Archives for posts with tag: self love

As 2016 winds down I thought I’d share a story that warmed my heart as a mother and as a human being. Sometimes our kids just do that.

My son works at a hardware store and one of the things he does is cut keys and rekey locks.  The old keys get thrown in a discard bin. So one day when a woman came in requesting to buy new keys for a craft project my son offered to give her an ample supply of discarded keys free of charge.

…And being the typical 19 year old he thought absolutely no more of it.

The next day the same woman arrived back at the store seeking him out. She had a thank you gift for him, a necklace. The key was now stamped with the word HOPE  and an accompanying tag stamped YOU MATTER.

She was on a mission to spread an important message – there is hope and we all matter – every one of us. No matter our past, our present or our future – we all matter. And there is always hope.

My son was fairly blasé about the whole affair.  He came home and shared the story with a somewhat puzzled look on his face. He said he really didn’t understand why she felt the need to thank him (sigh) and while the idea was sorta neat, he didn’t really  think he’d ever wear it. And then this look dawned upon his face and he turned to me. “Mom, this is more like something you’d like…” I graciously accepted the pay it forward gift with a very big smile.

I’m far from perfect, I have to embrace my “flawsome” every single day. Somedays there seems to be more flaw than awesome, but I embrace my humanness as best I can always. Because, after all, that is what I am, human – designed, created or a fluke of nature – unique and human is all I can guarantee. And I always keep a smidgeon of hope tucked away for those days where I’ve misplaced all the rest.

images

Today, I pulled the necklace out again, knowing that I would finally take a few minutes to sit down to tell the story.  My daughter noted it with an air of admiration and interest.  She knows sometimes we need to be reminded we matter and there is hope. Some of the best reminders are a little rough around the edges.

With the Pentatonix “Hallelujah” playing in the background my eyes are searching for a place where this necklace can be constant reminder of this oh so important message that strangely, so many forget at this time of year of celebration. I realized today that this necklace isn’t really mine, it’s meant for anyone who needs a little extra reminder that YOU MATTER and that there is most certainly HOPE. So like the other sets of keys in this house, it will hang accessible to anyone who may need use of it at any given moment.

Don’t ever forget….

YOU MATTER

and there is

HOPE

I promise

Don’t ever forget….

 

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Pin us on Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_7429.JPG

I went to the lake for three days. On my own. Because I said I wanted to. Apparently, this raised some eyebrows, caused some speculation.

Though I owe no one an explanation I’ll tell you. I only hope you can handle the truth and it is all you thought it would be.

I had a most delicious rendezvous with an old love. And oh my, shhhhh, but it really was delicious. Time stood still and disappeared all at once.

Now I admit that at first I felt more than a little trepidation, but it disappeared when I caught my first glimpse of them. It was like no time had passed at all.

It was cold so we curled up in blankets, sipped whiskey and water while we read books together, taking turns flipping the pages. We laughed and reminisced, finishing each other’s sentences. We went for walks hand in hand, telling each other stories. And when we got back we shared our thoughts and feelings, our dreams and relationships and our regrets because we genuinely wanted to. We played our favourite music and danced with abandon, laughing until our sides ached and tears ran down our cheeks. And when we couldn’t laugh anymore, we drank in each other’s spirit, curling up to sleep peacefully each night. We cherished each other unabashedly and it was divine and peacefully beautiful.

As the end drew near we looked into each other’s sparkling eyes and promised we would never let time or distraction separate us again. We hugged until we melted into each other and then it was time to leave. We never said good bye, because it wasn’t. It was hello.

When I arrived home I felt no guilt or shame as I walked by the mirror. Pausing, I recognized the smile. I winked, and my re-found love winked back at me. “Hello,” I grinned. Delicious.

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Join us on Pinterest

It’s Monday incase anyone needed reminding. However,

mondays

So I did!  Started my day with Yoga for the first time in a long time and I feel so much better for it, going to make it routine again.  Because here’s a little secret, I like feeling better. It’s a good thing.

It’s also summer solstice – and full moon!!! Love this time of year and having both come together is like an extra special gift. Monday just keeps getting better if you let it. Now there’s a lesson we should all take to heart, Monday and every other day too.

I m working at holding onto hope and passing out as much of it as I can to others who may be a bit short. Rips me up to see how much hopelessness there is swirling around me. It truly truly is about perspective, but perspective is sometimes this elusive, slippery concept that seems just out of our grasp. My life mission truly is to be a catalyst for hope, for change and I keep feeling like messages are coming to me to get on with it. So ok already! … I am!

Your deepest heart knows what your soul purpose is. It is connected with the you that you wish to be.  It is embedded in the place of joy within you.  Its expression creates a sense of fulfillment and meaning.  It is the reason for you being on the Earth at this time. Julie Redstone

And the biggest thing I’m learning as I move through all of this messy thing called “Life” is that mindfulness is key (ya really working on that) and that to truly be what I want to be and where I want to be I have to accept change, I have to accept the messiness of life and what changing life means. I am truly a butterfly – delicate but capable of flying through a hurricane, and sometimes in the end you just can’t go around the storm, you have to go through it, even if it means battered wings.

Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and without judgment.  Jon Kabat-Zinn

I have been releasing so much crap lately, internally and externally and the process continues. Somedays I see it all so clearly and other days the fog is impenetrable. Today is just hazy, forecast is for clearing skies – shining my light – and sparkling, as brightly as I possibly can because the world needs shiny people who sparkle. (Seriously, it does…. did you miss the memo?)

What is ringing clear as a bell is that I can do what I want, I can be who I want to be – if I’m willing to

BE

BELIEVE

DO

… I’m the only thing truly standing in my way. All other things will move or dissolve if I MOVE. Even if I move just al little. I’m moving, I’m moving, I’m moving!! No regrets right? Keep on keeping on.  That is what I am doing. I am recreating myself yet again because if I’m honest, that’s what we do every day. Its what we should be doing everyday.

Be careful how you talk to yourself, because you are listening….  – Lisa M Hayes

I am not giving up on me. I am not giving upon those around me and I most certainly am not giving up on this glorious potential and opportunity filled thing we call LIFE! I am embracing uncertainty, fear and discomfort. I am using these as my catalyst to be all I can be, to be all I want to be. And I am using it to fuel not only myself but others. I am healthy whole and complete. I am the manifestation of clarity of purpose, purity of intent and courage in action as I willingly and gratefully step out of my comfort zone (Yikes! repeat that one again). Sure, there is a huge knot in the pit of my stomach, but it will not stop me, it will propel me forward. I will be gentle with myself and others, but I will always be true to myself because only through that process will I really be true to others.

Taking care of yourself is the most powerful way to begin to take care of others. Bryant McGill

149984418-hope-quote-just-because-something-isnt-happening-for-you-right-now-doesnt-mean-that-it-will-never-happen

So Rock your Monday, and Roll over anything that gets in your way. But remember to be gentle, even speed bumps have a purpose.

images

 

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

Thank you for stopping by, we always appreciate it. Want to connect with Rise Like Air? Here’s how

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Join us on Pinterest

 

 

 

When I saw this photo on Facebook yesterday it resonated with me and took me right back to a defining moment in my childhood.

13220901_1053791954715822_6465441461875619587_n

I was a daddy’s girl. I loved hanging out with him and he willingly let me do so. Thanks Dad!  I was quiet and shy. As I grew up I began to notice that I seemed to be referred to most often as “Alf’s daughter” or “Alf’s girl”

“Hey, it’s Alf’s daughter” or “Just ask Alf’s girl” or “Send it with Alf’s daughter” It began to dawn on me that was how people thought of me.  Not as an individual but as Alf’s daughter.

As a teenager I was working on the farm catching chickens.  My girlfriend and I were a bit of an anomaly being the only girls working amongst a group of males.  Her dad’s name was Joe and my dad’s was Alf.  We became known as Little Joe and Little Alf.

At first it was sort of cute. But after awhile it became annoying. I couldn’t quite put my finger on why but each time I heard it I got a little more frustrated until one night I said quite matter of factly “My name is Jewel, not Little Alf”.

Maybe it had to do with the fact that I was a teenager and finally trying to figure out who I was and how I fit into what seemed like a rather large and somewhat scary world. I was starting to think for myself and I wasn’t quite daddy’s “little” girl anymore. As a matter of fact I was beginning to push limits and disagree with my parents about as much as I agreed with them. I needed to be an individual. I needed to be recognized and acknowledged as one.

They laughed, most of them still called me Little Alf. It was a defining moment for me. I knew that I would have to work to step out of the shadow of my father. So I did. For years it defined me, the decisions I made, the things I did, the places I lived.

Yet it stuck with me. To this day I feel like I’m still working at it. I’ve made my place in the world, I am my own person, yet I always feel there is a shadow, not necessarily my dad anymore, but an undefined shadow that could overtake me, engulf my individuality and make me disappear into a something else.

Sure, I know it’s “all in my head” but it doesn’t make it any less real.

So seeing this picture posted yesterday really helped to remind me that I am someone, and I’m not the only one who knows it.  We are all “someone”. So be the someone you want to be. Be all you can be. Start defining yourself right now, your way. It’s never too late. It’s always the right time.

I AM someone. My connection to others doesn’t determine my value.

If this speaks to you, don’t hesitate. If you really want to start do something right now, within the next 5 seconds to start the process. If you don’t, you probably won’t.  Why  5 seconds? Because that’s apparently how our brains work. If you are sparked and do something to make it real within 5 seconds you are far more likely to carry on.  If you hesitate and wait beyond the 5 seconds you won’t do it at all. Want to know more? Watch Mel Robbins explain it all in her TEDx talk.

 

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

Thank you for stopping by, we always appreciate it. Want to connect with Rise Like Air? Here’s how

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Join us on Pinterest

11205076_1085920844798393_7899651337077785942_n

A friend, life coach and fellow Life Vest Inside Kindness Ambassador, Lillian McDermott of the Lillian McDermott Radio Show posted a wonderful short video this morning entitled 100% Responsibility.

I was truly amazed at what she managed to share in under 7 minutes.  So I ask you…

Are you ready to redefine responsibility?

Are you ready to live the life of your dreams?

Are you ready to answer 4 simple questions?

Are you willing and ready to change?

10406657_1086315528092258_2776701636551644046_n

Are you ready?

Are…

You…

Ready…

You might just find that this is the best 6 plus minutes you’ve ever spent. Want to change your life?  Start now.  Start right now.

 

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

Thanks for stopping by, we always appreciate it. Want to connect with Rise Like Air? Here’s how!

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Join us on Pinterest

©Jade Beall Photography Charity, mother of 3

Jade posted on FB the other day about a photo shoot she had with a lovely mother of 3, Charity.

Women feeling dissatisfied with our own bodies is nothing new.  The movement toward self acceptance and self love is a challenge for many. The fact that our bodies are constantly changing, especially when we have children, doesn’t help. We have to constantly learn to love and accept differences that weren’t there before.

I know our acceptance of ourselves is affected by external influences and something Charity said to Jade showed me just how important the attitudes of those around us are as we develop our views about our own bodies and those of others.

I also grew up with veiny women in my family and my dad actually has gnarly variscosities in his legs too. When I was a kid, I thought it was normal and liked the way they felt like worms under the skin. My mom and grandma never took measures to hide their veins and no one really talked about them being unsightly, so I guess I just accepted them as normal.  ~ Charity

via Jade Beall Photography.  Click the link to read the entire interview.

“I just accepted them as normal.” Normal, not something to be ashamed of or to hide. Just a normal thing that occurs to varying degrees in many bodies, both male and female. No big deal. It just is.

Just think about the difference that belief makes. No pressure, no feeling bad, no hiding. It’s freeing, it’s empowering.

Think about the influence we as adults have on children. Our actions and our words that we use with little thought are moulding the beliefs and attitudes our children will hold about themselves and others as they grow up.

“If only I could lose five pounds.”

“Why doesn’t she take care of herself?”

“Did you see the size of Mildred’s veins?”

“I’ll just have salad, want to watch my girlish figure.”

“Ah she knows I fell for her long legs.”

“I’d never stay with a woman who let herself go like that.”

“Short hair on a woman is too masculine.”

Laughable except that I’ve heard every one of those things recently said in front of children.

Charity’s family helped her develop a sense of body image that has helped her find an inner security many would envy. Her attitude is evident as she speaks about her pregnancy.

Pregnancy is one of those states of being that changes our anatomy and I’m just so grateful for the gift of bearing this child that I see all these changes to my body as a small price to pay. ~ Charity

As a mother with that kind of attitude, I have a feeling Charity’s children will grow up feeling empowered and learning how to love themselves unconditionally right from the start.

Thank you Jade and Charity for sharing such a wonderful lesson.

Jade is also working on a new project to develop a Beautiful Body Project Multi-Media Story Website.

We are currently building a dynamic digital-newspaper-style website which will be the global media platform to showcase the videos images and stories of the women these photographers & videographers find in each of their countries, forming a cohesive yet diverse body of work unlike any existing media platform available today, dedicated to truthful images and inspiring stories of women about topics that aren’t often explored in mainstream media: birth, breast-feeding, living with cancer, miscarriage, loss, eating disorders, self-harm, sexual abuse, and beyond as a way to illuminate hope with the larger goal of building healthy self-esteem in current and future generations of women!  ~ Jade Beall

If that’s a project you see the value in follow the link to see how you can be a part of making the vision a reality.

©2015 JFries/Rise Like Air

Thanks for stopping by, we always appreciate it.

Want to connect with Rise Like Aire?  Here’s how!

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Join us on Pinterest

Eating Disorder Services: "MIRROR" Print Ad by Clemenger BBDO Wellington

Eating Disorder Services: “MIRROR” Print Ad by Clemenger BBDO Wellington 

Believing is Seeing.  What are your beliefs showing you?

A quiet killer, often hidden by baggy clothes and popularly supported in the dark recesses of the internet.  An addiction to being thin at any cost, even their lives.  When the line to good judgement has been blurred, the spiral begins.  This is an illness that has created a community that doesn’t help each other get better.  Instead, they help each other get sicker.

Antonia Eriksson has traveled this path herself and is recovering.  Her opinion of thinsperational accounts is clear.

“They’re really dangerous,” she says.  Eriksson is now in recovery from anorexia, and runs an Instagram account and blog focused on fitness and healthy eating. But back then, she was easily triggered into unhealthy behaviour by those images. “It would help me in my eating disorder, like in the most negative way… It would keep me sick,” she says.

via Pro-anorexia, bulimia communities thriving online – Health – CBC News.

I’d like to say this trend comes as a surprise, or that I’d never even heard of such a thing but of course that’s not the case.    I worry about my own children and their self image and how these sites and associated hashtags influence them. Trying on a pair of skinny jeans the other day my daughter lamented, “But my calves are too fat!”   She is in perfect physical shape and size for her body.  I reminded her that she’s just fine.  The jeans were just made for a different body.  Let’s face it the very nature of skinny jeans is a challenge.  It was obvious her first thought wasn’t that the jeans were wrong, it was that her body was wrong.

On one hand, when it comes to “thinspiration”,   it seems obvious that anyone with “half a brain” would “know better”.  But that’s not really what it’s all about after all. Whether a person is spiralling into a gloomy pit from an eating disorder, depression, anxiety, OCD, schizophrenia, PTSD or abuse there is one thing that everyone has in common.  They’ve crossed a line from the reality of  “normal” most of us know to a reality the rest of us don’t share. You would think they should be able to simply step back over that line but it doesn’t work that way.  Slipping over the line to illness seems so easy, but taking that one step back sometimes feels impossible.  Spoiler alert – it might be the biggest challenge you face in life but it isn’t impossible.

These thinspo accounts are like putting a line of coke in front of an addict, it’s fills the need and there is almost no way that the addict will be able to resist on their own, at least not for long. In my opinion this is like an unrecovered alcoholic being the sponsor for another alcoholic.  Pretty much doomed to failure.  Instead of helping each other they are actually encouraging and empowering each other to continue the spiral into the disease.

The good news is that I see more and more sites and resources that are dealing with recovery, self care and hope. Healthy is in, skinny is out.  Unless of course you are naturally skinny, which some people are.  Then rock it and love it.

I’m glad that many social media sites are trying to make things better.

Tumblr, Facebook and Pinterest have also attempted to circumvent users’ access to material that promotes self-harm. -CBC article

Dr. Rebecka Peebles, co-director of the Eating Disorder Assessment and Treatment Program at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia… found that nearly 40 per cent of the sites included pro-recovery information. Many of the troubling Instagram posts also include pro-recovery tags: #EDrecovery, #ANAwarrior, #BeatANA.  She believes that reflects the nature of the disease. “Part of you wants to get better, and part of you wants to stay sick.” – CBC Article

We all know that there are different body types.  Within each type there is an infinite number of slightly different shapes and sizes.  They are normal.  They are healthy.  They are beautiful.  Instead of embracing this fact, we watch the photoshopped ads, the models that have countless groomers and preeners fawning over them, that have been selected because they have this very specific body type.  And don’t kid yourself, even though they are “perfect” in our eyes, the industry tells them they aren’t quite good enough, they have the same qualms and self doubts as all of us “average” girls (and guys) out there.

Don’t ever fool yourself that any of these images are put out there because big business really cares about you.  They care almost exclusively about making money.  Really, most of them don’t care at all about you.  I mean honestly, not at all.  Those ads with all those beautiful people are meant to do one thing.  Get money from you.  Period.  They don’t care if you become prettier, smarter, fatter, skinnier, healthier even if their fake smiles seem to say otherwise.

We all have our moments, or maybe lifetimes, of wishing “something” was different about us or our lives.  No one is completely immune.  Unless.

Unless you make the conscious choice to begin loving yourself AS YOU ARE TODAY.  With all your perfection and all your flaws (which by the way, are almost always your own opinion).

We are all perfectly imperfect.  Quit fighting it!  It’s a battle you will never win, and were never meant to.

No matter what you do, unless you can love yourself (or at least like yourself) as you are, nothing you do will satisfy you for long.  You will always come from a place of lack.  You don’t have to.  Just start seeing your own good, your own beauty little by little.  Trust that it’s there and you’ll find it.

I really do recommend taking time every single day to look at yourself and tell yourself you love you!  Find the little things that you can love.  Maybe it’s your smile, or a dimple, or the way your one eyebrow raises when you smile. Maybe it’s how you can make your mother laugh or your little sister asks for your help.

Like any addict, or someone with a habit that needs breaking, do it one step at a time.  And don’t beat yourself up for every single little misstep.  Work to stop following the propaganda and start following things that inspire you and give you hope to be all you can really be.  Ask for help.  Then ask again, and again and again.  Do not give up.  Be kind to yourself and others.  It’s a start, and that’s what has to happen first.  A start.  A very simple start.

Life and love are so much more than thigh gap, or protruding bones, or the vision of outer beauty.  

If that’s all you can focus on right now you are missing out on so much, actually all the wonderful awesome stuff. Need help?  That’s ok.  Recognizing it is the first step.  We all need help for something at sometime.  Don’t give up.  Keep looking, keep trying.

If you are overweight an unhealthy amount, and I do mean unhealthy, not your own jaded opinion, then yes, do something positive and constructive to move yourself to a place of health.  But do it because you love yourself and you are worth it.  And if you don’t believe that right now it’s ok.  Believe me.  You are worth it.  Change your focus from one of controlling yourself and your weight to one of loving yourself and working together with your body towards wonderful health.

If you still need some convincing, I encourage you to listen to Maya Angelou explain and read her poem “Still I Rise”. Never doubt, that you too can say, “Still I rise.”

Eriksson was once an #ANAwarrior. She started an Instagram account, which has since grown to nearly 40,000 followers, the day before she was hospitalized to document her six-week in-hospital treatment and recovery.

What she calls her Instagram family helped motivate her recovery. “I wanted to show them that it was possible,” she says. “So I just kept fighting it.” – CBC article

As Eriksson reminds us,  it is possible.  Don’t give up.

© 2015 JFries / Rise Like Air

Thanks for stopping by, we always appreciate it. Want to connect with Rise Like Air?  Here’s how!

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

7380375_f520

Are you tired of hearing what you should wear or shouldn’t wear because of your age?  Well so is Michelle Combs, a blogger on Huffington Post.

She has some pretty great advice about how we should dress.  Personally, I think most of the advice applies to all ages, but I agree, once you’ve hit 50 you most definitely should be following her lead.

This is fashion everyone should be flaunting no matter the season.  Take a few enjoyable minutes and let Michelle explain 6 valuable tips that should guide your fashion plans for this season.

You are over 50 for fuck’s sake. Wear whatever you want. If you’ve made it to 50 and still need to consult articles on how to dress appropriately then you are so missing out on one of the best things about being over 50. One of the best things about getting older is realizing that we don’t have to spend our energy worrying what other people think and we get to be comfortable in our own skin with our own freak flags.

Still, there are a few things that women over 50 really shouldn’t wear. ~ Michelle Combs

You will be amazed at how inexpensive and liberating her recommendations are.   I might be wrong, but I’m pretty sure you’ll be the envy of everyone you know.  At the very least, you’re going to feel better than ever this season.  Like you have a new lease on life.

© 2015 JFries / Rise Like Air

Thanks for stopping by, we always appreciate it. Want to connect with Rise Like Air?  Here’s how!

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Metamorphosis

20150110-131951-47991748.jpg

Are you ready?

Have you realized it yet?

Are you still a caterpillar?

Or have you transformed…

Did you notice?

You’re a beautiful butterfly.

You’re welcome.

©2014 Rise Like Air  J. Fries

Thanks for stopping by, we always appreciate it.

Want to connect with Rise Like Air?  Here’s how!

Visit us on Facebook

Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter

Join us on Instagram

image from imglove.com

image from imglove.com

The Huffington Post shared a great article called 11 Signs Of A Genuine Friendship.  Our relationships are such a huge part of our lives. They can either support us or derail us, make us smile or make us want to run away.  Too many of us don’t give enough thought or action to our friendships considering the impact they can have on our lives.  If you think about it, doesn’t it make sense to ensure we surround ourselves with people that will enrich our lives?  Are you a person who truly enriches your friends’ lives?  

The 11 Signs according to author Lindsay Holmes

They encourage self acceptance

They let you know when you’ve screwed up

They’re actually there, and like put their phones away!

They listen to what you say

They’re there when times get tough

They help us stay balanced and calmer

They keep our ego in check

They can be counted on when you really need them the most

They put friendship on their priority list

They actually are forgiving

They make you want to step up your game, be a better person

So how did you and your friends do?  No one’s perfect, but the people I want in my life definitely need to be on this list.  I deserve that much.  You do too.

A single rose can be my garden, a single friend my world.   -Leo Buscaglia

©2014 Rise Like Air  J. Fries

Want to connect with Rise Like Air?  Here’s how!

Visit us on Facebook

Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter

Join us on Instagram

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: