2006 to 2019… fine wine baby. 😉
This aging challenge really made me think and celebrate our journey of life. I never understood people, especially women that hide their aging journey. Be proud. You earned those years, those moments of laughter, the fact that you are resilient and still standing.
Who you see in that 2019 picture is a woman that loves herself and her life. A woman that is radiant, trusts herself, celebrates her life, is comfortable in her own skin. She celebrates her life, her journey, her struggles, and by loving herself and her journey, she is able to also love and celebrate others on their own journey.
It’s taken me YEARS to stand in my power and in my skin and feel confident and love myself. Now, I can say that I am confident and I love myself. But this wasn’t always the case. This challenge made me feel sad for how long it took me to be the radiant, whole, self-loving, appreciating, and confident version of me in 2019.
It made me think of all the things I wish the me in 2006 had known. Here are some that come to mind:
You are Inherently Valuable and Lovable. You don’t have to win any trophies, look a certain way, live a certain lifestyle to love yourself and your life. You are worthy and valuable because you EXIST. You are amazing and whole as you are. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work on yourself, and fall in love with growing and pushing the edges of the comfort zone, but you are ENOUGH RIGHT NOW.
You Are Not Your Resume. You don’t need to achieve to be valuable. You are separate from your achievements. Yes, be ambitious and go after all that you want! Take on challenging projects that require you to grow, but know that apart from your professional accolades, you are amazing and deserving of all the best things that life could have for you.
You are Beautiful. You are sooooo beautiful because of who you are, how you live your values, your courage, your sense of humor, your love for others and the world. You get to strut your stuff, and not dim your light to make others feel more comfortable. The sexiest person in the room is the one that loves themselves, feels comfortable in their own skin, and radiates that inner love to the world. You loving yourself, and being confident in yourself, is one of the most beautiful things in the world. And damn sexy too.
Love Your Body. Don’t try to look good and eat the right amount of calories to fit a specific mold of what society says is beautiful. No. Exercise, eat right, and LOVE your body because it’s healthy, and because your body is your one and only temple. Treat it with the utmost respect, kindness, love, and adoration. Do this because you LOVE YOURSELF, not because you hate yourself. Stand in front of the mirror naked and tell yourself that you are gorgeous, beautiful, deserving, and yes, sexy (no matter what the scale reads).
Your Plan Won’t Work Out, and Something More Amazing Will Takes its Place. My beautiful girl, you the girl with all the plans, the 10 year plan, the married by 26 and kids by 28 plans, the I’m going to be a lawyer plans, the plans to contribute and love the world, your plans won’t work out. You will learn to be flexible, to Aikido with life, to learn from the journey, and to enjoy every step of the way. But don’t let that concern you or bring you down, keep making plans, keep being ambitious, keep striving to have a life in which you thrive. If you live in integrity with your values, everyday of your life you will wake up to a life you are so proud to exist in. Every night when your head hits your pillow, you will sleep soundly knowing that this life you are living is YOURS, and the inner pride, confidence and love that comes from that is priceless.
Careful How You Talk To Yourself. I am. The two most powerful words in the world. You have to, your entire life, be your number one cheerleader. You must believe more in yourself than anyone believes in you, you must love and celebrate yourself. Stand with your head held high, and have the words that follow I am be words of love, kindness, compassion, adoration, and celebration. You teach people how to treat you, so it’s your responsibility to treat you with adoration, and that includes how you speak to yourself when you’ve messed up, when you were mean, when you felt jealous, when you felt scared or weak. Know that you are safe, you will make it. And also, know that when you are thriving, it’s okay to thrive. You are safe in thriving. Be all that you can be. Celebrate your successes. Shine your light to the maximum, because the world needs your light to shine bright.
Make Self-Care and Self-Love a Priority. My loved one, you don’t have to exhaust yourself trying to make everyone else happy. You get to say no. Build healthy boundaries. Know what you want and give that to yourself. Take time out each week to only focus on loving yourself — whether that is getting a massage, sitting in silence, reading a book, going dancing, being in nature, YOU need to add these to your calendar. Feeling rundown and overwhelmed? Cancel that date. Ask for help. Make your needs heard. You matter, and you need to make sure your happiness is top of YOUR priority list.
Invest in Your Growth, and Know that You are Your Best Investment. One of the best things you can do in your life is to invest in yourself. This means investing in books, going to trainings, workshops, eating only the healthiest foods, and doing all the things that will help you become a version of yourself that shows that you are continuously growing. When you look back, this will be the one thing that will have moved your life forward more than anything else. You have to prioritize your growth and personal and professional development, and doing in your own way. This means you’ll have to look inside for the answers of who YOU want to become, but don’t worry, the answers have always been there.
Don’t You Ever Lower Your Standards, No Matter What Anyone Else Says.You will have people left and right telling you what you should and should not want. What you should and should not be. But only you have the answers to how YOU get to live your life. Stop trying to please others and live your life to fit some sort of mold, this will only lead to unhappiness. So keep being the dreamer that you are, keep those standards high, keep smiling at the world, and know that one day you will not only be able to say “I made it” but you’ll also have the tools to show others how to do the same.
So whether you are in your teens, you are in your twenties, or in your 70s or 80s, please own your beauty, your power, your wisdom. Know that you are ENOUGH right now. Know you are BEAUTIFUL right now. Yes, choose the path of growth and development, but do so because you LOVE yourself not because you see yourself as deficient in any way.
Know that on this journey, you and only you, are responsible for your happiness. For your feeling of self-worth. For your wholeness. For your light.
My wish for every woman and man, is that we celebrate each year we get older and keep smiling bigger with each year that passes because life is GRAND!
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