Well, here we are. My ass is on the internet and I have some explaining to do. (That’s actually not true – I have zero explaining to do here, that’s the beauty of owning who you are – but maybe my lesson has a gem or two for you…)
A month or so ago, a photographer business colleague posted in a group that we’re both in looking for candidates for her 30-day body challenge. I love a good body challenge, so I clicked on the link. Turns out, it wasn’t a hard core workout like I was expecting. She was gifting boudoir photography sessions (30 of them) to women wanting to experience and celebrate their bodies as they are.
As I read about it, I was like, “Yes!!! I totally want to do that!” And then I read through the guidelines, where she says that she’s gonna highlight you on her website and social media.
The thoughts came rushing in. You can’t be half-naked on the internet. Who will see you? What happens if you become well-known at some point and these photos come back to haunt you? What if these photos result in stalking and other predatory behavior by weirdos? What if, what if, what if…?
There were so many reasons for me to say no. Maybe later. I’ll do it another time, when I can keep my photos private.
And then I thought of you. And how hard it can be to say yes to the things we know we want because of what other people will think of us. Or because of the things we can’t control after we say yes.
And then my yes became non-negotiable. If my work with my clients involves calling them to be brave and steadfast in their pursuit of what they want, I have to walk my talk.
Why Is It So Hard To Own Who We Are?
Well, sometimes we don’t know who we are. We know how other people see us and who they want us to be, but it’s not always clear that that’s 100% right. (In fact, it usually isn’t.) It’s also probably safe to say that we aren’t encouraged to head right to the extremes to figure out who we are. Most of us land in the middle and stay somewhere in the middle, unless we’re given a reason not to.
Other times, we’re scared that who we are isn’t good enough, isn’t lovable, isn’t doing it right, and all the other things we could possibly be fucking up to make people not love us and leave us.
How Do I Start To Own Who I Am?
There’s a game you can play with yourself. (I just made it up – you’re gonna love it!) It’s called What-Would-I-Do-Right-Now-If-I-Didn’t-Give-A-Fuck?
I should probably go trademark that right now…alas, I digress.
Seriously, take a few days, a week. And every time it occurs to you, ask the question, “What would I do right now if I didn’t give a fuck?” This sounds a little harsh and probably crass, but your answers don’t have to be.
Write it down if you want. Notice how uncomfortable it makes you (or doesn’t). Notice how excited you get playing out the potential impact of the thing you want to do.
And then, just start. A little at a time. Let it out.
No, I can’t stay late at work.
Nope, I won’t be coming to visit this weekend.
I can’t date you; I’m dating a man who lives in a van by the river.
They don’t all have to be negative:
I know we’ve been friends for a long time, but I have feelings for you and want to tell you about them.
I really want to learn how to waterski.
I’m going to say hi to the cute guy I see on my way to work today.
At first, it’ll be a trickle, but it’s a lot like opening the floodgates. More will come. And it will start to feel easier and easier. And pretty soon, you won’t be able to keep you stuffed inside anymore. It will be beautiful and glorious, and every place on the planet will feel like home, because you will be there – fully.
And I will be there, cheering you on, because nothing is more beautiful than a woman fully inhabiting herself. I cannot wait to see you.
Now, Back to that Hot Booty.
Honestly, owning the part of me that is sexy, the part of me that likes to be looked at and admired for my body, has been the most challenging part of my transformation.
I was a chubby kid. My relationship with my body has always been frustrating. It wasn’t until I was in my late 20s that my body finally started to feel like mine – probably because I had finally stopped fighting with it all the time.
But even after that, it’s taken years for me to see what other people have been seeing. A few years ago, I would have looked at these photos and seen something completely different.
And now I just see me. The outsides that match the insides. There are lots of different moods and sides to the me on the inside and the me on the outside, but I truly do love them all – and they are all 100% me.
So here I am, owning who I am, and saying yes to what I want. All of that is founded in a deeper belief that those two things will always, always, always lead me right to where I am supposed to be.
In the comments below, share one thing you would do if you weren’t worried about what would happen if you actually did it. I can’t wait to read them!
And, if you go see Yuliya, tell her I sent you!