“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” – Maya Angelou
MAKERS, the largest video collection of women’s stories, featured 7 quotes on gratitude in honor of Thanksgiving. This one by poet and activist Maya Angelou speaks to me most. The words Welcome Good stay with me, reminding me to look for the good, allow it in, and realize all the good that is in my life now. Feeling gratitude is a way I want to of live in the world – even when the world looks dark – and a way that I choose to actively maintain every morning when I wake and every night before I sleep. Welcome Good. Thankful this Thanksgiving.
Have you had that moment when you say to yourself: “I am not (fill in the blank) enough?” As women we often look to our bodies to fill in that missing word. I have done that. I have questioned myself and wished I could change certain things about me. After much self exploration, I have finally come to a place where I can say with conviction, “I am enough.” That is the most important thing we can say to ourselves for healthy, happy, wholehearted living.
I recently heard about the inspiring work of Brené Brown, research professor at the University of Houston, and author of several books. Ms. Brown calls herself a researcher and a storyteller; she has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Big stuff! Listen to what Ms. Brown has to say on the subject: “This is what I have found: to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen; to love with our whole hearts even though there is no guarantee, and that’s really hard, and I can tell you as a parent, that’s excruciatingly difficult; to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of kind of terror when we’re wondering, ‘can I love you this much?’ … and the last which I think is probably the most important, is to believe that we are enough. Because when we work from a place, I believe, that says, ‘I’m enough,’ then we stop screaming and start listening. We’re kinder and gentler to those around us and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.”
So, say it with me: I am enough! And let’s let the acceptance and the joy make its way in.
No question that the best gifts are the ones made by hand. My friend Alexandra made me a knit scarf for the holidays. She was very sneaky about it; asking me first, what colors I like to wear around my face. My answer, by the way, is red – always – bright, cherry red! And I have been wearing it ever since. Especially wonderful, since I and most of the country got blasted this week by a wave of arctic air. What did they call it? A Polar Vortex? OMG! A homemade knit scarf, sweater, hat or gloves are always the warmest. My homemade scarf kept the sub-zero temps away from my face and looked oh-so-chic at the same time.
My New Year’s blessing is you – Photo by Patricia Saxton
In this week’s podcast I am easing in to the New Year and celebrating you. Next month is the second anniversary of Turning Fashion Inside Out and being able to talk to you feels like a blessing. I have loved our conversations, and learning about what fashion means to you and its effect on your self image and self esteem. In the New Year, I look forward to bringing you more conversations, more discussions, more opportunities to share.
My second podcast recording with my mom, Claire, brings me back to the days as an insecure college freshman. My school was the ultimate in prep; a style that was unfamiliar to me. Here I was, having grown up trusting my sense of fashion, for the first time feeling unsure and looking to those around me to define my look. My first school break, I told my mom that I needed something called a Fair Isle Sweater and my darling mother treated me to not one or two, but several, and in different colors. By the end of my freshman year these lovely sweaters were gone from my wardrobe as I began to feel more comfortable in my own skin and see my style return (but still … how I wish I had at least of these sweaters with me now!!!). Most important, I was left with a feeling of love and gratitude for my mother that I will never forget for as long as I live.
Here is that conversation with Claire as we talk about Fair Isle Sweaters and growing up …
This week I will be changing the name of my blog and launching a new addition to the website – an audio podcast. It is time to bring our conversations to life!
In general, I have a hard time with change. I prefer to be surrounded by what I know. But change can be liberating, and I’ve discovered that most things that make our hearts beat a little faster are usually worth it. This week marks big changes for me and for my blog. And I have you to thank; for helping me to recognize the positive direction this blog is taking me. Your feedback and your contributions have given me the strength of purpose to change and move forward. I thank you.
Stay tuned …
“So I turned myself to face me … “ from Changes byDavid Bowie