I'm Sue. Aaron is my love, Everly is my light.
I'm an avid reader, a dancer and a dreamer
and an absolute nerd. I have a healer's heart.
I love yoga and taking pictures.
I support women while they have babies.
I believe in magic.
I know, these photos go against cardinal blog rule #1- always use great photos. But I don't care.
Today I want to talk about body love. There was a time in my life I would have been SO ashamed of this body. I would have hidden it and made excuses and I definitely wouldn't have put a bikini on this body. Why not? Because it's not perfect.
Growing up I never gave any thought to body image. I was a girl and that's about as far as I'd thought. When I reached middle school I had a few friends who were obsessed with weight. They were constantly "dieting" and always called themselves fat. I was the same size or smaller than them so I made the conclusion that if they were fat then I must be too. The logic of a 13 year old girl. Instead of talking to my mother about it (or anyone) I started to hate my reflection in the mirror. Sure, there were days I thought I was pretty, but for the most part I didn't like the girl looking back at me. I was overly critical of myself and always saw my flaws. Now that I look back at pictures from that time I think WHAT FLAWS? That one tiny zit? I was very hard on myself. And I know that I'm not alone. So many girls and women hate what they see when they look in a mirror. That is SO SAD to me.
My shift came when I was pregnant with Everly. I looked in the mirror and saw my growing belly and I realized it could be another reason to hate myself, or I could LOVE that beautiful belly that was holding my daughter. I chose the latter. It was a conscious choice and one that I had to make every time I looked in the mirror. I didn't always make the right choice, but I did most of the time. When I found out I was having a baby girl I knew I had to be better for her. Everly deserves a mom who loves herself and especially loves her body. She deserves to grow up knowing that she is beautiful no matter what she weighs or how "perfect" she looks.
This body of mine, this after-baby body, is beautiful. I can look at these pictures and point out flaws or I can look at them and think about how strong and powerful that body is. I can do so much. I have so much. And I am grateful for this body. A few extra pounds, a small blemish on my skin, none of that matters. What really matters is that I appreciate this body I have. I appreciate what a gift it is. I want Everly to know that being a woman is a wonderful thing and loving your body can come easily if you just embrace yourself completely.
It's actually been about 10 days since I saw this post at Delightfully Tacky (one of my very favorite blogs) but it's stuck in my head and I want to write a response to it.
I feel that most of the time I'm pretty good at achieving my goals, or as I refer to them intentions. I try to follow my dreams. But I didn't always do that. The follow through part has been difficult in the past (and sometimes still is). The thing that really changed for me is having a baby. I talk about this a lot, but having a baby changed me in so many ways. I realized I wanted to be better because she deserves better. She deserves a mama who loves herself, takes care of herself, and follows her dreams. She deserves to have a happy, loving mom.
So to the question at hand... I think the biggest thing that keeps me from achieving my goals is a fear of failure. And it keeps me from setting some goals in the first place. That age old question "What would you do if you knew you would not fail?" sometimes haunts me. I have big, grand plans but I worry that others won't love them as much as I do. I worry that people won't understand and I'll realize I'm living in my own little world. I worry that no matter how hard I work or how much I put myself out there I won't see the result come back to me. I worry that I'll have a lack of abundance. And now with a daughter and a family to think of, it's a little more scary to take a big risk because I'm not the only one affected by it.
Starting my new website was a huge leap for me. I've thought of myself as a healer for a while now but I don't really say it out loud. Does it sound corny? Will people grill me on what that means? Will they judge me when I don't answer the way they want? Will they reject me because they think I'm a little bit crazy? It's tough to put myself out there in the way my heart tells me to. This is not the age of healers, this is the age of pretty clothes and fancy shoes and posting your best pictures on Instagram (guilty). And I love all of those things. But I love wholeness and healing and healthy living. I love good body image and really, I love myself. I love who I am and I'm trying so hard to let the world see the real me.
I'm taking a really amazing course right now through the Sacred Living Movement called I AM Sisterhood and one of the things we've discussed is what we would do if we knew we would not fail. This was mine.
If I knew I would not fail I would open a studio and it would have everything I love. I would teach yoga, Sacred Pregnancy, Beginnings, hold sisterhood circles, and dance lessons. I would practice healing modalities at my studio. I would have books and tea and treats. There would be cozy chairs and pillows and blankets. We would have an art studio where my husband could draw and my daughter could go a little crazy. There would be educational toys for kids and a whole space for my daughter to call her own. There would be massage and a space to meet with doula clients. It would be a place for healing, for learning, for love. Now that I have this space in mind I can envision it all and I'm going to make it a reality one day. I've started to draw up some rough sketches and a small business plan. It's in the very beginning stages of growing but I know that this is where I will end up and I am really looking forward to it. It may be slow, but nothing will keep me from achieving this goal.
I realize this event has passed us by, but these photos are to good not to share. Everly looked so sweet in her bikini (the neighbor girls called it a "kini"). It was just Everly and I for the fourth. We went swimming with our neighbors and had a little barbecue. We played outside a lot and Everly showed off her impressive skills of learning to climb through the dog door. It was a lovely day.