What an incredible month! Thank you so much for embarking on the shine journey with me and for inspiring me with your dedication, vulnerability, and gloriousness. I’ve been so touched by your willingness to travel on this journey together and the way in which you have so warmly and honestly shared it. Thank you for making this commitment to yourself and for trusting this community here to be a part of that journey. Now that shine has wrapped, I wanted to share some observations that I’ve made in the hopes that they can serve you on your continued journey.
1. The most powerful moment is always the decision. Perhaps you have a particular day in mind where you feel like you had a breakthrough, and that’s awesome. But let me tell you when the real breakthrough happened. The day you started. The day you decided you wanted to live with greater self-acceptance. The day you decided that you did not want to be in your way, you wanted to be part of your way. You decided and that is a glorious, powerful thing. You made a choice for yourself and in that you created movement. There is no score sheet on how many days you were able to tackle; that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you decided to begin. And that as often as you could, you kept going. And, now, you have the ability to continue that journey.
2. After all, it is the journey that is the goal. Before we begin our journey to self-acceptance, we are often impatient with our drive to get to perfect on some physical, emotional, mental, spiritual realm. Then, we realize that we are being way too harsh on ourselves and that it is counter-productive and so we might decide to go on a self-acceptance journey. But then we get impatient with the fact that we don’t just already love ourselves from head to toe right after we get started. Darn it, we think! We can’t even get being nice to ourselves, right, we think. “Wow, I really am a hot mess,” we decide. And that’s just not true. Because here is the thing about self-acceptance. It is a practice not a final destination that you just get to park in and not worry about anymore. Self-acceptance is a journey. Some days are easier than others. But our effort every day is what matters. You don’t have to get it “right.” You simply have to get what you are trying to do. On that note, there’s observation #3.
3. There is no perfect. And there is no imperfect. The irony about our self-acceptance journey is that we bring to it the same thing that we bring to our non self-accepting behaviors: the desire for perfection. If I am not perfectly perfect in my self-acceptance, than I am awful and sub-par. But there is no need for that judgment. There is honor in every effort and don’t ever diminish it by shaming your efforts.
4. Finding peace within yourself is less about perfecting your body and more about contenting your mind. For years, we thought that just getting our body “right” (whatever right means to us) would make us happy. But that’s just not the case. Our ability to feel content comes with changing our mind and giving ourselves the permission and the tools to be content. Shine was a part of your journey, but you get to keep making that choice over and over again. Remind yourself everyday that it is not your body that needs to change but your mind.
5. The key to feeling better isn’t looking better. It is feeling better about our lives and better understanding what our bodies really are- vehicles in which we can experience life. Love your life; love your body, I so often say. And that’s just it. When you fall in love with your life, your develop such a loving kindness towards your body and everything it allows you to experience. And so the key really is to wake everyday with the intention of loving your life. It doesn’t have to be extraordinary in some non-traditional way; it doesn’t have to be filled with financial riches. It simply needs to be filled with what makes your heart glad and how that looks for each one of us is unique. So, everyday, work to fill your life with gladness, with the goodness that your heart desires. Do this, and you will see your body, your beauty in a whole new way.
Even though shine has wrapped, I want to suggest some support tools for your continued journey.
1. Follow the Beautiful You Pinterest board for inspiration.
2. Check out Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance.
3. Keep coming back here! The shine journey was inspiring to me in my personal journey and also inspiring to my professional journey. I loved the community that formed here; how we talked. I don’t want that to go away. Please keep sharing your ideas and experiences here– they are such an inspiration and you are such teachers to me. You also helped me think more about the structure here on the blog. Starting next week, you’ll see a few changes here (if you have been a long-term blog reader). The most significant one is that every Monday will feature a weekly spark– an exercise that is shine-like that allows us to keep growing here together in our self-acceptanc and in our pursuit of our passions and purpose. I am also hoping to incorporate a weekly reflection exercise that helps us look positively and thoughtfully back at our week. Finally, I plan to share some of the things that inspire me– quotes, photos, art, poems, etc. with you periodically. Also, I am brainstorming one more shine-like journey that we can take together before the end of the calendar year. So keep your eyes out for that, too!
Now, finally, it is my great privilege to give a shout out to the weekly shine giveaway winners: Sarah, Kip, Michelena, Missy, Cassie, Susannah, Ann, Valerie, Cindy, Jenn, Tammy, Vanessa, LadyEm, Marissa, Emily, and Chibi.
And a great big round of hooray to the grand prize winner of the Karina Dress: Amanda.
And if you really wanted that Karina dress, you can use this discount code (MOLR30) to receive $30 off any full-priced dress.