throwing like a girl" or "being such a girl". I don't accepting them used as a term of endearment either! I hate hearing (often) young women calling each other these things in social settings. Why would we do that to each other.
4. I got rid of my scale at home.
For me there is no reason to have a scale at home. I don't need to obsessively weigh myself daily or weekly. The scale stands as a reminder to myself that I don't weigh what I wish I weighed. And it makes me feel crummy that the needle doesn't move down even after I am active. I work out and have an active lifestyle so I can be strong and healthy...not for a certain weight or size. Once I changed that mindset, a scale was just clutter.
5. I cleaned out my closet and donated all those items that don't feel good, don't fit and aren't me.
The "shoulds" in my life are everywhere and they are ANNOYING! One place I was ready to silence them was in my closet. My closet is where I pick out my clothes to start a new day. The last thing I need is to face a space cluttered with shoulds: "I should fit back into those jeans." "That should look good on me." "I should wear that because it is really instyle right now." Hell to the no I shouldn't! So I cleared it all out and created a wardrobe I feel good wearing.
Those 5 things made such a difference for me. I am realizing my own power more and more every single day and silencing my inner critic. And I want to continue to support other women to do the same.