It is staggering to me how many people in society are struggling with feeling like they are enough. There is debilitating, crushing pressure on all of us to be someone we are not. To wear something that is acceptable, to act a way that is normal, to work a job that is approved, but who is actually the gauge to measure what is acceptable, normal, or approved. I have lived my life trying to fit in. Worth and value to society is one of the hardest concepts to adopt into your everyday thinking and oppressive opinions and expectations are the root of all evil here.
Can you even imagine if we were all just alike? Everyone had blonde straight hair? Everyone was thin? Everyone eats kale salad for lunch? This was not how the world was created. We would have nothing at all to learn in this world if everyone were alike. I have struggled with my weight for my entire life. Menopause has done a real number on my body and I would love not to be fat like I thought I was years ago. I think of all the time I wasted sucking in my belly and trying to look thinner. I am over it. I am tired of trying to fit into the mold that society wants to pour me into and pop me out looking just the way that television would dictate that I should look. Bless us all. How do you accept that you are enough? That is such an illustrious goal and one that many are 6 feet under without ever grasping. It is sad really, to go to your grave still trying to suck in, not just sucking in your gut but sucking in the real us that society does not want.
Today is D day. the end. finality. Repeat this after me: I am me. Others can learn from me. I have value, I have worth. I am not the sum of my past. I am my future. I am adorable. Stand in front of the mirror and repeat this until you believe it. Pour into yourself because no one else will. Be like Nike, just do it.
Today, may you realize that you are enough with your moles, your belly fat, your double chin, your poor decisions, your job that you hate, your failures and your triumphs. YOU. ARE ENOUGH.
Make today the best day ever and go forth and be fabulous!
Have you ever noticed that people are basically the same as they have been all along? Take me, for example. I am naturally a bigger person. I have been accused of a lot of things but being petite or delicate is not one of them. I have been thinner and I have been larger, but if you look at me over the years, I am basically one form.
I know people who could eat a whole pie and never gain a pound and I can look at a pie and gain three pounds. We are all made so differently. Our metabolisms are different, our body build is different, our habits are different. Some people naturally gravitate toward salads and fruits and others, like me, gravitate toward meat and potatoes. There is nothing wrong with any of these body types or habits. Imagine if God created us all exactly alike.
In order to be thinner, we have to do something drastic. In order to gain weight we have to do something drastic. 6 years ago I lost down to the smallest I have ever been in my entire life. I looked sick. I didn’t realize it at the time but looking back on pictures, my face is sunk in and I just look ill. Truth was, I was not doing well during that time in my life and yet, everyone told me how good I looked. I would walk away wondering if they could see the cobwebs on the inside. Sometimes drastic weight loss is a sign of inward crumble. Don’t mistake what I am saying-it’s great when people lose weight and become healthier. Some people need to carve some pounds off for their health and I applaud you for that. It’s important to take care of yourself and your health. If losing weight is a part of that plan then that is a beautiful thing and not what I am making a point about. The point that I am attempting to drive home is that some people are naturally petite, naturally fluffy, naturally a salad lover, naturally a meat lover, naturally tall and skinny or naturally tall and fluffy, etc.
If you really look around at people you have known for a long time, they may have been thinner or bigger at certain points in their lives but we all have a natural body balance that we were born with. This year, in 2020, the year of perfect vision, I would like to see more people embrace themselves for who they are and try to simply be the best you that you can be. Live your best life, whatever that means for you, and stop comparison analysis of others. Be yourself because everyone else is taken. You are enough, with your flaws and shortcomings, your mistakes and shame, your triumphs and tragedies, and your successes and failures. You are enough.
Thank you for supporting my business in 2019, for buying and reading my book, for hiring me to speak at your event, and for giving me reviews and shares to grow my business.
Remember me when you are looking for a speaker. I also do life coaching which is individual one on one goal setting and accountability. If you feel stuck then life coaching is for you! Happy New Year! May it be the best year ever!!
Here are some pics of me through the years. I’ve been fatter and I’ve been thinner. But basically I’m a larger person naturally. I will accept that and know that I am enough.
With my 50th birthday rapidly approaching at the end of November, there were a few things I wanted to change about who I was as a person with this new decade and second half of life I was about to embark upon. One was I wanted to quit drinking artificial sweeteners. 20 years ago I was an avid coke drinker. I would drink a two liter a day. I didn’t like water, so I drank coke all the time. When I would go to the grocery I would buy from 10-13 two liter bottles of coke and drink them that week. It’s terrible, I know but it was my reality.
One thing I have learned in my life is that we don’t “break habits”. We replace them with other habits. If I want to stop drinking cokes then I need to focus on replacing that habit with a better habit. I decided that I enjoy the bubbles of coke so I will drink one coke per day and drink something else the rest of the day. My desire for coke was satisfied with one and then I was able to replace the rest of my coke habit with tea or crystal light. I did this for several years until I started working then I would stop by Sonic in the morning and get a large Diet Coke then fill my Sonic foam cup with water instead of crystal light or tea the rest of the day. I made it a game for myself to see how hydrated I could become. That is what made it doable for me was checking to see how hydrated I was. The clearer my urine, the more hydrated I was. Judge me, but it motivated me to keep on my path.
I had always admired coffee drinkers because coffee is such a social thing. Those who sit with their husband holding a warm cup of joe and discussing their day was a beautiful thing. It didn’t seem as sensational to have a Sonic diet drink for the same event. Artificial sweeteners are terrible for you. Any amount of research will show you that and I am not here to convince you one way or another. I just knew for me, I wanted to quit drinking artificial sweeteners. I started by picking a creamer that sounded good and pouring half creamer and half coffee. Each day I would reduce the amount of creamer and acquire the taste for coffee. It’s working. I notice that in taking away artificial sweeteners, I don’t crave foods or drinks anymore. I haven’t lost any weight but I wasn’t trying either. Plus it is the holidays. The point I am trying to make is that the secret to making a change is replacing, not quitting. If you want to quit smoking you replace that habit with something else, like chewing gum. If you want to quit drinking sodas, decide what better option you will replace that habit with. It isn’t as daunting if you know you aren’t “quitting” you are “replacing”. I told myself I was going to become a coffee drinker-not-I’m going to quit drinking soda. I felt more in control and more set up for success by “becoming” something rather than “quitting” something. I wish you the best in the new year and with your efforts to resolve to be a better person in habits. We are creatures of habit and removing bad habits is daunting. Replacing doesn’t leave us feeling empty.
UPDATE: Originally, this post was written in December of 2019o-Pre-Covid. I wonder if Covid will become a "time marker" of sorts. Things happened either pre or post covid, if there ever is a post-covid time. sigh... I have remained a coffee drinker. I am so proud of myself. Every morning I have a cup of coffee with my husband. It is a lovely thing. It is a time we look forward to and with Covid, it has become even more wonderful because he has not been traveling so it is a daily thing. How did I learn to like coffee??? I wonder that on a daily basis. I learned that I like French vanilla creamer. I learned that it was ok if I did not care for black coffee. Basically I learned that it was good for me to like coffee how I like it and not how other people enjoy it. Why fit in when we were made to stand out? If you are interested in how to be more yourself and embrace YOU, check this out!
Join my Intensive Self Love Group called the Best Days are Made Brigade on Facebook by clicking here and answering three questions. It is FREE and you won't be disappointed!
Go forth and be fabulous, Friends, and don't ever forget that Best Days are Made!
I have always heard that everything has a price tag on it. Now I do have a few items in my house that I would not take money for but overall, everything has a value. Society has taught us to place a value on everything. What about time? What is the value on our time?
I have to admit that in the past, I never factored in my time to the value of things. I just ordered my first set of groceries to be delivered to the house and it was totally worth a $10 delivery fee to save myself the trouble. In the past, I would think, "I am not paying someone to do something I can do myself. Well, my time is worth $10 to me. I will invest in delivered groceries again.
Travel agents get paid when you book your vacation. The work they do in advance of that booking to gather information for you is their time. If you don't book with them, then you have robbed them of their time. Be committed when you involve another person. Be committed if you ask an artist to design a tattoo for you. They get paid when you get the tattoo. People's time has a value on it. If you hire a speaker, the price reflects the time to prepare what needs to be said.
Some places charge for their time. Some tattoo artists even charge a deposit to put a pencil to paper. I don't blame them. I have witnessed so many times that someone comes into the shop, discussed a design, had it drawn and then did not get it. Most places require a non refundable deposit on work to prevent this. A deposit to hold a car, furniture, goods and even services is a good idea to ensure that we have skin in the game. We are humans and if we don't have skin in the game, we tend to not follow through with our plans.
If you scroll past this blog post with one thing, let it be the awareness that more goes into things that the actual thing itself that requires time. Most don't get paid until the task or goods are complete. Be aware and be committed when you involve others in your dealings. Our time is valuable. I need to order my groceries now so that someone else can shop for me. My time is valuable.
Make today the best ever!
I was invited to come visit Nashville Agape today. As an adopted child, Nashville Agape holds a very close sweet spot in my heart. The current building is not the place I visited as a baby when I was adopted, but I did not expect the emotions I had flood my mind as I entered the building. I was kindly seated in the waiting room and was looking around. This place holds so many hopes and dreams. The mother and father about to have an adoption party onsite. The mother who is there to visit her children while she tries to get her life together. The foster parents there to pick up their newest addition to their home. Just a plethora of reasons folks would be there. When I walked in the door I physically felt the hope there. It was an emotional weight in my chest.
I sat there and observed a woman filling out paperwork of some sort. Another woman was staring off into space. I couldn’t help but wonder why they were there. I also couldn’t keep my mind from wandering to the thought of how my parents must have felt sitting in a waiting room much like the one I was sitting in today. Waiting for me. Knowing that when they were called back, the social worker would bring their baby girl, me, to them. The sheer magnitude of excitement must have been overwhelming to them as they waited to be called back so many years ago. I could imagine the 1960 model cars going up and down the street. I got choked up just sitting there. I was called back and given a tour of the location including the timeline of the history of Nashville Agape. I was shown the room where families receive their child when they adopt. As I looked into the room, I could see a much younger version of my parents sitting on that couch waiting for me, receiving me, and holding me for the very first time. My mind’s eye painted that as a beautiful portrait of a moment in my family’s life.
I had a beautiful discussion with the folks there at Agape today but more than anything I enjoyed the hope that I felt within the walls of the building. May God bless all the selfless mothers who gave up their children or will give up their children so that they can have a life better than what they can provide at the time of their child’s birth. God bless the foster parents and the parents who are trying to get their act together so they can regain custody of their children. God bless the children. And God bless every person affiliated with Nashville Agape. They are heroes in my book. I was blessed to meet several of them today. Heroes.
I have come to the dramatic realization in the past two months that all that matters in this world is people. Being right doesn’t matter, being wrong doesn’t matter. The details of a story as I recall it don’t matter. Nothing matters except people loving people. The next time you are fighting to be right, back down. The next time you are wrong, back down. Choose peace. I see so much turmoil in this world everywhere I go. Even people fighting in the self checkout lanes. The world is angry. Back down. People are all that matter. Who was first in line doesn’t matter. Choose peace. It’s a mindset. Tweak your thinking and quit arguing. Just peacefully go about your day and trim out those who threaten your peace. You can’t control others but you can control yourself. Go forth and be fabulous Friends!!
Not gunna lie, it’s been a rough 10 days around here. I will continue to declare it as best day ever simply because if I still worked full time I don’t know what I would have done it. So super glad I was home.
My husband and I ate breakfast at Cracker Barrel this morning and I already had decided on first degree overeating. That, actually, is grounds for arrest. That means that I premeditated overeating. Planned it in advance. I already knew what I would order and it’s overeating at its finest. Mama’s French toast breakfast with a bowl of butter. If you have never ordered a bowl of butter you are missing out. Those little packets of butter are enough to make you mad. Order a bowl of butter. You are welcome.
The waitress came to our table and I said, “I will be emotionally eating today so I will have Momma’s French toast breakfast with a bowl of butter and extra syrup.” Why do we hide our intentions and coping mechanisms? The waitress appreciated that I said I would be emotionally eating today. I think we all can relate to that. Being able to admit it and own it and move forward with it sheds light on our darkest moments.
Nothing good breeds in darkness. Mold, abuse, mental illness, children out past curfew, suicidal tendencies, robberies, trafficking, etc, all breed in darkness. Even emotional eating breeds in darkness. Let’s shed light on it and give it a name and bring it into the light. We all struggle from time to time.
I suppose that announcing that I would be emotionally eating today at breakfast was radical. What I find in giving emotions a name is that they no longer control me. Bring your emotions into the light where goodness and kindness and light and love breed. Even if it means shocking your waitress by announcing you will be emotionally eating today. When you give it a name, you get your power back because admitting it means that you emotionally eat once and then move forward rather than eating yourself into oblivion for eternity. Be real. Be you. Be light.
I would love to speak at your next event or work with you one on one to embrace your flawed, awesome self. #flawesome
I am a conscientious objector to mainstream life. I’m radical. Rogue. I quit my job because God said I needed to. My work was done there. I came home and looked to the Heavens and said “Ok God, I quit my job, now what?” What I did is not mainstream. It’s not something that people do. I object to going through the motions of living. I will be willing. I will be open. I will do the next right thing. I will listen for my Lord to give me the cue to go or do. All I’m responsible for is waking up and being willing. Gone are the days of perfect hair and perfect facades. Welcome real. Welcome raw. Welcome radical. Welcome peace. Welcome joy. Welcome to a world void of worry.
We spend so much time trying to plan our days and our weeks and our years and our lives that we don’t allow the nudging of the Holy Spirit to direct our paths. We do it like Frank Sinatra-Our Way. When you decide that your way isn’t working as well as you would like, bring your bed head over here and let’s be radical. Let’s conscientiously object to normal life. I can’t change the world. But what I can do is change the world for one person. I’ll be radical. I’ll quit my job. I’ll do it sight unseen just because I got a nudge from God. I’ll write a book. I won’t try to make money off of it because I’d rather give one person hope for another day. Money will come if my focus is one more. Lord send me one more person who needs to be filled with hope. Send me one more. Send me one who feels stuck. Then send me one more. You see, I don’t wear the superhero cape. God does, but I am His hands and feet. You are too. We can’t change the world but we can change the world for one person by waking up and being willing. Radical. Rogue. Lord, send us one more.
Saturday was my very first book signing. Incredible is an understatement in reference to how it turned out. There were people there that I knew, didn’t know, didn’t remember, and people I have known my whole life. It was remarkable.
As the signing was coming to a close, I noticed a woman standing in the valances with a huge smile on her face. I did not know who she was but I kept staring at her to try and figure it out. I knew she was important just wasn’t sure how. After the last person got their book she approached me and said, “Do you know who I am?” At that very moment I knew exactly who she was. She was my catcher. Behind every amazing pitcher is an equally amazing catcher. She was mine. We won the state championship in 1987 and I received the most valuable player in the state of Tennessee. That was when trophies meant something. She was most valuable right along with me because without her, I could not be the pitcher that I was.
We don’t have a photo like this one, but we lived it. This very scenario, we lived it. Together.
One of my favorite movies is A League of Their Own. I felt like I was living that movie Saturday as I talked with my catcher. I felt like we were at the opening of our Hall of Fame 25 years later. I stared into her eyes and I could see a much younger version of her with the dirt on her face, I could see the sweat covering her brow, and the discussion on the mound about how “we got this. Relax”. In reality, she was stunningly beautiful, but as I looked at her I saw our past. Our history.
Here we are, in a league of our own. One day, one event, one book, one old friend, one monumental moment. My catcher. It was so good to see her.
I have always loved the Ellen Show. I love her philanthropy and the fact that she is always about what is kind and good and noble. She gives back to the community and she adds humor to everyday life. It is my goal to meet her and be on her show. I had a dream that she invited me on her show. It was the time of my life. It’s going to happen in real life. I just know it.
Every day on Ellen’s show she ends with “Be kind to one another.” We just never know what is going on in people’s lives. We don’t know what it took for a person to get to the place where they are at that very moment in time. People behave in ways that reflect their circumstances at times. At other times, we see people’s true colors good or bad.
Ducks are so beautiful as they gracefully swim across the water. What we see is grace and poise. What we don’t see is how hard they paddle with their feet under the water. We are ducks. We may look graceful and poised on the surface but underneath we may be fighting a battle no one knows about.
I had a photo shoot last week for promo items for my book launch. It was 98 degrees outside and 150% humidity. Both my photographer and I were sweating buckets shooting outdoor shots. We never mentioned the heat because we were on a mission. Complaining rarely accomplishes anything. I thought to myself, “I have sweat rolling down my back, sweat marks on the back of my shirt, sweat rolling down my neck, there is no way these photos won’t show this.” The photos came out AMAZING. Just what I wanted. And the sweat was not edited out.
The fact is that it’s barely even noticeable even to me and I knew I was sweating. To the outside person, it is not evident at all. You see, we never know what’s going on behind the scenes in people’s lives. They may be sweating bullets on the inside but look poised and composed on the outside. Or they may act out because of their turmoil. Always be kind. You never know what is going on under the water or behind the camera shot. Cut people some slack. None of us are getting out of here alive so let’s hold hands and stick together. And as Ellen says, Be kind to one another.
Watts in your frame? Photos were done by Rob Watts of Watts Photos. Visit his website at www.wattsphotos.com He has an eye for capturing the authentic you even with sweat running down his back.
Jennifer Anglin is a motivational speaker, life coach and author who shares personal stories of triumphs and tragedies to give hope to a dying world.