Today, I’m super excited to share my interview with the wise and awesome Mara Glatzel, a self-love coach who writes the blog Medicinal Marzipan and holds a masters in clinical social work.
I love Mara’s positive approach and work. She empowers and challenges her readers and provides us with practical and concrete tools to boost our body image and cultivate self-love.
Mara has created a powerful e-book called Body Loving Homework, which features 100 writing prompts to help you heal your heart and start leading a fulfilling life. She includes chapters on everything from our bodies to relationships to money to forgiving yourself and others.
The book is beautifully written, and the prompts are creative and thoughtful. In short, it’s a must-read.
Below, in part one of our interview, Mara shares what inspired her to write the book, how writing helped her heal her body image issues and cultivate self-love and much, much more.
And be sure to enter the giveaway at the end!
Q: What inspired you to write Body Loving Homework?
A: Initially, I ran some of the prompts in this book as a series on my blog – Medicinal Marzipan – focusing on a group of writing assignments to help readers reconnect with their bodies. These body-focused prompts were ones that I had used in writing groups that I ran during my senior year of college, and were based on my experiences struggling with impaired body image and low self-esteem.
However, since then, my understanding of self-love and authentic living has expanded, moving out of the body and into every facet of an individual’s daily life. When I set out to write the book, I made the decision to include not just one set of body-focused prompts, but 100 prompts that spanned the farthest reaches of what it means to accept yourself as you are.
These assignments are geared towards all different aspects of self-love, from inspiration in the workplace to cultivating a healthy, fulfilling relationship to forgiving those hurts that we’ve held on to over the course of our lives.
This is the how-to manual for how I used writing to become a better version of myself – one filled to the brim with relentless compassion and excitement for my newfound sense of deserving.
Q: What does self-love mean to you?
A: To me, self-love means accepting that we are the sum of our parts – the good, the bad, and the in between. It means speaking to ourselves with kindness, and allowing ourselves the benefit of the doubt.
It means showering ourselves with love daily – because we believe in our gut that we deserve a life that is as beautiful as we can dream up. It means treating ourselves like we would our intelligent, gorgeous and hilarious best friends.
It does not mean: comparing ourselves to others, wishing we were someone else, or hating ourselves for who we are.
It is about getting comfortable with the best and worst that we have to offer the world, and using it to the best of our potential.
Q: How has writing helped you heal your body image issues and cultivate self-love?
A: Writing has been the best way that I’ve found to reconnect with my body. It has provided me the ability to more clearly understand the experiences that I’d been carrying around with me, and permitting to justify my depleted self-worth. It has shown me how to re-author those experiences in my own voice, reclaiming moments when I felt as though I had no power.
Through trusting my writing and sharing my most essential truths, I have confirmed my deepest held suspicion: that I was deserving of much more kindness and love than I had been allowing myself.
Now, I write with as much honesty as I can muster, trusting that my words are not only useful for me, but are useful for others as well. I have been healed by the knowledge that my honesty has allowed others to look inside themselves and cultivate more self-love in their own lives.
Writing has changed me, providing me with a clear way to distill what it is that I want to do in this world. It is something that I can carry with me, and use as I need it – without having to look outside myself for validation and approval.
It is between me and the page, and what goes on there has been truly transformational.
Q: What would you like readers to take away from Body Loving Homework?
A: It is my deepest hope that through using the prompts in the book, Body Loving Homework, readers are able to get to know themselves better – gaining clarity around who they are and what they want out of their lives.
I hope that readers find themselves with better connections to their bodies, deepening relationships, and newfound joy in their day-to-day experiences. I hope that it is the catalyst for them to realize that the life they are desiring is within their reach.
Stay tuned tomorrow for part two where Mara shares more about self-love and her favorite prompts from Body Loving Homework.
More about Mara:
Mara Glatzel, MSW, is a self-love coach. She works with women who are ready to create the lives they want — and deserve. She’s also a writer, and her blog — Medicinal Marzipan — has inspired thousands of women to heal their relationships with their bodies, and treat themselves with relentless compassion. Catch up with her on facebook, twitter, or join her body-loving mailing list for bi-monthly secret swapping and insider news.
I’m happy to announce that Mara and I are giving away TWO copies of Body Loving Homework. To enter, all you have to do is answer this question in the comments below: What’s one way you’ll cultivate self-love today?
Winners will be chosen randomly. You have until next Tuesday at 11 p.m. EST to comment. (Just one comment per person please.) I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday. Good luck!
UPDATE: Thanks so much for everyone’s thoughtful comments on cultivating self-love. The winners are: Amy & Miriam, who left the following comments:
Amy: “Today I will remind myself that I am not defined by the shape or size of my body. I am so much more than that.”
Miriam: “I’m cultivating self-love by writing (it’s my favorite thing to do), reading (my second-favorite), and cooking (it’s good for my body).“