Saturday, July 17, 2010

Let's Get REAL!!!!

Sometimes when you are searching out this vast blogscape of ours, you never know what you'll land upon.  I was totally intrigued to find out about Shakti Mama and this idea of putting up a totally "raw" photo of yourself.  The idea is terrifying to most of us...alot of our blogs have crisp, beautiful pictures...carefully selected to show only our best features, our best moments.  However, I like the idea of conquering my fears...throwing myself into the things that scare me most...and really baring myself to the world, well that terrifies me.  I want so badly to be that woman who just loves herself, madly and completely.  The truth is, I fluctuate alot between love and loathing.  When I see a picture of myself, I usually feel dismay...there is no love in that first glance...usually I hit the erase button and hope that the day will come when I magically become photogenic...when I become someone other than me.  
So...this is my first tentative step...into embracing me for who I am...so here I am...first thing in the morning, (you can't get any more real than that)!


Who is this girl in the mirror.  Let me tell you...she's afraid at times, awkward, geeky, cautious, tired, sometimes jealous and competitive...you know, if I could I would reach out and give her a hug...raise her up and help her see herself through someone elses eyes!


She's also joyful, full of love, honest, hardworking, creative, unique, caring, a great mother, a devoted friend and partner...most of the time her life feels very full!!

Do you know that I have barely any photographs with just me in them, there are a few with me and the children, but even those are few and far between...all that will be left of me are the memories, (which is sad considering the digitial age that we live in)!


So...here's to the start of some radical self acceptance...to see ourselves as we really and truly are and to love ourselves for it.  And...

here's the challenge...let's see the real YOU!!!   Mamas let's unite in radical self acceptance...one blog, one photo at a time!   If it scares you, then do it anyways...and let's start a discussion on why it's so scary in the first place.  I urge you to look at that woman in the mirror, with her heart so full and ask yourself, "is she really so bad"?

with love to you all
xo maureen

ps.  If you really LOVE this idea Shakti Mama is going to do a more in depth challenge of self acceptance, with weekly challenges...I think she's definately worth checking out!   You can also leave your photo links below, should you decide to participate, or just leave some commentary on this subject...I'd love to know how other mammas truly find ways to accept themselves unconditionally!

53 comments:

  1. WOOT!!! Awesome, brilliant, inspiring!!

    I love this...I also love that you listed all the fabulous things about yourself...

    Radical acceptance -- something so very worth pursuing...

    xo

    PS. you're gorgeous!!

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  2. This is very deep and so true!
    I had the same thoughts yesterday when I tried to take a pic of myself wearing a necklace my son made... I couldn't bare to look at it!
    This is a thought provoking post! x

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  3. I see a beautiful woman!! I see a woman that knows it's important to be herself, and to hell with other peoples negativity! Rock on lady!!

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  4. I will work on this. I really do not enjoy the way i look right now. Ugh. But it's a good exercise in self acceptance.

    Beautiful picture!

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  5. I see a BEAUTIFUL, brave, breathtakingly soul*full woman! You inspire me.

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  6. Such a great idea! I also love that you listed the things you like about yourself. I think we all should do that more.

    You are beautiful!

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  7. I see YOU...the beauty and imperfections, joys and fears that we all carry, and sometimes hide. I wanted to reach out and hug you, dear friend! Miss you...and I only live 30 min. away...

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  8. Oh, I agree with Mel, you ARE gorgeous ... beautiful lips and awesome nose ring (I have one myself :)). It's absolutely wonderful that you're doing this ... for you. Nothing braver than looking yourself in the mirror (or in a photograph!).

    It's so interesting that we're so afraid to "see" ourselves (at least I am!) ... as though we're afraid of what we'll find, that we might not like what we see ... but I'm learning that I need to love the most imperfect parts of me more than anything ... this is the way to real transformation, to real self-acceptance. You hit this on the head SO well with your post.

    So, thank you, thank you for doing this for you, and for getting the word out!

    I look forward to visiting your blog again ... so many inspiring ideas and lovely crafts here to see!!

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  9. How wonderful!!

    If you look on my Blog you wont see a picture of me. I even make a joke about it in one of my Blogs, as I am in charge of the camera, there are no pictures of me!!

    I took a picture of one of my friends, she didnt want it taken, said she wasnt photogenic etc., etc.

    But to me, as a friend, she looked lovely. Thats because I know HER and that is what I see. Friends faces are their souls and thats why we love them as our friends.

    So I suppose, if we are friends with ourselves, we will also see the loveliness looking back at us in the mirror?

    I am not normally this thoughtful, but you did make me think.

    I will try and be brave enough to take a picture of myself in the next couple of day:-/ and post it on my blog - scary!!
    love
    Michelle x

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  10. Dear Maureen - you are not only beautiful - even first thing in the morning with bed hair! but you are brave... I also see someone bold, butterflies and a glinting nose ring - which make me touch my own nose and remember when i was so bold and brave...
    Thank you for a great post...i'm not taking up your dare even if you double dare me. I might take the picture (highly unlikely) but to post it; nope - and what's fuuny is I can even articulate why... you rock! x

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  11. I love this post and think you are very pretty. 1st thing in the morning or otherwise.
    Well done you for listing all your great points! It's very easy to forget who we are when we spend so much time looking after everyone else!

    I too, am always the person behind the camera taking the pics. I have loads of the children. but very few of me sadley :-(

    Good for you!! xx

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  12. What a heartfelt post. You touched upon something that I and obviously many other women can relate to. I so dislike photos of myself and tend to hide behind the beauty and the youth of my children. I am almost 32 years old and for the first time in my life I can't bear to really look at myself in photos or in the mirror. All I see is crows feet and circles under my eyes. ACKK!!! I admire your bravery and guts to do a post like this. So inspiring. When I look at you I see a beautiful lady full of heart and passion. I am always so struck by your blog posts because they just emanate a spark, an effervescent glow! You're awesome. You're gorgeous!
    Hopefully I will post some "real" photos of myself soon. You've inspired me to take that leap!

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  13. you look like an earth goddess. i always wonder why it seems to take us so long to just love ourselves. too much media i suppose.

    re. my blog pics. they are all pretty quick, what you see is what you get glimpses of me. i don't do photoshop. :)

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  14. Oh, you are lovely! Take more pics of yourself with your children - you are cheating them if you don't!!

    Wonderful post. I'm going to photo myself and my girls tomorrow.

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  15. Your post was very true. I think my children will be left with hardly any photos of myself or my partner as we dont really like having our picture taken but I guess we should start shouldnt we. Your blog is full of so many wonderful and beautiful ideas. I love your mushroom seats too.

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  16. Alright I am officially accepting your challenge. You look wonderful. I agree with so many of the mamas who have commented before me. When I see this post it speaks volumes to me. This is definately my weak point but thanks to you I am going to take the first step in correcting that. I am so proud of you for this. Thankyou for writing all the nice things about yourself too, we are so modest these days I think we all forget that there's a goddesss in all of us. I only hope I can look as put together as you do. I am even going to try and get my nose ring back in maybe I will find a part of that young crazy girl I used to be by doing it.... I will let you know how this goes, wish me luck!

    Blessings,
    Kat

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  17. Thanks for leaving a comment at i.craft @ BeeWise. I love your photos... I have a hard time with the whole photo thing, when I do video tutorials I only show my hands. :) BTW, we used to live in Cornwall and years later Branford... hockey player husband;)

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  18. Great post!!! So real and so true..

    Hugs - Jodie :)

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  19. Hi laydees, am still thinking about your post!
    You are both beautiful...you have to be because these beautiful ideas have to come from a beautiful place...

    I have an award for you gorgeous gals...
    http://twolittleseeds.blogspot.com/2010/07/winner-of-gnome-giveaway-and-blog.html

    xx

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  20. Just reading these comments is liberating. Women are too hard on themselves and our competitive nature does not help.

    All we really have is us in the here and now and I love what YOU are showing.
    Somedays I also love me and others want to run away from the person who is so rudely staring back.
    Isn't this the quest in life? To learn and grow in ourselves?
    It sure is challenging.

    Thanks for inspiring so many to live happily in our own skin and to embrace this adventure of body and soul!

    I heart this post a lot. Thanks. I bet it feels good to spread those wings and hug yourself for once.

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  21. I am totally inspired! You are awesome and beautiful!

    I mentioned your post on my blog today.

    Much love, Nicole
    http://redbeetmama.blogspot.com/2010/07/self-portrait-journey.html

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  22. What a wonderful wonderful challenge.
    It is so very needed in our world, self acceptance and self love, because without it how can we seek to make any changes.
    I have been feeling the need for a more personal approach in my blog, and today I shared a few personal lines, nothing much, yet it was for me a challenge to hit the post to blog button, there was a tangible fear of putting myself out there. And while it was a baby step it felt wonderful to have taken that first step. I am indeed grateful to come across this today as a reminder of the importance of this process, and of how many of us share different aspects of this fear. And I will certainly be following up on this challenge...
    So thank you Maureen and Shakti mama for opening up this important discussion!!
    Warmly~Christina

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  23. Oh...what wonderful ladies you all are. If I could I would magically transport you all here to my living room, and we could sit around and encourage, inspire and love each other up!
    I'm so happy at those of you who responded...and I hope that this at least is the planting of a "seed"...to start loving yourself. See yourself as your children and partner and friends see you...they love YOU...magical, glorious, beautiful YOU!!!!
    If we saw ourselves through our children's eyes we would see that we are all larger than life...and oh...how beautiful!
    (maybe you'd even see yourself as a "princess" or "superhero"!!!)
    SO much love to you ladies!!!! Bless you all! Here's to NOT hitting the erase button, accepting our aging, (did you know that I have 2 chin hairs now...ever since I turned 33)!!!! And just loving ourselves in spite of it all! To glorious humans everywhere!!!!
    xoxox maureen

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  24. Oh what a wonderful post.
    Hi there...glad to finally MEET you. Now I can feel as though I know you a bit better, you see? We all make these connections in blog land and usually have NO IDEA what the other person looks like. It's like reading a book. We make them up in our minds (conciously or unconsciously). We create an image to go with the words. We have to because as humans we need that personal, that REAL connection. I accept the challenge. There are many photos of me on my blog, but certainly not of when I first wake up. ha! I'll take a shot tomorrow morning and post soon.
    Are you always radiant and full of life so early in the morning?!?!
    xoxo

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  25. What beautiful photos! I really admire this post of yours. I don't usually post photos of myself, but now I think its time I do. Thank you so much for this inspiring post, you will be seeing a photo of me adorning my blog soon, its time to get real:)

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  26. Oh I believe someone beat me to the punch however I have an award for you on my blog. You must really really deserve it ladies. I love the crafts and inspiration for my soul I find here. I was hoping to find a small way to show my appreciation.

    Blessings,
    kat

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  27. Thanks for the late night inspirations; here is my first round of self portraits..
    http://momenttomomentdk.blogspot.com/2010/07/stepping-out-self-portrait-challenge.html

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  28. It is so hard isn't it? This whole self-acceptance thing. I was talking to a couple of friends from junior high about how we always felt so awkward and ugly never knowing that we would never be so beautiful again as we were in our youth. I want to participate in this self-portrait challenge too, especially now that I am hugely pregnant and hate how I look. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  29. http://www.crookedmoonmama.com/2010/07/oh-lookits-me.html

    OK, did it.
    Rock on mama!
    xoxo

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  30. ok I told you I was accepting your challenge. My post is at forloveofmyoceans.blogspot.com Go easy on me....
    Blessings,
    Kat

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  31. okay, i did it! it was not easy for me and i delayed posting even after the photos were uploaded and ready to go. i appreciate seeing you and all your beauty (even first thing in the morning) and wish to be more accepting of my appearance. thanks for the inspiration and i look forward to the rest of the challenge! ;)

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  32. yay for you! lovely, lovely, woman :)

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  33. I did it!
    http://childhoodmagic.blogspot.com/2010/07/lets-get-real-self-portrait.html

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  34. I agree...you are a beautiful goddess and first thing in the morning too...something not all of us can achieve. Love your post and can't wait to read more Elements Of Self post from you.

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  35. from down on through the blogger hole, i've found your wonderful blog and am excited to become a follower. here's my self portrait post:
    http://bogoyevac-journey.blogspot.com/2010/07/self-portrait.html

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  36. Just did mine too!

    www.storinguptreasures.com

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  37. Hi Maureen
    Good to see you!!! I feel like this post, with this timing, is really asking something deep of me at this moment. I love seeing my blog friends in the 'raw'. We deepen friendships when we become vulnerable and human, and although we are miles away from one another, I sense a kinship with you so it is wonderful to see you as I would if we had woken up together at 'camp'! Those camp mornings are truly friendship-building!!

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  38. Hi! I love this challenge, very inspiration :-) Here is my post. Nice to meet you!

    http://thefiveofus2000.blogspot.com/2010/07/self-portrait.html

    Jen

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  39. I am very nearly in a place of total self-acceptance and it is so freeing, to accept my strengths and weaknesses, struggles and achievements, and to accept the body I have been given.
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful self!

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  40. I love you blog and your pics are beautiful, YOU are beautiful. So, going for it, too, as an older woman!http://fouroaksblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/24/woman-love-thyself/

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  41. this post is awesome & so are you!

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  42. You are goregous first thing in the morning Maureen!
    I too hit delete too often on pictures of myself, but am trying to do better so that my kids have pictures of us together one day!

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  43. You look so familiar! I don't know why. Maybe you are! And you shine, really shine, especially in the second photo. I found your blog and this topic through the Childhood Magic post about this, and I have taken the plunge!
    http://boysinthewoods.blogspot.com/2010/07/lets-get-real-self-portrait-challenge.html

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  44. Absolutely LOVE this! That photo of you is gorgeous mama! You don't know how much I relate to what you have said even down to the description of your personality. It's amazing that I always thought all the other mama's look so confident and I'm the one who messes up the picture with my non-photogenic features-lol! What a wonderful aha! moment to have read this! Thank you for sharing :D

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  45. My comment should have read that all the pics of you in your post are gorgeous...not just one :D

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  46. So nice to see you Maureen! I am working on acceptance too, why is it easier for us to see beauty in others...
    And now you have some beautiful photographs of yourself!
    Here's my brave post...
    http://heirloomseasons.blogspot.com/2010/07/wool-and-roly-polys-and-forts-and-rain.html

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  47. Hello. I'm new to your blog and am now a follower. Seeing your picture you seem like someone that would be a marvelous friend! Thank you for your bravery and sharing yourself with the rest of us. Looking forward to getting to know you better.

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  48. Here' my contribution to the discussion! Thanks Maureen for sharing yourself.

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  49. I meant to add my blog address www.embracingnow.blogspot.com

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  50. Great post! I love the part that says "if it scares you, do it anyways". What a great motto! It is always on those things that scare us the most where we need to be, embracing it all, no matter how uncomfortable it feels. It is there where we can learn to accept...in this case, oursleves, and our appearance. Thanks for pushing that publish button. Whenever I write a heart opening post I faulter a bit and force myself to hit publish.

    :)Lisa

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  51. You are beautiful, inside and out! This is a lovely post - thank you for sharing it with us. I also want to thank you for your lovely comments on my blog - they always make me smile. :)

    *hugs*
    Mari-Ann
    Counting Coconuts

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  52. A beautiful post. You are beautiful, inside & outside!

    xox
    MB

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