Posts tagged ‘Self Love’

December 6, 2010

Developing an Authentic Relationship with Your Body

by M Stagg | The Voluptua Project™

authentic

Authenticate | © 2010 Michael Stagg

You can’t be something you’re not | No matter how hard you try.
You can’t keep grasping for the earth | Not if you hope to touch the sky
You can’t change where you’re from | You can’t deny who you are
You have to learn to love you | You have to shine your own star!

I had the pleasure of listening in on a conference call a few nights ago entitled The Fruit of the Womb: Unlocking the Hidden Secrets from Your Own Birth Canal. The host of the call was Azziza Jafari; her guest speaker was my good friend and mentor Mu Shemsu-t of the Master Force International Leadership Academy. While the call was undoubtedly geared toward women, I found myself very interested in this topic which focused on“the secrets we carry with us from the programming we received while in the warm confines of our mother’s womb”.

There was a lot of healing and transformation during this call. One of the key elements that kept coming up was the need to be authentic in our interactions with others as well as within our own internal dialogue. This was a huge thing for me as I have been contemplating my own relationships and what I was contributing – good or bad – to each of them. In the realm of health and wellness, I asked myself if I had been genuinely pursuing my goals or was I just “talking the talk”. The answer was a nonjudgmental yet firm no.

Here’s something to give a try: make space in your day for about 5-10 minutes of conscious introspection (If you would like suggestions on how to meditate send me a note for suggestions) and ask yourself the hard questions where your body image is concerned. “Am I being loving toward myself and my body?” or “Who and I really losing this weight for?” are two that come to mind. Grab a pen and pad and jot down your responses. Are they showing you that you’re being authentic or are you “faking” your way around the issue. If it’s the latter, consider re-evaluating the core reasons behind what’s bothering you and consciously (and honestly) decide to do something about it. You may want to consider bringing in a coach or a mentor to help. Joy Tanksley and Flossie Alexander are both great when it comes to resolving body image and lifestyle challenges for the curvier among us. I highly recommend them both.

Is it easy to live authentically? No, it’s not. I’m still working on be more authentic and I know it’s a trait to must be cultivated daily. What’s important is that we begin to take note of those times when we are not being genuine – with others and ourselves – and make an effort to change the way we do things. Just being mindful of our authenticity (or lack thereof) is a step in the right direction. Do you have any suggestions for living more authentically? Please share them in the comments below.

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November 8, 2010

Your Body’s Calling

by M Stagg | The Voluptua Project™
365:279 Vulnerable

Image by seq via Flickr

Before anyone asks, no, I’m not referring to the R. Kelly song! So, what do I mean by your body’s calling? Read on to find out…

Look in the Mirror. What Do You See?

As a – ahem – man of substance, it’s not uncommon for me to look in the mirror and take a good long stare at myself. I’m not being narcissistic; in fact, I think it’s the opposite since most times I force myself to objectively survey the person staring back at me. What I’m doing is looking in the mirror for acceptance – self acceptance.

Learning to Love What You See

Like most people, I have my days when I love what I see in the mirror; some days, not so much. One the days when I feel like I’m having a poor body image day I:

  1. Breath
  2. Ask myself why I’m experiencing poor body image today
  3. Recall experiences when I’ve had a good body image day and see what made that day different
  4. No matter what, I affirm that I am a worthwhile human being regardless of my size and choose to be happy as I am.

Your Body’s Calling…Are You Listening?

Everyday, our bodies beckon us to accept the person we see in the mirror. It yearns for us to finally realize that we are more than our dress or pant size. It compels us to exercise our right to experience the love that no amount of fad dieting, surgery or “comfort food” can grant us – it’s called self love.

Do you hear your body calling? How do you heed the call? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.

September 18, 2010

These Three Words

by Donya B
Salvador (BA) - O Cantor Stevie Wonder fala na...

Image via Wikipedia

The three words that typically run around in the minds pregnant women are, “Feed Me Now!” and “I Gotta Pee!”  But those aren’t exactly the ones I’m referring to right now.  The three words she should have swimming in her head, bathing her mind and soothing her psyche should be, “I love you.”  Actually, that’s what should be in all of our minds every minute of every hour of every day.  There is someone we encounter each moment of our lives that we should be able to extend to or receive from this extremely powerful statement.

We all have family, friends and loved ones that we can say this too without hesitation, but have you ever considered saying it to a complete stranger?  Why would you?  What is it that love means to you that you would extend this cordiality to someone you know nothing about?  How about this one: simply because they are a living, breathing, sentient human being.  I know it seems a little weird, but just follow me here for a second…

I was in a discussion group online not long ago and the conversation started to get heated.  To assuage the situation, I told the instigator that simply because she had such passion, such determination, and was a fellow human being in a similar situation to myself that I loved her.  I loved that she felt the way she did, but it was okay that others in the conversation didn’t share in her conviction.  Some laughed, thinking I was “pacifying the baby”, others rolled eyes.  But I was serious.  I genuinely felt a love for her and her plight enough to tell her that.  And you know what?  The argument stopped.

The power of life and death is in your tongue, so says the Word.  You have the power to create, destroy, build up and tear down simply by your words.  You possess a weapon of mass destruction or ultimate healing in your mind and in your mouth.  Can you imagine what you could do with it?  How often do you tell yourself that you love you?  Not because you look exceptionally hot at that particular moment or because you accomplished something amazing, but just because you felt like hearing it?  I always tell you to love yourself first and others will love you too, so start the 3 Word Campaign right there.  In the mirror.  Look yourself dead in the eye and sincerely say, “I love you” and feel the power it brings… Then take that power and go out into the world, look someone else in the eye and sincerely say, “I love you.” Whether they accept it or not, you just created joy.  Keep going!

Relationships are bonds between two people; not defined by gender, race, creed, color, religion, nationality, political ideology, age, social status, income or anything else.  Simply between two people.  Go out and create, rebuild or strengthen some relationships today.  Tell someone you love them and mean it!  Look right here… I love you!

Two,

Ms. De

Sweetest Truffle:  I know you hear it too… Stevie Wonder’s “These Three Words”… Listen to it sometime if you haven’t heard it lately.  Awesome words from an awesome man!


About Donya:

Donya Vaughn is a So Cal native, collegiate of San Diego State University and graduate of the University of Life, mastering in “Wow, That Was Harder Than It Needed To Be”. Known to her close friends as “The Walking Encyclopedia”, Donya prides herself in being helpful, knowledgeable and ready to serve. She uses these traits along with unwavering optimism and Christian good spirit regularly as owner and consultant of As You Like… Wedding & Event Services.

July 3, 2010

Being “You” Within “Us”

by Donya B
Balance

Image Credit:James Jordan

You know you’re in love when every other word out of your mouth is your beloved’s name.  It feels wonderful to know that your life is so intertwined and connected to this other person that it is as if you are living one life.  A good, healthy relationship feels and should be that way.  A shared life.  But of course there is always the other side of the story…

At the beginning of my last Dictator relationship, it was normal for me to say, “We’re going to… We want to…  We are…” because it was a shared life we were planning.  After a few years, it had morphed into, “He thinks … He doesn’t want … He wants us to… He said we’re going to…” I became the dutiful, braying sheep following along blindly, inhaling every word He said.  When I told my best friend He was moving us across country, she asked me, “You don’t sound like you anymore. What do you want to do?”  I laughed it off and told her, “It’s just that He knows best.  I’m still me and I’m cool with it!”  But by the time the blinders came off, I’d been pulled away from most of my family and friends and was living in the middle of a tumultuous lie.  Why? Because I’d let go of Me for Him.

Everyone is different, has different tastes, likes different things.  That’s what makes us unique.  Finding someone who appreciates your differences is key.  You like to rock climb and she doesn’t.  Ok, don’t stop rock climbing, but find something that you can also do together.  She loves WrestleMania and you can’t stand it.  Ok, don’t watch, but don’t put her down for loving John Cena (moment: drooling…).  Your mate should be a complement to you, not a copy of you.

Love your partner.  Respect your partner.  Make sure your partner loves and respects you.  Be one with her, but at the same time (in the words of the mighty Mos Def) ABY – Always Be You.  I know I say this every week, but you have to love and respect yourself to have a healthy relationship.  If what you want is different than what your partner wants, say so.  Don’t argue, don’t demean, just state your feelings. You have the right to Be You as much as he has the right to Be Him.  Being You doesn’t mean not looking out for her, but it does mean looking out for yourself.  Selfish and Self-Preserving are two different things.

Can you imagine what this world would be like if everyone recognized, understood and respected each other’s differences?  Can you imagine how peaceful it would be?  Start right now, in your own little world and let’s see where this can go…

Solid-Center Truffle: You may not always know what’s best for you, but you know what’s true to you. New ABY – Always Believe in You!

Two,

De
About Donya: Donya Vaughn is a So Cal native, collegiate of San Diego State University and graduate of the University of Life, mastering in “Wow, That Was Harder Than It Needed To Be”. Known to her close friends as “The Walking Encyclopedia”, Donya prides herself in being helpful, knowledgeable and ready to serve. She uses these traits along with unwavering optimism and Christian good spirit regularly as owner and consultant of As You Like… Wedding & Event Services.

June 26, 2010

Miss Celie’s Pants

by Donya B
Color-Purple-XL-COV_138178c

L-R: Kenita R. Miller as Celie & LaToya London as Nettie in the musical 'The Color Purple' Image: Paul Kolnik

For the past 5 weeks, we’ve looked at different personality types and perceptions in a relationship.  We’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly.  We’ve come to get a clearer picture of what works and what doesn’t, right?  So now what?  Let’s put it all together!

It’s obvious that someone has got to be the head of the relationship.  Someone has got to be the pants-wearer in the pairing, right?  A dominant and a submissive (minds out of the gutter please…).  The Dictator, the Butterfly, the sword-wielding breadwinner are all dominants, but who really has the power?

Both partners, believe it or not, have immense power.  Without a dominant, a submissive has little direction.  Without a submissive, a dominant has no follower.  “The man may be the head, but the woman is the neck.  And the neck can turn the head any way she wants!” Remember that from My Big Fat Greek Wedding? What’s a head without a neck? A neck without a head?  They need each other to have a purpose and a function!  Both wear the proverbial pants; which brings us back to my subject line: “Miss Celie’s Pants” derived from the book The Color Purple by Alice Walker. (You know I don’t use straight lines to get to a point, so stop tryna figure me out…)

“Miss Celie, how you makes a pair o’ pants that fits Harpo to fits me?” the character Sophia laughed.  Miss Celie’s Pants were intentionally made universal.  They showed neither male nor female, height nor weight, introvert nor extrovert dominance.  It’s a pair of pants that can be worn by either partner comfortably.  The symbolism of this garment was lost on most people.  In that one scene, four characters with varying personalities, roles and purposes within their relationships were all wearing the pants — together.  And the fact that Celie finally had “her own place” and Mister stood outside in the shadows showed another shift in the balance of power.

It is so important that all of us recognize who we are in our relationships, but more important to realize you are neither powerless nor all powerful.  You have as much control over your situations as your partner, simply because you can’t be who you are to them without them. I can’t be a low-flying butterfly without my Pleaser to keep me grounded anymore than he can feel fulfilled without someone/me to cater to.  Balance!

Nut-filled Truffle: Men in green paisley pants are as silly looking as women in sailor button slacks, but at least they’re comfortable.

About Donya: Donya Vaughn is a So Cal native, collegiate of San Diego State University and graduate of the University of Life, mastering in “Wow, That Was Harder Than It Needed To Be”. Known to her close friends as “The Walking Encyclopedia”, Donya prides herself in being helpful, knowledgeable and ready to serve. She uses these traits along with unwavering optimism and Christian good spirit regularly as owner and consultant of As You Like… Wedding & Event Services.

June 23, 2010

Being Your Own Best Friend

by youcannow

Delight[This is a Wellness Wednesday contribution with Fitness & Nutrition Life Coach Flossie Alexander of You Can NOW! Coaching.]

Too often we make big promises to ourselves and fail to follow-through. When we don’t follow-through on these promises we lose trust in ourselves.

Here’s a question for you … If your best friend treated you the way that you treat yourself would you continue to be friends?

This week try a new approach. Resolve that the most important thing you can do this week is to start rebuilding trust in yourself. No matter how small or simple you may think it is, set a goal or a step that is challenging for you. Write it down your goal and put it someplace that you’ll see it. Each day focus on following-through with your promise to yourself.

See how it feels to know that you can really trust yourself. With new confidence you’ll be ready to take on even bigger challenges.

Learn to be your own best friend and give yourself the support you need. You are the only person that will never leave you!

Yours in Health,

Flossie Alexander
Fitness & Nutrition Life Coach
You Can NOW! Coaching
Where Results ARE Typical!

About Flossie: Flossie is currently a member of the National Association of Professional Women and Toastmaster’s International. She is a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Coach as well as a Certified Wellness Coach with a successful track record in leading organizations and individuals into achieving healthy lifestyle goals. After overcoming obesity, losing 165 pounds in 18 months, she has developed a passion to help others through public speaking and one-on-one weight loss coaching. Visit Flossie at http://www.youcannowcoaching.com to start creating your new healthy lifestyle and lose unhealthy weight permanently.


May 29, 2010

Who Are You? Pt. Deux

by Donya B

In the words of one of the most renowned military dictators, Bienvenue mes amis! What was it that made Napoleon Bonaparte such an imperial pain in the arse? He was brilliant and knew no one would dare tell him otherwise.  Last week we looked at everyone’s favorite personality type, The Butterfly.  This week, we look at its nemesis, the one least likely to read this, but most recognizable…

The Dictator:

Pros – logical quick thinker, solution-oriented, very secure in his education, abilities and goals, a take-no-prisoners kind of person who is very proud of her accomplishments, a problem solver, a jack of all trades who advances quickly in the workplace.  A stable and reliable provider and protector.

Cons – not a good listener, short on patience, doesn’t want alternate suggestions – just wants you to follow her directions, not terribly romantic (romance is illogical), but knows how to use it to manipulate others, not much of a family guy – his or yours – and can be socially awkward. This Ultimate Control Freak may have a tendency to be emotionally abusive, but physical abuse is “beneath him”.

I spent six years as a Doormat to a Dictator.  Hard to believe, I know.  Actually, it was four years actively placid, two years navigating Pleaser to get to Butterfly.  He was a high ranking Marine, so I guess that explains it all. His job was not to listen, empathize and come to a conclusion, it was to observe and react with direct orders that were not to be questioned. Unfortunately, he brought that mess home.  Even worse, I followed suit.  What is tragic is that I absorbed his ways and tried to be a Dictator to the unsuspecting sap that followed in his wake.  That was a very short-lived relationship because I sucked at it.

I don’t have to tell you that a Dictator – Dictator relationship will never happen, do I? Good. Dictator – Butterfly is a flash paper relationship.  She will suggest he choose who his loyalties are with, his people or their home, but let him know it is in his best interest to choose her. The sex is great because she’s aggressive, but he will not be controlled and leaves quickly.  It’s pretty obvious that Dictator – Doormat goes the long haul.  They’re settled and there aren’t many arguments.  Don’t expect to see this couple holding hands strolling through town, but a nice dinner in a quiet corner of a restaurant of his choice isn’t unheard of. He does love her deeply; he shows it by providing everything she needs. It works; it’s just hard to stomach.  Dictator – Pleaser has durability simply because Pleasers don’t make waves and they stroke egos like a pro. He demands her attention and she readily gives it.  She makes herself an integral part of his small social circle and he appreciates it because she bolsters him.  This would probably be the healthiest Dictator relationship, as oxymoronic as that sounds. Now, I’m not saying Dictators are bad, they just need real love.

Today’s Truffle: Control, Love and Respect are three separate things.  Know the difference.  Live the difference.

Next Week – Pleasers!

About Donya: Donya Vaughn is a So Cal native, collegiate of San Diego State University and graduate of the University of Life, mastering in “Wow, That Was Harder Than It Needed To Be”. Known to her close friends as “The Walking Encyclopedia”, Donya prides herself in being helpful, knowledgeable and ready to serve. She uses these traits along with unwavering optimism and Christian good spirit regularly as owner and consultant of As You Like… Wedding & Event Services.

May 22, 2010

Who Are You? Pt. 1

by Donya B

Hey y’all!  Last week I touched on a personality spectrum and how we tend to find ourselves on the extremes instead of balanced toward the middle.  I told you we would explore each one so we could all see who we are and how we fit into our relationships.  As I started to break down each category, I realized there was no way it was going to fit into one piece.  So let us now begin the 4-part series, “Who Are You?”

Reality Note:  I have been each personality type at some point in my life so I’m not pointing fingers; I’m looking in the mirror.  Overstand, I am not telling you there is something wrong with you that you have to fix. These are just guideposts on the healthy relationship journey.  Also overstand that this matrix applies to everyone, not just us lean-challenged.

This week we focus on The Butterfly.

Pros: Gets along with everyone, open to new ideas and ways of thinking, confident, refuses to fail, possesses glowing inner beauty and strength, has an infectiously positive personality, makes everyone comfortable, can handle any situation with poise and style, quick thinker, makes great arm candy.

Cons: Can’t sit still long enough to solidify anything – including a thought process, overshadows their mate, always thinks they’re right (and usually are), comes off cocky or outspoken to the unfamiliar, talks a lot!, has low levels of humility/modesty, doesn’t know when to let go.

Are you wincing reading this like I am?  It’s painful to look at yourself sometimes, isn’t it?  90% of the time, I am a butterfly.  This explains why it’s been difficult for me to stay in long relationships; I bore easily and shiny things distract me.  This is also explains why when I’ve been hurt, I’ve been hurt hard.  A Monarch butterfly can lead a rabble hundreds of miles, but if you touch his wings wrong, he’ll die.  The Butterfly is just the same.  It may not be a big offense, but the wrong one cuts to the quick.

Fortunately, my beloved is a Pleaser, so he continually gives me intangible “shiny things”.  That is, he shows me love in different little ways every day.  Nothing extravagant, it’s the little things.  And since it is in his nature to coddle and nurture, he goes out of his way to make sure I don’t get hurt; by him or anyone else.  Even in his dreams!  (I told you I wasn’t going to smother you with my sappy stuff, so I’m done now.)

In any relationship, two Butterflies aren’t likely.  Self-esteem turns into ego and (not one to share the spotlight) one of them will take off.  Butterflies can be unintentionally abusive to Doormats (short attention spans miss the clues) and are likely to butt heads with Dictators (they both can’t always be right). The Pleaser is the Yin to The Butterfly’s Yang.  The Pleaser delights in the boldness and accomplishments of the Butterfly, and The Butterfly finds comfort and peace in The Pleaser.  Now, these are not cast in stone or the only way a relationship will work, so don’t go breaking up with your girlfriend cuz she’s a Dictator. Love is love, go with it.

Truffle: Finding the balance between your strengths and weaknesses is the key to finding You.

Next week – Dictators!

About Donya: Donya Vaughn is a So Cal native, collegiate of San Diego State University and graduate of the University of Life, mastering in “Wow, That Was Harder Than It Needed To Be”. Known to her close friends as “The Walking Encyclopedia”, Donya prides herself in being helpful, knowledgeable and ready to serve. She uses these traits along with unwavering optimism and Christian good spirit regularly as owner and consultant of As You Like… Wedding & Event Services.

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