1. The Beauty of Vulnerability

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    “Have the courage to be imperfect.” –Brene Brown

    Vulnerability: A powerful word that scares the crap out of most people.  

    By definition, being vulnerable means to be open to moral attack, criticism, temptation, etc, but I want to go deeper than that.

    One of my favourite TED talks is by Brené Brown on the Power of Vulnerability. Brown explains how vulnerability is the key to connection, connection being why we are here. It gives purpose and meaning to our lives.

    In order to connect with people in a real way, it’s essential to be exposed. Completely exposing yourself may be one of the most uncomfortable things you ever do, but really being seen, is a beautiful thing.

    Most of us are scared that if we reveal our authentic selves, we will be misunderstood or worse, rejected. The fear of rejection is so powerful that it can prevent us from living out our full potential and doing extraordinary things.

    Being more vulnerable….

    Share your weaknesses. This doesn’t in any way mean you should put yourself down, but instead be open and honest about the things you struggle with, rather than feeling shame. I enjoy talking about areas in my life that I’m working on because it gives me the opportunity to have meaningful conversations and relate to people in a real way. Anyone who knows me knows I absolutely HATE small talk; I dig deep right away so I can build friendships that go beyond talking about superficial things.

    Accept negative emotions. Not everyone is going to be happy all the time. The reality is sometimes we feel insecure, inadequate or depressed. Sometimes the people we love hurt us and it is devastating. Instead of masking these emotions, feel them. If you need to cry, then cry already! Getting in touch with our feelings enables us to stay connected with ourselves, which is essential for connecting with others.

    Be rejected. The more times you are rejected, the stronger you become and the more you learn about yourself. If you want to succeed in doing what you love, it’s important put yourself out there. Is there an area in your life you are afraid to share with the world? Stop letting the fear of failure get in the way of your purpose! The bolder you are in expressing who you are, the more comfortable you will become in your own skin.

    Just be real with people, and more importantly, be real with yourself.

    Nobody said this life was easy and vulnerability is no exception to that. Naturally we numb vulnerability and only show people the side of us we know they will accept. We want to appear strong, successful and capable, so we choose to hide. Vulnerability tends to be associated with weakness, when in actuality; vulnerability shows a tremendous amount of strength.

    “What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.” -Brene Brown

    This blog entry was inspired by my very beautiful and talented friend, Lena. She wrote a song called Exposed for CBC Music’s Searchlight competition and made it to the third round! GO LENA! You can vote for her here & listen to Exposed.

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  2. What Makes You Beautiful?

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    “Girls of all kinds can be beautiful – from the thin, plus-sized, short, very tall, ebony to porcelain-skinned; the quirky, clumsy, shy, outgoing and all in between. It’s not easy though because many people still put beauty into a confining, narrow box…Think outside of the box…Pledge that you will look in the mirror and find the unique beauty in you.” Tyra Banks

    It’s hard to deny that we live in a beauty-obsessed culture. Every time we look on Pinterest, open a magazine or turn on the TV, we see how far our personal reality is from the unrealistic standard perpetuated by the media.

    Young women in today’s culture are bombarded with images of exceptionally beautiful women, illuminating why so many of us are unhappy with the way we look.

    I can’t even count how many times I’ve been asked the question, “if you would get surgery to change an part of your body, what would you change?” I have made a deliberate decision to never answer this question because I can say with confidence that there isn’t one thing I would change about myself if presented the opportunity. This isn’t because I am more attractive than anyone, but because I choose to show myself love.

    Imagine a world where rather than striving to reach an impossible standard, we celebrated that we are free to express and explore our authentic selves?

    Take a moment to think about the people in your life that you love, and ask yourself what makes them attractive. Maybe it’s their warm smile, comforting hug or contagious laugh. I’m going to assume it probably isn’t their perfect figure or flawless skin…and if it is, that says more about you than it does them.

    It has been said over and over again that we need to embrace our inner beauty, but I think for a lot of us it is easier said than done. I’m sorry to say that I don’t have the perfect solution, but I can share a little bit about what works for me.

    Throughout my life I’ve learned that I feel more beautiful when I take care of my body. When I treat my body lovingly, I feel better mentally and physically, helping me recognize my inner and outer beauty.

    I’m blessed to be a naturally confident person, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had low points. When I was living Australia last year I gained 20 pounds over a 6-month period and I felt awful. Not because I thought I was fat but because I knew I wasn’t making an effort to take care of myself. I felt disconnected from my true beauty and therefore neglected to treat my body with respect. Rather than continue to live this way, I made a decision to start eating good food and exercising on a daily basis.

    I’m proud to say that I have reached the perfect weight for me and I’m comfortable in my own skin again. If I had strived for a perfect body rather than my perfect body, I could NEVER be content. I know I am never going to have legs like Carrie Underwood so why would I add stress to my life by trying?

    I can’t honestly say that I love my pimples or fully embrace the cellulite (or straightener burn) on my ass, but I can say that I don’t love myself any less because of it. I know I am a beautiful regardless of my flaws and I live that out in my every day life by choosing not to participate in conversations that revolve around self-hate. 

    “I am so beautiful, sometimes people weep when they see me. And it has nothing to do with what I look like really, it is just that I gave myself the power to say that I am beautiful, and if I could do that, maybe there is hope for them too. And the great divide between the beautiful and the ugly will cease to be. Because we are all what we choose.” Margaret Cho

    If you took the time to read this blog, thank you first of all, and second, please take the time to write one thing you LOVE about yourself in the comments below! Let’s try and make this world a place into which we want to bring our daughters.