Welcome to week two of sharing excerpts from the book, Fierce: A New Generation of Female Empowerment. This book is for those who have a desire to get the most out of life. They want to make positive change, but are not sure how to make it happen. It is for young women who will soon be out of high school and on their way to college or some other adventure. It is also for women of any age who needs a reminder of how fierce she can be. My hope is that you will share these posts with all the girls and women in your life. Let them know the book can be read for free online or a a soft cover book is available for sale at Bookemon.com. Enjoy!
“I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” -Hariet Tubman
Book Excerpt: It’s Up To You
Life is full of changes, whether you like it or not you need to be prepared, and to be prepared you need to have a lot of self love. If you don’t believe in your own capabilities, don’t respect yourself, and feel like you are not good enough than life is going to chew you up and spit you out. Creating a healthy confidence about your body, mind, and spirit allows you to create a strong foundation to clear hurdles and overcome problems.
Start with the very beginning by recognizing that your DNA is like no other. This means you are unique and have something special to offer the world. Healthy bodies are as important as healthy minds. Healthy is not necessarily what the media or culture dictates. A great example is the preoccupation of looking skinny and flawless. Beauty and body image has become overwhelmingly important to women AND men who want to look perfect so they may feel good about themselves and be accepted by both friends and romantic partners. But PERFECT does not exist.
We are human and humans are flawed. It is our nature. Perfection is an abstract idea. We may feel like our hair, nose, toes, arms, stomach or eyes are perfect. Someone else may disagree. That is fine. If we all had the same idea of perfect, looked the same, and felt the same life would be boring. Love your body! Love that it works. Embrace the fact that you only get one body and you will care for it.
If you feel bad about your body consider how it would feel if you lost an arm or leg. What if you had scars or deformations that really set you apart? Beauty is truly relevant. Design your own idea of beauty because there are so many different ways depending on what you see, feel and have been taught.
Tell negative thoughts to get lost.
Do you ever call yourself stupid, fat, ugly?
Why would you talk to yourself that way?
Would you be friends with someone who talked that way to you?
YOU are the only one that can truly understand your capabilities, intellect and emotions, so treat yourself right. Negative self talk is a waste of time that brings you down and distracts you from your best talents.
- What do you love about your body?
- What do you love about your mind?
- What do you love about your personality?
There is a lot of talk about how the media influences our thoughts and behaviors. Body image based on unreal magazine photos is a popular example. The majority of models and celebrities we idolize and see on the covers of magazines have been altered using photo enhancement tools so they look thinner, skin is as smooth as glass, hair is shinier and skin color is lightened. Why is it so important to look flawless? A young woman, Julia Bluhm, took this cause online by starting a petition to ask Seventeen magazine to stop “perfecting” the models that are used to advertise the latest trends. After 84,000 people signed her signature, the magazine responded with a promise to not change models bodies in photos. *(1)
Despite this success, models continue to be a specific body type which is thin with enough makeup to hide any blemishes or supposed “flaws”. This is only one minor solution to the issue of how we treat our bodies. Lasting change starts with you as an individual. Take action by being aware of what you say when hanging out with your friends and younger children. We listen to our peers as much as we do the media so what we say does affect those we spend time with. You will get blemishes, you will gain and lose weight, and unless you live on the page of a magazine you will not look perfect all the time.
Ever heard the saying “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”? It’s possibly the best philosophical statement in the history of the human race. We are more than what we look or how we feel. Love your whole body, every single part. You have a brain with magnificent power. So use it already.
- Do you want to be an astronaut and study the cosmos?
- How about become a research scientist who finds a cure for Cancer or Aids?
- Would you like to invent something to make life easier for people with physical disabilities?
- Want to create a million dollar fashion line?
- Is directing or producing movies your dream?
All of those careers require intelligence. You need to learn as much as you can and fill that beautiful brain up with all the information available so you can reach for the stars. We learn how harrrrrd Math or Science is, but really it takes the same brain power as learning language and writing.
Sadly there is a stigma attached to technology subjects as if you have to be a certain type of person to learn Algebra or Biology. Please do not fall into the stereotypical attitude that math and science are for geeks and nerds. Why throw away an opportunity to learn skills that you can use in so many amazing careers? What about creating computer programs and games, curing cancer or AIDS, creating sustainable cheap energy for the world, saving the environment, providing medicine and nutrition for malnourished people, inventing life saving devices used in emergency situations, and unlimited other choices. You don’t have to be a genius to be great at math or science. Educate yourself.
Each and every one of us are born with creative tendencies. Remember coloring and making crafts when you were a child? That is when we are at our most uninhibited at creating. Later on we begin to compare our artistic capabilities with others and if we aren’t as good we give up. Being creative is an important part of growing. If drawing, painting or sculpture is not your thing then pick up an instrument, write stories and songs, mix music, build model cars and robots, carve wood, or knit.
There are so many ways to be creative and art can also be therapeutic. Art is used as a tool for meditation because it allows you to rest your mind and take your focus off of stressful day to day activities. Creativity is not just about painting a portrait that sells for thousands of dollars. When you turn a plain object into something beautiful or useful, then you are increasing your brain power by challenging yourself. In his book, Imagine, Jonah Lehrer says that “Once we know how creativity works, we can make it work for us”. *(2) So go be creative and see what artistic talents you possess… Continue reading at Bookemon.com