podcast

Podcast: Seven Self Discovery Questions

In my recovery from depression, violence, grief and low self-worth I spent a lot of time relearning my truth. after a lifetime of self-hate, I finally love myself. Some days I’m amazed that I truly feel like a strong and wise person. I never expected that! So, as I share my journey I hope to inspire others to start their own healing journey.

I’ve started recording mini-podcasts about healing tools and resources that helped me. I’m excited to share these and plan to publish one per week.  My first podcast (below) is about seven questions that repeatedly came up during the first few years of my recovery. These helped me define how I felt about myself, how I wanted to feel and who I wanted to be. Defining myself was a game changer for me. After years of always being the victim, I felt incapable of creating a life I would actually love. But recovery turned me into my own heroine. If you listen to it, I’d love to hear from you.

Seven Self-Discovery Questions for Reconnecting with Your Truth

I’m an artist and writer with an interest in art therapy. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a monthly patron on Patreon.com/Loviedo. For $1 a month*, you can fund programs like my D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Journey E-course, my monthly “Radical” e-zine and other free creative healing projects, like “Cultivating Radical Self-Love: A Collaboration of Healers, Artists & Writers“.

D.I.Y. Therapy

Self-Care Win – What’s Yours?

Self-care is the greatest idea, especially if you grew into a codependent adult like I did.  Wow has it been a struggle to place my needs first. It’s been one hell of a journey! These days, I succeed 90% of the time. 

For example: When a few of my friends moved away this summer, I was feeling sad and lonely. One of those friends didn’t say goodbye. I was hurt. For about two weeks I felt sorry for myself and wondered how soon I could make new friends. Then I remembered the quote “Just because you think you’re stuck, doesn’t mean you are.” (Coincidentally this was from a codependency group.) I meditated and set boundaries. I removed the phone number of the friend who didn’t feel the need to say goodbye and stopped following her on Instagram. The first week was rough. I wanted to reach out, but I knew that I had reached out enough. I knew deep in my bones that it was time to let them go on with their journey.

For the past two months, I haven’t feel codependent towards her or any of my friends. When I start feeling the need to reach out I look for other options, like going for a hike by myself, or stopping at a cafe for a drink and a book or language study session. It’s amazing because I never realized that I could feel this way. I didn’t know that I was codependent or that I needed to work on this issue, but I am feeling like a real winner about it.

What is one if your self-care wins?

How are you at setting boundaries?

How often do you place your needs first, second, third to others?

collage of hummingbird surrounded by

I’m an artist and writer with a focus on art therapy. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a monthly patron on Patreon.com/Loviedo. For $1 a month*, you can fund programs like my D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Journey E-course, my monthly “Radical” e-zine and other free creative healing projects, like “Cultivating Radical Self-Love: A Collaboration of Healers, Artists & Writers“.

Empowering Discussions

An Open Letter to the Outcasts and Trend Setters, Lovers and Haters, Wild and Tame

Dear World,
You are such beautiful souls. Life can be rough and you may sometimes feel tired, unappreciated, alone or worthless, but you are never alone and you have worth. You are a squishy mess of bones and muscles just like everyone else. I want you to feel accepted and feel connected.


You are such beautiful souls. Life can be rough and you may sometimes feel tired, unappreciated, alone or worthless, but you are never alone and you have worth. You are a squishy mess of bones and muscles just like everyone else. I want you to feel accepted and feel connected.

Some people may be full of too much fear and be cruel toward you, but remember that is their reflection, not yours. Hopefully one day they can unlearn their hate and prejudice, but until then we must keep on our own path, live our own truth, be the change we want.

I accept who you love, your heritage, your beliefs, your hopes and dreams and fears and doubts. I want you to know that I will never judge you, use you or be cruel to you. Nobody deserves that. We all have our own paths to walk, our own riddles to solve. We have to do it our own way even if we don’t understand why.

Your smile makes me smile. Your kindness lifts me up. Your laughter brings me joy. You are unique and I love that about you. Sometimes you will teach others new lessons. Sometimes you will keep others on track for the lessons they’ve learned. We all need these two gifts because life is a journey and there is so much to learn and unlearn.

All the different languages you speak and places you are from, the different causes you stand up for and passions that give you that special spark, the work you do, the places you volunteer, the art you create, the shared belief that we can create a healthier world for EVERYONE; all of that from YOU gives me hope and a sense of belonging.

You makes life interesting, happy, worthwhile.

When you want to give up, remember that you are capable. You are stronger than you think. You matter and so do your dreams. Without you the word would be a different place. It wouldn’t be as rich. You are an integral part of this world.

Your voice and vision are important.

You will bend, but never break. You will hurt, but you can heal.

As long as your intentions are to support everyone and everything with love and acceptance the world needs you. We need more acceptance, not tolerance, but flat out acceptance that we are all different, but equal. We are all important and our individual journeys are equally important.

I’m so grateful for the diversity of our world, for those who never stop believing and for those who tried, but gave up. Thank you for being you. I hope you continue trusting your true self and exploring new paths on your journey.

If you’re still discovering who you are and feeling lost, than know that you will find it one day soon. I don’t know how or what form it will take, but you will. Look inside and listen to your voice, only your voice. Just keep trying, keep believing in yourself, respect yourself and know that you have a friend who believes in you, wants you to be happy, wants you to be healthy.

You matter. You always have and you always will.


I’m an artist and writer with a focus on art therapy. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a monthly patron on Patreon.com/Loviedo. For $1 a month*, you can fund programs like my D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression E-course, my monthly “Radical” e-zine and other free creative healing projects, like “Cultivating Radical Self-Love: A Collaboration of Healers, Artists & Writers“.

Empowering Discussions

Join the Dive Deeper Self-Care Challenge

The Dive Deeper Self Care Challenge has begun! This will be a time to dive into that all the stuff you’ve been avoiding, uncover the roots of your pain or why you’re stuck, and learn how to practice regular self-care for you and your situation. If I can bounce back from a 17 year depression, I believe in others abilities to heal their life. During the challenge, unwanted emotions will arise because that’s what happens when we don’t practice self care or heal our traumas. Trauma lingers withing us until we heal it.

I started this challenge for a few reasons. The first reason is through my own healing and recovery work I’ve learned the importance of regular self-care. Through recovery I have learned that when I didn’t practice often enough I began to feel the negative impact in my daily routine.

The second reason is that many of us hear this message that self-care is about feeling happy and doing anything to make that happen even if its not necessarily good for us, just so we can not feel pain. Things like spending money we don’t have in the instant gratification of retail therapy, or drinking and getting high with friends so we can forget our troubles, or gambling all our spending money on chance and expecting to WIN BIG someday. It could also be working 60 hours a week to earn more money and not focus on what makes us happy from the inside out. These become unhealthy when we don’t use moderation. But by forgetting or ignoring what causes us suffering we are intensifying our problems. This is not self care.

The third reason is to guide those who are desiring to transform their life. This is for you if you really, really, really want to be healthier and love yourself or because you’re sick and tired of being sick and tried. If that’s not enough reasons for you to practice self-care regularly, how about knowing that poor mental health can cause poor physical health and shorten your lifespan.

Are you ready to cultivate a sustainable self-care practice? Are you intrigued and want to learn more? Join me at https://impoweryou.org/divedeeper.

Want to share this with someone who is wanting more self-care in their life? Please do!

Peace and hugs, Leah


I’m an artist and writer with a focus on art therapy. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a monthly patron on Patreon.com/Loviedo. For $1 a month*, you can fund programs like my D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression E-course, my monthly “Radical” e-zine and other creative healing projects, like “Cultivating Radical Self-Love: A Collaboration of Healers, Artists & Writers“.

*You can receive art in the mail every month for only $12 a month.

Radical Magazine

Radical Peace: The May/June Issue

 Summer is here and I am feeling rejuvenated. During my 8 months of traveling I realized that changes in my life and work were necessary. One of those changes was to improve Radical. I really want this zine to be successful in it’s mission of encouraging self-care practices and promoting independent artists. 
 The most obvious change is switching to a bi-monthly format. This will give me more time to promote the zine and increase the content. Thank you for reading Radical. I hope it inspires you to live your truth. The theme this issue is peace and includes work by Iris Orpi. You can download the new issue on my Patreon page.
 You can read past issues of Radical in the post area on Patreon.com/Loviedo, or on my blog: Impoweryou.org/radical.  You can also follow us on Facebook.com/radicalzine. Peace and hugs, Leah

I’m an artist and writer on a mission to bring healing arts into the mainstream. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a monthly patron on Patreon.com/Loviedo. For $1 a month, you can fund programs like my D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression E-course, my monthly “Radical” e-zine and other creative healing projects, like “Cultivating Radical Self-Love: A Collaboration of Healers, Artists & Writers“.

 

Empowering Discussions

“How to Achieve a Better Body Image”

How to Achieve a Better Body Image

By Rae Lawrence

As humans, we all have the tendency to fall prey to struggling with body image.  However, there are ways to overcome this trap and re-learn self love and self acceptance.

  1. Stop avoiding your body

    We know that one way to maintain negative body image is to avoid your body. So, in order to break this cycle, stop the avoidance! Face up to your body and get to know it, lumps, bumps and all. Get used to being with your body. If you usually avoid mirrors, start approaching them. Look at yourself as a whole person – don’t just focus on the bits you don’t like. Try to spend more time naked. Walk around the house nude! Practice touching your body: a good way to do this is to buy some nice moisturizer and rub it all over. Try other activities that you would normally avoid: go to the beach, go clothes shopping, go belly dancing! The more you do to get in contact with and accept your body the way that it is, the more you are likely to develop better body image.

  2. Stop checking

    Some people check rather than avoid, which also perpetuates negative body image. Checking is when people repeatedly check their bodies for evidence of continuing “disgustingness”. A person might study their body in the mirror for hours at a time, or pinch their sides to check on the “fat”. Write a list of your “checking” behaviors. Once you have recognized what you are doing, make a point of refusing to check, or try to cut down. If you have “pinch the fat on my stomach” on your list, and you notice you are doing this 20 times a day, aim to cut down to 15 times, then 10, then five … then stop!

  3. Stop comparing

    One form of “checking” behavior is comparison. This is when you constantly compare your physical attributes to those of other people. It can be challenging to stop negatively comparing yourself to others: for many people, it’s such a habit it is automatic and happens hundreds of times a day. Try to notice when you compare yourself to others and make a note of when you compare, who you compare yourself to, and what you say to yourself when it happens. Is it fair? Is it realistic? What effect does it have on how you feel about yourself? What can you say that may be more helpful?

  4. Check out your assumptions

    People sometimes interpret normal, everyday things as evidence of their “fatness”. For example, a lot of women think that if their thighs or stomachs wobble, this means they are “fat”. In actual fact, wobbliness is a normal female characteristic. We’re made to wobble! For other women, the normal fluid retention that happens when they are premenstrual can be viewed as a “sign” that they are putting on weight. Try to notice what you are assuming to be evidence of “fat”, and look for the facts. This may mean doing a Google search, discussing your assumptions with friends and family, or even asking your GP.

  5. Separate feeling bad from feeling fat

    When you have weight or body image issues, it can be hard to separate feelings from how you feel about your body. For example, if you have a stressful day at work, a fight with your partner and get a parking ticket, you start to feel bad. You may then start to also feel “fat” and unattractive. If you start to feel this way, ask yourself what has triggered this feeling. Try to identify the real issue, and separate it from your body-image issues. Another common experience is for people to feel “fat” after they have eaten. In this instance the trigger is body image-related. When this happens, remind yourself that your weight and appearance was the same before this feeling hit. So, though you may feel different, your weight hasn’t changed.

  6. Practice self acceptance

    Having a negative bod image is like having a critic in your head. The critic is a harsh, derogatory narrative that makes nasty comments about you. For example, “I look disgusting in this outfit” or “I can’t believe how fat I am”. The critic makes you feel awful, because you believe it. Because you feel terrible about yourself, you look for ways to feel better. You may eat something, which gives momentary pleasure, but minutes later the critic is back to comment on how much of a pig you are for eating. The big key to changing negative body image is to kill the critic, and learn self-acceptance. This means accepting yourself as you are. Cognitive techniques are very effective in helping identify and change critical thinking. It can take time, but it’s worth it!

Check out more of Rae Lawrence’s work at http://raelawrence85.wixsite.com/raeacrossamerica & https://www.facebook.com/RaeAcrossAmerica.

Rae is currently a 3rd year doctoral student where she is studying psychology. She aspires to work in the field of forensics. Rae suffered from an eating disorder for 10 years and has been in recovery for nearly 5 years. She finds that she feels her best when she is helping others.

As a result of this, she has created a non-profit organization, Rae Across America, where she creates and hosts several fundraisers per year which raise money to help send individuals in need to eating disorder treatment. Rae and her husband, Ryan, live in Richland, Washington. Together they enjoy hiking, watching football, spending time with their children, visiting family, and traveling.


I’m an artist and writer on a mission to bring healing arts into the mainstream. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a monthly patron on Patreon. For as little as $1 a month, you can fund programs like my D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression E-course, my monthly “Radical” e-zine and other creative healing projects, like “Cultivating Radical Self-Love: A Collaboration of Healers, Artists & Writers“.

Poetry

Self Love is Radical

“Embrace the sweeping everything

that brightens up select rooms

and bows out of others. “ – Katrina Mendoza

Read more in the new e-book, “Cultivating Radical Self-Love: A Collaboration of Healers, Artists & Writers”. Available for FREE at https://www.patreon.com/posts/book-launch-self-16085856