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Filtering by Tag: self love

THANKFUL FRIDAY

Cindy Maddera

I love you. I am listening

This is how my guided meditation app started as I sat down on my mat after a mediocre practice. I closed my eyes and heard Sarah Blondin’s soothing voice ask me when was the last time I was still and took time to say those words to myself.

I love you. I am listening

Never. I have never said those words to myself.

I don’t think I even know how to listen to myself, let alone tell myself that I love me. I guess I just assume that if I take a moment to listen to myself all I will hear is the chatter of self doubt that continuously plays on loop in my brain. Right now that loop is full of stuff about my photography and the actual contact I have for a place to do a showing. I haven’t even called them yet. The business card is just slowly burning a hole in my wallet. Every time I see it, I get a little electric shock and my heart misses two beats. Sending an email with a portfolio to the name on that card is just like flinging myself off a cliff. I don’t have enough good pieces to fill the space (probably not true). My photos are not good enough to put into the space (again, probably not true). Michael’s not going to like the photos that I want to use for the showing. Instead he’s going to pick the ones that are my least favorite because we have different eyes. I am not ready for this. I am not good enough for this. I am not enough for this. Dr. Mary gave me homework from our session this week where I have to choose eight of my photos for showing. And I’m freaking out over those eight photos. I can’t fling myself off of this cliff. I am not brave. I am not authentically living. I am not able to lean in.

I love you. I am listening

I am closing my eyes. In fact, let’s all take a moment to close our eyes. Place our hands on our hearts. Find the coolness of the breath as it hits the back of the throat on the inhale, following it into the lungs and then out as we exhale. Say the words out loud: “I love you. I am listening.”

Cindy, I love you. I am listening to all of those doubts and fears. I hear them and I am the voice that’s going to tell you that none of those things are true. You have photos that are good enough to hang in a local restaurant. You have enough images. You and Michael will disagree on some of those photos, but you will also agree on others. But you are right. By just standing on the cliff, you are not being brave. You are not living the authentic life that you know you can live. I am listening and I hear you and I’m telling you that you have all that you need to be brave. You are enough for all of this. Now open your eyes, spread your arms out wide and leap. There are safety nets to catch you.

But, if I listen long enough, before that loop can start up again, I can hear the faintest voice saying “I want this”. I want this.

Safety nets. There are safety nets.

THANKFUL FRIDAY

Cindy Maddera

Our scale is broken. I stepped on it Thursday morning and got blank results. I weigh nothing. I haven’t stepped on a scale in some time, but thought it would be a good idea to not be surprised by the scale at the doctor’s office when I go in for my yearly next week. So when the scale reads way more than nothing at the doctor’s office, I will act outraged and insist that their scale needs recalibrating. I like this current feeling of weighing nothing. Truth be told, I’ve been feeling pretty okay in this body. I eat healthy. I exercise daily. I spend about an hour every day on my yoga mat. I drink lots of water. And I’ve been listening to a whole lot of Lizzo.

I am completely and totally inspired by this woman and she is just one on my list of woman to look up too. ‘Look up too’ seems like an odd way to phrase it considering that most of these women on my list are a number of years younger than I am. They all have a similar message of self love and beauty at all sizes. I listen to their message and wonder what kind of woman I’d be today if these women had been there when I was a teen. I grew up looking at the impossible standards for girls on the cover of Seventeen and the chunky girl was always the sidekick for the main actress in the sitcoms. Health did not matter. Feeling fit and healthy was not up for discussion. There was an expectation of perfection without completely relying on a food disorder to achieve that perfection. Really, it was best if you were just born that way. If you could not be born thin and perfect then you would be placed in a lesser human category. Now we’re starting to see all shapes, sizes and colors for our clothing ads and magazine covers and leading ladies. There are discussions on exercise and eating whole and real foods. Diets are a thing of the past. Now we have lifestyle changes with an emphasis on healthy. And all I can do is sit back and think about how fucking empowering it’s got to be for a young girl to see and hear these messages.

But it is not too late for me to embrace this message, to feel empowered by these images and words of self love. I am learning the lesson of standing in front of the mirror and telling that person I see that she is beautiful. She is sexy. She is strong. She makes her own standards and blows them completely away. She is no sidekick. She’s the leading lady, the boss, the leader, the head hancho. I’m still getting used to the idea of telling that person in the mirror that we are the same. She is me.

But I’m getting there.