By Rosie Molinary on November 14, 2017
By Rosie Molinary on November 12, 2017
So, here we are. If you are stateside, we are just days away from kicking off the most wonderful time of the year… the Thanksgiving to New Year time-span that is filled to overflowing with togetherness, love, goodness, merriment, joy, happiness, and, well, if we are being real here, anxiety, hurt, and fear. Because while, in theory, we all love to get together with those we love, there can also sometimes be this little (or looming) 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 body shaming 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 their 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 wound 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, perhaps most tragically, by me?
And, so, in the midst of all of your other preparations for the big day next 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.
We do this by setting boundaries. So, sometime in the next week, 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. If you take just a moment to think about it, you’ll see that, too.
But, next, I want you to take it a step further. A wound person 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 (though it isn’t actually 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 themselves has ever looked at another person who stands real in the midst of their 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 its 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, they 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 typically hear from those who are wounded that you might see 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 their 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.
This is your holiday gift to yourself: taking care of you. I promise it will be one of the best ones you have ever received.
By Rosie Molinary on October 16, 2017
By Rosie Molinary on October 11, 2017
By Rosie Molinary on October 3, 2017
Take gentle care, dear friend.
By Rosie Molinary on September 19, 2017
Many people have come this way in the last few days because of my recent talk as part of the Self-Acceptance Summit so I want to share a post from a few years ago that details the Whole-Hearted Continuum I created for myself to promote more whole-hearted decisions that promote a self-acceptance practice that is rooted in the fact that I am enough (we all are!) just as I am not and not because of how many things I do or how many times I say yes to other people. If this post lights you up and you want some advice on saying no, check out Talking You Into No and How to Say No!
I believe that the world is full of need.
I believe that we are all here on purpose, that each one of us has a fundamental gift to give that is essential to healing this world.
I believe that it is imperative that we live our purpose.
I believe that by living our purpose, we heal the world and ourselves.
I believe that because we are here on purpose, we have to get really clear about what we say yes and no to because we only have so much time available to us to do the work that we are meant to be doing in this world.
I believe far too many woman say yes to far too many things, spreading themselves too thin to have the impact they not only want to have but need to have.
I believe it is time to change that.
I believe that we must say no in order to say yes.
I believe the time is now.
Let’s do it.
For years, I had two standards for whether or not I said yes to a commitment.
1. Was I technically available? By that I mean, was the time of the commitment itself open in my calendar? If so, I quickly moved to standard #2. I didn’t think about whether or not I would have to break land-speed records to get to my next commitment or whether or not I had the time to do the prep work. If the time itself was available, then that was enough for serious consideration (by which I mean, time to ask myself question # 2).
2. Could I technically do it? Note that I did not say ably. So, was the question whether or not I could participate in the school bake sale or car wash? Well, if the time was available, I couldn’t deny that those things were things I could technically do it. I didn’t ask if they were things that I derived any pleasure from, if there were others who might be better at it or anything like that. As long as you weren’t asking me to fix your car engine or cure cancer, I could probably technically do it (even if the it in question was something I didn’t like doing) and so as long as my calendar was open, I said yes.
And then, sometimes, the dread began. I didn’t want to do the prep work. I didn’t want to leave my boys (the big one and little one). I didn’t want to get dressed to go or do my hair. And then I would go and have a lovely time and, on the way home, I would say, “See! You had such a lovely time. You have the worst attitude ever. You should improve it.”
But, eventually, I had this breakthrough thought: I have a lovely time wherever I end up. I am kinda wired to have a good time.
That a-ha moment along with another one that came when I realized that I was putting off all of these projects that were so heart-centered to me in order to make times for these invitations that I was getting to participate in things that were heart-centered for someone else made me realize something: I wasn’t living my life purpose. I was defusing it.
And I needed a new standards for discerning whether or not I said yes or no to an invitation. No longer were my two questions– am I technically available and can I technically do it- enough.
So I asked myself how I wanted to feel when I was doing something. The answer? WHOLEHEARTED. I really, truly wanted to be in with my whole heart.
Then I asked myself what wholeheartedness looked like for me. Turns out: being happy to be there wasn’t enough. The wholeheartedness, for me, needed to start much earlier. And so I created The Continuum of Wholeheartedness for myself to better discern when and why I should yes or no to a request (when my calendar was really open).
Exercising the Continuum of Wholeheartedness
First, I need to be thrilled to be asked. You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when someone asks you to do something that doesn’t sound all that appealing to you (and you start thinking, as you scroll through your calendar, please let it be that I am not available). Yeah, that feeling is NOT thrilled to be asked. If I have that feeling from the outset, I have to say no.
Next, I need to be happy to prepare. So, let’s say that someone asks you to do something that you really are genuinely thrilled they thought of you to do it. Now, move to the next standard. Do you have room in your heart, mind, and schedule to prepare for it? If the prep work is going to leave you ragged at this particular time, and make other parts of your life hard (you have to stay up late, wake up early, skip workouts or other self-care or even alter important commitments you have made to others), then you have to say no. When you are operating wholeheartedly, the prep work will feel thrilling, even if it is a stretch for you. If it doesn’t thrill, don’t do it.
The third standard is a good tell for me. Will I be alright with getting ready for the experience and leaving my peeps to go? I like being with my boys. I like wearing my crazy curls on top of my head. I like wearing slouchy jeans and blousy shirts and looking like a bit of an in process artist. A lot of places that I am invited to don’t exactly call for that look. So, am I cool with cleaning things up a bit and saying good-bye to my peeps to go. If I am, then I totally know that it is wholehearted.
The fourth standard is one that is important to ask but, to be honest, never the one to base MY answer on– will I be joyful while I am there. The truth is that I am joyful MOST wherever I end up. But not everybody is and that is not even true for me everywhere (I will never be joyful in a great big event designed for networking) so I ask myself that question. Can you see yourself feeling joy while you are fulfilling this commitment? If the answer is eh, maybe or no, then your answer needs to be no.
The fifth standard is inspired by a friend of mine who will compliment a hard-worker by saying, “Oh, she’s a trash mover!” I once asked her what she meant by that and she said, “There are two kinds of people after an event. There is the kind of person who is totally engrossed in cleaning up. She’s carefully folding the linens, making thoughtful stacks of what goes where and isn’t afraid or above taking out the trash. Then there is the other person who stands around and talks and acts above it all.” I don’t know about you, but I want to be a trash mover and it is a good litmus test. Being a trash mover requires BIG BUY-IN. So when I think about this standard, I am inclined to ask myself, “Can I see myself being as excited to clean up after this commitment as I am setting up?” If yes, then yes. If no, well, then no.
And then there is standard number six: excited to bask in the afterglow. Will you be peeling out of the parking lot asap, putting the commitment in your headlights, trying never to think about it again or will you be like, “wow. Wow. WOW.” afterwards. Will your mind be percolating? If you anticipate, percolation, then yes is best. No percolation? You know what to do.
The Continuum of Wholeheartedness has worked wonders for me. It has made me think more deliberately about how to use the finite amount of time and energy I have available to me and has made me more discerning about when I say yes. The great reward to that is that I am able to live even more on purpose and when I live on purpose, I actually make a greater difference in this world?
Can you see The Continuum of Wholeheartedness working for you?
By Rosie Molinary on September 4, 2017
Time: 7pm-8:30pm CST **PLEASE NOTE THE TIME ZONE**
Where:Anywhere you please. All you need is a computer or phone to attend class.
By Rosie Molinary on September 3, 2017
Do you struggle with self-judgment? Does the voice of your inner critic speak loudly of your ‘flaws’?
You’re not alone. Even people who’ve had years of practice with meditation, therapy, and self-improvement still struggle with the most important relationship we have—our relationship with ourselves.
That’s why I joined the conversation in the Self-Acceptance Summit, along with 30 world-renowned teachers, to give you the tools and knowledge to transform the way you treat yourself every day.
Register for the live broadcast at no cost here:
When we accept ourselves, we become more courageous and capable of doing good in the world. I hope you’ll join us for this extraordinary gathering of teachers as we learn to change the way we treat ourselves—and everyone around us.
Register for The Self-Acceptance online training summit and be sure to tune in for my presentation, titled Radiate which airs on September 15th at 8 pm EDT.
P.S. Sounds True is offering their One-to-One gift program, which will send a copy of the entire summit to a person in need when you purchase the upgrade package. You can learn more here.
By Rosie Molinary on September 2, 2017
Join my friend and colleague Réa Wright for a series of intimate conversations with Me and other remarkable mothers, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and 3 amazing teenagers. We will be diving deep to explore what it means to be an authentically connected and engaged parent and why it’s critical to walk the path of self-discovery and healing as a parent. Join us here for FREE.
By Rosie Molinary on August 28, 2017
The semester started on Friday. Here is the letter I read my body image students at the end of class.
Yesterday, you looked in the mirror, and, instead of your inherent greatness, you saw flaws. You saw things you wanted to change and not everything that made you powerfully, wonderfully, uniquely you.
Last night, in a deep conversation with your friends, you had a powerful thought, the kind of thought that would have changed the whole conversation, maybe would have changed you, but you doubted yourself and so you swallowed it inside of you. Tucking it away, forcing it out of your mind, so that great big belief would not threaten your status quo in its hunger to get out.
This morning, you walked to class and compared your body to someone else’s. Your body, a body that has worked so hard for you, that has allowed you to experience every good thing you have known, a body that has kept you going through all the hard stuff, through all the difficulties that have been thrown at you.
And then you walked into our shared space, a space that I hope will become a sanctuary to you, a place that I hope will quiet your inner critic enough so you can see the fabric of which you are made, you can recognize your worth, you can embrace the idea that you are just fine as you physically are right at this moment- not just because that is true, which it is- but because you come to understand that what the world most needs from you is not your trappings but your longings made manifest.
If you yearn for art to be inspiring or children to feel loved or food to be breathtaking or houses to have souls or communities to have gardens or technology to be accessible or music to have your unique viewpoint or patients to have soulful care or records to be broken or whatever else it might be that speaks to your soul, I want that for you, too, and I want our space and time together, our journey, to be one that supports your recognition of your worth, sparks your awareness that the world needs you and your unique solutions and galvanizes you to embrace what you have to offer.
Today, you will tell me your name, your major, your graduation year, your hometown, the last great book you read, and why you chose to take this class. You will say you needed Body Image class for your Women’s and Gender Studies minor, for your art major, for your public health concentration, because it fit into your schedule, and, maybe, just maybe, if you can muster the courage to say these words, because you knew when you saw those two words on the course guide that you wanted desperately to have a different relationship with your body and your soul.
And here is what I can promise you. I will do everything I can to see you, to hear you, to understand you, to help you to understand yourself, to empower you to see your greatness, to inspire you to understand that while you are lovely because you are uniquely you that it is more than just your loveliness we need—that we need your fire, your passion, your purpose. I will remind you that our bodies are ever changing and so to build a foundation of our worth on what we physically have to offer right this minute is to invite disruption over and over again. And I will implore you to understand that your soul will always lead you right, will always let you blossom, will always let you shine.
On the day you last walk out of our sanctuary, I hope that you leave this space with your eyes up, ready to recognize and greet those who approach you not just because you know that other souls should be seen but also because you understand that to hide your soul from us is to deny the world of one of its greatest gifts- you.
I hope that you will be able to meet your eyes in the mirror and see purpose and clarity and passion and self-acceptance staring back, that you will treat your body like a guest of honor to your life because it has served you so well so far and you want to continue on that journey, and, ultimately, that you will not hesitate to give the world everything that you uniquely and powerfully have to offer.
Welcome. I am so glad you are here. I am honored to walk alongside you. I cannot wait to see where we are going. Let’s get started.