When you quiet your mind and look deep within yourself, what does your REAL voice tell you? When you quiet your mind and block out all the negative noise from society, media, parents, or friends, what do you really hear? When you remove the filter through which you understand and process experiences, what are other people really trying to tell you?
Today, I had an opportunity to sit on a panel for a Body Image class (yes, thereâ€™s really an entire class devoted to body image â€“ so cool) at UNCC.
Honestly, I felt completely humbled to be sitting on the panelâ€¦ especially besides women such as Janine Davis (the founder of Girl Talk) and Molly Barker (the founder and vision keeper of Girls on the Run). There was also two representatives from Athenasâ€™ Path on the panel.
Each of the panel members discussed how their body image was formed. I talked about growing up in Miami and how hitting puberty early impacted the way I felt about my body and self-worth.
For the first time, I also publically talked about the â€˜secretâ€™ I revealed in the Operation Beautiful book, which is that I was in such a deep, dark place when I was younger I used to engage in self-harm. I was really hesitant to write about it in the book and there was a lot of back-and-forth where I took it put and put it back in. But Iâ€™m not ashamed anymore. Thereâ€™s no reason to pretend like Iâ€™m perfect or ever have been. Now I realize that everyone has their demons and by being upfront about it, I can help more people. If Molly is brave enough to talk about her struggle with alcoholism, I can talk about that part of my life. (If youâ€™re struggling, please find help.)
We also talked a lot about finding your passion, especially if your goal is to help other people. Everyone in the class volunteered stories of how they want to help other people â€“ one girl wanted to be an eating disorder counselor; another wanted to be a teacher; another wanted to be a nurse. But the point was that each felt fulfilled following their path. It made me so happy.
The class was great â€“ all the students had great stories and experiences to tell. I left feeling so inspired! Alsoâ€¦ I want to go back to school and take cool classes like Body Image instead of pointless (for me) classes like Russian Fairy Tales. And yes, I really took Russian Fairy Tales. 🙂
A glorious wrap with pre-made baked tofu, tabouli (still havenâ€™t tried to make it myself), and spinach.
And carrots + a lovely little peach.
And a couple handfuls of animal crackers that I ate in line at the grocery store. 🙂
After such an exciting morning, I need to buckle down and get some work down before my friends arrive. Itâ€™s going to be a gorgeous weekend in Charlotte, and Iâ€™m so excited to spend time with friends + explore the city a little more.