Monday, September 28, 2015

On beauty and strength... a guest post by Natalie Patterson

Friends- I'm delighted to bring you a post by guest blogger Natalie Patterson.  She's a poet, an teaching artist and amazing human who teaches me about being a better person whenever I get to spend a bit of time with her.  I'm also delighted that she's a facilitator and will be teaching and performing at our Beautiful You Retreat November 5,6,7th.  So, without further delay... here are the words and wisdom of my friend Natalie.

Ever since I was a little girl, beauty equaled strength to me. Every person I thought was beautiful, was because of an inner power that seemed to pour out of them. It was in their laugh, in their walk, in their ease with speech. I have always been drawn to a great smile, a true smile. Beauty had nothing to do with being perfect and it still doesn't to me. 

I have come to understand that my body, at whatever version of itself it is in now, is a gift. I had a thought when I was around 25, that if I married someone I didn't already know, they wouldn't get the "privilege" of experiencing my 20-something body. At 31, I am still unmarried and I suspect that should I ever marry, they won't have known me, in my 20s and that's ok. They get to know me now. They get to enjoy my wisdom, the grown of my body and the relaxation in my stride, that I didn't have access to, in my younger years, that I am well-acquainted with now.  I suppose this is what aging is all about, the gratitude that comes, that fills all the silly holes, you think you have.  

So while my body is ever-evolving, as is my self-love, what I know for sure is that we all have access to beauty, all own it. Sometimes we forget where we put the key to it, or rather that we are the key. Be diligent about finding your way to your own beauty, about defining it for yourself. It is important. You are important. 

Mine and Yours, 

Natalie Patterson 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

When our habits that make us smaller than we are...

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There are two times of year that I tend to be especially introspective.  Fall is one of them.  I think it's the trees shedding parts of themselves that are no longer serving them.  There's beauty and balance in it.  Letting go of the old, preparing for what's to come.  There's a magical beauty in the mish-mash of colors gracefully floating to re-connect to the earth in a different way.

It occurred to me today, after seeing some stellar modeling from a friend, that sometimes I'm not very good at asking for what I need.  It's a tendency, or habit really that makes me smaller than I am.  It definitely doesn't serve me.  

I believe in living with intention and purpose.  So, therein lies my project for the fall.  I'm starting a 30 day challenge to make some progress with asking for what I need and gratefully (and gracefully) accepting the help of others when it's offered.

What are you ready to let go of?  What habits make you smaller than you are?

Sunday, September 6, 2015

What's the best thing when you find you've temporarily lost your way?

We all lose our way from time to time.  All of us.  Anyone who says they don't has got to be pulling your leg.

I've found myself in that place of late.  I have had my head down being so busy being busy that I looked up and found myself overwhelmed, under appreciated, under rested, eating and drinking more than I need to, not doing any small acts of self-care.  Lost.  Well, if I'm really being honest... lost and utterly lacking in anything resembling joy or happiness.  Imagine my surprise.  I certainly know better.  But, there it is.

Thank God for girlfriends.  In these times, it's my girlfriends who are my compass.  They help me pull out the map of my life (which is never folded correctly), and help me identify which particular eddy it is that has me swirling and where it is that I want to go.

Good girlfriends will crawl around in the darkness with you, shining a flashlight on the things you didn't want to look at.  They'll sit with you during the ugly cry and say "I know."  A really good girlfriend will call you on your *ish when you try to get in your head and logic it away.  And they'll invite you to come to yoga with them and begin to do a kindness to your mind, body and soul.

And if you're not ready to have the light shone on something hard to look at.  Don't worry.  Your girlfriend will be ready with her flashlight another day.  You can try again then.  She's not going anywhere.

Baby steps my friends.  An extra glass of water one day.  A long walk the next.  If you move in the direction you need to go, it doesn't matter if it's a baby step at a time.  Keep on moving.  You won't be lost for long.  Your girlfriends will see to that.