I still feel like that 12-year old girl in the back brace.
Diagnosed with pretty major scoliosis, a curved spine,
I was given a hard plastic brace that added 1-inch to my girth, and
went around my body from below my hips up to my armpits.
For 23 hours a day, for 2 years, I wore the uncomfortable,
sweaty, bulky brace. It bit into my ribs, and rubbed red marks
into my hips.
Worse than the physical pain, I couldn’t wear any form-fitting clothes,
and had to wear bulky t-shirts and pants with elastic waist bands that
would fit over the brace.
That brace helped straighten my spine, but it made me extremely self-conscious
and chipped away at my self-confidence between the ages of 12 and 14.
It has taken years to recognize the impact of those years on my confidence,
and years of inner work to heal my relationship with my body.
From deformity to healed, from wrong and embarrassing to lovable.
Confidence. No matter what your story, we women have an especially shaky relationship with it,
and that has a huge impact on our lives and health…
our ability to ask for what we need…
our ability to speak our minds…
our power to change as we grow…
our mastery of life and skills…
our ability to reclaim our bodies as perfect, strong, and worthy of love.
How can we grow our confidence in ways that are truly empowering?
How can we have fun with something that feels so serious?
Why do I care about women’s confidence?
I started to read the applications for my Vitality Mentorship program,
and almost every woman wrote about her painful relationship with her body, food, and confidence.
And I saw that it effects everything we do, everything about our lives, what we are willing to sacrifice for…
…how we take care of ourselves,
…how we show up and share our gifts with the world,
…how long we are willing to put up with people and circumstances
that hurt us or keep us returning to comfort foods to try to manage the stress.
Confidence is like a secret nutrient of our well-being.
I’ve been consciously healing my own confidence since my early 20’s,
when I began to sense the impact of that back brace on my ability to reclaim my body as my own.
In my own way, I’ve discovered 3 easy, fun ways to begin to grow my own confidence, and I want to share them with you.
And they might make you blush!
Because in order to boost our confidence from within, have to admit our greatness, be willing to try and fail in full view of others, and claim our right to pleasure and fun!
These 3 methods have helped me see my impact on the world,
my ability to feel good no matter what weight or state my body is in,
and to have fun in my body again, which is my foundation of emotional confidence:
Hula hoop, roller skates, kite flying, biking, anything that involves moving my body
in a non-competitive, skillful way, brings me confidence.
When you playfully move in your body, your state changes, your hormones reach a peak of metabolic perfection, and the benefits of moving with joy bring your body into alignment so that you can drop weight (and inflammation) with less effort…
and begin to love moving in your body more.
From dancing along with Beyonce’s backup dancers in a concert video (badly) to
strapping on my hot pink roller skates and trying to finally learn how to turn right, over and over again…
when you play to learn some new physical skill, you build a new pathway of communication and love
with your body.
This weekend I finally figured out how to roller skate and turn right – and it was glorious!
Now, it took 3 or 4 trips to the local basketball courts, countless stumbles, and hearing my
own kid giggle when I flailed wildly while trying to learn…
But finally learning something new in my body, mastering a new physical skill, reminded
me of all the things that I’ve already learned in this life.
My invitation to you:
Pick your play! What sounds fun to you?
Finally learning to throw a frisbee with bullseye accuracy?
Hula hooping in your back yard?
Trying that new dance move you saw on YouTube?
1 minute a day to practice handstands against a wall? Summer salts?
Get out and play and have fun in your body – and dance like nobody’s watching.
2. PLEASURE TIME:
If you’ve been listening to my Crave Cast podcast this month, you’ve heard my interviews
with the groundbreaking sexual health experts to bring attention to the healing powers
of “self-pleasure” or masturbation.
“Solo play,” another name for masturbation, is a highly effective way for women to balance our hormones,
release pent up stress, increase fertility, and as important…
a way for us to find out how much good we are capable of.
Sex is a part of life, but for many of us, it’s an emotional, tense, uncomfortable part of life.
I believe as we get in touch with our body’s ability to feel pleasure through solo-play, we:
– are more confident in asking for what we want, in the bedroom and out in the world
– feel more capable of getting back into the dating scene or reconnecting with our partner
– draw better boundaries for our bodies and our energy
My invitation to you:
Schedule space in your life for solo play at least once a week.
Choose a new toy or simply use your hand and some organic coconut oil.
Light a candle, take a bath, and enjoy your own playground, your body.
If you’re looking for expert advice on how to embark on a solo play ritual, check out the last four episodes of my Crave Cast:
3. THE NEW GRATITUDE RITUAL:
Gratitude journals are nothing new – you’ve probably written down 3 things you’re grateful for
and felt pretty good about it.
But new science from the world of Positive Psychology shows us that there is a more powerful,
more beneficial way to honor what you’re grateful for.
In fact, this new way is much more empowering, and will build your confidence in short order:
My invitation to you:
Today, as a new, more powerful ritual, write down 5 things in your life that you’re grateful for –
and the role you had in making those things happen.
It’s not just about receiving good things, and having a positive periscope on the world…
…it’s about taking ownership of your impact on the world.
You need to remind yourself that you HAVE taken action that yielded positive results – and when you do it again, again and again, you will naturally grow your confidence.
Now I want to hear from you in the comments below –
How does your confidence effect your body and health?
Which of these 3 ideas will you play with this week?
Sometimes we need to borrow confidence. Getting into a community of curious change-seekers, who can offer you support in those moments when your own confidence is low, is the best way I know how to make lasting improvements to your body and life.
Applications are now available for my 4-month Vitality Mentorship program:
go here to apply by June 6th!