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35 Lessons on Body Image, Well-Being And Life

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

tulips

Today is my 32nd birthday. Every year, for my b-day, I’ve been republishing a version of the below post. It’s become sort of a tradition around here.

In it, I share what I’ve learned about body image, well-being and life in my years on this earth thus far. Why 35? Extra lessons for good measure and good luck!

1. Be you.

In all your amazing and unique glory. Trying to be like others or pretending you like something you actually don’t doesn’t work. Trust me, I’ve tried. It feels awkward and itchy. And then there’s the matter of life being too short.

Find out who you are. Explore your likes and dislikes. Explore what makes you happy. Explore what feeds you, what gets you up in the early hours of the day. Spend time by yourself. Take yourself out on dates.


Body Image Booster: A Key Question to Ask Every Day

Monday, July 28th, 2014

NYC Oct 2012

Every Monday features a tip, activity, inspiring quote or some other tidbit that helps boost your body image, whether directly or indirectly — and hopefully kick-starts the week on a positive note!

Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at mtartakovsky at gmail dot com, and I’ll be happy to feature it.

Self-reflection is helpful when building a more positive body image. It helps you pinpoint what you need to work on and understand where you’re at in the first place.


On Courage And Not Loving Our Bodies

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

brave, creative joy retreat

I just read this great post from Dani Shapiro on Marianne’s blog. In it she explains that we don’t need confidence to write something great. In fact, confidence gets in the way. She writes:

Show me a confident writer, and in all likelihood you will also be showing me work that falls short of originality or greatness — because originality and greatness come from the willingness to take risks.  To leap into the void.  To do what scares you.  And while it may seem that this leap would take confidence, what it really takes to leap is courage.  Which is a whole other kettle of fish.

Courage isn’t the same as being fearless. It’s doing that thing, anyway, despite the fear, despite the panic.


Your Body Is Not The Enemy

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

creative joy, notice, love and hearts, 2012

In our culture there is a prevailing belief that if we can’t get our bodies to look a certain way, to lose weight, to fit into an old pair of jeans, then they’re the enemy.

They’re an enemy we have to subdue, manipulate and pound into submission. An enemy we need to insult, yell at and despise.

Today, I wanted to share a reminder that, in fact, our bodies are not the enemy — despite what you see in ads or read in “health” publications. They never were.


25 More Statements for Speaking Kindly to Ourselves

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

glitter and kind statements

On Tuesday I shared 25 compassionate statements we can say to ourselves, inspired by Joyce’s beautiful post. Today, I’m sharing 25 more statements.

As I wrote in my other post, when speaking these statements to yourself, try to use a gentle, soft, caring voice, as though you are speaking to a child or the person you love most in this world.

This might feel strange or uncomfortable at first. But give it a try. Pick statements that resonate with you — statements that feel true and real.


25 Statements for Speaking Kindly to Ourselves

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

creative joy retreat, 2012, hearts

I love this powerful post from Joyce on 50 loving sentiments to say to our partners, family members and friends. It inspired me to think of the statements we can say to ourselves. Because so many of us get stuck in a self-critical dialogue. So many of us get stuck ruminating over the same harsh thoughts.

I’m too big to wear that. I’m not pretty or smart enough. I can’t tell them no. They’ll hate me! I’m such a failure. No one makes such stupid mistakes. My body is disgusting. Wow, am I an idiot.

The good news is we can change our inner dialogue. We can learn to be kinder to ourselves. With practice.


10 Reasons to Love Your Body

Friday, July 11th, 2014

creative joy, single heart, 2012

In our culture there are conditions. There are conditions that dictate when we can — and can’t — love our bodies.

For instance, we can love our bodies when we’re thin. We can love our bodies when we’ve lost weight. We can love them when our waists and thighs are small, when our bodies adhere to certain random standards.


Exploring Our Beauty And Body Beliefs

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Buddha quote

{quote from Daily Joy}

Last week I shared 20 questions for connecting to ourselves and our needs.

It’s also helpful to explore questions around beauty, worthiness and enoughness. Because it’s our beliefs about what is beautiful and what is enough that influence — negatively or positively — how we think about ourselves, how we take care of ourselves and how we navigate our lives.

Often these beliefs are so ingrained that we just assume they’re the truth or how things should be.

Exploring these beliefs helps us better understand why we think the way we do, and why we do what we do. It opens the door to thinking and living in ways that serve us.

Here are 20 questions to help you examine these beliefs.


20 Questions for Connecting to Yourself & Your Needs

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

Viktor Frankl quote

“The only journey is the one within.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

The foundation for self-care is knowing who you are — knowing your needs, wants, wishes. Because in order to respond to our needs and innermost desires, it’s important to know what they are in the first place.

As such, here are 20 questions to help you delve deeper into the glorious abyss that is you.


Declaring Our Independence From What Doesn’t Serve Us

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

grand central, nyc

Every year, around July 4th, I republish and update a piece on declaring our independence from what doesn’t serve us — everything from dieting to damaging beliefs. Hope you find it helpful!

Tomorrow, we’re celebrating our independence here in America. But wherever you live, it also might be the day you celebrate your independence, too.

It might be the day you liberate yourself from certain behaviors, beliefs, objects or people that sink your body image, your self-care, your mood and your life.


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