I don't really know when beauty started being so important to me. I remember being told I was a beautiful child, I remember feeling confident and loving my body. And then, as I got older, people's comments ( mostly not even about me) started chipping away at this broad view I had of what was beautiful until it became so narrow that there was no room for me. I became insecure, self-conscious, and discontent.
WHO I was didn't even enter the equation. I think a lot of women feel this way. We are told our worth and power are found in our physical beauty but nothing could be farther from the truth!
When it comes to OTHER people, we know this right? When we talk about people we love, we don't start with what they look like, do we? We talk about how kind, honest, intelligent, loving, strong, gentle they are ( or add your favorite adjective! ;) ). So why don't we give ourselves credit for these things?
I love the quote, " What you focus on expands." When our eyes are constantly on our flaws and faults, they seem bigger than life. We are in a state of hustling for our worth and trying to fix, or even punish, ourselves in light of the perceived lack. We hide behind made-up faces and trends. We are afraid of being seen, of being judged, and we feel shame for everything that we are not.
Instead, our focus needs to be on what we ARE. When we dive into self discovery, when we glory in our strengths and interests, we find those that need us, we strengthen our ability to serve others. When we focus on our strengths, our strengths grow and transform us, taking our weaknesses right along with them!
The hardest part is that in order to heal and grow, we have to step into the light. We have to be seen. We have to brave others opinions, disapproval, and judgement. We have to.
Imagine, if you will, a tough mudder competition or obstacle course. Your obstacles lie in a straight line up ahead and hundreds, maybe even thousands of people, line the course on either side. You can either stand frozen or you can tackle the course. If you focus on the crowd, you might become disheartened by those that are jeering, you might get insecure by those that watch silently, you might hone in on only those cheering for you but they are still a distraction. It's only you and the course. It's your job to tune it out and focus on the task ahead.
It doesn't matter how many times it takes you to overcome an obstacle, it doesn't matter how long it takes you to complete the course, you are stronger when you finish than when you got started, and the only people who's opinions should matter are those that are battling it with you. I can promise you this, no one that is in the arena with you will judge you. Those that are in the fight, respect you for simply being there, because that is more than most people will even try. They will encourage you and support you. You find these people by stepping out into the light so they can see you.
It hurts at first. i won't lie. When I decided I was done hiding, I would speak my heart and then regret it. I would post things on social media and then take them down in a panic only to put them back up again. You know what happened though? Those of you in the arena began to encourage me. You helped me take my eyes of the crowd and focus on the task at hand.
Healing was uncomfortable but the more I sought after it, the stronger I became and the more I transformed, until one day I looked at my reflection and marveled at the beauty of my own transformation. I want that moment for EVERY woman.
That is the moment we become most beautiful, when our hearts, minds, and bodies are strong, we know what we are fighting for, and we go forward with courage! There is NOTHING more beautiful than that!
The beauty we long for has nothing to do with the body we were born with and EVERYTHING to do with how we choose to use it.
I have been hearing the buzz about the benefits of Elderberry syrup! I started doing some research and there is evidence that elderberries fight the flu, boosts your immune system and can even reduce cancer cells in your body. They contain trace minerals and have more vitamin C than oranges.
They syrup also contains cloves, cinnamon, raw honey which have medicinal qualities, and you can also add ginger. ( I did not this time because I wasn't sure my kids would drink it.)
1/2 c. organic elderberries
1 cinnamon stick
1 T. fresh chopped ginger (optional)
5 whole cloves
2 c. water
1 c. raw local honey
Add berries, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and water together in a pot. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to simmer. Simmer until liquid reduces by one half, usually 30-45 minutes. Strain the berries in a fine mesh strainer over a glass bowl. Smash the berries down to extract all the extra juice. Let cool slightly, add the honey, stir to mix. Store in a glass container with lid. Keep refrigerated.
The syrup is much thinner than I expected which makes it easier to consume and has a very pleasant taste! It's been easy getting my kids ( and husband) to take it. I've read some different dose opinions, but it sounds like the standard dose is ½ tsp to 1 tsp for kids and ½ Tbsp to 1 Tbsp for adults. If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear. Obviously, I am not a doctor so please do the research for yourself!
Here is a link to where I purchased my elderberries. I have made three batches and probably have enough elderberries to make at least 6 more, so this will last you awhile! I stored my extra berries in a glass jar in the refrigerator.
"And Aubrey was her name. A not so very ordinary girl or name."(Or so says David Gates ;) I'm a wife to Phillip, a mother to Scarlett and Juliet. We live in the beautiful city of Thornton, Co. I'm a recovering red bull addict. I love to read. I hate to cook. I seek to be inspired and also to inspire others. I am a Beachbody Coach on a quest to be truly healthy mind, soul, and body and challenge others to do the same.