I am Enough from Belinda Kypriotis

December 6, 2012

Photo credit: Mr.Kypo #36 weeks

 

I have a love hate relationship with my body. I have decided I need to call a truce. Throughout this pregnancy I am seeing all its magnificence my body offers. I know I was in awe of it when I carried my two other babes, however this time I drew the line in the sand and hope I don’t fall back into the mental torture I speak to my body.
I feel that my body, soul and mind are connected. All one.

I no longer carry the abuse one boy inflicted on me at a very impressionable stage of my life. Picking on my flaws. He didn’t need to do that. I knew they were there. Later came bruises and the scars. That did nothing for my self love and in turn gave me insecurity, self loathe and judging myself on others appearance. Judging others, how ridiculous is that? I will never be them, they will never be me. We are uniquely us and that is beauty. I have been learning this. Even having a husband who sees me as me not a body. My body is the vessel that carries me and even though its appearance has changed throughout the years my husband’s love for me has never altered. The times when body shame has risen he always swoons me with his love and tells me to smile. It’s not about my body. I am realizing this.

I have handed the hurts over. Surrendered and embraced all my bodies magnificence. When I handed over the criticism the comparison I began to feel the electricity and aliveness my body offers me.

I had an internal conversation during the middle of this pregnancy that went something like this.
‘You’re getting fat’.

‘No, I’m pregnant’.

‘You don’t want to gain too much weight; you’ll have to work it off after the baby is born’.

‘When will I find the time to go back to the gym everyday?’

‘Do you really want to go back to the gym?’

‘Immerse yourself in baby and family love. They will not be judging the remains of your baby bump once you’ve delivered’.

‘What if I’m all bum and thighs?’

‘What if you are? You know how to look after your body’.

You see my internal dialogue going back and forth each trying to silence the other. I recall standing in my bedroom, running my hands over my beautiful baby bump thinking you’re creating a miracle. Your body is doing this. Your body is making eyelashes on your baby and you have no control over that. In that moment a change was occurring.

Until…I receive the text or you see someone that politely mentions my weight. ‘You are all baby, you haven’t really put much weight on, and we will go walking after you have the baby’. Is that politely noticing your weight gain?  This is where choice entered. How I would react and then what internal dialogue will I speak. Having called this truce I have felt free. I am soaring without weight on my shoulders holding me down being consumed with insecure thoughts. There is a life time of self hate dialogue dissolving and a mind and body working together on new chatter and a new connection.

 

………..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Belinda is a wife, Mama to three, business owner and life lover. You can find her at www.billyandaugust.com where she takes photos, weaves the words and tells the story.

 


I am Enough from Jenn Gibson

November 29, 2012

In January 2003 I was diagnosed with “a thyroid problem” – which, don’t get me wrong, was such a huge relief. The months before I was diagnosed were really hard. I was finishing up my last semester at college – taking seven classes and working three jobs. I was exhausted, losing weight so quickly, weak, dizzy. I put it off on working too hard or being overcommitted and overextended – all of those sorts of things. And it’s true, I was, but this time at least one had nothing to do with the other.

Things got to the point where I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs, I would sleep for hours and wake up still weak and tired. It terrified me. On more than one  occasion, one of my roommates had to physically get me up the stairs and when she got me to my bed, I laid there and cried. I was terrified. I didn’t know what was wrong, I thought I must be sick and dying.

There was something wrong with my body and I didn’t know what to do.

So, I went to a logical place – my nurse practitioner. I had a physical and she told me that my thyroid was not working. She put me on medication, and over the next several years a pattern emerged.

I go to see a doctor every few months and get bloodwork done. Sometimes my levels are good, and I don’t have to go back for three or four months. Sometimes they aren’t, my doctor would switch up (or lower,  depending on what was going on) the level of meds and I’d have to go back in two weeks or a month or six weeks.

It all felt like such a guessing game because there was no rhyme or reason as to why things were ok sometimes and so horribly off others. Nobody could give me an explanation as to what was wrong, why things were inconsistent, how I could fix things, what I should do.

//

Towards the end of 2010 I decided to start seeing a specialist, an endocrinologist: someone who worked with people who had thyroid problems. I thought now, maybe now, something would change, I could get some answers, make some headway into what was wrong, and finally start to figure out how to make things right or better or “ok.”

I had some bloodwork done the day I met with my first doctor, when I sat and talked with him, he vaguely listened to my medical history and then told me that I had Hashimoto’s disease, that my thyroid did not work, that it was broken, and that I would be on medication for the rest of my life.

I sat there and when I got to my car, I sat there and cried.

Broken, my body was broken.

//

See, I knew something wasn’t right, I’d been on medication for years, seen   doctors every few months to see what was going on in my body. Medication was changed, dosage levels were increased and decreased. I knew something was wrong, but to have this doctor, this specialist, tell me that it was broken, that it could not be fixed or healed, only managed, broke my heart.

Even though I knew deep down that something was wrong, he confirmed it, and the hope that one day things would magically be ok was gone.

It also gave me this gorgeous feeling of beginning.

Now I can begin to heal, now I can start working to make things better, now I can be gentle with myself and love all over myself, now I know what’s going on.

Now I have the answer.

What I didn’t realize until the diagnosis is that so many of the other things that were going on in my body were related to my thyroid problem, if I could improve one, the others would ease up, too.

Examples: That anxiety I’ve lived with since I was a kid? Directly related to how well my thyroid is functioning.

My energy level? Directly related to how well my thyroid is working.

Lack of ability to focus and concentrate? Ding, ding, ding! Related to my thyroid.

So, where does the enoughness come in? Right here. Right now.

I am enough.

With an auto-immune disease. When I feel so tired I can’t think. When my brain is foggy and blurry. When I slur my words. When my mind can’t keep up with a conversation.

I am enough.

My body is not less, my body is exactly as it should be, and all of these lessons I’m learning and have learned would not have happened if things were different.

When things are hard, I get really quiet and whisper to whatever it is that’s feels off:

Dear body, I love you.

Dear thyroid, I love you.

Anxiety, I love you, thank you for being a teacher.

Foggy brain, I love you and I will move slower until you are able to catch up.

I love you.

You are enough.

………..

 

 

 

 

Jenn Gibson is a writer, life coach and the creator of Roots of She — a collection of true stories & tender wisdom for women, by women.

As a coach, she focuses on foundational self-care, helping overwhelmed women learn to live simply, and simply live.

She loves yoga, Mexican food and the beach, and is not above stealing snuggles from Bean the Boy Kitten.

Connect: Website: Roots of She | Facebook | Twitter : @rootsofshe


I am Enough from Victoria Lampkin

November 15, 2012

(Picture by Timelessly Classic Photography)

Those eyes, normally sparkling with mischief but now filled with tears. That kinky, curly hairs in a single Afro puff that you wear on the top of your head like a crown. Representing the princess you know that you are. Those full lips that cause your dimples to show when you laugh with your whole body. Those lips are now telling me, with all the force your little three-year old body can muster, “THAT NO ONE LOVES ME!!! You don’t love me, daddy don’t love me, big brother don’t love me. NO ONE LOVES ME!!!” Okay, you are three what do you know about no one loving you. Do I laugh and blow you off or do I start saving my money for therapy in 10 years? As a mother and a pediatrician I knew that you would say these words at some point in your life I just didn’t expect them at 3 years old.

How do you know these words? What do they mean to your lil’ mind? Have you heard someone say these words? Do you know, maybe on some cellular DNA level, that I have said these or words with similar meaning numerous times in my life. Am I saying these words through my body language? I know you haven’t heard me say them because I’m very conscious of what I say in front of you but you don’t know that my mind has often said these same words. You are a mini-me so those eyes, lips and hair also belong to me. I want, I need you to love and celebrate them. I see others parts of me in you. Some I love and some I have fought with and tried to suppress most of my life. I want you to be able to accept them all. So, I have to be enough so that you can be enough.

I was lucky enough that you chose me as your mommy late in my life because it gave me many years to become ‘enough’. I would love to tell you that I had some major epiphany that allowed me to be comfortable with all of my strengths and inconvenient traits that I treat as mini projects to correct. But that is not how my story went. I fought the process of accepting my messy life with every bone, muscle and emotion I had. Lots of emotions and most of them were not pretty. I became enough when I couldn’t be anything else. When I was so damn tried that the only thing I could be was just me. Me, in all of my raw glorious form.

I became enough when I lost everything that I knew of myself. I became enough when I moved back to my hometown and had unhealed demons peeking from every familiar street corner and family gathering. (I’m a grown woman. You people don’t scare me). I became enough when my identity as smart was shattered after struggling numerous times to pass my pediatric boards. (I’m smart. I really am.) I became enough when we started one business, lost it, started enough business and lost it. (What the hell were we thinking?). I became enough when after the lost of the businesses I had to ask my momma for gas money, more than one time. (I’m grown. I shouldn’t have to ask anybody to take care of me. I should be taking care of her.) I became enough because if I didn’t I wouldn’t survive. I had to be ecstatic with what was left after losing every shred of the existence that I knew. I had to celebrate the anger, the vulnerability, the financial and mental brokenness, and the self-doubt in order to love every morsel of my curvy 5’9” self.

But baby girl you best believe that every step of my journey has prepared me to help you on yours. You will falter and probably spend years in therapy trying to find what is already inside of ya’ and blossoming. And I will probably pay for most of that therapy but I will never let you forget that you and I have been and always will BE ENOUGH. So, yes, mommy, daddy and big brother LOVE YOU!

………..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nerd with a capital N. Wife. Mommy. Knowledge Seeker. Storyteller. Lover of the spiritual playground of life.

Dr. Vickie is an Integrative Physician (combination of Western and Eastern Medicine) and certified yoga instructor who helps people reclaim their power and health. She has a medical degree, masters in public health and fellowship training in academic medicine and complementary and alternative medicine. The combination of her academic training, nutritional knowledge and yoga and meditation training has allowed her to help numerous others see their inherent power. You can play with her over at www.DrVickie.net.

(Picture by Timelessly Classic Photography)

 


I am Enough from Catherine Ruiz

November 8, 2012

 

Everyone has a story to share that makes them who they are, today marks two decades, a year and 2 months of my existence and I decided to share mine.

I am enough, more than enough.

I have not always felt that way but with time I have come to realize that only I can make myself feel whole. I can make myself feel more than enough even when the world wants me to feel otherwise.

Society plays a huge role in the reason many of us do not feel as if we are enough. The reality of it is we are all more than enough.

More than enough than what the media has portrayed us to believe.

More than enough than the gender roles society expects us to follow.

More than enough than what some people in our lives have made us feel, but above all we are more than enough than what we think.

Throughout my existence, I have learned from every experience both good and bad to love myself a little more than I did the day before. No matter the obstacle, I have always tried to maintain a positive attitude and practice my radical self-love.

I started practicing radical self-love after reading a book with a dear friend of mine and it made me realize that I should be content with who I was and not trying to figure out who I needed to be.

I needed to completely be content with who I was in order to become a much happier person which meant I needed to embrace every socially constructed flaw that came along with that.

Every aspect in my life has made me who I am and regardless of whether my life is appealing to others, this is me and I am enough.

I have loved, lost, smiled, and cried but above all I have always stayed true to feeling as if I am enough. It has not always been easy because there have been so many times where I’ve felt I was not good enough but I always managed to  pull myself together. I have not done it alone. I have so many great people to thank who have pulled me up and pushed me down. Everyone that was walked into my life has left some kind of imprint that will always stay with me no matter what the situation has been. Nothing is regretted when you are enough.

No one can ever take that away from you unless you let them. We were not born with a price tag so never let anyone dictate your worth. Life is unpredictable and things come and go but always remember,  your life because of who you are has a meaning and you are more than ENOUGH.

………..

 

 

 

Catherine Ruiz, aspiring Journalism and Women, Gender, and Sexualities double-major from California who is currently serving in the United States Army. Loves to read and write. Find her on Facebook.


I am Enough from Ariane Hunter

November 1, 2012

It has come to my attention that two parts of me have been running the show for some time now and I’m not pleased with their performance. Meet Misses Fix-it and Misses Perfectionist; I like to
think of them as the employees of Ariane Hunter Enterprises*.

They work side by side and their operation looks a little something like this.  Misses Perfectionist’s job is to constantly scan my world for “problems”, “imperfections”, and “brokenness”. When she finds it, and she always does, she then sends it over to Misses Fix-it to, well…fix. Misses Fix-it will sit with the “problem” trying to piece the brokenness together by using her tools of control, force, and the square-peg-round-hole method to make everything “fit” perfectly.

It’s a partnership that these two Misses have created that has run the inner workings of my life for a long time. Especially during times of fear, doubt, and insecurity; Misses Perfectionist and Misses Fix-it surely went into overtime.

They are extremely dedicated to fixing me and making me perfect at all costs. And yes, they have cost me a lot over the years. Miss Perfectionist cost me many opportunities to step up and play big in my life because she felt there was always something just not quite perfect about who I was. Miss Perfectionist cost me countless ideas that constantly needed to be re-worked because she believed they were not quite perfect and thus “not yet ready to be released into the world”. So she would call Misses Fix-it in for repair.

They were there to caution me not to speak up during important board meetings at work because Misses Perfectionist did not believe my ideas were informed enough. And they always advised me, although very anxiously, to stay up for hours into the night to prepare for speaking events until it was just right.

I suppose this hard working duo were created to serve a purpose in my life. Misses Fix-it and Misses Perfectionist worked hard to keep me in the confines of my comfort zone clear from all perceived danger. They’ve kept me from encountering ridicule, rejection, and judgment. They were protecting me, right?

Not quite. I realized that Misses Perfectionist and Misses Fix-it were acting out of fear, worry, and doubt. They never saw me as whole or unbroken. They never saw me as smart enough, talented enough, or good enough. They never saw me as perfectly enough for who I am. They only saw me for who they believed I was not.

I’m glad I realized what these two were up to before it was too late. A much-needed change was in order.

The below statement represents the excavation of the old versions of me which are no longer needed. It is a soulful re-creation that marks a new purpose for the two Misses.  And so it goes:

Misses Perfectionist, Misses Fix-it, you have gainfully served me for the last 25 years. Putting in overtime and leaving no stone unturned in the daily quest of picking me apart in order to “make me perfect”.  And while I’ve appreciated your love for the job, you are both being reassigned. No longer will you scan my world for imperfections and try to fix what is not broken. You are now responsible for acceptance and trust that I am perfectly complete in who I am and absolutely capable of exposing myself to the world in all of my perfect imperfections. You will accept and trust that I. Am. Enough.

I welcome the new Misses Acceptance and Misses Trust to my team. I look forward to
working with you.

Love,

Management

Stay tuned to see how Misses Acceptance and Misses Trust are living up to their new
roles…

With Love & Light,

Ariane

*Fictitious Name

………..

 

 

 

 

Ariane Hunter is a photographer & personal growth coach. She finds truth in moments of stillness and at the cusp of fear and triumph. Ariane works with frustrated 9-5’ers to uncover their true calling and live their highest purpose. You can find out more about her at www.arianehunter.com.

 


I am Enough from Lisa Roehre

October 25, 2012

I am Ready.

Not enough…. Really??!?!

I thought that about myself most of my life, that I’m not enough, not good enough, not special enough, not smart enough, not lucky enough… but especially in the last 20 years despite:

Being a single mom since 1991 and working on average 50+ hours a week.

Getting an MBA 2002 (and making the Dean’s list).

Soccer, soccer and more soccer with weekend travel consuming entire weekends one after another.

Got daughter through college with only about $20K in loans (no help from her dad, my ex).

Have moved from an apartment to owning a townhouse to a 3 bedroom home, 2 cars, 2 dogs almost single handedly.

Sole financial provider for my daughter.

Remolded much of my houses myself: Painted every room, faux finishes, wood trim (i am good with a compound miter saw), ceramic tiled floors…

My daughter is a smart, well adjusted, mature beyond her years, classy, driven, beautiful young lady.

…and much more

So why during this same time frame, did I want to and successfully did, become completely invisible?

Because I made some huge mistakes.

Mistakes I had to hide to avoid the shame.

Mistakes that caused heartbreak that was so overwhelming and I had no one to blame but myself.

Because I needed to figure out why and never let it happen again.

Because I needed to heal – with no judgments or pressure-just comfort and safety in aloneness.

Invisibility felt good for a long while.  Luckily, I got bored.  And in trying to overcome the boredom I found out that my creativity seemed to have gone invisible too.  I had to figure this out, I wanted my creativity back!

What I realized was that the comfort of invisibility became a lonely cave.

I couldn’t summon passion for anything,

It was like I was dead inside, completely numb.

I went for help and described it as my pilot light was out.

After zillions of self-help books and online workshops

I learned this about pilot lights:

I can’t have creativity without having joy,

To have joy required me to feel alive.

To feel alive I needed to connect with other people, the world.

And this was the scariest part: To connect with other people meant

I had to let myself be seen.

The chills and fears that those 7 words brought to my body made me realize that was exactly what I needed to do, or nothing would change for me.  It’s as if those feelings were really my muffled soul’s way of screaming “Bingo!”

So one day, in early July this year,

I made a commitment with all my heart and soul –

I am ready to be seen.

It’s been hard, but I’ve slowly been making myself known again, to myself and others.

It’s happening, and there’s no turning back.

I can’t go back.

With the heart of David facing Goliath-

I AM READY TO BE SEEN.

………..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lisa Roehre is a 48 year-old single mom, who is at a major turning point in her life.  With her daughter close to leaving the nest, it is now time to live a life which is self-motivated, and a whole new way of life for her.  Lisa is making some big changes, to get out of her comfort zone and stir the pot for herself, that will challenge her to step out into the world she has been hidden from for too many years.  In addition to her day job as an IT Applications development manager, she is exploring writing, photography, cake decorating, and who knows what else.  lroehre@comcast.net