Is Fear Holding You Back?

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I turned 39 last Sunday. It was kind of a crazy day. We had spent the weekend at a house in the rural foothills of Eastern Washington surrounded by nearly four feet of soft powdery snow. It was beautiful! When we arrived on Friday, we had to snowmobile in with our bags part of the way because our vehicle couldn’t get through part of the road that hadn’t been plowed. When it was time to leave on Sunday, we had to hike three miles with our kids and cat/dog because our vehicle had to be towed out part of the way because it was stuck on an icy road on a steep hill. If I had known the roads would have been so tricky, I probably wouldn’t have gone…but guess what? I do know what the roads are like and we’re going back this weekend! We’ll just be a little more prepared (with chains) this time.

I know it probably sounds crazy (at least that’s what my mom says), but honestly the almost 72 hours of fun, beauty, adventure, and relaxation we experienced was worth the several hours of hiking and digging that we had to do. I’ve realized that there are probably many things I haven’t done in the past out of fear. More

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Why Are We Obsessed With Beauty? Is All This Attention on Beauty and Looks Healthy?

I can’t help but wonder what all the fuss is about. Why do we feel we need to look, dress, buy, think, and behave a certain way to be good enough? I’m not saying that I’ve never felt that I needed to be something other than myself to be accepted because, unfortunately–I have felt that way. What I’m questioning is why any of us ever feel that way in the first place? When and how does it start? At some point in our life, we all feel the pressure. More

What is Wrong With This Picture?

J.C. Penney t-shirt

Do we really want to send kids into the classroom with this type of attitude? As if girls don’t already have enough body image issues… More

Life is Short

Happy Tuesday! Enjoy yourself, have some fun, savor the simple pleasures, and smile. Do something that brings you joy because… More

How You React To Situations Could Change Your Life…

 

We all know what it’s like to feel irritated, angry, frustrated, and impatient, but what if we made the daily decision to react to our environment in a way that would move us in a positive direction vs. down the road of unhappiness? Every decision and reaction (or non reaction) we make alters our life path, which leads us to our future. Why not choose to be positive every day in spite of challenges and frustration? No matter who you are, you have the control to make that choice every day—the choice of happiness. I’m not saying that it’s always going to easy, but it beats living in negativity land!

I like this…

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Striving For Perfection—Wasting Time on Unrealistic Expectations & Comparisons

I have always been a Type A, high-energy person who has lots of goals and “to do” lists. My goals don’t include flying to the moon, being a rock star, becoming a neuroscientist, or anything amazing like that, but they are mine and they are important to me. I’m at my best and happiest when I’m meeting challenges head on and juggling lots of things at once. Sometimes, I feel like a hummingbird flying here and there trying to get it all done. I love that feeling. I’ve always enjoyed striving to reach new goals–until suddenly I wasn’t having fun anymore.

I’m not sure why or when it happened, but something shifted within me. I was trying to make everything “perfect” instead of enjoying the process of learning, creating, and reaching goals. Somehow, I got it stuck in my head that I needed to up the ante. I did this to myself—no one else did. I wanted everything to be “just so”. We all know there is no way to have the “perfect” body, hair, complexion, clothes, relationships, marriage, kids, career, or life. Perfection does not exist, but still… More

When Saying “No” and Speaking Your Mind Feels Good!

I went through a uncomfortbale–and much too long–phase of being the “Yes” woman. Some people took advantage of the temporary role I played as “that person”. I could be all things to all people at all times (or so I thought). Yes, I’ll be room mom, library volunteer, preschool helper, class auction project go-to-girl, help tutor kids during school hours, bake whatever dessert you please for whatever event you want, watch your kids, and do whatever else you want me to do… No problem. Sure, I’ll set my own personal needs aside to make my house look perfect, cook delicious meals, and attend every social function I’m invited to (even if I don’t want to). And yes, I’ll agree with you to make you happy, tell you what you want to hear so that you’re not upset, or just keep quiet so things stay calm. I’ll keep my own thoughts to myself and internalize my feelings. How healthy does that sound? Not very…

One day, I just couldn’t do it anymore; I had enough. I was tired and feeling taken advantage of. People knew I would say yes because that’s what I did, but what I had loved doing (helping) became a chore and expected of me–I wasn’t having fun anymore. It was my own fault, of course. I let it go too far, and I didn’t set boundaries. Also, I wasn’t feeling like I was being authentic by holding back my true feelings, thoughts, and opinions. Is that really the example I want to set for our girls—to be an un-opinionated martyr. NO! I am a smart woman with thoughts and opinions that are worth saying aloud.

I needed to reorganize my life in a hurry, and I did. I was done with that old way, which was actually not the way I had been growing up. It was time to go back to my spunky, energetic, respectfully opinionated self that I was before I had lost my sparkle. More

Magazines at the Checkout Stand…by Liz Nord

You know when you are in line waiting to check out at the grocery store and there are all those shiny magazines just staring at you begging to be picked up and thumbed through? I never gave the magazines much thought until my nine-year-old daughter started reading the trashy headlines and asking a bunch of questions. Yes, questions are good, but…

Why do the covers have to say things like, “Look at (insert name) cellulite and big butt”, “Look whose gained or lost too much weight”, “Lose 10 pounds in 10 days with the starve yourself and be cranky and unhealthy diet”, “So-and-so stole you know whose boyfriend and the drama ensues,” blah, blah, blah. You know what I’m talking about…The headlines with the close up shots of someones butt, stomach, or breasts.

Sometimes I get sucked into the headlines. Sometimes a cover picture is too much for little kid eyes, and I turn the magazine around with the backside facing out. I swear I am not über conservative, and I know I’m not the only one doing it because I’ve seen it done before.  

Why do they have to put magazines with ultra negative messages at the checkout stand at a kid’s eye level?  I know…they want to suck us all in so that we will take a peak and be curious enough to buy it. *Sigh*

Here are a couple real titles from the National Inquirer, “BRITNEY SPEARS BLIMPS OUT! Pop tart packs on the pounds as she slurps down booze, pills & junk food to fight depression,” and “WORLD EXCLUSIVE: JOHN EDWARDS SUICIDAL!”

None of this is really our business, and it’s not like reading articles like that are going to actually help anyone…Right?

I guess what I’m wishing is that they could just leave the checkout stand section for magazines like Readers Digest, Coastal Living, Psychology Today, National Geographic, Newsweek (without the war or blood and guts pictures on the cover), Brain Child, Real Simple, and other cooking or positive and intelligent message magazines. You know, magazines that our kids can look at without thinking, “Why do all the magazine covers talk about being too fat, too skinny, plastic surgery, dieting, who’s doing who, how much money Joe Blow has, etc.”

Maybe I’m just getting old…

Here is a great idea from Dr. Dana-Marie Thomas at Conversations, Pink Cocktails, & Confetti! 

“You walk up to a magazine rack at your favorite bookstore and you’re confronted with numerous self-improvement suggestions: ’10 Easy Ways to Lose Weight’ … ‘Exercises to Get a Bikini Body’ … ‘Fashion Tips to Look More Like [Someone Else]‘ … OK, you’ve been here before. You know exactly what this looks like. Now imagine that instead of walking away frustrated, you reach into your bag and pull out a new, empowering cover — it reads: ‘BEAUTIFUL just the way you are.’ You slip it in front of one of the make-you-over magazines and walk away, satisfied for having spread a new message.” X&O Dana-Marie

Go Dana-Marie, go!!

Rx: Girlfriend. Take Daily. by Andrea Dodd

There’s a very elemental, raw part of being human that beckons worthy acknowledgement. It’s the need to be touched; physically and socially. We are undeniably social beings. We were created that way. I’ll go so far as to say that touch is encompassed in a conversation, in eye contact, in a shared laugh. The proverbial shoulder on which one cries. Entire lifetimes vulnerably lived amongst special few, sharing the good, the bad, and the inevitable ugly.

The vision of life without my closest is suffocating. I’m so fortunate to have strong bonds with my sisters and mom, and a handful of amazing women, some of which have seen me through life since elementary school. Half of which I talk to daily. All of which are an element of me. More

What Are Your Thoughts on Abercrombie Kids Selling Padded Push Up Bikini Tops to 8-Year-Old Girls? Check Out A Better Kids Clothing Option. By Liz Nord

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People have told me that my Barbie vs. Bratz post was either too conservative or not conservative enough. I hope we can all agree here, that selling push up padded bikini tops to eight-year-old girls it completely and utterly over the top and wrong. Please tell me you agree.

Abercrombie Kids is marketing to girls and boys between the ages of 7 and 14. There is no logical reason for a seven-year-old girl to have a padded anything. The use of the word “push up” is unbelievably inappropriate for young girls. A push up bikini top is designed to make your bust look bigger and more accessible to the eye. Why would a second or third or fifth or whatever grader want to do that? This is clear sexualization of girls, and it really bugs me. 

Playing sexy is not appropriate for girls.  Kids should be out catching frogs, playing sports, learning an instrument, dancing, playing hopscotch, etc. Let them be kids! Teaching girls that their looks are their primary value is setting them up for future problems with body image, self-esteem, and feelings of self-worth.

Right now, somewhere in the world, a girl is shopping at Abercrombie Kids. She is getting the message that her chest is not good enough; it needs to be bigger and pushed up and out. No, thank you.

There has been such outrage about the bikini top that Abercrombie Kids has removed the word “push-up” from its online catalogue, but not the item. It’s still for sale and being marketed as padded. It’s just wrong. I will never shop at that store.

On a more positive note, check out Pigtail Pals. I love their Redefine Girly t-shirts for ages six months and up. Their t-shirts have empowering positive messages. No, “I’m a princess” or “I’m spoiled” messages here.

Here is their awesome video. It’s a must see. I love it!

Pigtail Pals say, “Instead of ‘parents beware’, let’s work with ‘parents be educated about your options and empowered in how to talk to your kids’. Let’s focus on the companies who are putting good, healthy, inspiring apparel & products out there for girls.”

UPDATE: Abercrombie Kids took the Ashley padded bikini top off their website. But, there is still another bikini there that has “removable padding”.

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