“What I hate is ignorance, smallness of imagination, the eye that sees no farther than its own lashes. All things are possible… who you are is limited only by who you think you are.”—Egyptian Book of the Dead
In need of a rainy day film? Click the link above! The Butterfly Circus, a short indie film, stars motivational speaker and overall inspirational man, Nick Vujicic, actor Eduardo Verástegui, and Doug Jones who has appeared in films such as Pan’s Labyrinth, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Men in Black II. The Butterfly Circus is a moving story of change and believing in one’s self. A perfect film for someone who is looking to find beauty in everything and the triumph that comes from a great struggle.
The film is about 20 min. long and a great watch :) Enjoy
We’re reminded that life is fragile today. We’re reminded the power of choice, the choices of others and certainly our own. We hold the power to choose love and grace and kindness, and we hold the power to choose hate and terror and murder as well. We saw this in Norway today, in the unthinkable tragedy there. Our hearts are more than heavy for the people of Norway and our prayers are for the loved ones of the many killed. We are sorry beyond words and we stand with you today. And we say the lives mattered. Your friend. Your sister. Your neighbor. Your son. Their life mattered. Their story mattered.
And then with the news of the death of Amy Winehouse, we pause to say and remember that Amy was a person. She was more than a voice, more than a star, more than an addict. She was somebody’s daughter, somebody’s friend. Our hearts are heavy for her loved ones today.
Amy’s death reminds us that addiction is real, that it has stolen the lives of thousands and hurt millions more. Families all across this planet, literally thousands of them, know the weight and struggle of this difficult and confusing disease. If you know someone that is struggling, please talk to them. Encourage them to seek help. To quote my friend Aaron Moore, “We have to balance compassion and honesty.” Compassion means you tell them you love them. Honesty means you tell them the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable.
Over the last five and a half years, we’ve learned that recovery is possible, that lives do change for the best, that sobriety is possible. We have learned the power of counseling and treatment and, though it may sound simple, we’ve learned the power of friendship as well. We all need a support system. We all need other people.
Divided by oceans and borders today, we say that we are one, in all of this together. We are people mourning and people with questions and people in need. We pause to remember lives lost today, the ones in the news and the ones that go much quieter. We mourn the stories that ended too soon and we choose to fight for the ones still going.
Today, I was at a dinner/pool party with my host family for the week, where TC, the dad, and his wife brought their beautiful children Hugh, 7, and Anabelle, 5, to play with the children of the other parents at the party. There were all these kids running around and splashing in the pool, and while I was not participating in the games, but more so trying to make conversation with the Dartmouth alum brainiacs, Anabelle came running over to TC and asked ” Daddy, is it important to be skinny? ” And TC was completely flabbergasted. Imagine your 5 year old daughter who is incredible athletic and beautiful, following after her parents I may add, already asking you that in front of a bunch of health conscious adults.
To help him ease the awkwardness, I pulled Anabelle aside and told her that it was important to be healthy and happy in life however that may be for her.
Easy to say, complicated to do. Play it simple in the summer — be happy and healthy.
“My body is not your community service project, my body is not your soulless fetish object, I do not need to justify my body to you or anyone, my body does not make me a joke nor does it make me insensitive to your hurtful remarks, my body is not an excuse for you to treat me like a second class citizen, my body is none of your business.”—Asha Zappa
I can’t pinpoint why I thought it was appropriate to share this on the blog, but somehow its a personal thing I think and will help me to alleviate some pain inside me so bear with me for a little bit. It started this morning when my mom left after visiting me for a few days in Vermont, where I’m living, alone, and 2 1/2 hours away from my home in Simsbury. I proceeded to go to work as always but instead of playing soccer at lunch, I went for a run. Up here, there are beautiful trails and views and lakes and streams and it’s so peaceful so I decided to take advantage of it and began my steady jog. About 30 minutes in, I came to a scenic view and just stopped in my tracks, standing on a cliff looking down on the flowing Connecticut River, filled with canoes, swimmers, and life. I was breathing so heavily I couldn’t hear anything else around me and suddenly I felt sick to my stomach. Out of no where, I started to cry. Not just sob, but a full on meltdown. (I know you’ve had one before) I have absolutely no explanation where these emotions came from, but they were built up inside me, raging to be let free. At first, they were tears of pain and sorrow. I was lonely up here, out of my comfort zone, being tested in ways I could never explain but simple things to get through the day. I missed being home, having my laundry done for me, seeing my friends, even going to a school. It was the uncertainty that scared me- I wanted to know what the road ahead was going to be like. I wanted a routine and being out in the wilderness, on my own, really seemed to frighten me. There was no one around to catch me when I tripped over a root on my run, to tell me to take longer strides to increase stamina, to stop and breathe for a minute. There was no one to tell me it was all going to be OK. But here I was, breathing, absorbing the nature, and supporting myself on my own. That’s when the tears became joyful, successful- because I then realized I have what it takes to make life count. Whatever my struggle may be, whether it’s with myself, friends, family, I know I’ll move beyond it one day where in hindsight it will seem minuscule. I’ve had one hell of a summer, both good and bad, and today made me realize how lucky I am to just be me. I have learned to admit my mistakes, retract my steps to make right, and if that doesn’t do justice, I know I can still get through the day to what lays ahead. Now that I have the confidence in myself, I’m challenging myself to see the confidence in others. Get them to see the good in life, their friends and family and their accomplishments. It’s truly not about the details- it’s the larger picture of what you make it to be. I am stubborn, a hypocrite, defensive, selfish, and judgmental, but I’m also friendly, determined, helpful, silly, and trustful. Being confident doesn’t mean egotistical, but knowing your strengths and using them to make others better too. I challenge you this summer to join me and find the good in yourself and then the good in others. Maybe you’ll find one and not the other, but I promise both will be equally rewarding. Love yourself and love your friends and love your family and try to love your enemies too. No one’s perfect and no one wants to be, but optimism is one step closer to bliss.
I’m sitting here now, watching the sunset, looking at dirty dishes in the sink and the milk I split on the floor, so I’m going to blast my music and dance around like its 1980. Join me.
Thank you so much for the "I am wonderful" video. I am about to start a new job and... I was doubting what they saw in me. That video reminded me, and I will listen to it all weekend and start the new job off on the right foot Monday.
Thank you. I was actually real upset about it (even crying) (weirdo, I know...)
You are NOT a weirdo. You are wonderful. You are beautiful. You are human.
All the ladies here at Beauty in Life are rooting for you and are standing behind you 100%. Never forget how truly amazing you are. Never doubt yourself. And if you do, that’s okay. We’re here for you to fall back on. Everyone who works here, who reads the blog, and who is on this earth? We are your brothers and sisters. We love you because of your flaws, not despite them. For we are all flawed. We all doubt ourselves. But we shouldn’t.
My beautiful and darling friend Lizzie has started a Tumblr called Rise + Reclaim, "a network of survivors coming together to address the aftermath of rape and sexual assault while promoting self-expression and hope."
Rape survivors are able to submit entries focusing around the main focus point of the site. If you have ANY interest in submitting something, do not hesitate! I have a poem of mine up there.
My favorite part about this blog is that it focuses on the word “survivor.” So often we hear the words “rape victim” getting thrown around. While, yes, those who are raped are victims, they evolve into a survivor. They do not let that instance define their entire life. They make it out better and stronger than ever.
… TO OUR WONDERFUL AND BEAUTIFUL ABIGAIL WOODHOUSE
this site would not have been here without her starting it up and I think has effected all of us in some way. She is so strong and a role model to me and I think I can say confidently that everyone looks up to her. ABBY WE LOVE YOU!!!! Have a fantastic day, celebrate and have a good time with friends and family!
You are enough. Despite that horrible, starless black wave of fear and guilt and imperfections that seems to be coming closer to you, inch by inch, you are enough. That wave is a figment of our society’s imagination. In reality, we are all enough.
I’m sick of girls walking around with their arms crossed and hair covering their face in order to hide their bodies. I’m sick of that sting of anxiety that comes when you see a picture of a girl that you want to look like. I’m sick of the way we treat our bodies, as if they are a punching bag. If we want to lose weight, we starve. If we want to gain weight, we binge. The bodies that have been given to us are beautiful and strong, but they are also fragile. Even if we don’t want to admit it, we are fragile.
To be perfectly honest with you ladies, I am at a fork in the road of accepting myself. Everything I speak about to you? I believe in it 100%. But it’s so difficult to see myself the same way. I believe in all of you, but I don’t believe in myself. And that’s part of why I created this blog. I wanted to join all of the women (and men) who are struggling with who they are.
To quote one of my favorite songs, “we are all in this together, we are all in this alone.” It’s so true. We are all in this together. We all share struggles and toils that come along with being a part of whatever it means to be human. But each one of our experiences is completely our own. I didn’t fully realize this until one of my teachers was speaking to me earlier this year. As I don’t remember her exact words, I’m going to take what she said and put in into context about the blog- I could talk at you all I wanted about beauty and how everyone is perfect just the way they are, but in reality? Loving yourself is your choice. It’s a simple yes or no question.
There are going to be days where you just want to wear baggy sweatshirts and hide from the world. There are going to be days when you want to run outside and feel summer’s green grass in between your toes and feel the sunlight blanketing your skin. Loving yourself isn’t easy. It’s messy. It sometimes seems stupid. It’s confusing and irritating. But my god, is it beautiful.