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Bringing Back the Joy in Clothes

Bringing Back the Joy in Clothes

Have you ever ripped through your closet, trying on ten different outfits, nitpicking how you looked, feeling like nothing looked good? Then feeling overwhelmed by all the clothes you have thrown on the ground?

​I have spent way too much time worrying about my wardrobe, judging my body and how it fits into my clothes. 

Last year I had this moment where I no longer wanted to dread my closet. I wanted to feel supported and good about the clothes I put on my body. I cleaned my closet. Anything that made me feel uncomfortable that I had not worn in years was gone and donated. 

Through working on compassion for my body and the changes it has made in my life, I knew I wanted to support myself through the expression of my clothes. 

Shopping gave me anxiety for so long as I thought my body was meant to fit in the clothes, not the other way around. I have become very intentional when shopping to add joy back into the process. I am shopping for clothes to fit my body, and if they don’t fit, that no longer means anything about me, just that the clothes don’t work.

Here are a few things I ask when buying clothes

  1. Do I feel comfortable in these clothes?
  2. Does it fit my body right now?
  3. Does this style support the way I want to show up?

Clothes should be fun, clothes should support you in the way you want to show up, but they should not define anything about you. Take a look at your closet and assess if you should change it up to fit the body you are in right now because where you are right now is right where you should be. You are worthy and beautiful at this exact moment.

 

Changing Old Stories

Changing Old Stories

 The other day, I listened to a podcast and heard the host say, “girls never forget anything.”

​In my experience, I would say that’s true. I remember everything, especially language. A big one is from when I was 12. I was in gym class, and we had to learn all about our data based on our weight and height. My gym teacher taught us what number was too high and what was too low. Based on the numbers, I was considered too “high.” After that, my classmates compared numbers. I have never held a paper so tight, thinking I was less than because of that number. I felt shame around my body—feeling like I was not enough for social acceptance. For years I struggled with labeling: good exercise, lousy exercise, good and bad food.

As I grew older, I felt like my self-compassion grew, but an experience I had with my daughter has impacted me the most. 

I was pregnant with my little girl, Henley. When my daughter, Henley, was born, we discovered some medical issues, including being born without a specific nerve that impacts the right side of her body. To that point in my life, there was always a solution to medical problems. A surgery or therapy of some sort, right? Then the neurologist sat down with us and began to talk. Your daughter is beautiful. She should hit all her typical milestones. However, Henley was born without a nerve in her brain and what this means is she has permanent facial palsy. She won’t be able to blink her right eye and will most likely have a crooked smile as her right side is paralyzed.

He was still talking, but everything went silent. All I could think about was me as a little girl. Feeling so self-conscious about my body that the most important thing in life was my appearance. I felt extreme self-compassion for my child self at that moment. Knowing I have this perfect daughter who may be different from the “normal” beauty standards. I wasn’t worried about her as I knew I could raise her to be a warrior to see the beauty in being different. But at that moment, I knew I needed to work on self-love because the most significant teaching I can do for her is showing up for myself with true self-compassion and acceptance. 

It was time to change the stories that no longer served me. The first lesson was to relearn the love I have for my body and that my body serves me in many ways. My body gives me the option to see all the color this life provides.

The second lesson is differences are what make experiences rich. I had to stop worrying about hitting the next trend. For so long, I thought my biggest priority was fitting a mold that didn’t serve me. I had to come out of my bubble and see the beautiful differences in all of us. 

Third, radical kindness. This one is hard—especially inner kindness. But I learned to sit with my negative stories and let them pass. Learning that my thoughts are not always true. What is true is what serves me, which is having radical kindness towards myself. 

My hope is both my kiddos will learn to see there is so much color in this world. To experience the differences all around them. To learn to have self-compassion and kindness as they grow older will serve them more than fitting the perfect mold. It’s okay to see change is needed, even when it may be more comfortable to stay in the old stories. Having awareness around what is not working is sometimes the first win.

 

New Year, New Mindset

New Year, New Mindset

My whole life I felt the pressure of making goals when January would come around. But I don’t think I ever had awareness around what type of goal I should even set.

Because if you’re like me, you may have set extreme goals. I set goals that included waking up two hours earlier, the opposite of mindful eating, and balanced exercise. The problem is that I was trying to change something that wasn’t realistic and what society was telling me. 

Then February would come around, and I hadn’t come close to hitting those goals because they weren’t meant to be hit in the first place. Then the feelings of shame and let down would surface.

It wasn’t until my late 20’s that January would come around, and I started to realize that goals should benefit your life in a healthy balanced way. That I couldn’t become “more” worthy because I was already worthy as I am. Instead, I started to make goals that changed my mindset to increase my sense of self. I began to make simple daily goals that pushed me forward in the way I wanted to show up every day.

Here are a few examples of goals I have set:

  • Wake up 10 minutes earlier to take a few deep breaths, and decide how I want to feel that day.
  • Daily gratitude- made simple: writing down a quick thought or simply noting gratitude in my head.
  • Speaking kindly to myself, especially when my old stories come up.
  • Choosing to embrace new experiences and learning to let go of control.

Here are a few of my tips when making daily goals:

  • Make it simple, don’t overcomplicate it. 
  • Don’t be too rigid in your goals; life happens, and sometimes you have to let go of the plan you had that day. 
  • Don’t make goals thinking you will become worthy if you hit them. That’s a big plan for feeling let down 
  • Make goals that help you have a more profound sense of self.

The difference I have felt from going from the old unrealistic goals to the new simple daily goals – is learning to live more intentionally in the present moment. I challenge you to set a few minutes aside and think of daily goals to help you cultivate the way you want to feel and show up daily.