Fear is a little word with immeasurable meaning for everyone on their own path.
What is fear to you?
Can it hold you?
Does it keep you from being your true self?
How can we begin to use fear to our advantage?
Negatives always have an opportunity to become a positive.
What negative is pulling you to take a risk today?
How many of us can say we live passionately?
How many of us can say we live with passion as our focus on a day to day basis?
Do we actually take the time putting every bit of ourselves into all that we do?
One may think it sounds simple, but in fact people do struggle with this every day. There are so many little things that get in our way from doubts, others negative will, to the daily lists of what we have to accomplish that passion turns into a luxury
I believe when times are down and out for any of us, we can still stand strong and find the passion in the simple caring for our friends and family while going about our daily routines. We need to be trusting in the outcome as we put the same amount of faith in each step.
Passion is infectious. When you see others breathing it in and living it, you want every part of that for your own journey.
I live for passion, truly. I am passionate about many things. My family. My voice. My non-profit work to help others through sharing my story. My Lourdes Ministry. But mostly, I am passionate about LIFE. Mine was almost taken away from me on several occasions, so when it comes to it, I am constantly aware of its gift and never take it for granted.
I want to appreciate every moment, every flower, every smile, every breath...I find gratitude in every second that breathes. I have to, for that is truly living.
Today, take a moment to try and live in this way by pausing at beauty, taking in others kindness and generous spirits. Search out gratitude in each hour, then share it with another.
At the end of the day proceed to ask yourself what you are passionate about, what is your definition of passion and then make some choices upon how you will start tomorrow in a new light.
I challenge you to find YOUR passion....then LIVE IT TRUE.
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I was an old soul at nineteen years of age, when I unknowingly walked into a world that I would discover was not so easy to escape alone.
That journey started out with a simple diet, or so I thought. Only within three short months did it turn into a battle I was not always up to fighting. Four inpatient treatment programs, countless hospital visits, doctors, therapists, groups and 12 step programs were not enough to wake me up.
Then one final desperate day, when all of life was dark within and around me, I met myself face to face. My mentor and best friend called 911 in a last ditch attempt to save my life. Before I was placed on 5150 psychiatric hold, I was tackled down to the ground by a police officer and cuffed like a criminal for simply starving myself.
That moment I will never forget, for I discovered in my pain and in my healing, I could make choices that went against my body hatred and my anorexia. I realized that I was actually the one in charge of my life, not the eating disorder.
Today, I can honestly tell you, I am in recovery since 2003. I used to say, ‘I am recovered.’ But, then I realized that was impossible to say, for life is a journey. We learn, grow, heal and walk each day of life with new eyes and new breath. I have not gone back, but I make a conscious effort each day to choose life.
It (anorexia) is a self-hatred body war so destructive in mind, body, soul and spirit that I would not wish on my worst enemy.
It is true; today I wake up every single morning and embrace life, remembering I conquered the beast.
Today, I make a conscious CHOICE to nurture and heal my body every day physically, emotionally and spiritually. It is a constant life-giving journey, not a destination you land upon.
Today, I make a choice to offer my body what it needs knowing I am respecting the body given to me by a power greater than myself.
And choose life is exactly what I do. I embrace a future daily. I embrace JOY!
It will always be a journey. Think about as you find your body peace. I will walk with you, but not in front of you.
It began so unexpectedly and simply, a recent high school graduate at the time. I was unhappy with myself and my life. It was that clear. I did not take the college route at first, which my friends chose. I had no direction, no goals and the worst of all, no sense of self or worth at that time in my life. Having the most prominent influence in my life at the time being the media, I searched for answers there. I decided too easily, that if I lost weight and changed my appearance, I would be able to make new friends and perhaps have a life. My goal was to escape the loneliness and depression I had been living through day endlessly. After all, when I turned on the television, went to the movies or read countless magazines with self-help fix it articles, all I ever saw were these beautiful perfect women who 'had it all' or so it had seemed. I thought this was the answer.
It began as a simple diet, eating better, exercising, and buying a scale. The scale was my EVIL, for it destroyed and ruled my life from that very day.
THREE fast months into the diet journey, with constant compliments from others about my new look 'fed' me the addiction, I fell victim to Anorexia. It was no longer a choice, but a full-blown illness.
There is a point, where there is no turning back. A point where the mentality, 'I can do it alone,' simply does not exist. It becomes more than psychological; it becomes chemical and starvation at any weight. It was no longer about what the media said about me or anyone else would tell me. Now, it went deeper than I could comprehend. And it only took... three months!
I went from dieting to extreme dieting. I went from a little exercise to obsessive exercise in the middle of the night in pouring down thunderstorms. Nothing stopped the desperate and sick need to rid my body. I owned multiple scales having lost all sense of trust and I would not stop until I reached the 'magic number' that does not exist. It was never low enough. It could never be low enough, for it was never really about the number.
No reflection in the mirror, store windows, car doors had been perfect enough or could ever be, for it was an image I created in my head that was not realistic. I started wanting popularity, and soon found only isolation and a deep and darker depression than before. Ritual blacked out parts of my life, emergency room nurses and doctors, hospitals and scales were my only friends.
I hit a hard-fast wall shortly after hitting my lowest weight. My worst nightmare struck. I woke up one morning... hungry. Hunger was a sense I managed to push away. Panic stricken; I went back to the media to find another solution. They 'helped' me once, they had to help me now. And without fail in a faulty news world, a television news segment done poorly on Bulimia making it look even more attractive to a needy eye, such as my own, sadly gave me a new false 'hope'. All that I saw was how 'I could have my cake and eat it too,' introducing me to a new and bitter hell.
On that day having been starving for countless weeks, I binged until I could put no more food into my weak and worn frame. It was the FIRST time I tried Bulimia. In sheer terror of calories being digested and fat growing on my body, I tore my esophagus after a violent attempt at purging. It didn't stop me to continue the process that night.
I was desperate. I was out of control. I could see no one or nothing around me. I began a new pattern; weeks of starving through days of binging and purging. At my worst moments, unspeakable amounts a day I put my body through this horrid ritual destroying my physical being in ways determined later.
I actually stopped one day to say ‘thank you’ to the television thinking this was helping me. Can you imagine such loathing and lack of understanding for one’s own self that I could do such a thing?
What did I gain from that ‘simple’ diet? It was more like what did I lose. In the years that passed, I lost countless apartments and roommates, my once in a lifetime dream education I had fought for, thousands upon thousands of dollars, countless friendships, went from one job to the next trashing the trust of anyone in my life, brutally damaging and scarring my health, being told I took away any chance to have a child of my own, surviving a heart attack alone and lost years. FOURTEEN years to be exact.
There is so much more to this story that cannot be written here and parts that can never be told. They were the years barely lived and the endless days were blacked out.
I am here today because 'someone' helped me Find My Voice. It only took fourteen years, the depths of hell and destruction of my health and life.
I am here today because 'someone' took the time to care; 'someone' didn't think I was as worthless as I did. ‘Someone’ never turned their back on me when everyone else had left. ‘Someone’ challenged me to find my voice and accept love. Love, that simple. I am here today because 'someone' thought I could DO something in this life. The 'someone' who took the time on me taught me it was time that I took the time on others; daughters, sons, wives, husbands, friends, brothers or sisters.
This is not easy for me. I had hoped to put it all behind me. But if there is one thing I believe with all my heart, it is that there is always a positive in EVERY negative. I believe we should all be held accountable for giving back to the universe.
Today I believe in my recovery journey. I believe in acceptance at every size. I believe in love of every person with the unique and beautiful spirit that resides in EACH of us without a doubt!
My life is said to be a miracle.
Today, I want to share my gratitude with those who are walking the road I had, for their lives are just as much a miracle and just as precious as mine.
As someone held my hand, I want to hold others.
Together we CAN make a difference
Last night I was so amazed and grateful at the beautiful event I was able to be a part of and speak at. Watching the number of community members come around to this love your body event in so many different ages that stretched from youth all the way up the line was beautiful. It reminds me that we are all walking a journey in our bodies always constantly and as it evolves with our feeling's emotions and journey. It is not always easy, but we must learn to love, embrace, honor value every step of that journey. And when we do so we are living our life fully!!
Do you speak your truth?
How often are you comfortable in your own skin?
It’s one of the hardest things we can do on a day-to-day basis…
But the freedom in the release is priceless to your peace of mind, body and spirit
Love is so many things to so many people, but in the end it is as simple as you make it.
In our home we try to 'take back' holidays from the commercialism that has become our society's fall back.
February is our 'Month of Love.'
As we begin our day we choose a quote on love for every day of the month, as well each day we all write a love affirmation for ourselves.
At the end of the day we put them on our 'love tree' as seen above in the photo.
Every year I am amazed by my children how they are able to truly understand and engage in this process, which reminds me that we all are able to do so.
We all are able to remind ourselves daily about what love truly means in our own lives, our own journey's, for the people in our lives and challenge ourselves to love deeply, freely, selflessly and honor the love that is true and real for us.
How often are you able to honestly love yourself?
When is the last time you were able to tell someone sincerely that you love them?
How can you allow love to heal you?
Take a moment...
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Life is a constant evolving journey.
We count on the fact that change occurs daily. We learn. We grow. We build a new foundation daily.
For some change can be compared to something as painful as going to the dentist, others can thrive on a new challenge. I believe that our world can only exist with an ever-changing existence to constantly attempt to better its self.
Lately, I have been deeply saddened in areas where I am not seeing such changes that are particularly important to me, not to say there haven’t been any, but there does need to be more.
The gift of our bodies; how we treat them, care for them, speak of them, nurture them and take pride in their power and strength as God intended. Why are we losing this simple clarity once again?
I am seeing increasingly in social media a serious lack of understanding and education of this concept I knew I needed to speak up. The insanity of thinking one can lose 20lbs through a ‘fat cleanse’ or ‘wrap.’ The one exercise or diet that will flatten this or that on your body. But, worse, how we are still negatively speaking about our bodies in front of others, especially children. We don’t need to give our children of today any more ways to make their lives harder than they already are!
The shaming is hideous. The lack of responsibility is appalling. The bottom line of misinformation is infuriating.
FAT is not a four-letter word. It is not a bad word. It is not a word we need to eliminate from our vocabulary! One can just be fat end of the story. We are the ones telling kids it’s ‘bad’ or ‘wrong.’ Get over it already, it’s a word! All bodies, shapes, and sizes are beautiful. And when you begin to try to dissect words such as fat or obese you are telling people of all ages that they must be ashamed of their body.
There has been an injustice to our society by focusing so much on obesity in the last decade, for they have wounded lives, sent people into eating disorders, and had people doubt their beauty. The charts for such words are wrong. Today, what you may see as fat or obese could often be as healthy as someone simply smaller than that person! You can’t judge a person’s health by looking at them.
We live in a day and age of body acceptance, so why are we back tracking to such nonsense in diets, fat solutions and desperate body torture? Embrace the life that you want! Eat the foods that make you happy! Move your bodies as you wish. Take personal responsibility for this temple that was given to you at birth, but there is no need to take it to any extreme level. Moderation and balance are the words of our time. We live in a day and age of amazing food lifestyles! When you go to the extreme, you are simply missing out on the gift of living a real journey.
Our bodies are a gift; they are our vessels that move us through this one amazing life. What our bodies can accomplish on a given day when treated properly is amazing!
It is our responsibility to ourselves, our children and those suffering in our world with REAL issues to take a step back and find acceptance for who we are, how we are in this moment.
If we used all the money made from diet products, schemes, advertising, we could solve the hunger issues in this world.
Eating disorders are a serious business. I struggled for 14 years and nearly died because of all this language, media and nonsense that fed my illness. I will not let my children or anyone else forget that their worth, their strength, their power and beauty lie not in numbers, shapes, sizes, diets, schemes or exercise routines, but rather in what they accomplish in this life by using those gifts, their voice and stretching their minds to embrace LIFE, embrace BEAUTY and define their own JOURNEY!
“Tears are a way of freeing the self from ills and allowing blessings to come in.” ~Joseph Sergott O.P.
What makes you cry? The answer is different for all people.
I used to hold all my emotions inside for many years. I held back my tears out of fear of losing complete control, fear of not being able to stop the pain I thought would pour out uncontrollably.
The inevitable day came while in treatment for anorexia, a time of release as I could no longer hold them in all to myself. Honestly, if I had known the gift they would have brought years earlier, I would have never had waited so long.
It was as if I took the deepest, freshest, cleanest breath of fresh air I had ever experienced. My whole body once recovered from the exhaustion lifted up as if I were floating and joy overcame me. Blessing…
There was something to be learned, treasured and remembered of the tears shed. There was even anticipation for the tears I still had yet to express. And there was excitement as if I found a key to a magic door that would help me along the rest of the journey.
Today, I am a beautiful crazy mess. I cry at everything and I don’t apologize for one single tear…ever!
Really, it was selfish to think I could keep such a blessing to myself. For the gift is meant to be shared with others.
We have emotions to express them, to feel them, and to share them with others. Tears bring joy, healing, peace and love.
Let go, trust, breathe and cry…I promise, you will be better for it!
Andrea creates, builds, and offers her teachings and hands on life tools based on her journey healing her body image after a 14yr battle and life of trauma. Her vision always is to help others live a full life with the journey they are given.