The "Write" Way to Being Beautiful-5 Steps To Reclaiming, Redefining, & Appreciating Your Beauty Through Journaling

Morning thoughts:

We often hear people say that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder," or "beauty is only skin deep," or "beauty is relative." For centuries, society has struggled to define the essence of beauty, and for centuries, women have struggled to live up to society's standards.
A few months back, I threw a party for a small group of friends and I asked them to tell the group why they felt beautiful. I was amazed that out of 12 women, only 4 were able to utter the phrases, "I am beautiful," or "I feel beautiful." I was so shocked because these women appeared to have high confidence and many of them held themselves as if they felt beautiful, yet they never identified themselves with their definition of beauty. One friend even admitted to avoiding mirrors at all cost.
Why was this excercise so hard? Why do women have so much trouble claiming their personal beauty? When I asked my friends these questions this is what I found:

1. Many women are too focused on their lives, situations, and responsibilities to think about themselves. They don't take the Me time necessary for personal reflection and appreciation.
2. Many women are never told they are beautiful even as young girls, therefore they grow up without a concept of the word as it pertains to them.
3. Many women ARE told they are beautiful but only when they fit the mold society has created. When they fall outside the molded categories of weight, body shape, features, and other outer appearances, they no longer feel beautiful.
4. Many women lose confidence after coming through difficult situations. Embarrassment, insignificance, and feelings of inferiority dominate their thinking leaving no room for proper healing thoughts and self-reconciliation.

My Experience:

I also experienced this after fighting Graves disease for three years. The end result left me weak, 40 pounds overweight, with darkened skin, thinning hair, wacked emotions, and feelings of inferiority that led to depression.  Over the last year, I have been fighting to gain control over my emotions, my embarrassment, and my non-acceptance of the body I now had.  I hated taking pictures, and cringed every time I glimpsed myself in a mirror. I was constantly degrading myself for my appearance, chubby face, and weakened muscles, and did all I can to correct these "problems."

Even though I had a lot of support around me and a husband and baby who loves me for who I am, I still had to find a way to love myself, and I began writing my way to reclaiming my beauty once again and thus the BLOOM! Journal was born.

BLOOM! was a defining writing experience for me, as it focuses on celebrating one's personal beauty. It is an intimate book that's all about "YOU." Through this journal I began to redefine my beauty and the unique qualities that made ME special. It takes the writer through her story and allows her to explore, engage, and capture special moments.
BLOOM! and journaling is helping me heal...and it's powerful.

5 Steps To Reclaiming, Redefining, & Appreciating Your Beauty

1. Take a few moments a day to celebrate yourself.
Journaling Tip: Write the following questions & answers in your journal.  Complete this exercise each night. 

-What did you accomplish today?
-Who were you able to help today?
-How did you show self-appreciation today?
-What were you good at today?
-What made you happy today?
-What are you thankful for today?

"Today," is the key word.  Focus on embracing your beauty today and don't worry about the past, the future, mistakes, and anxieties. Ask yourself what is going on positively right now?
...and celebrate that.

2. Stay Positive
Journaling Tip: Keep track of your self-talk throughout the day.  Write down the negative self-talk and how you counteracted with positive self-talk.  This exercise will allow you to note what triggers negative self-talk and keep you aware of your thinking process.  

When you are tempted to speak negatively to yourself or about yourself, don't. Keep your written, spoken, and unspoken words positive. If there is something negative in your mind or words, immediately rebuttal the negative thought or language with the positive.  (ex. "I can't do this" turns into "This is challenging, but I can do this if I put my mind to it, if I learn how to do it, or if I receive help.)

3. Embrace Your Supportive Group
Journaling Tip: In your journal write a list of all the supportive people in your life and what you appreciate about each one.  Visit this list often.

Who in your life is supportive, positive, encouraging, and inspirational? Gravitate to those who have your best interest in mind. Show them love and appreciation in return.

4. Take Responsibility for YOU
Journaling Tip: In your journal, write a list of your personal qualities, or life events that you deem unattractive or negative. Divide these qualities or events into two lists 1.)what you CAN change 2.) what you CANNOT change.
Under list #1 write your plan to change those qualities or events. Under list #2 write your plan to OWN these qualities or events. 

Is there something that you don't love about yourself? Change it or OWN it! If it can't be changed then embrace it and look for the positive out of it. It's a part of you. Learn to love it and own it. "Owning" simply means embracing your current truth and choosing to think positively about it.  What can you learn from it? Where can you share your experience with someone else?  How can your current situation become growth for you and others?

If you CAN change it, then do so. Find the power to make a change and devote yourself to it. Write down a plan and follow it, (again your supportive group will be a great help during your transition.)

5. Give & Inspire Someone
Journaling Tip: In your journal, write and answer the following question, "What can I give?"

Make it your daily mission to share a part of you with someone else. Give a bit of time, write a short note, pick flowers, bake a treat, or make a phone call to let someone know how special they are to you. Find special ways to inspire a friend who needs encouragement.  Add beauty to another's life, and you will add beauty to yours.

I woke up with these thoughts a few days ago, and just wanted to share them today.  Thank you so much for visiting.  I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please share!

...and don't forget to take your time when writing.  Take time to explore.  Write every day, every week or every hour. It's up to you, but just get started!

XO Nicole

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