Tag Archives: self-image

Adding a Little More to My Plate…

making time

I got upset with myself when I realized how infrequently I wrote my on blog this year. I had been so faithful, writing everyday for over two years and then, just fell flat. Maybe it was a more hectic schedule? I finished two grad school classes in that time. I am still teaching Kindergarten, I volunteer a few days a month at an art gallery in town that sells the artwork of adults with special needs. I have been doing more photography work and still  I am still trying to work my Chloe and Isabel jewelry business…(this has started to fall to the wayside – not my intention, just not finding the interest from others although, still trying….)

SO, what did I decide to do?

Take on yet ANOTHER venture!! Where am I finding the time? I probably am not, but I am going to try it. After attending a vendor event with my jewelry, and not selling anywhere near as much as the other vendors, I began rethinking what they had that I didn’t and we realized what it was. They sell, “consumables.” Makeup and Jamberry nail wraps. They always run out, so people come back for more. Makes sense. I guess there is only so much jewelry you can own, (although I am sure there are some that would disagree!)

So, with the help of my friend Beth, I have started my Jamberry adventure and have become an independent consultant for them. The wraps are cute, stylish and fast and easy to apply. Easy and fast were the key words for me.

As a kid, I was a nail biter and because of my insecurities about Neurofibromitosis and my self image, I am not a big fan of showing my hands but I need to break out of this. I know it – and this is a step in the right direction….I hope.

Check out Jamberry nail wraps. They are cheaper than the cost of a regular manicure and you get at least one manicure/pedicure with each set you order. They sell them in adult and kid sizes too. Try a set and let me know what you think.

https://clairesinclair.jamberry.com/us/en/shop/party/home/81a586f7-38b3-456d-9936-909338237d98

Now, I have to run.  Off to take photos at a charity breakfast with Santa! This should get me into the holiday spirit – even if it is 65 degrees on December 12th in New Jersey!!

A Reflection of Me

reflection of me Jan 4e

When I read today’s photo challenge, “A Reflection of Me,” all I could think about were all of my past blogs about self-image.  I do not take selfies.  At least not of me alone.  I will jump into a group shot but rarely will you find me standing in front of a mirror photographing myself.  That is why that project my friend Tammy had me do early last year was so incredibly tough for me.  It started with her making me name one thing I loved about my appearance.  The following week, she made us take 3 selfies, print them and share them with each other.  We had to point out what we liked best about each others photos and what we saw in our own.

It was so easy to find beauty in theirs but it was so hard to find it in my own.  I wasn’t alone in this thought.  Every single one of us found it hard to find beauty in our own photos.  When I see people posting selfies I don’t feel any animosity towards them – in fact it is the opposite.  I feel a bit envious of their confidence.

I have been getting better about this.  I am finding more reasons to feel confident and not hiding in the back when it is time to take a photo.  I still find my self covering the side of my face with my hair and that might not change.

I chose today’s photo because I am there, inside each raindrop…behind the camera….the place I love to be, but I am there.  Reflected in each of those raindrops is a blurred image of me.  Usually the way I feel when a photo is taken of me is, vulnerable and exposed…but when I am behind the camera, you will see the confident, self-assured person I can really be!

self esteem image

Favorite Christmas Movie

christmas movies

I often get caught up watching Christmas movies during the month of December. I won’t watch holiday movies any other time during the year.  I make the exception for only one.  Elf.  It is one of the few movies I know every line to.  I even quote it in everyday conversations – sometimes only I get the joke, but still, it makes me smile. It just came on ABC Family and Drew called me in from the other room to watch it with him.  He loves it as much as I do, although he claims his favorite is “Christmas Vacation.”

I am sure if either of my brothers had to choose their favorite, it would be A Christmas Story. Dave would too. They, along with my cousin Jason, look forward to Christmas Eve when it plays continuously for 24 hours every year.

My dad would probably choose Miracle on 34th Street.  There are just so many to choose from. Another one that I get completely caught up in is The Polar Express.  The music captivates me!

Holiday movies are just one more reason that it is my favorite time of the year.  What’s your favorite?

Just another day at work!

cool teacher

I would be lying if I said my summer job wasn’t fun.  It is camp – and what isn’t fun about camp?  Riding ponies, swimming, movies, amusement parks….we have a great time everyday with our campers.  Today was another fun one!  We went to the pool, like we do three times a week, every week but this time, there was an obstacle course set up for the campers.  It looked much easier than it was!

photo-80

The course started in the water so you had to pull yourself up on to the apparatus and stay on it, jump over an obstacle without landing in the water, climb the slippery wall and cross the tall one without falling off.  The campers LOVED it.  One of them must have gone it at least eight times!  The lifeguards held races for the kids as they raced over it.  Of course, the counselors were dying to try it as well.  I have done at least five mud runs, but was almost as nervous for this one because so many of my former students were there watching!  Not only would I have to be in a bathing suit in front of all of them, (anyone who reads this blog regularly knows my struggles with self-image and knows how hard this is for me,) but I also had to try not to embarrass myself in front of all of them!!

Our camp director, who also teaches at my school, wanted to do it as well, so I figured if she was going to do it, so would I.  The two of us jumped in and the lifeguards told us when to start.  It sounds silly because obviously the course was in the water, but I never expected it to be so slippery!  There were handles but my feet didn’t want to hang on!  I made up that little hill and we ran across the short ramp together, jumped into the pit and had to climb back up out of the water.  Lugging my body over that wasn’t easy!  Our director agreed!  That was the hardest part! I made it across the next two parts fairly easily.  I don’t even think the whole thing took us a total of two minutes yet we felt like we accomplished something! Not just that we did it, because it really wasn’t that hard…but that we did it in front of all those kids.  Who knows, maybe it gave us a bump up on the “cool teacher” ladder 🙂

Glue #FMF

Today’s blog has to be a quick one and I have to get it out early since I don’t know when I’ll have a chance to sit down and write it.  The day has arrived!  Spring Break.  We leave in less than an hour.  Kids are still asleep so here is my Five Minute Friday link up to Lisa-Jo Baker.

Today’s word is GLUE…

 

glue

A silly Saturday Night Live quote that popped into my mind. An old one yet such a simple one.  I have seen that skit so many times and why, until this morning, did it not hit me how profound it really is?  We laugh every time we see it.  That awkward teen, Mary Katherine Gallagher, who was taunted and teased by her peers, had a sense of pride so big that she even called herself, “Superstar!”

So many people are teased and made fun of.  We hear stories of bullying everyday on the news.  Bullying is not a new thing.  We see it everywhere.  We hear about it too often.  If only poems like these really worked to keep it away when it happened.

Mary Katherine Gallagher, although only a television character had such a positive self-image.  How awesome would it be if everyone  could rise about the meanness and still come out feeling like a superstar.  Even better, how awesome would it be if everyone could just be nice?!?

Five minutes is far to short for a “proper” blog about bullying, but is still a good way to send a reminder.  Just be kind.  It is that easy.

Imperfect = I’m Perfect

imperfect

Now that I have been so focused on self-image and trying to embrace myself for who I am, I have been much more aware of it and in turn, I am trying to be less critical of myself.  Perhaps because of this awareness, I have been noticing that I am not alone in my thinking.  So many people, women and men and even young children have been led to believe that there is a standard of perfection and this is so damaging.

As I become more comfortable and begin embracing this new way of thinking, I am trying to put what I think are flaws and imperfections aside and instead, focus on what I find to be my positive attributes.

Here is a video from BuzzFeed and Upworthy.com that my friend Tammy shared today.  Another reminder to let your inner-beauty shine bright!

U Rock

beautiful life

After several coaching classes dealing with Self-Image, I went to an exercise class that I have been LOVING.  It is called “Pound” and the teacher of the class is fantastic and full of energy.  She motivates us all to work hard and to be comfortable in our bodies no matter what our ability is.  She was the one who first posted the Pay it Forward Challenge and since I responded to her, she gave me my pay it forward treat last week.

It was a small, smooth rock.  On it was this symbol:  The Goddess Symbol.

goddessalong with it was a note that read:

“U-Rock”

(You Rock)

 

This U-Rock has been given to you to symbolize your uniqueness.  Like this rock, you are special and truly one of a kind.  You have strong areas and areas that could use improvement.  You are resilient and you play an important role in things bigger than yourself.   You play an important role as an individual in the greater world around you.

 

On this rock you will find the Goddess symbol.  The Goddess symbol represents the source of life, beauty, grace and the supernatural power that is inside of every woman.  Let this rock serve as a reminder of the importance of your mind, your experiences and your unique personality.  Rock out in all that you do!

It was so fitting and fell right into place with what we have been discussing.  So, yesterday in our group I gave each of the women their own “Goddess Rock.”  I encourage you to do it too.

My Movie

memories

I am a sucker for sappy, sentimental stuff.  That is probably why I spent a good part of my last two days watching so many of my friends’ minute long Facebook movies that have been posted in celebration of Ten Years of Facebook.  The movies are all similar.  You don’t choose the photos, they do.  They also use the same music, choose your most liked posts and have the same beginning and end for everyone, yet I still get weepy watching them, especially the ones of family and close friends.

I really liked mine.  It wasn’t perfect and probably did not even include all of the photos that I would have chosen, (in fact my oldest son wasn’t even in the video.)   My brother’s made me cry because it had my mom and Francine in it a lot.  My best friend Kelly and I had a similar photo of the two of us that has always been one of my favorites and having that in both of ours made me smile.

I joined the Facebook craze a lot later than most of my family and friends.  I use it a lot.  I share lots of photos and get to stay in touch with friends and family that I’d otherwise probably not see or hear from  if it weren’t for Facebook.

Considering how much I don’t like seeing photos of myself, I have to admit I felt like a bit of a bit narcissist watching myself over and over again in a movie clip all about me!  It was fun.  Thanks Facebook.  Happy Birthday and thanks for helping me stay connected!

 

Continuing With Self-Image

beautiful

After posting yesterday’s blog about self-image,  and how poor mine is of myself, I have received an overwhelming response.  I shared it and told people to think about what they feel is beautiful about themselves and heard some great responses.  I did not write it to get compliments.  Truly, I am uncomfortable with that, but they are making me look at myself differently which was the whole purpose of our coaching group assignment.  We must be on to something because in just one day, we have been seeing so many things about this topic.  I am sharing some today.  This first one, (according to its title,) “Will forever change the way you look at selfies.”

It was quite powerful and led to a discussion about being comfortable in our own skin.  The young girls had a chance to talk to one another AND their moms about it.  My mom was NEVER one to talk about self-image.  She was as self conscious as I am.  Probably more so.   My sister as well – though she admitted yesterday that she likes taking selfies of herself, something I am not at all comfortable with.  As adults we need to really listen to the way we talk about ourselves in front of our children. Especially mothers and daughters.  If show that we are not confident, how will we be positive role models for them?

There was also this cartoon and response posted – (ironically found on the day after this discussion):

self image cartoon

“Now that is what i call Mirror Work…. Please take the time today to look at yourself in the mirror and say “I Love You” it may sound silly to some of you but give it a try and see what happens and share the results with us below.”

Now our coach gave us a challenge for next week.  We have to take THREE seflies.  I tried.  It is much harder than I thought it would be.  I have already deleted most of them.

Perfect song sung by Christina Aguilera to end with…even if you know it, read along with the lyrics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgJnmO3ZCkc

Self Image

self love

I know that this is not something that I alone struggle with.  I have written about it more than once.  Having Neurofibromatosis truly makes me feel uncomfortable with the way I look.  It affects the way I dress.  I hide it as much as possible but I can’t cover up my whole body.

Our coaching group topic today was a tough one.  SELF LOVE.   We talked about comparing ourselves to others and that we need to stop doing that.  Whenever I am in an exercise class and there are mirrors, I am noticing every little imperfection on my own body while looking at what I believe is the “perfection” of the women around me.   A few of them said they do the same thing.  Made me think….is that what all of us are doing?  Even the ones that I think look great?  

Our leader Tammy made us go around the circle and name ONE thing we truly loved when we saw a photograph of ourselves or looked at ourselves in a mirror.  We were not allowed to say something we liked about “inside” it had to be something we saw on the outside.  Instead of focusing on our flaws and how we could change, we were forced to choose something that we loved, and focus on that.

As we went around the circle, it was hard!  All of us blushed and looked flustered or embarrassed when it came to our turn.  Yet, if someone had asked me to go around and tell each of these beautiful women what I found to be their prettiest trait, I could have done it without any hesitation.  As she called on us and we hesitated and stumbled over our words, the rest of us looked on with amazement and bewilderment because everyone of us could come up with something for the others while we had trouble coming up with one of our own.

Two of them have smiles that light up the room whenever they are in it.  Another has eyes that sparkle so much, I find myself captivated by them whenever I speak with her.  Tammy has hair that is funky and fun and it just lights up her face.  When she smiles, her entire face brightens.

When it got to my turn, I could not do it.  Tammy prodded.  She made me sit there in uncomfortable silence as I pondered it.  Sure, I love the color of my eyes…I really do, but the fibroma on the left side has made one of them droop and sag more than the other making them look unbalanced.  I never had a problem with acne growing up, yet the small fibromas all over the bottom of my face are all I see – though others tell me it is not as noticeable as I make it out to be.  My nose is just a nose – nothing remarkable about it.  So I said, “I guess my hair,” but I added, “because it is my shield and it covers the side of my face.”  So Tammy said, “Doesn’t count.”

She gave me a challenge.  I have to study photos of myself this week.  I have to look closely and scrutinize them I guess.  I have to come to class next week and tell what I think my best feature is.  What I think is truly beautiful about my looks.

I always like to believe it is what’s inside that counts and maybe that is true, because sometimes if a person is ugly inside, it is hard to find their beauty on the outside.  So if we are truly beautiful people on the inside, perhaps that is what others see when they look at us.  I try to find that beauty in everyone.  My goal this week is to find it in myself as well.

And…it is not as easy as you might think, so I challenge you to do the same.  Really think about it.  What do you think is your most beautiful physical feature?  Do you think others would say the same?  Was it easy for you to come up with or did you struggle to come up with something?  I am curious to know!