Dear Family and Friends,
Thank you all for your loving kindness and beautiful cards at this very transitional and transformational time. Today two weeks from the day that Mom died I woke up feeling very sad and empty. My partner Lindsey beautifully help me realize that I was preparing for my Mom’s death for many years, however I never prepared for my own death around loosing MOM!
I had the privilege to care for Mom for 15years. This was an honor. I was very blessed to have a Mom who never complained or said why me. How profound is this? A big part of me feels lost without the amazing role of caretaker. Through Mom’s challenges I learned healthy care taking not over care taking. This as most of us know is a real art.
The biggest gift I got today from Mom is around the theme of Doing Vs Being! There is so much wisdom grace and purpose in BEING . Why is it that we are all DOING so so much when Being, silence and stillness and listening holds everything. Mom said to me the other day” Everything is in the Stillness”. I learned this tremendous gift from Mom. How do we teach our children and ourselves this most essential purpose of BEING ALIVE?
Ironically because I feel so much loss and emptiness at times my instinct was to get busy. Maybe I am missing something? I caught myself around this and realized wow Diane remember from Mom existing is where it is at. The jewels of my life are found in the non doing un doing. Thank you Mom for modeling this to me for 15 years. Rich or poor stillness , listening and nature are free. How amazing is this.
LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE, XO DIANE
We came here to witness.
We came here to die.
Yet if we choose grace,
we can listen and learn.
For there is not one of us,
who escapes death.
we bear witness to everlasting LOVE.
Use everyday to SEE
thru the illusions of scarcity
that make us contract.
Passionately DIVE into truths
and listen as you feel
into your bones and mine.
May we touch one another gently,
and recognize our connected roots.
Softening the blow
of our long journey HOME.
the ONE true path that includes ALL.
This is a healing train.
FEAR not whether you are
coming or going.
Ask only, to stay awake, within your heart’s eyes.
Seeing and feeling,
ever so gently
in each present moment.
Disappear in JOY.
Enter thru the 3 doorways:
Today July 1st 2013 I see you and feel you in everything. It is just one week after you have died. Today you share with me that you are FREE. Whenever we discuss this a yellow butterfly visits me. When I cry in deep grief the yellow butterfly comes to me. I realize that from this WIDE OPEN VULNERABLE PLACE, the trees, butterflies birds and animals feel me and they feel safer to visit me. They come so close they say so much they share their sensitivity with me.
Death is Still, Death is Free, Death is in you and Death is in me . You said this to me Mom as you died. Your death Mom has given me Life! It has awakened in me the nuances of being….alive. I now live for the moments you visit me and, I realize that your life and breath is in me. I see that full living and being in Body is a practice and preparation for our death. I am no longer afraid Mom you made dying a birth for me into full courageous brave living. You died the way you lived mom elegantly with total integrity and without any medication. This is mind blowing.
Your end of life breathing sounding like the breath of a marathon runner and you gave it your all! You blew air out and made sounds like a horse. After death your body looked and felt like you were turning into stone, your favorite creative medium that you sculpted in.
Your last words were ” I have it and I’ve always had it”. “I love you”. Me too Mom forever and always. Thank you for being the greatest teacher and friend to me.
With deepest gratitude and awe,
For those affected by eating disorders, the focus on food and family during the holiday season can pose unique challenges. Whether you have suffered a terrible loss, are an individual working toward recovery, or someone supporting a loved one with an eating disorder, we understand that holidays can be difficult. We’ve seen so many incredible articles and tips for having your healthiest holiday season that rather than try to write our own, we’ve created a round-up of some of the best! Enjoy!
- NEDA shares an excellent PDF on “Twelve Ideas to help People with Eating Disorders Negotiate the Holidays”
- Whole Living Magazine offers up 11 suggestions for navigating family gatherings and having stress-free holidays!
- Cate Stillman writes about the “Yoga of Holiday Spending” and how to celebrate connectivity vs. consumerism. I think we could all use a bit more of this!
- Stress Free Packing on Psychology Today – how to pack in 15 minutes! Yes Please
- And while you’re at it! Try a little yoga to “Move Yourself Merry” on Yoga Journal.
We would love to see some of your holiday resources! ? Please do share in the comments or on Facebook!
There are 2 kinds of beauty: there is an outer beauty that is what we see, and aesthetic, something looks pleasing to us. And there is an inner beauty that is non-physical, more a feeling/energy that lives in side us. Some say this inner beauty is our soul’s light or our heart’s radiance. In our individual lives I am sure we can think of many ways that we work on our external beauty (exercise, diet, clothes
cosmetics, plastic surgery etc)
Do we spend an equal amount of time/and or money developing our inner beauty? Probably not.
Here is a simple exercise that you can do everyday for a few minutes that is a great start to getting in touch with the Beautiful energy that lives inside you:
Sit quietly some where. Close your eyes and allow your attention to come to your breath. Follow the inhale, the exhale and the pause. As you allow your energy to drop and ground, start to scan your body. Where does it feel beautiful to you? Where do you a feeling of Love? it may be a place that you find you relax more or that feels warm and inviting. Stay with this space. Just notice and explore it.
This beautiful space is you. You can return to this feeling any time you want….
Most of us have enough going on in our heads that says things like I’m not good enough, its my fault, I’m the source of the problem and on and on. If we don’t have that tape going on then we probably here another tape playing…something like, “I’m ok the world is the problem and I’m disappointed in everyone or everything outside of myself”. Whatever station you’re tuned into, it does not seem useful or at all helpful how politics and environmental issues are dealt with to perpetuate these core messages and beliefs. Headlines scream things like, “We better fight back, We must beat the other, can you believe what they’re doing????”. Who is they really??? Maybe it is just our shadow?
How about a new paradigm! I think most of us have enough guilt for this lifetime I think most of us want to help this planet, yet with an attitude of you better shape up… body too…or ship out it’s easy to feel at a loss of how to really help? I no longer can deal with all the e-mails that start with, “Can you believe them. We have to win” etc etc. It feels as shitty as junk mail. Are you sick of it too??
So I just read in Time magazine something that felt right. Something that was hopeful and good. Instead of focusing on the Footprint we are all leaving, because we all know we are and it is a problem, how about leaving a “hand-print”?? How about doing something positive like Lorax like planting trees? or starting on a small level and taking baby steps to help? This seems a lot more useful then shutting off and down with shame and guilt and doing nothing. I know personally I do my best everyday to leave a hand-print. Check out handprinter.org. How about if we all start to work with solutions of joy and hope and leave the bull shit games and negative behind. I’m into launching rockets of change and possibility.New ideas and vision. The eye for and eye game seems really old to me. Lets inspire one another in a fresh and what’s possible way. I know our awesome pre frontal lobes are much more capable then continuing to resort to our ancient reptilian brain. Want to play??? Want to have fun changing the world? want to join in?? Let me know your thoughts. I’m ready for some play and, as my friend says any jews for the jews for joy club?? She is still hoping for some.
With LOVE and ease and breath!!! Diane
Music is a great source for expression. Through music you let go of negative feelings and let in healing. Music makes you cry, smile, act, react, engage, unplug, think, dance, feel and all the above. We’ve compiled a playlist of songs that can help you reaffirm your own beauty. Each song will help you let go of negativity and feel good about yourself and your body. Get up and dance or sit and listen, really listen, to the lyrics.
Let the music take you for a little journey.
If you have any songs that you listen to make you feel good, let us know! We’d love to add to our playlist for future posts and take a peek into what everyone else is listening to. We’d love to hear your suggestions.
Amy Morby is the blogger behind A is for Ampersand, a blog for all things vintage, fashion, design and continuous inspiration. Amy dedicated her blog during the month of February to implement a project dear to her heart and created the month of self love – learning to fight insecurity, love yourself, and start living in the moment.
We interviewed her about the inspiration for the revolutionary project and how she has connected the blogging world to her cause. Read along to find out more about how Amy is spreading and sharing beauty within the blogging world and beyond.
Read all the self-love blog posts here.
It is our pleasure to introduce to everyone, Amy Morby.
1. What was your inspiration for creating the self-love campaign?
I’ve always been a huge advocate for self-love, but the idea became a personal one after battling an eating disorder for close to a decade. After being in recovery for 6 years, I decided it was time to make the crusade a personal one and started the revolution on my blog. My blog was the only place where I felt I had a voice, and after seeing so much self-hate from fellow bloggers, I decided it was time to take a stand and spread the word that it IS ok to love yourself. Not only is it ok, but it’s completely vital to our happiness as women.
2. What is your definition of beauty?
Women are inherently beautiful, and I firmly believe that. My definition of beauty is broad and varied, but I think that the greatest definition is strength. The most beautiful women I know are those that are strong in all areas of their lives–strong in their confidence, their beliefs, their kindness. Women who aren’t afraid to be their own kind of woman and forge their own path. Beauty radiates from those that are strong.
3. What do you consider your “beauty mark”?
I love my ability to stand up for women. I love the fact that because of my struggles, I am now determined to spread the word about self-love. At this point, we are constantly barraged with messages of hating ourselves and becoming “better” but I love the fact that I have made it my personal crusade to tell women that no–we don’t have to buy into that. We can be our own strength, we can love ourselves, and we can stand up for who we are as we are now. I want to be a beacon to women to show that it’s time for change and that it’s time to accept ourselves. By trying every singled day to become that source of inspiration, I, too, have to constantly strive to practice what I preach.
4. Why promote your campaign through the blogging world?
The blogging world is a hugely supportive arena. We are all women connected through similar interests and because of that, we are a tightly knit community. The blogging world, however, can also be a scary place where perfectionism and envy easily creep in. I wanted to create a positive space online where girls could come for inspiration–where they could see that not everyone is perfect but that is WHY we read each other’s blogs in the first place. We read to connect, to forge relationships–not to invoke feelings of jealousy or inadequacy. I was completely overwhelmed by the viral spread of the self-love campaign, and I wish that all bloggers would blog about self-love. The internet is a powerful, powerful place.
5. How has social media helped throughout this campaign?
Social media is what made the self-love revolution possible. I created a button that others could place on their blogs, and that’s where the viral swell really started. I encouraged everyone to tweet about their experiences, and the response was unreal! The more people tweeted and shared on their blogs, the more we connected we all became in our quest for self-love.
6. What are some of the “challenges” you’ve asked your readers to try? What’s been your favorite?
I included 5 challenges during the self-love revolution:
Challenge #1: Be an Advocate for Positive Body Talk
Challenge #2: Wear it because you love it and feel fierce
Challenge #3: Pamper Yourself
Challenge#4: Learn to Radically Accept
Challenge #5: Write a Love Letter to Yourself
I loved all of the challenges, but my favorite was probably the radical acceptance one. I know that radical acceptance was monumental to my recovery, and I loved seeing everyone’s responses to the post. My favorite challenge within that theme was encouraging girls to cut the tags out of their clothing and wear jeans with pride. The response was overwhelming and I was so glad to share one of my favorite tips!
7. What do you hope to achieve through your campaign?
All I really want is for women to start challenging the negative thoughts they think about themselves. I want them to first, start noticing that they do it, and second, start actively trying to change the way they think about themselves. I want them to know that it’s ok to love yourself–that dieting isn’t normal and that constantly bashing yourself isn’t acceptable. If I can just make one person out there believe that they are worth more than a number, I will be successful.
8. How do you think our society’s culture affects the perception of body image?
The longer I’m in recovery, the more baffled and disgusted I become with society. The models get smaller, the magazine ads more unrealistic, and the worst part is–it’s all more acceptable than ever. Eating disorders are a joke and dieting is normal. It’s NOT ok and it MUST stop. We all need to stand up for ourselves as women and let the world know that we won’t take it anymore. We won’t be made into objects and we won’t be made to feel like we are worth nothing.
Recently Diane ran into Maia and she was sweet enough to let us share her poem here on the Beauty Mark Blog! Please take the time to read…it is truly profound. And please find her book of poetry here: http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/beautiful-and-broken/17351505 Thank you Maia!
i rock quietly in my sweet surrender
looking over past memory’s skipping
over the innocent felonies of
childhood ,i remember
when i could where cloths that truly did
make me feel like an angel.,
and no one could ever comment silently
their judging eyes
correcting an imperfect body against a
barbie back drop
and even though i was jealous of her curves
i could always trust barbie.
she was the pretty girl that didnt judge me
i could place her in her perfect house
with her perfect man in her perfect world and it was fine but
when you stop and look closely you see her smile is fake painted on
as we ignore her back story
here it is
her father hit her her mother left
And when she ate she forced it, cut it into portions
and no matter how small she got she always manged to get
then came surgery to make her taller
so she married rich and was placed in her perfect house
with her perfect man in her perfect world
by a little girl who wants to be
since innocent eyes are fogged by propaganda and lies,
i realize and have to melt
my plastic smile because im not a toy
im a woman
and even though im jealous of the Revlon model
highway billboard she never knew me
though she always knew exactly how i should me
she was never taught she deserved to be
herself just like
im sure their feet are callused
one soar for ever parent that pushed them
one bruise for ever publisher that called them fat
one cut for the pressure that women
should fit into jeans a size to small and then
we can really be a prize to be one
and if they ask me to check my self in the mirror to make sure
i look “ok”
to stop and convince my self i would
look better if i was that size then i would
say no because im to busy walking
im to busy walking because i know there is more out there for me than cosmopolitans
latest trend line
because the screwed ideals of love and beauty are why
young girls clutch porcelain toilets just as
tightly as they would hug their fathers if their fathers hugged
them back so i walk
like oceans uproot sand magazine’s
pluck innocence out of the hand of young children
clouds fog the sky the sun will always shine through
if only we did not hide behind the mist we have lost
and i am so tired of trying to be perfect
trying to fit a computer generated model
that teen voug projected for me
here i sit in my sweet surrender
looking over past memory’s
skipping over the innocent felonies of
i know now that i can where cloths that truly do make me feel like
an angelAnd look past THOES who comment silently their judging eyesPushing my body on aBarbie back dropAnd even though I may always be jealous ofHer curves I can’t trust BarbieBecause I’m so much more than a toy andShe is nothing moreThan plastic.