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positive self talk here

You know my life has been hard recently. This is the most difficult year I’ve had to live though, actually. And I think that in times like these, we forget certain parts of our normal self-care, self-talk, or other skills we’ve learned along the journey.

It’s a strange sort of growth I’ve been doing in the past couple of years. It’s where I’ve finally embraced that I don’t have to be 100% happy with how my body looks just because I’m a body positivity blogger and advocate. I used to struggle to be a good role model, but it just wasn’t authentic to who I am. Ironically, I’m actually – finally – more comfortable with my body than I ever have been, despite also being at a higher weight than I ever have been. So I’ve done a sort of roundabout way to grow that part of me, taking a couple of steps backwards (maybe… and maybe not) and a few more forwards.

But somehow, despite that, I’ve lost my positive self-talk.

I struggle every day right now because I am simply weighed down with too many Things to handle and many of them are Big Things.

A good friend once commented that antidepressants are like a life raft. You still have to do the work to get yourself to shore (or, for lifelong depression, down the river of life), but they keep you afloat so that you can do the work to get yourself where you need to go. That’s so real for me. But right now, all those Big Things are also on my raft and I cannot begin to move forward because I am just trying to keep us all afloat.

Here’s what I forgot: That’s work, too. It’s hard work and it’s worthy work.

I have forgotten to remind myself, every day, of all the ways in which I am worthy; I have lost my positive self-talk.

That’s allowed the demons back in and all I can see is all the ways in which I am failing at things (um, like this website, for one?). What’s worse, is that I’ve entirely forgotten how it’s not shameful to be a woman who is proud of the work she does. I’ve become meek in this way recently. But the truth is that it is right, correct, to be proud of me, to take pride in me, and it’s fucking badass feminist warrior woman to do it publicly.

So here’s what I am going to do, and I hope that you will join me. In fact I ask you to join me because I could use your support. Let’s name all the ways in which we are worthy. Today, right now. And then tomorrow. And the next day. We can come together to create a safe space where we will know that we can say whatever good things about ourselves that we want without any fear of looking ‘conceited” or full of ourselves, or whatever other bullshit the patriarchy has taught us to silence us. Are you in?

I’ll go first:
-I fight every day for my kids, for their rights and their needs to be met.
-I have gone back to college, I am about to graduate, and I’ve earned only 2 B’s in the last five years!
-I spend time with my children each day, listening to them, laughing with them, and helping them to find solutions to problems, and helping them learn how to cope with the shit life throws at us.
-I keep going. Sometimes I crash, cry, scream, and sleep. But then I get back up and I keep going.
-I paid the bills this month.
-I have kept us fed.
-I have done laundry, and the house is… not the worst I’ve seen. (haha!)
-I have done exercise consistently these last couple of weeks.

Every day I do little things and huge things. I am proud of me for every single one of them, no matter how small. Because they are all work, and they are all worthy.

How about you? This can be body-related or not, because our esteem is tied to our surfaces as well as our hearts and minds, and each reflects on the other and affects it’s growth or stagnation. What are you proud of? Tell us here!

Categories: My Own Ramblings, News

The story written in your skin.


Do you remember about a year ago when this manifesto I wrote was published on GrokNation? It’s a culmination of the lessons I’ve learned here with you all over the years. It’s about how your skin is your Story, your memoir, the record of your life written on you. We want to be mark-free/society tells us we must want to be mark-free, and we must be mark-free. But it is as we move through our life that our story is written and we learn lessons and gain wisdom along the way. The old crone, the wise woman, she is covered in lines and marks and they symbolize her status as leader and grandmother. For us to want to avoid marks is for us to avoid becoming her; it is for us to remain naive and inexperienced. And that, of course, allows us to remain easy victims. No one fucks with the wise woman.

This is what I hope for us, that we come to see the beauty in our lines and our marks. They aren’t a blemish, they are a memory, a plot line, a story. To see the beauty here is a revolutionary act, throwing off the chains of the beauty industry that keeps us insecure enough to line their pockets.

But more than that, I hope that we can find ourselves to be worthy just as we are. You are worthy even if you have five more pounds to lose. You are worthy if you have 300 more pounds to lose. You are worthy if you have no plans or desire to lose weight at all.

You. Are. Worthy. Just. As You. Are.

We are working on publishing a zine focused on body image. We hope to have the first issue ready by the end of the summer. We will be looking up local (San Diego) places to place them, and we will be mailing them out to anyone who chooses to subscribe. The first issue will be free, after that we may change a small fee, or donation, to cover costs. We are so excited! If you are interested in subscribing, or if you know of a place local to you who would be willing to have our zine available/for sale, email me at theshapeofamother@gmail.com. Just put “ZINE” in the subject. And then also be patient with me because I am terrible at life and sometimes I don’t check my email regularly.

I hope that our zine, like this website, helps spread the body-positive to new people and helps more people learn to love themselves.

And if you’d like to join us here in our online space, consider sending in your own story.

Categories: My Own Ramblings, News

Join Us!

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Help support SOAM and parents around the world by submitting your own photos and/or story here. Not only does sharing your story help to show the world what a postpartum body looks like, but it also helps to keep this website going and active and that helps keeps us able to do the work we do in the world. Also? Speaking your truth, even if it’s hard, can be life-changing and freeing. You are safe here at SOAM because I screen every single comment (although there isn’t much to decline to post because almost everyone here is supportive) and because you only share what you are comfortable with. Your name can remain anonymous and you can choose what combination of story and/or pictures you feel comfortable sharing.

Go to theshapeofamother.com/participate for directions on submitting and share this post with your friends. Help keep SOAM going!

Categories: My Own Ramblings, News, Positive Body Image/Words of Enouragement