I want you to know that I hope the first issue of KERRY magazine made you feel beautiful.
I want to share a photo me from when I was 15. I came across this last year and decided to hang it up above my dresser. When I found this, my first response was awe. I couldn’t believe how beautiful, funky and confident the girl in the picture looked. The reason I was so surprised is because I didn’t feel any of those things at the time. This photo was actually taken right before I cut all of that hair off so I could look like Mia Farrow from Rosemary’s Baby. My mom was so upset. I didn’t understand why. Over 20 years later, I got it. I finally saw what she saw. I now know what she always knew.
(I am seriously crying right now in a coffee shop as I write this. I learned not to stop the crying because it means I am feeling and feeling is healing. It may sound cheesy but I have been feeling a lot in the last year and a lot of positive change has been coming from it.)
I thought everyone else was beautiful and that I would never REALLY be beautiful.
I am going to be honest here and let you know that feeling that way led me to a lot of self-destructive behavior. It led me to hang out with a lot of people who did not value me as a person. It led me to learn how to be one way on the outside while being completely different on the inside.
(I have been encouraged to share my story more lately so this is the beginning of that. I hope to keep peeling back the layers so that my experiences can help others. The amount of tears flowing right now make me realize that this is a good start.)
I grew up and eventually had moments and times in my life when I truly felt beautiful. I feel very lucky to have had those times because I am now learning that not everyone does.
I started going back to my old ways of thinking after moving back to Arizona 2 years ago. I had gained weight. I had stretch marks from my pregnancies. I had acne scars on my face from horrible breakouts that happened the year after the birth of my first son. I compared myself to EVERYONE. I never came out on top. I was constantly saying negative things to and about myself in my head.
I remembering looking at this photo of me as a 15 year old and feeling an ache deep inside. Such a beautiful soul who had no idea just how beautiful she is. I knew that I didn’t want another 20 years to go by and to find a photo of my 37 year old self and feel that same ache. That ache of seeing the beauty in my younger self that I couldn’t see at the time.
I started learning about changing my thoughts. I discovered that I can actually tell myself “I am beautiful.” Who knew?! I had never said those words. I started saying them over and over again in my head. I started making a song out of it and dancing. I eventually was able to look in the mirror and say “You are beautiful” to my reflection.
I got more serious about my meditation practice. I started to really take the time to get in touch with my true self. That deep inner core that knows that I am worthy, amazing and, yes, beautiful.
I started to allow tears to come and not stop them once they did. I started to move out that old energy. That energy that didn’t think I was good enough.
I started to pay attention to what made me feel beautiful and to do those things often.
I started this magazine.
I wanted to honor the dreams of the girl in that photo. I also knew that other people might feel the way I have felt and I want them to feel beautiful too.
One of the women from the magazine wrote me after the photoshoot saying this:
“It was extraordinary. Really. It did me a world of good and honestly is the first time I’ve ever felt anything close to beautiful.”
I almost dropped the phone.
If you told my 15 year old self that when she was in her 30’s that she would help a woman feel beautiful and good about herself during a photoshoot for her very own magazine I know she would have smiled and said “That sounds about right but I won’t just stop there.” If she had the tools then that I have now it might have happened sooner than later. I have spent enough time in the past and am now excited to create a beautiful future.
It has taken me some time but I am finally ready to be myself and to find the beauty in that authenticity.
I want to do the same for others.
If you want to be a part of the next issue of KERRY magazine please send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have the next photoshoot tentatively scheduled for Sunday, October 25th at my home.
If you feel called to do some deeper work please get in touch. I would love to help you find and feel your beauty and your worth. You can get in touch at email@example.com.
Remember, you are beautiful!!! XO!