I can still remember my parents taking me and my brother to the movie theatre to see “Grease”. I was 7 years old. I felt like such a grown-up. I’ve lost count by now of how many times I’ve watched it since then (or forced my kids to watch it with me!) or seen a musical production of it (including the many camp productions too). I get chills (they multiple) everytime I watch it or hear the music.
I can also still remember blasting my stereo and dancing around my room to Olivia Newton-John’s smash hit song “Physical”, dreaming I could sing just like her. The implied sexual content went way over my innocent 10 year old head.
I’ve been a big fan of Olivia Newton-John’s ever since that first trip to the movie theatre with my parents back in 1978 and I have continued to follow her career, her advocacy and her personal journey, including her very courageous 30 year battle with breast cancer. She will be missed by many. I will always be “hopelessly devoted to you”. RIP. “Goodbye to Sandra Dee”.
It is especially common to have such an amplified negative perception of yourself; whether true or not when battling anxiety or other types of mood and personality disorders.
Hate is a very intense and strong emotion and one that can really take its toll on your health.
I have an incredible support system in my life. My friends are forever checking in on me and when plans are made with them they are always going out of their way to accommodate my often long list of limitations and boundaries to ensure I feel safe and comfortable no matter the situation (attending my girlfriend’s bridal shower yesterday afternoon was no exception 殺).
Yet my illness still continually tries to tell me that everyone hates me and that the world would be much better off without me in it.
When you are constantly worrying about what everyone else thinks of you, somewhere along the way you stop liking yourself and you quickly lose sight of all the wonderful things about you while trying to meet the expectations or approval of others or at the very least, their version of who you should be.
Although extremely difficult, I still continue to fight each and every day to try and not lose sight of all the amazing parts of me even though it’s so much easier to focus all my attention on my negative beliefs and just ignore the positive ones completely.
We have no control over how others view us so it’s best to just do you and if someone doesn’t understand why you do the things you do try and cut them some slack; afterall, you may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s okay.
This past week has been excruciatingly painful; mentally, physically and personally. My spirit is broken and simply put, it feels way beyond repair.
Several friends rallied around. I know in my heart that I am worthy of love but more importantly, that I am loved and I am holding on to that feeling for dear life right now with an abundance of gratitude and appreciation.
I need to keep telling myself that what feels too hard today is not necessarily permanent even though every part of my life “right now” feels like forever. It’s a very dark and lonely place to be. When everything feels so permanent like it does today I try to add the words “right now” to the end of each negative thought to get me through the really hard days “right now”. It’s a great tool to use which allows me to try and focus forward and it reminds me that when something feels so permanent “right now” that it doesn’t mean it always will be that way.
It’s time to start normalizing normal bodies. It’s time that society stops making us believe that being thin is your ticket to fitting in. This song has become my summer anthem and I want to share it with you. Shout out to @jax for bravely creating this song about body positivity and encouraging young girls everywhere to appreciate their bodies by changing the narrative. I wish this super important message that we can not live in a one size fits all world was around when I was younger, especially before the onset of my eating disorder which has continued to rear its ugly head in many different forms throughout my entire adult life.
Some days we may be “perfectly imperfect” and on other days we may feel “imperfectly perfect” but either way you say it, learning to embrace our imperfections is the perfect way to help you grow, learn from your flaws, make you unique, give you a sense of belonging, find your voice, allow you to be more accepting of others and see that the beauty of nature can exist in all shapes and forms.
Contact @agentlereminderproject or DM us today to create your own gentle reminders from a selection of affirmations and sayings.
Available on hoodies, t’s, keychains, lawn signs, onesies and more.
A portion of sales will be donated to youth mental health initiatives.
When one of Hannah’s besties sends you a message (yesterday) asking if you could possibly write a short poem and then record it on your phone and send it to her along with some pics we may have of Hannah from her many years at camp (there are probably hundreds) so that they can add it to their video tribute they were making for Hannah in honour of her “Bat Mitzvah” year at camp last night (lucky number 13) but you only have a couple of hours to do it so you take several deep breaths as your anxiety escalates, put on your creative thinking cap and tell the negative self-talk in your head to shut the f-up just long enough to get the job done!
I have written many articles before about the incredible impact overnight camp had on me during most of my childhood and young adult life and how blessed I am that all three of my kids got to experience a similar journey of their own, making some of the most amazing friendships along the way. Camp truly became their home away from home.
Hannah is our last child still enjoying the AWE-someness of overnight camp as head staff at her home away from home and if it weren’t for a family trip we took back in 2011 where Hannah was unable to attend camp that summer and of course we will never forget the summer of 2020 when camp was sadly shut down due to Covid, this would have actually been her 15th summer away.
As I lie here writing this, unable to sleep, I begin to realize just how quickly the summer is passing by and knowing that it will most likely be Hannah’s final summer at camp before she begins the next chapter of her life I can’t help but feel a sense of emptiness in my heart. For Hannah and for me.
Mazel Tov on your “Bat Mitzvah” Hannah. I’m sure it was filled with just as many precious moments as your first one did 10 years ago and at least this time you didn’t have to study for it! Lol
P.S. she loved the video!
*in case you can’t open the video…here’s the poem below!
I can still remember how excited you were that first summer you left for camp,
You hugged us goodbye and hopped on the bus with a toolbox filled with stamps.
I can’t believe how quickly time has flown since that day,
And how much you have grown into such a fine young woman in every single way.
As you stand before your peers tonight to honour your Bat Mitzvah year,
Hold these precious memories close to your heart and always keep them forever near and dear.
I’ve been running on empty the last few weeks, desperately trying to hold on; today my cup simply just boiled over.
I needed to be alone and as painful and uncomfortable as it was, I just needed to feel my feelings.
I needed to acknowledge my pain, my frustration, my anger, my sadness, my fear.
I did a lot of self-reflection as well today which quickly reminded me of a quote I’d recently read by Kristina Kuzmic, author of the memoir I’ve been reading called “Hold On, But Don’t Hold Still”. If you’re a mom or if you’ve ever felt lost, defeated or been through rough times, read it!; or simply look Kristina up on YouTube where you will find an array of videos (many of which have gone viral) where she speaks directly from the heart and within the “trenches of parenthood” with beautiful messages of self-acceptance and resilience.
Her quote: “Give yourself more credit than criticism, more grace than judgment”.
I love this quote. A quote which many of us need to hear right now and so too do our kids. I’ve read it a hundred times already today and could read it a hundred more; good thing the night is still young.
I went to an aqua fit class at my friend’s pool earlier this evening. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I LOVE aqua fit, but then again, I love anything that allows me to be in or around water (so long as it’s not freezing cold🥶)!
I don’t claim to know the exact science behind why being in water or even just surrounded by it seems to have a very powerful calming effect on me.
Whether I’m submerged in water while swimming at a friend’s pool or taking a relaxing bath or while being mesmerized by the sight of a beautiful flowing waterfall or listening to the soothing sound of the waves crashing to the shore while sitting on the beach or lying on a boat; I find it very therapeutic and healing (I’m not even opposed to dancing in the rain!).
Water has the ability to put me into a meditative state which is not an easy feat for me because meditation in most other forms leaves me screaming for the nearest exit but when I am in or near water I very often feel at peace; it inspires my creativity and gives me some mental clarity.
It also seems to have become an especially beneficial way for me to help ease some of the physical tensions I’ve been experiencing for well over three months now.
I think maybe in my next life I should come back as a mermaid?!
I probably don’t need to remind you as to the importance of practicing regular self-care but just in case you may need some inspiration then look no further than your precious fur babies.
Our fur babies don’t give a cat’s meow what happened yesterday or what may possibly happen tomorrow, for them it’s all about being at peace in the moment and making sure they check in with themselves at least once every day.
To our fur babies, self-care is about making sure they get just the right amount of daily belly rubs, it’s about indulging in their favourite treats without any guilt, it’s about sharing a comforting cuddle with a loved one, it’s about making time to meet up with friends at the park, it’s about spending quiet time alone while chewing on a bone.
Self-care for our fur babies includes gazing out the window, daydreaming to the sound of each passing car or meditating while watching children playing in the street.
Self-care for our fur babies is about taking a mindful walk that includes pampering themselves in nature and stopping to smell every tree and fire hydrant along the way.
Self-care for our fur babies includes leisurely car rides; preferably with the window open just enough to feel a cool breeze on their face.
Self-care for our fur babies includes making physical activity an important part of their weekly routine by chasing after lots of bunnies and squirrels, doing their downward dog yoga stretches as much as possible and of course afterwards taking a time out, drinking lots of water and having a well deserved nap whenever needed.
So go ahead, give yourself permission today to take care of you, bark your head off if you need to; it’s very therapeutic and a really great way to relieve stress.