Let the Flowers Grow

Blog Post

This week is our final week of our discipleship program (where I work) for the 2017-2018 school year. Today I was asked to share my “life-message” and a final message to our students.

How do you sum up all the potential life encouragement into one short message?

I would say that my life message is all about learning to nurture oneself. I believe that we all are a three part being: body, soul, and spirit. And I believe that it is pivotal that we nurtureeach part of our being.

Nurturing yourself looks like checking your soil. It looks like checking the environment that you are surrounding yourself in. Are the habits, relationships, and the media that watching/listening to pushing you to the environment that you want? Are those things pushing you to be the person that you want to be?

Nurturing yourself looks like letting sunshine into your heart. Nurturing yourself looks like letting yourself really look into your heart to see the pains, dreams, desires and opinions that are held within your heart. It looks like giving the deserved attention to the things in your heart. Nurturing yourself looks like healing the wounds, valuing the desires, sticking up for the opinions, and believing in the dreams.

Nurturing yourself looks like watering yourself. This looks like practically giving your body the things it needs (good foods, movement, love). It, also, looks like pursuing things that fill your spirit (worship, meditation, learning). Lastly, it looks like putting in time and effort towards your passions and hobbies (creating, sports, learning).

Nurturing yourself looks like giving yourself patience, grace, and space to grow. Growing requires energy to get taller and stronger. But it also means sometimes growing dead leaves. Sometimes we fail (it happens to all of us) but we need to give patience and grace and kindness to ourselves when we do grow dead leaves.

Nurturing yourself looks like allowing yourself to bloom. This means to allow yourself to press in to the good things life has in store for you. This means believing the good things said about you. It means accepting the opportunities that you have. It means not running away from the good things, it means running toward them. It, also, means allowing the world to see your petals. Don’t shy away from being seen, but embrace it.

Nurturing yourself looks like moving with the breeze of the spirit realm (whatever that looks like for you). It looks like being in-tune with what the spirit is doing.

Nurturing yourself looks like growing seeds of love and spreading them around. It looks like expressing love to all those around you.

And it looks like receiving the new seeds of love that enter your life.

Thanks for reading!! Let me know how YOU nurture yourself in the comments below!

XO,

M

Love heals.

Blog Post

WOW.

I am shocked at the responses from last week’s post! (If you didn’t check it out…check it out here. It is all about my story with pornography & freedom). Thank you sooo much for the support and encouragement. It truly means the world to me.

After last weeks post, I really wanted to give some encouragement/hope to anyone that might be in the midst of struggle. (Whoops. I guess that applies to us all (; ) Life is hard and sometimes we simply need someone to tell us that it. is. possible.

Now, I know that some of you are not Christians and may not believe in God, but I also think that everyone is spiritual and desires spiritual growth. My desire in this space on the internet is to be a place where anyone, from any background, feels free to be. By this, I mean that I never want to push my thoughts onto anyone else…but I, too, want to make sure that I continue to allow myself the space to share what I feel needs to be said.

So, in this post…keep in mind that I honor where each and every one of you is.

Something that some of you do not know is that I work for a discipleship program. This is a spiritual program that focuses on working with adults to help them to heal emotional wounds, actively pursue personal growth, and urging them to connect deeper and deeper to God’s undeniable love for them.

Personally, I went through this program and was radically changed (you can read more about it here!) This program sees all kinds of people come through it’s doors: addicted, tormented, broken, hopeless, insecure, young, old, and everything in between.

I have seen LOVE heal each and every thing. I have seen LOVE mend the deepest of wounds. I have seen LOVE heal years of torment. I have seen LOVE show people to dream, love, believe. I have seen freedom from addictions. I have seen anger resolved. I have seen insecurities become areas of confidence. I have seen hope fill people’s lungs. I have seen dreams flood people’s minds. I have seen purity affect people’s lives. I have seen shame brush off of people’s shoulders. I have seen bodies restored. The healing, breakthrough, and freedom that I have seen in people’s lives is ridiculous (in the best of ways).

I do not know what you’re facing right now in your life. I don’t know what your past holds or what future complications you will experience. But, I want to say that THERE IS HOPE. Regardless of what it is…LOVE can heal.

I know that this is a little crazy…but today at work we replaced lies with truths. We went after the lies involved with comparison. For me, I was believing that that I was unworthy. After that, I apologized to God and to myself for partnering with that belief. And then, I was intentional to receive LOVE. After that experience, I feel so much lighter and fuller and happier.

(Now, that does not solve all problems. I have to continue to be intentional to stick with the new truth that I have learned. But, I have hope that this new truth can be maintained)

So, whatever it is that you are facing, LOVE is enough. LOVE  can heal. LOVE  can restore.

This is a short post, but one I truly believe in. Also, I just want to say that I am here for you…feel free to reach out. I would love to connect and encourage you.

What is the new truth you’re believing? Let me know in the comments!

XO,

M

ShameFree

Blog Post

So, let me be honest.

Each blog post I have written so far has been fairly easy for me to write. The amount of transparency and vulnerability has been easy to swallow. But, today I want to write about something that is actually a challenge.

I have tried starting this post about 7 times and I keep having the faces of my sweet family roll through my mind. Isn’t it funny how it is easy to be transparent with strangers, but it is far more difficult to be vulnerable with those that matter? (I promise family, this story ends on a good note!)

I want to start off with a disclaimer: this is simply my expereince. In no way am I trying to push a belief system or be the moral police for any of you. Be the best version of you, whatever you think that that is. But I do feel led to share my story.

WELL, here goes…

About a week ago I was sitting in a room with a group of spiritual leaders that I trust. We were talking about sexuality (and all things related). A question got presented about pornography and it was referred to as a man issue. I was instantly irate. Because pornography does not just affect men and I think that needs to be talked about more.

It affects women. It affects people. It affects me.

I think I was about 11 or 12 when I began watching porn. I think it started from curiosity, turned into fascination, and remained an addiction. It was about 7 years before I got any freedom.

For me, watching pornography and masturbating was a terrible act that reiterated all the self-hatred that I had been cultivating inside me for most of my life (see my blog post all about my story to know more about that). It became a form of punishment and self-absue.

Now, this is where I remind you all of the disclaimer above…you can obviously make your own decisions about your own purity. But for me, watching pornography was horrible. I felt terrible after, I had to hide a major part of my life from the people that love me, and I felt violated seeing those images. The experience for me was one of shame.

Overtime I became numb. I struggled to make true, vulnerable friends. I put up a wall with my family. My identity became solidified that I am worthless and I deserve shame.

I was like two people: the good christian girl to the public eye and the shame-ridden worthless monster behind my bedroom door. I hated living like this, but it felt like exactly what I deserved. I tried so hard to “be a better person.” And nothing I would do made me quit (or like myself anymore).

Long story short, I applied to go to a christian ministry school and was asked to attend their discipleship school instead. When I got that news I was devastated. I told my parents and they did not understand why I didn’t get in. They attempted to learn more both about the discipleship school and the reasons behind why I didn’t get approved to go to the ministry school.

I was terrified that my parents would learn about my battle with pornography from someone else. I knew I had to admit to this problem. I sat my mom down and with big ol’ tears streaming down my face (just kidding. that sounds too put together…I was a blubbering mess) I told my mom my pains, shame, and problem with pornography. I asked her if she still loved me, to which she replied “Yes. Of course.”

Okay, I know this sounds absolutely insane…But I swear…after talking to my mom I was set free. The act of bringing something to the light, having accountability with someone close to me, and receiving love within the darkest parts of who I am…it changed everything.

This is really the heart of this post: get vulnerable and bring things into the light! Let trust worthy people see into you. Let them see the pretty parts and the yucky parts of you, your life, your thoughts. Regardless of what you have done, or what has been done to you, or who you think you are…YOU DESERVE LOVE. YOU ARE WORTHY OF LOVE. 

It will be terrifying. It will be difficult.

but it is worth it.

Regardless of what your thoughts are about pornography…take away this: all of you deserves to be seen by trustworthy people. Even the parts you think are too ugly.

Being vulnerable, having emotional intimacy, changes lives. Allow yourself to be seen, heard, and loved.

After about six months, or so, of freedom from watching pornography, I began to struggle again. I fought off and on for some time. Vulnerability isn’t the cure-all fix to any problem. I had to make powerful choices about what I wanted in my life and who I wanted to be. I began to see that I deserved a pure love and deserved authentic intimacy. I decided that watching porn and masturbating was no longer an option in my life.

Because of love and because of powerful choices, I have freedom.

 

I will end with this…

My view on pornography is not just based on my faith. It has a lot to do with the fruit that it caused in my life. Everything that came from both porn and masturbating was bad. It pushed me to keep secrets. It pushed me to cultivate shame. It kept me from relationships. It reiterated the lie that “I didn’t deserve love.” So, I would say that it is really important to look at the fruit happening in your life. Surround yourself with things that bring truly good fruit into your life.

Thank you for reading and letting me share. Feel free to send me any questions or comment below!

XO,

M

Y E S .

Blog Post

Recently life has felt a bit mundane. It feels like I have fallen into a rut of doing the motions of what is required from me…wake up, work, eat, sleep, repeat. How boring. I absolutely do not want to live my life in a boring and mundane way. I want to live with vibrancy, excitement, and enthusiasm.

One of the things that has felt particularly important this season is the word YES. Every time I say “yes” I feel this extra level of responsibility. I feel this extra level of importance behind each of my agreements. I have been feeling like I really need to say “yes” more.

I have talked to a friend or two about their life and they have had a similar feeling of mundane. (Have you been feeling that, too?)

So…what to do with all this information?

I have decided to be a bit more intentional with my “yes.” (I use the word “intentional” quite a bit. So, I thought I would explain. I use the word “intentional” to mean actively pursuing or going after with ferocity.) By this, I mean that I am searching for moments to say “yes” and I am embracing them as they come. I am eagerly saying “yes” to most of the things that have come my way. And with each of those opportunities, I am sacrificing.

I am sacrificing my original plan. I am sacrificing my normal. I am sacrificing in order to embrace the new “yes.”

I am learning a ton.

What if I did not plan every moment of every day? What if I said “yes” to fun as opposed to “yes” to plans? What if I embraced my opportunities each and every day?

Some of you might be thinking…”Well, that’s a great concept Maranda…prove you’re doing it.” Well, about a week ago I got asked to attend a concert three hours away. They needed an answer pretty immediately and I had about 30 minutes to think about it. A prayer and a good song later, I was committed.

Two days later and I was in the car and on my way.

The concert was great, but the friends were even better. We heard great music, got out of town, and laughed the entire trip. I am so happy that I went. But, in order to embrace that experience…I had to sacrifice my time, sleep, and money in order to go.

Now, this is a great example that makes the sacrifices completely seem worth it. But, sometimes the sacrifices aren’t as easy to make. Sometimes, they create some discomfort. And sometimes, the “yes” was not worth it in the end. But, better to try than to question what if.

So, I write this blog post to urge you to embrace life a bit more. Say “yes” to the scary things. Say “yes” to the dreams. Say “yes” to the new adventures (even if that just looks like taking yourself out to coffee!!).

Your life is what you make it.

What is your newest (and most exciting) “yes”? What are you embracing in your life? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading.

XO,

M

Black Panther (Guest Post: Ra Mcbride)

Blog Post

Can you believe that March is almost done?! 2018 is flying by. March has been such an interesting month. A big part of my job involved working for a school program. So, our graduation is quickly approaching and so things around work quite a bit busy. But, things are going well (but I am sure that a deeper update will be headed our way soon!)

Anyways, this week I have another special gift for my beloved readers! This week, I have a guest post for you by a powerful man. Have you ever met someone that was just made for the spotlight? Like, they were just created to be seen and actually have the capabilities to be seen by the world? That is this man.

Ra Mcbride.D985342F-3038-48B2-9E04-A7D9BA7B4E44

I had to narrow it down to describe Ra with one would it would be overcomer. He has fought to overcome the things that he has been faced with in life. One day, I will ask him to write a post about his story but today, I asked him to write a commentary on the newest movie Black Panther.

When I watched this movie I was amazed! I was absolutely shocked at the radical statements that this movie was making. Being a white woman in 2018, I felt like I only scratched the surface of understanding the severity of this movie. Ra and I both have seen this movie multiple times. I, have recognized this being one of those cultural momentous moments. While Ra, has recognized this being a moment of understanding and acceptance of his race, culture, and his future.

Let this post challenge you, regardless of your race. Fight to change your perspective. Fight to change societies perspective. Acceptance needs to happen to an even greater degree.

Thanks for checking out this blog post. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Ps: Have you seen Black Panther? Go see it.

XO

M

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Black Panther is a must see. It easily transcended being “a good black” movie, or “a good superhero” movie.

This film was a cultural statement.

I personally think some of the points hit were not even intentional. I think it was just art evolving into something more, the way good art tends to do.

See this movie. And if you’re black, really see this movie.Why it it a must see for BLACK people? All around, films that represent us well, are few. This movie has an all star, all black, leading cast and they did an amazing job. I feel they touch on the overall social issue of oppression of the black community, without making the movie a political statement itself.

To watch a film where the black nation was the royalty, creatives, innovators, strategists, and were credited as such, is something black people need to see.

To see these very dark skinned people that are beautiful and natural, without them having to change anything about themselves (like their hair, attire, or speech) in order to fit a culture dominated by a white perspective, was affirming and soooo empowering. They executed all this without demeaning anyone else’s culture. This movie has the capacity to push my people to have conversation (and execution) of greater self expectation, value, and unity with all people.

 

Now to be clear to my lovely white family,

Often when pro-black media/culture is released people tend to think it’s instantly AGAINST something else (namely, white media/culture). While, yes, sometimes that is the case, that cannot be a blanket expectation for black art. I personally think it stems from fear of either, “changing history” or “seeming racist” and that’s not the intention.

The celebration of one thing doesn’t have to mean the persecution of another.

We can ALL win.

The way to respond to celebration is celebration.

If you don’t understand, ask questions. In the words of T’Challa, “The wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers.” I feel like the Unity conversation is a WHOLE other topic, but if we can peacefully and loving dialogue, we can move forward together.

Wakanda Forever,

Ra

Missed Opportunities

Blog Post

Hello Lovely Humans,

I want to start by saying thank you for reading this post (& for checking out my blog!) It is such an honor to have each view, like, and comment I get. MarandaTaylor is a dream come true.

I have mentioned it before and will mention it again (somehow it comes out within each blog post I have)…the topic of

Self-Love.

Self-love is a subject that has many opposing views. Ultimately, to me, self-love is the intentional act of accepting oneself, fighting for one’s desires, and expressing love towards oneself. Self-love is not thinking that you are better than everyone else, but it is treating yourself with the same kindness you treat others with. Self-love is being gentle, gracious, and forgiving towards your being, actions, and body. Self-love is brave. Self-love is wild. Self-love is complicated.

Self-love has become one of my all time favorite topics. I believe that self-love is a journey, one we never arrive to a destination with. We are always learning new ways to love ourselves. And we are always presented with new opportunities to practice our new ways of self-love.

Now, I know that society hasn’t easily accepted self-love as a common practice, despite the strong efforts of men & women that are fighting to create a culture of self-love. Growing up, I didn’t know anything about self-love. I did not realize it ought to be a priority in everyone’s life. I never heard that my self deserved love.

If that is you, this is me telling you that your self deserves love.

Because society isn’t sharing about self-love enough…I want to. I want to share everything I learn about self-love and I want to constantly encourage those around me to love bigger and accept more.

Recently, I have been recognizing that there are so many opportunities for me to practice my self-love. Everyday I wake up and I get a chance to love myself more. But recently, I have been settling for convenience more than I have been choosing love. I choose convenience in my actions and choices. (For example, it is convenient to get some greasy food to-go as opposed to cook something healthy at home. Or it is convenient to not make my bed as opposed to take the time to create a clean atmosphere of a made bed.) I became convicted at the opportunities that I was missing.

I don’t want to look back on my life and see missed opportunities. So, I have been challenging myself to embrace the moments that each day has. This means infiltrating my life with things that make me feel loved. I want to decorate my life with things that bring me joy.

Have you ever spent quiet time with yourself to really discover what brings you joy? Have you ever spent time to ask your heart, what makes you feel alive? Well, I did that this past weekend and these are a few of the things that I have come up with…

a fridge full of fresh food,

essential oils diffusing through out my house,

sleep at a decent time,

long phone calls with old friends,

baths with a good book,

a clean and tidy home,

fresh flowers,

open windows at any chance I can get (in my house, my car, my office),

tween fiction novels,

face-timing my nieces,

slowing down for sunshine,

and journaling anything and everything that happens in my life.

 

Now, it might not seem like much but as I have been pressing in to this list of things that I love, I have been enjoying my days in a more fuller way. At the end of the day, I couldn’t tell you why I have had such good days but I think it is for pressing in to these things. I believe that it is these simple acts that elevate our lives from mundane to sensational. I believe that our lives can be full of vibrancy, but we have to actively choose that.

This topic of self-love is a big one, but it does not have to be overwhelming. Each day, you can practically love yourself. What is unique to you? More than just answering the question “how do you practice self-love?” I want you to feel inspired to put action behind your list of joy things.

It is people like y o u  &  m e that will create a society, a culture, of more love. So, start with yourself…you are stuck with you forever, anyways (;

Let me know in the comments what you did to spread more love today! (PS: Make sure you subscribe to my blog!)

XO,

M

A Little Word about Fear (Car accident story)

Blog Post

So a couple of nights ago I was driving on the highway and it was raining. Rain isn’t very new in Humboldt County (where I live). The rain started to pick up and I started to slow down my speed. I then hit this wall of weather. The weather turned into a hail, snow mixture. I lost traction. I spun and watched as the median wall came at me. It was crazy that I could do nothing but watch as I ran into the median wall. It was terrifying. My sweet boyfriend, Christian, was driving behind me and we were on the phone; he saw the whole thing. We got to a semi-safe place on the road and stopped. The hail kept pounding and the tears were streaming. Christian got out, checked on me and the car, and then talked to me on the phone the whole way home. I made it home safe. Thankfully, I was not hurt and my car was drivable.

(disclaimer: I know that it could have been sooooo much worse and I am not trying to come across as insensitive to someone in a similar situation & it has been so much worse.)

As I drove home that night I was, obviously, a mess and was just trying to wrap my head around the fact that it could have been so much worse. I was this mix of trembling fear and breathtaking thankfulness.

I feel like this experience was a great example of what fear can do.

Driving home after the accident was horrible. I was trembling the entire time, my breathing was sporadic, and the tears never stopped. I got home and lost it. I cried and cried and cried and cried. Christian just kept repeating, “you’re safe. You’re safe. You’re safe.” The days that followed were really robotic. I was in a fog of fear. I tried to avoid driving, making excuses that made sense in my head. And I called my parents. Thankfully, everyone in my life kindly pushed me to get behind the wheel again. I was scared. Fear was overwhelming and it controlled me. But I had a choice: partner with the fear or respond do it in bravery.

Fear is crippling. Fear is controlling. Fear is a monster. You cannot partner with fear. It will ruin your life.

I decided to face the road again & to feel every emotion that came with it. Over the next few days I cried a lot, randomly. Every time I passed the spot it happened, I would hold my breath and then the tears would flow again. Or when I would see the damage done to my car & more tears. Or I would think about how lucky I am to be alive and I would have more emotion. I refused to stuff any of the feelings down and instead, embraced them all. I, also, had to do a lot of positive self-talk as I faced the fears of driving.

I, now, have to deal with the consequences of the situation: decide to file a claim or not,  get the car fixed, get new tires, etc. I have to watch as my bank account gets smaller and smaller. I have to trust in myself and God, that this is going to work out financially. Every time I think about my finances I feel the anxiety rising. But, again, I will respond to this fear instead of sit in it.

I am facing this fear head on. I am exploring my options financially. I am talking to people that know these situations better than me. I am thankful for the money I do have and the money that is headed my way. I am sacrificing my time, energy, and focus in order to connect with peace, bravery, and love.

As I end this post, I don’t know if I have tips for you on facing fear, but! I can provide you with encouragement that you are not alone. Fear is a liar, killer, and thief. Fear is a sticky mess that pops up in the worst times. Fear does not deserve your time and attention. So, as you face fear (no matter how big or how small) know that you aren’t alone in this bravery. I am fighting fear, too. And I believe that with the help of a companion, anything is possible!

One last thing, facing fear does not have to look big like sky diving. Sometimes, it is just getting out of bed in the morning. Or, eating that day. Sometimes facing fear looks like letting the tears flow. So don’t think you have to move a mountain to call yourself brave.

Thanks for reading. I would love to hear how YOU are being brave these days! Comment below!

XO,

M

PS: This wonderful photo was captured by a dear woman in my life : Jess Anne Lehman.

The Power of Me (Guest Post: Destiny Story)

Blog Post

One thing I want to use this social platform for is to promote and celebrate the people around me. I am someone that searches for lessons & inspiration from those around me and I want to share those stunning people with you all!

This first guest post is by a woman that is dear to my heart. She has been in my life for almost two years and I am deeply blessed by her:

Destiny Story EFC06971-A31D-486D-A638-69E09A6FAE27.JPG

When I think about who Destiny is I think of one word: brave. She is a woman that looks at life, her challenges, her fears, her dreams and responds to them bravely. Destiny has bravely stood in the wilderness of life and come out to the other side. She has stood, alone and scared, and yet she has not turned away.

Destiny Story is a brave woman.

In this post she has written, she shares about some of her wilderness. She shares about a process that I’ve had the privilege to watch her walk through. And as a witness to this time in her life, I can safely say that she has a lot of wisdom & inspiration on the things she shares. So, let her sweet words inspire you!

XO,

M

Ps: You can check out D’s blog here: https://destinystoryblog.wordpress.com

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

My whole life I’ve felt like I wasn’t enough, or honestly, that I was just too much. I’ve felt not skinny enough, not talented enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not funny enough, not good enough. I’ve felt too loud, too tall, too fat, too opinionated, too passive, too emotional, too sensitive, too different.

I’ve always felt like I was different and I’ve spent most of my life just trying to decide if what made me different was good or bad. But I think somewhere around 7th grade I subconsciously decided that it was a bad thing, a really bad thing, that would forever keep me separated from those around me. I thought I would never be able to connect with people because it felt as if people never wanted to connect to me (my parents and friends) or that I was always “too much, not enough” for the people around me to connect with. I felt creative but was never shown it was okay to be creative in ways that didn’t quite make sense and I was never shown it was okay for it not to be perfect. I buried myself in perfectionism because it seemed all the amazing people were, and the sad part was that people around me wouldn’t have known because it was all in my internal world! It revealed itself in my self talk and my constant attempts to “fix” myself that only led to me feeling suicidal.

Even after I became a Christian, it only intensified. Except this time thankfully I was healed enough to not feel suicidal, but I did feel like the weight and the pressure of always doing things perfectly would eventually break me. I had somewhere, along my journey in life, picked up this idea that the real me was too messy and would never be good enough so I needed to make up for it with perfect actions. Ha! Funny, huh? I mean this was definitely not something I would consciously know I was doing! It would look like me trying really hard, being praised for my actions, and then making a mistake and beating myself up for it for days and thinking “what else could I have done? I’m doing everything I can and it’s still not enough!” and then eventually trying to make up for it by pretending like it didn’t happen and continue doing more things that would look perfect.

But the problem with this is that I had equated being “enough” to things that were unattainable, like never making a mistake or never hurting anyone’s feelings. Anybody ever been through something like this? Ever try to perform for love? I’m guessing that I’m probably not alone in this. I’ve noticed as a human race, generally we have more grace for others than we do ourselves.

But sometime last year I decided this thing that made me different may not have actually ever been a bad thing! What if my imperfections made me beautiful? What if my emotions made things fun and are natural? What if my sensitivity wasn’t a weakness, but a strength? What if my chubby body could be enough for me and eventually someone else? What if making mistakes only made me human? Could I still be loved if someone saw them? If I were fully me, mistakes and all, would I be enough?

These were the questions running through my head and I made the decision that I was going to try being seen. I decided to show people that I was different. I decided to try allowing myself to be loved through my mistakes. Because when I try to be “perfect” I still don’t feel like I’m enough, and I never get to be truly authentic. And that life wasn’t working for me.

I went to Oregon last year on a missions trip and after days of barely sleeping and not being able to control a single thing, I could feel my emotions starting to rise. And as they got closer to the surface I could feel them starting to bubble over into my actions. I was short with people and I was crying uncontrollably. I felt embarrassed but free. I knew that these people doing life with me would see a side of me I was afraid of showing to people that hadn’t been in my life for an extended period of time. But I couldn’t care anymore. I decided to take a risk and be vulnerable and see how they responded.

And to my freaking surprise they still loved me!

And not only that, they complemented me! They asked me what I needed, they encouraged me, and they loved me through it. And not just once, but repetitively. I was UNDONE. This was not a way of life that I was familiar with! But I knew I could never turn back.

I’m coming up on a year since that trip and as I reflect I see that my journey of accepting myself and being vulnerably me, has not been a fun or pretty journey. I have hid, I have made some of the most painful mistakes I’ve ever made this past year and I’ve been the most myself I’ve ever been in my whole life. I’ve never been as open with those close to me quiet like I have in this past year. I’m loving who Destiny is more than I thought possible and I know there’s only so much more!

You see, perfectionism tells you that until you do everything right, you aren’t enough. But a life of freedom looks like vulnerability. It looks like showing the world who you truly are and not wavering in the truth that,

you are enough. No questions asked.

A life of freedom consists of making mistakes and allowing the people who are close to you into them because you do not deserve to be alone during it. A life of freedom looks like you being confident in what you enjoy doing and wearing. A life of freedom looks like creating without comparison.

Being vulnerably you will set you free from perfectionism or performance. There’s nothing quiet like when you allow yourself to be who you’ve always been in the inside. And I promise dear friends, there are people who are dying to love you as you. All your unique characteristics, all the things you’ve thought were too much, all of the parts of you that you thought weren’t enough, they are worthy of love. Because we all have them, let’s be honest. None of us have it all together. But none of us have to pretend like we do anymore. I’m starting to see that the people I admire the most are people who are unashamedly them. Unwavering to the opinions of others, they stand tall in who they are and they let themselves show. This is strength. This is vulnerability. Vulnerability is strength. And this is who I want to be. I am deciding that I will no longer look at people on social media, the models on tv or Pinterest, or even the people around me and think “I wish I were like them”, but instead I will say

“I’m thankful that I am ME. Because no one can be ME.”

So dear ones, will you join me in living a life of being vulnerably us? Will you join me in leaving perfectionism and comparison behind?? Let us celebrate who we are and what we create and what we do well, because we were always designed to do it the way only we can do it.

Xoxo

Destiny Story

#MoreSelfLove

#BodyLove

Blog Post

Happy February! The month of love! This month I have challenged myself to be a bit more active in my relationship with myself. I want to be more intentional about the love I am extending to me.

To start this month off, I wanted to write about the power of loving your body (yiiikes).

#BodyLove

As someone that has struggled with body image issues my entire life, I know that some of you will not want to read this post. I wouldn’t have, but I promise it is worth it! No Shame Allowed.

Why should we pursue a positive attitude towards our bodies?

Our relationship with our bodies affect everything. It affects our quality of life, our confidence, our perception of the world, our adventures, and our relationships. It affects our mental, emotional, and physical health.

Our bodies are a representation of ourselves. Our bodies are the first thing we share with the world. Our bodies is what takes up space in this world (a space that each of us deeply deserve).

The beauty standards of our society (at least in America) are impossible. Did you hear that? I M P O S S I B L E. Jes Baker, in her book Things No One Tells Fat Girls, states that for 95% of women it is completely impossible for their bodies to achieve the current beauty standard of America. In order for a man to achieve the current beauty standard of America, that man would have to dedicate his entire day, everyday, to achieve that body. To me, these statements make the beauty standard null and void (but does not diminish the pressure to achieve those standards).

Lastly, if we added more acceptance, more love, and more positive attitudes towards our bodies, we would change the world. The world is filled with comparison, anger, anxiety, and filled with people that believe they are worthless. If we all began to accept our bodies, allowing ourselves to take up space in this world, we would fill the world with more life. The world would become a fuller and more beautiful place.

How do we pursue a positive attitude towards our bodies?

I think it begins by making the powerful choice to fight. You must decide to face the monster of body-hate and instead, actively pursue more acceptance and more love towards your body.

After you’ve made the brave choice to fight, you have to be gracious to yourself. For me, I have about eighteen years of bad habits towards my body…I need to recognize that I won’t solve those in a day or two. It I going to take time. It takes time to change those patterns. Everyone has good days and everyone has bad days. I have bad body days and so does the next body positive advocate. So, be kind to yourself and recognize that body-love is not just a switch of a flip…but taking a step forward each day.

I think the act of body-love looks like acceptance. It looks like you stop fighting against your body and instead fight for your body. Instead of hiding who you are, boldly share who you are with the world and yourself. Acceptance is a journey, but each day you are presented with small opportunities to accept your body.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, flood your life with truth. This looks like being educated on topics about bodies, and specifically your body. This looks like surrounding yourself with people that are fighting this battle for body acceptance, too. This looks like drowning your thoughts and talk with truths. This looks like declarations (declaring what you want, higher truths, and positive things). I read this book once, Love Yourself: Like your Life Depends on it by Kamal Ravikant, about a man that hated his life and wanted to die. After spending one month consistently telling himself “I love myself” his perspective about himself and life completely changed. ONE MONTH. Declarations change things!

Body love isn’t an easy thing to talk about, face, or pursue. But, as a woman that has fought hard for the love she has towards her body…it is  w o r t h  it! If you are just beginning to give your body the attention and love it deserves, don’t worry! You aren’t alone and welcome to the #BodyLove club!

I want to leave you with this quote from Jes Baker (from her book Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls)…

“We build our lives around the belief that we are undeserving of attention, love, and amazing opportunities, when in reality this couldn’t be further from the truth.”

To all you lovely men and women, YOU deserve some body love, too! I would LOVE to continue this conversation down below. Leave your comments, questions below. Also, tell me how you are loving your body boldly today!

XO,

M

Dirty Humanity

Blog Post

One of my all-time favorite things about me is that I am a human. That might be an odd thing to say, but I absolutely adore being a human. Being human is the hardest thing that anyone will ever do. Humanity is messy. It is dirty. It is a whole lot of spills, shattered glass, and broken hearts. It is selfish, offended, disappointed. Humanity is difficult, for everyone. Did you grasp that?

Humanity is difficult, for everyone.

The journey of being a human is a long, over-stretched process of each person simply learning how to human better. Regardless of who they are, or how well their name is known, no human ever conquers humanity (other than Jesus Christ, I guess. Lol). Each day each human is faced with a new set of difficult human challenges. I mean, “I am human” is the ultimate excuse. Each day we have more human choices to make on what kind of human we will be.

A huge perk of being human is that we are surrounded by other humans trying to be humans. We are all fumbling along trying to figure this whole thing out.

We aren’t alone in the mess and difficulty of humanity.

If you feel like you are struggling or have been having a really hard time recently, I just want to say that you’re not alone. Human-ing isn’t easy! Insecurity, comparison, and offense are popping up! But that does not mean we have to partner with those things.

Recently, I have been feeling super offended. I hate that, but when I am feeling those feelings I get to choose if I am going to align myself with those feelings. Am I going to align myself with that? Or am I going to rise? Am I going to examine the situation deeper and find the true root or am I going to stay in the shallow end of offense?

Remember, you are simply learning to human better. So, be gracious to yourself as you learn. Do not get angry at yourself for getting a bit of dirt on your hands. Life is messy. and it takes time. So, take your time & get messy

Mess does not always have to be a bad thing. When I look back at my life and I see all of the heart-break, chaos, emotions, and adventures I have been on I am extremely thankful. Each pile of mud I have stepped on has taught me. Each handful of dirt I have picked up has strengthened me. Each shoe, covered in dust from adventure, has shown me new perspectives. Sometimes our mess requires a different attitude. No longer will I view my mess or the messy situations I am facing as failure, instead…I will rise to the occasion and embrace the mess. I will joyfully allow myself to be covered in the mess, accepting it all, and then learn to grow from it.

Just like a flower blooming requires some dirt, you require some dirt to bloom, too.

Having the heart to grow, regardless of how messy it gets, is what is important. Growing and developing as a human, becoming better at human things, is what keeps us moving and stops us from being stagnant. So, regardless of where you are…if you feel like you are a storm raging or if you feel like you are an empty field, it is okay. Just begin to pick up your pieces and build yourself again.

Here is a poem by Pavana that I thought went nicely with this post…

somedays,
i am the flower
somedays,
i am the rain.

-pavana

I hope you enjoyed! Let me know in the comments your human thoughts! Also, would love to hear what you’d like to hear from me, let me know! Thank you for giving me your time and reading my sweet simple words. It is such an honor to have your attention.

XO,

M