White One Piece in Heels - Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park, CA

“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.” – C. Joy Bell C. 

 

I remember my 20’s.

Some of it wonderful.

Some of it painful.

Anorexia. Bulimia.

No one noticed.

No one seemed to care.

The familiar demons, the voices of my childhood, my teens…the “never enough’s”…ensuring I knew everything that was wrong with me…not what was right with me.

The waves of self-hatred rising up… smacked back down, repressed, silenced…the unconscious cover up continuing…the smile hiding the sadness.

I spent the first 54 years of my life in hiding. Hiding from others.

You can’t hide from others unless you’re hiding from yourself.

I’m not hiding any longer…want to know why?

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Shields of armor weigh you down.

Building layers and layers around you hides the truth of who you…until it’s buried so deep… that only a Phoenix can rise from within to burn it all away.

What’s left is you. Or me. Or us.

I’m done hiding.

The Phoenix has risen. The Genie is out of the bottle.

After recovering from a life-threatening illness and a year unable to walk, I made my way back to the land of the living.

Being on camera, in front of a lens, was anathema to me. My journey back was a public one, documented in a story told by images formerly foreign to me.

It was the first time I shared a photo of myself in a swimsuit publicly. It took me 54 years to strike up the courage, the moxie to do so.

Since that time, I’ve added 20 lbs to my frame and with that, came the old stories and the desire to hide once again.

I knew I needed to gain weight. I was too thin…weak…frail…yet my eye was getting used to this thinner version of me.

Two weeks ago, I traveled to the desert.

The old voices returned.

The desire to run, to hide, to cover up.

The shame bubbling up.

And, then it happened.

I let it happen.

It was awkward at first.

Until, I began to embrace the new me, the healthier version of me.

She’s tired of hiding.

She is who she is.

30 comments

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It’s those inner demons we all struggle with. Because truly you are JUST as beautiful on the outside as the inside!! Always.
XOXO
Jodie
http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

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Isn’t that the truth, sister? I think that’s the point. That’s the journey. Without them, how would we grow and evolve and become better humans?

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I’m glad you didn’t run this time. You are stunning and beautiful. Thank you for your message.

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It was close, sister! Thank you so much. I appreciate your support more than you know.

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You look amazing! This new, healthier version of you IS healthier in all manner of ways. The Divine Feminine is flowing through you: strong, sensual, soft and vulnerable. You are you, and we’re so happy to have you on the planet at this time. Thanks for being real, with yourself and with the world. Much love!

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Goodness…I’m more than 30 lbs heavier than when we worked together! What a change. Funny, how I tried everything to gain weight and then good old menopause flipped the switch all by itself. I’m grateful that I’m healthier. I’m also far more grounded at this weight. I thank you for the powerful role you played and continue to play!

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Oh those voices, inner critics. They cut deep. Beautiful post Catherine. So uplifting and courageous. Beautiful you!

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Oh, those inner voices…right, sister! They can sound so strong and wise…yet if they come from a dark place, they can’t be the voice of our higher self, can they?

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Oh Catherine thank you for this post! First of all you look more gorgeous every day. And as I find every time I click on your posts, you share your heart to help others through your personal experience. I have had my heartaches with the body issues before and this post really encourages me. Thank you so much!

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This was absolutely terrifying but also empowering.
You are one of the most beautiful and beloved women in the community. You’re such a magnet and light for what is good and pure in the world. Keep being you!

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You ALWAYS inspire me. I read your posts and think “If she can do it, I can do it!” I relate to the hiding and the ‘never enough’. And sometimes I think I’m totally enough. I still struggle with those demons. It’s a rollercoaster for me, that I battle every day. But I appreciate you sharing your story. It gives me hope. xo

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You can do it! The little engine…the Fierce woman that could…you are doing it! What you are doing is absolutely mind blowing. Taking something that’s beautiful and marketing it in such a loving way. I do see your vision coming true and I hope to play a starring role sister! I believe in you!

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I have always said that I absolutely love your transperary and full disclosure of the good, bad, everything in between. You look gorgeous and extremely healthy now. My inspiration to work at the same healthy goals!

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Thank you sister and right back at you!

Why not? I have begun to look deeper, in the cracks and crevasses, and shining light where darkness existed. Sharing my process and journey brings me great joy! You bring me great joy. Thank you for being such a beautiful light in our community and beyond.

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Thank you for your honest vulnerability Catherine. You know how much I have struggled with body issues and even though I am at one end of the spectrum, (short and curvy lol) and you the other, (tall and willowy) we have battled the same demons of “I’m not good enough.”

Enough.

It’s is time for all of us to lay down the armour and be our authentic selves.

Much love to you sister xxx

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That means the world as I know you understand this issue.

You are beautiful just the way you are. We all are. The most beautiful thing is self acceptance and self love. That’s definitely been a journey for both of us and most women. It’s a journey that continues for me!

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Those damn voices. You are so beautiful, inside and out, and thank god the Phoenix has risen. Your inspiration is reaching far and wide, with so much more beauty to come. No more hiding, for either of us!

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Those damn voices! What’s important is knowing where they come from, isn’t it? Most of the time, misunderstandings. We take what others say about us as truth and don’t question it. It gets stored in our subconscious as our beliefs and we operate from that space. It’s so important to become aware of our inner world. Thank you for always being so kind and loving!

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Beautiful photos of a beautiful woman. You look amazing-the 20 pounds have favored you. I love the way you share your heart and your insecurities to help others. Your words and viewpoint are powerful. Thanks so much for sharing!

Helen

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I hoped for at least 10lbs but menopause gifted me an additional 10!

It’s a lesson for me in self acceptance. I have an entire wardrobe that no longer fits me but I have a much healthier body and that’s what’s important, isn’t it?

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The inner demons never go away, do they? As we grow wiser, we get better at dealing with them. Thank you for always being brave and inspiring us to be too!

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No, but we keep them much quieter when we listen and understand where they came from…when we give ourselves the love and compassion we’ve been looking outside of ourselves for. Thank you for reading and your thoughts are invaluable!

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I am applauding

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So glad you are beautiful one!

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I love it when we finally change the “tapes” we play in our heads! Making new ones that fit who we really are is the BEST thing ever!

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Yes it is sister and I’m a work in progress. Changing those tapes and recording new ones takes time and compassion with ourselves.

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So cool of you to come out and share your doubts about yourself. You are beautiful. Every spot, every wrinkle, every grey hair, is a badge of honor. You earned it. Wear it proudly.

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Thank you so much. I was filled with them. They still crop up. Lots of times. And, I have to be real with myself and others. I believe it’s a lifelong process of peeling the layers to understand ourselves on every level.

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My friend, you ARE who you are and everyone sees you in all your beauty, your bravery, your kindness, your huge heart, your fierceness and your openness. Sharing these beautiful words are one more way of showing how far you have come and that you are DONE hiding. You truly are a bright light that shines out into the world, and I am happy you are shining some of that light back into your heart, mind and soul. ILY so much girlfriend.
xoxoxo
Karen – Wear With Passion

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Isn’t it time sister? I’m coming out of my shell with lots more shedding to do.

Adore you and grateful to the Universe for bringing us together.

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