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Lift

the world needs your lightnessY’all, I am having a time (and I know I’m not alone). Weeks ago, I came up with a list of upcoming posts to share here. For today, December 5th, the plan was to share (and to reveal to myself because I learn what I know deep down inside by writing) what my word for 2016 had ended up meaning and revealing to me.

If I had written that post right then, I would have had so much to share. But I didn’t. And then the world tilted and, now, I cannot help but think about the irony of trying to write about my word for the year while I feel what I currently feel given that my word for 2016 is/was

LIFT

lift/

verb

  1. 1. 
raise to a higher position or level.

I am not naïve enough to think we all think the same way or even that we need to think the same way, but I do know that we share a kindredness in some way because we have connected here. And while a month ago, when I thought about sharing what my 2016 intention of lift had offered and taught me, I was thinking about it in a deeply personal way, today, I am thinking about lift as a universal intention.

As I close 2016 with the utmost intention, here is how I plan to practice LIFT:

  • I will remember that we are all here on purpose and let that truth keep me from deep despair.
  • I will offer more love, especially when I am feeling unloving, unlovable, stingy, or a little self-righteous.
  • I will wholeheartedly apologize when necessary, realizing that what the world needs less of is self-righteousness or blind spots.
  • I will embrace the fact that I am a light in this world- every single one of us is- and I will choose to shine.
  • I will work my hardest to go deeper when I don’t understand something or someone’s point of view. Can I ask the right questions that will lead me to see where they are coming from? Can I share with them in a way that allows them to see where I am coming from?
  • I will hug more often and too long.
  • I will believe in myself and know that what I want is accessible to me if I just reach a little bit higher. Sometimes, I may take a break from the reach but if it is still true to me after I rest, I understand that I have a responsibility to lift myself to that reality.
  • I will believe in those around me and practice that belief by asking what it is they dream of and helping them to find a way to realize their vision.
  • I will fuel my bravery, feeding it so much fire that it is bigger than my fear.
  • I will check-in with those I care about to remind them that they are not alone and walk in company with them on their journey.
  • I will take profound care of myself, knowing that a withered spirit cannot sustain a hopeful heart.
  • I will remember that I am a creature of this Earth, every single one of us is, and honor that preciousness with how I show up in the world.

I will lift my spirit and the spirit of others as we collectively walk into the future we share.

Let’s join together.

 

a simple strategy for managing holiday stress

simple strategy for the season

The holidays.  For most of us, those two words bring up a mixed bag of feelings.

Lingering over a fireplace with loved ones while drinking mulled wine.  JOY!

Four party invitations for the same night.  ANXIETY.

Delighting someone with the perfect gift.  JOY!

Not realizing that someone has a food allergy and that ingredient is all over your menu.  ANXIETY!

Well, here’s the good news.  While it is impossible to have complete control over anything, it is possible to have control over your approach to the holidays which might just be the secret to keeping this year’s holiday season under control for you!

DETERMINE WHAT YOU MOST WANT TO FEEL

You know I love a word for the year.   Having one simple word as a touchstone throughout the entire year serves as a powerful clarifier for me. Years ago, when I was looking for more balance, I chose wholehearted.  Whenever an opportunity presented itself, I would ask myself, “Can I do this wholeheartedly from start to finish?”  If there was any hesitation, I knew I had to say no.

Right now, I want you to pose this question to yourself.

How do I most want to feel this holiday season?

Whatever bubbles up most clearly, keep that word or phrase as your central tenet as you plan your holiday season.

EVALUATE WHAT YOU AND YOUR PEOPLE WANT AND CAN HANDLE 

Now, it is time to do some reflecting.  Take a few minutes to answer these questions:

  1. What do you and your love ones most value about the holiday season?
  2. What did you and your loved ones love about last year’s holiday season and why?
  3. What did not work for you or your loved ones and why?
  4. What special considerations do you need to keep in mind this year?
  5. What do you (all) want to be doing more of this holiday season?  What do you (all) want to be doing less of this holiday season?

TAKE INVENTORY 

Now that you have a sense of what’s important to you; it’s important to get a sense of what’s coming at you.  What are the traditional events/experiences that normally take place?  This could include church services, gift exchanges, parties, volunteering, and more.

Given your evaluation process, make some decision about which of those events/ experiences would allow this holiday season to be the embodiment of what you most want.  What seems like a really good fit for your family this year given where everyone is and the feeling you most want to have?   What seems like a bad fit for your family this year?

Next, mark your calendar with everything so that you have a full picture when opportunities present themselves.  And every single time, you are greeted with an opportunity, ask yourself if it will give you what you most desire this holiday season.

DON’T FORGET TO TAKE CARE OF YOU. 

You started strong and intentionally and we don’t want your good will to diminish so much that, by December 7th, you are willing January 2nd here with more fervor than a kid with a wish list.   So, sit down and schedule in plenty of spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental self-care on your calendar (just like an appointment) to sustain you through the month!  And having it on your calendar isn’t enough—you have to hold yourself to it.  Getting in one more round of shopping will not make you feel better than that nap, massage, workout, time with girlfriends that you had scheduled.  Self-care for the holiday win, always.

As with everything, intention can make all the difference when it comes to how we approach the holiday season.  If we are deliberate about getting quiet and noticing what it is we most want to have in our lives, we can create it.  Here’s to creating a holiday season that fills your heart with gladness!

ONE FINAL NOTE:  you can also have your family member consider these questions and share their answers so that all of you can be aware of each other’s needs and desires and incorporate those into planning and decision making.

Your holiday gift to yourself

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So, here we are.  If you are stateside, we are just hours away from kicking off the most wonderful time of the year… the Thanksgiving to New Year’s time span that is filled to overflowing with togetherness, love, goodness, merriment, joy, happiness, and, well, if we are being real here, anxiety.  Because while, in theory, we all love to get together with those we love, there is also this little underbelly of worry that we can’t help but wonder about as we load the car with suitcases, brown-paper packages, and carefully prepared casseroles.  And the voice of that worry likes to ask these questions:

Is my cousin going to ask why I am still single?

Is my mom going to ask me if I’ve lost weight, gained it, thought about losing some, thought about gaining some, or some other weight iteration nightmare?

Is my  aunt going to say, “you would be so pretty if…”

Basically, in short, is someone, under the auspices of loving me, going to make me feel utterly unlovable with his or her judgments?  And, more importantly, am I going to let them?  Am I going to walk away from that dinner, stuffed from food that couldn’t satisfy the hole that was opened with those words, and think, “I SHOULD HAVE SAID SOMETHING!”  Am I going to feel betrayed not just by my loved ones but by me?

And, so, in the midst of all of your other preparations for the big day Thursday and all the other big days that are to come in the next five weeks, I want you to add one more thing to your list of preparations.  I want you to add planning to take care of you to that list.

Now, there are many ways that we can take care of ourselves and those are all important.  But, today, we are focusing on the one thing you must be able to do this holiday season to get through it with your soul safely intact if you have people in your life who like to take care of you by taking you apart.

You have to teach people how to treat you.  

And you do that by setting boundaries. So, sometime today, while the pumpkin bread is baking or the laundry is drying or you are wrapping presents or idling in traffic, I want you to turn your attention to taking care of you.  I want you to think about what you might hear from your family members that might result in a wound for you if you aren’t vigilant.

“Isn’t it time to start dying those grays?”

“That baby is five years old; shouldn’t you be rid of the baby fat?”

“Do you dress this way to work?”

And then, first and foremost, I want you to remember that those comments are never about you.  If someone feels the need to comment to you about your looks, your station in life, anything, really, it is not about you.  Those comments are a mirror into that person’s life and the challenges he or she has with the issue being mentioned.  I promise.

But, next, I want you to take it a step further.  The person who has his or her own wound often looks for a way to pass that wound on.  Think about it.  A wound like that is so hard to carry around, it is so bone-crushing.  And, sometimes, if we can give it away for a moment, if we can just take the edge off of our own misery for a moment, well that feels a little like relief.  It’s only later, with counseling or deliberate insight and personal growth, that we can realize that it wasn’t relief at all.  It was a way to numb ourselves.  We numb in so many ways, don’t we?  With food.  With alcohol.  With substances.  By being snarky and bitchy and mean.  We numb because we think the worst thing possible would be to face ourselves, to be vulnerable, to be real- we think that realness, that admission of imperfection is as bad and painful as it gets.  But I promise you this.  No one who has a healthy relationship with herself has ever looked at another person who stands real in the midst of her vulnerability and said “that looks weak.”  Look carefully.  From where I am sitting, vulnerability, realness, truth?  They all look a lot like courage.  Until we give up the myth that both perfect and imperfect exist, we’ll keep missing the real truth: there is no perfect, there is no imperfect, there is only glimmering, vulnerable, soul-refreshing realness and it’s polar opposite.  And the polar opposite is wounded and wounds others.

And those who wish to wound look for the most vulnerable target- a target they know who will not see their barb for what it is and a target who will quietly accept it- in their desperate desire to pass off their own pain for a moment.  For your empathy and sympathy and politeness (oh, she won’t make a scene!), you are being targeted.

But that doesn’t have to be your role anymore.

Spend some time thinking about what you hear and then come up with two comebacks.

#1  The comeback that would most satisfy you if you could just say whatever you wanted to say which might look a little like this:

Your mom:  ”Honey, don’t you think you would just be so much happier if you just lost 20 pounds?”

You:  ”Mom, don’t you mean that you would be so much happier if I just lost 20 pounds?”  or “I would actually be happier if you didn’t always think my body was up for grabs.”

#2  The comeback that you can legitimately stomach giving– one that will set a boundary, one that will teach the person how to treat you, but one that will not send you to the bathroom for the duration of the get-together because you are so nauseous over delivering it.

Your mom:  ”Honey, don’t you think you would just be so much happier if you lost 20 pounds?”

You:  ”I actually don’t think you have to lose weight in order to be happy” or “This isn’t a productive conversation for us to have.”

Sometimes, comeback #1 and comeback #2 are the same but what I have found is that if you are a person who has spent your life receiving these barbs, it is very hard to go from receiving them and not saying a word to really strongly zinging the person the next time he or she says something.  Moreover, a big zinger isn’t the key difference maker.  Just identifying the boundary for the person you are interacting with and letting he or she know it has been crossed and you won’t be quiet anymore usually goes a very long way.  Very rarely does it take more than just a handful of times of setting that boundary before the person leaves you alone and either chooses to deal with his or her own stuff or moves on to, unfortunately, another victim.

Boundary setting is hard, hard work.  But it is important work.  Not just because it teaches other people how to treat us, but because it also shows us that we can take care of ourselves.  And when we begin to understand that, everything changes.  Maybe that can be this year’s holiday miracle.

Take care of you.  Promise?

Giving Thanks

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We started a new tradition at our house this Thanksgiving season that we are really loving and I wanted to share it with you.

Our Thanksgiving tree is displayed in a vase on the mantel of the fireplace in our dining room and each one of us has a branch (our sweet neighbor cut branches off her Harry Lauder Walking Stick bush for us to use and then Happy plucked off all of the leaves). Every night at dinner, we each write one thing we are thankful for on a tag and then we tie them with twine on our branch. Our gratitude lists include shout-outs to our new puppy, Hank, JK Rowling (Me), Harry Potter (Happy), grandparents, good food, and more. I am resisting the urge to write down how grateful I am for yoga pants and chocolate.

There’s still time for you to implement this little tradition at your house or if you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner, this might be a good centerpiece and a fun way to have everyone share a gratitude before or after the meal.

Announcing visionSPARK 2017!

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Are you ready to create your vision and define your intentions for 2017?

Would you like to claim how you most want to feel so you can chose actions that support your desire? 

Would you like to build a foundation for the new year and the life you seek by gaining clarity, conviction and confidence in your vision?  

If starting 2017 with exuberant expectation and clear intention speaks to you, join me for visionSPARK where you’ll capture your ideal year’s vision. You’ll imagine the possibilities, gather inspiration, and then chart your vision all while receiving thoughtful support.  

Ultimately, you will leave visionSPARK with clarity about your 2017 passions and priorities, an inspirational vision board to root you, a touchstone word to reinforce your commitment during the year, a gentle and personal call to action to guide you, and the motivation to manifest the life you imagine.  

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$60 registration fee includes pre-workshop workbook, supplies, and refreshments.  Use code EARLY for $10 registration discount between now and December 5th.  

Register Here:

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visionSPARK testimonials

The visionSPARK workshop changed my year!  I had more focus than I ever have.  My word for the year really guided me through some difficult times which in turn helped me to shape two new career opportunities.  Rosie was so easy to open up to and to work with, she makes the vision process easy and fun!  I hope to make this a part of my new year routine EVERY year!  ~Malone Lockaby

visionSPARK was just what I needed to really fine tune my vision for the year. I left with a clearer perspective than I came with. I have always had a vision board of sorts in my head but something about laying it out in a tangible way proved a more interesting and revealing process than I expected.  Rosie is awesome at asking the right questions to get you thinking about what you really want. I use my ‘word for the year’ daily in making decisions and in my approach to everything. ~Allison Andrews

I attended visionSpark with Rosie Molinary to kick off my birthday weekend in early January.  My goal in attending was to begin 2016 and my “38th” year with purpose and intention.  As a mother of two who works outside of the home, I find that often in trying to get through the day to day of our lives we lose sight of its purpose and live less intentionally and in that the things that drive us and truly make us happy become muddled.  I wanted 2016 to begin differently and to lay-out broadly what I wanted this year to bring me and what my purpose would be.  Rosie was amazing at helping me hone in on what that vision was and what word would encompass that vision.  It was inspiring and just what I needed to feel as if I was starting my year off with the purpose and intention I needed.  She helped me to see that every decision or calendar invite or favor that might come my way this year should be measured by how it would fit in with my vision for the year and my intent to “thrive” in every aspect of my life and in finding small ways each day to fulfill my purpose for myself and family.  ~Jocelyn Negron-Rios

Attending a visionSPARK workshop has become one of my favorite holiday traditions.  It’s nice to have a special time to reflect on the previous year and to set intentions for the new year.  Rosie is gifted in asking questions that cause you to think more deeply and to see things more clearly.  I love the spirit of camaraderie and encouragement that always seems to occur among attendees.  Having a vision board to take home that reminds you of your hopes is a gift that lasts all year. ~Mary Sherrill Ware

The visionSPARK workshop was truly genuine and powerful.  Rosie knows her authentic self and radiates her passion during the entire session. She is laser focused on her goals; and it’s infectious.  Sometimes that can be intimidating coming from the speaker because you think, “I can never be as pulled together”. Yet, Rosie is humble, forthright and open to sharing her proven methods. The best part is she takes you through the very simple steps of empowering you to develop your own authentic voice and leads you down a proven path toward achieving your own clear goals. The workshop is concise and turn-key; you walk out empowered, and better yet, laser focused on your steps for the next twelve months.  ~Holly Schoolmeester

I attended Rosie’s VisionSPARK workshop with the hopes of setting some clearer work goals for myself. Those hopes were met and far surpassed. Just by spending time with Rosie I felt smarter, more grounded, and more capable. One of her coolest gifts is the ability to listen to women and extract the truth about what they are feeling. I think this has something to do with her amazing insight and incredible vocabulary… Rosie is like a modern day shaman and midwife; she sees your best potential and then helps you deliver it to the world. ~Michelle Icard, Author and Founder of www.MichelleintheMiddle.com

Rosie’s welcoming presence, her insistence that we all deserved to and could live up to our full potential, and the support of the other participants, were the encouragement I needed to start moving forward again… Rosie shows you how to open your mind and heart to the possibilities of your own life. In a few short hours, we learned how to identify, then neutralize, the fear and negativity that stood between us and our desires…Thanks to VisionSPARK, I’ve been more creative, more willing to step out of my comfort zone, and kinder to myself in general. Signing up for one of Rosie’s workshops is one of the best gifts you can give yourself! ~Lisa Rubenson 

Having the opportunity to spend some time intentionally setting my focus for the new year through this workshop was a gift. Not only was the actual workshop time valuable, but the prep time also made me realize that Rosie’s mantra of organizing your thoughts around who you want to ‘be’ (instead of what you will do) will truly ground you in your specific purpose going forward. Having Rosie as our ‘Vision Guidess’ was ideal- she has an intuitive way of knowing exactly how to help you zero in and boil down your thoughts and ideas into that one main important point on which you will focus. I would highly recommend this workshop! ~Donna Scott

a daily practice

So we are entering the busiest, happiest (ideally), most stressful time of the year. With holidays, lots of family time, expectations, memories, and more, this time of year can be fraught.  A lot of times, our strategy to make our way through it is to power on, strong arming and willing our way through the season. And while that technically works, it doesn’t really allow us to enjoy and be present for what we are experiencing.
This year, I want to encourage you to slow down a bit. In the midst of all of this doing for others, it’s especially important that you keep yourself fueled and sustained.  There are eight weeks until the new year and what I want to encourage you to do in these last 55 days of 2016 is take a moment each day to just take care of yourself.  The moment can be just minutes long or, if you have the time, more than that. Any deliberate self-care, whether it is one minute of stretching, a twenty minute bath soak, a 30 minute bath, a 45 minute phone catch-up with a dear friend, an hour of reading, a two hour lunch break, etc. will profoundly fill your well.  You might think you don’t have time to do it but after you experience the restorative nature of self-care, you will realize that you didn’t have time NOT to do it.  Self-care is such a profound reset for our souls that what we get from ourselves after that nourishment is all the proof we need to keep going with it.
 So right now, here’s your challenge.  Ask yourself, “What do I need right now more than anything else that I have the resources to provide for myself?”  And then make that care happen as soon as possible. Often, what you can need can happen pretty soon.
 The answer bubbles up, “to stretch my back out” and you can do that immediately. Or it might be that you need to meet the need later if the answer is, “a soak in the tub” and you are at work. Sometimes, it might even need to happen a few days later when the answer is to “see my best friend” and it’s a couple days before you can arrange lunch, a walk, or coffee.
Irregardless of when you can actually meet the need, you begin to meet the need when you ask, answer, acknowledge and plan for it.  So, your answer is “a massage” and you call for an appointment and it is three days away.  No worries.  Even as you hang up that phone, your body unknots a little bit in relief because it knows that you heard it, acknowledged it, and honored it by making an appointment.  Even with the massage 3 days away, you are already feeling the benefits of that self-care.
But one self-care challenge is not enough.  To follow up that exercise, I want you to do one self-caring thing a day.  At the end of each day, consider what you have before you the next day and make a conscious commitment to your self-care.  Ask yourself, “what will I do tomorrow to care for myself and when will I do it?”
Need some suggestions?  Take a look at this list (you can even print and post it somewhere as a reminder):
Follow through over and over again; and you will experience yourself and your life in the most profound way.  Here’s to profound self-care as we nurture others this season.

Notice

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It comes down to this: we all just want to be noticed.
We all just want to be seen, heard, and told we matter. It is perhaps the simplest truth about the human condition but the hardest to act upon.
If I could just know that I matter, we think, I could give the world what I’ve got. And so we wait for affirmation, for verification, for something to resonate-our power paused as we wait for something, someone to fuel us.
As we wait to be noticed, our well diminishes, we shrink into ourselves, we lose our ability to marvel because we don’t feel so marvelous.
It becomes a frenzied cycle. We are here to engage the world with all of our soul but, if we feel invisible, we cannot fully engage-neither in the work we are meant to be doing nor in affirming others so that they, too, may engage in the work they are meant to do. We starve for matter-a deep hunger aching inside of us to learn that we matter, a deep hunger aching inside of us to do something that matters.
It comes down to noticing.
What a difference we can make in this world if we marveled anyway, if we insisted on noticing, if we had faith that looking at those around us with starry-eyes would allow us to be seen with those same starry-eyes. What if we weren’t scared to give away what little bit of gusto we have, what if we had faith that each time we marveled, we would be filled up with more marvelous as well?
We would, I assure you, get noticed.
Make the commitment today to notice, to register awe, to celebrate those around you, to let them know what it is that is so marvelous about them. Fill them up. You will not just help them heal. You’ll help heal the world.
From the 2nd Edition of Beautiful You: A Day Guide To Radical Self-Acceptance 

The Essential Questions Jar: a tool for self-discovery and connection


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We officially launched the 2nd Edition of Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance on Saturday, October 15 at Main Street Books.

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It was a such a wonderful event filled with amazing women and many daughters, real talk about self-acceptance and self-compassion, the Beautiful You manifesto, great food including gorgeous cookies, book sales and signing, and a make and take activity that I want to share with you today!

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Our make and take activity was creating a jar to be used for one of several different exercises in the book (it can be a self-appreciation jar, a caught you jar etc).  One of the suggestions I had was to make it an Essential Questions jar where you write questions on small pieces of paper, fold them up, and then place them on your dinner table.  At dinner each night, everyone draws a question and answers it.  Happy loves the jar so much at our house that we often do more than one round of question answering.

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I promised to share some possible questions and so here they are.  Take or leave whatever best suits you (if you want to use the jar as a spontaneous reflection/ journaling prompt jar) or your family.  As for creating the jars themselves, I cut out hundreds of words and images for the group to choose from for their jars.  Those images were affixed with modpodge and then there was also washi tape and glitter available for pops of color and style (I strongly recommend adhering the glitter inside the jar to minimize the spread.  Mod Podge totally works for glitter, too).  Now, for the questions:

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Hope these questions bring you and your family an even greater connection!

a whole~hearted opportunity for yoga teachers (and their students)

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Yoga teachers, are you:

  • Curious about integrating more positive body image into specific yoga series for your students?
  • Interested in supporting your students more deeply around their body image, but you’re not quite sure how to do that?
  • Wanting a tested teaching structure for creating a series that you can also adapt and make your own?

If so, whole~hearted was created with you (and your students!) in mind.

What is whole~hearted?

Whole~hearted is a local, yoga teacher-led series. It is a powerful transformation experience that creates a space for people to practice connecting with and showing their body love in a supportive environment.

The program blends the body and soul-affirming Curvy Yoga with the intentional self-awareness and self-acceptance journey found in the book Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance and includes personal reflection, yoga, group support, and compassionate guidance. whole~hearted is led by yoga teachers who wish to offer their students of all backgrounds and abilities a powerful way to very intentionally live their yoga while practicing self-acceptance.

At just $75 for this thoughtful, inspired curriculum, whole~hearted is a powerful way for yoga teachers to bring their students home to themselves.

Learn more…

Pledging allegiance to yourself (and a Beautiful You giveaway)

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Wednesday is LOVE YOUR BODY DAY.  
In celebration, my goal is to get you to sign The Body Warrior Pledge, from Day 2 of Beautiful You, to inspire you to make a conscious commitment to be  your own self-acceptance champion.
In exchange, I’m giving away a few signed copies of the 2nd Edition of Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance. 
THE BODY WARRIOR PLEDGE 
Because I understand that my love and respect for my body are metaphors for my love and respect for my self and soul, I pledge:
  • To stop berating my body and to begin celebrating the vessel that I have been given. I will remember the amazing things my body has given me: the ability to experience the world with a breadth of senses, the ability to perceive and express love, the ability to comfort and soothe, and the ability to fight, provide, and care for humanity.
  • To understand that my body is an opportunity not a scapegoat.
  • To be the primary source of my confidence. I will not rely on others to define my worth.
  • To let envy dissipate and allow admiration to be a source of compassion by offering compliments to others.
  • To gently but firmly stand up for myself when someone says or does something harmful.
  • To change my inner monologue to one that sees possibility not problems, potential not shortcomings, and blessings not imperfections.
  • To give my body the things that it needs to do its work well-plenty of water, ample movement, stretches, rest, and good nutrition-and to limit or eliminate the things that do not nurture my body.
  • To see exercise as a way to improve my internal health and strength instead of a way to fight or control my body.
  • To understand that my weight is not good or bad. It is just a number, and I am only good.
  • To love my body and myself today. I do not have to weigh ten pounds less, have longer hair, or have my degree in my hand to have worth. I have worth just as I am, and I embrace that power.
  • To recognize my body’s strengths.
  • To no longer put off the things that I wish to experience because I am waiting to do them in a different body.
  • To understand that a body is like a fingerprint: a wonderful embodiment of my uniqueness.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below sharing with us which statement you are making the MOST conscious commitment to embrace, what your first step will be in that journey, and then signing off with your name. Feel free to share this link with all of your girlfriends who should also be championing themselves and start a mini revolution amongst yourselves.Sign the pledge by midnight EST on October 20th, and you will be entered into a Love Your Body Day drawing for a signed copy of Beautiful You. You can also enter this drawing on my Facebook page and Instagram Feed for three different chances to win a signed copy of the book!