Tag: love

Whole Self Love: a new series

WHOLE SELF LOVE: a new series

Oh, Honey- I have some things to say about this little #frenemy right here. It’s been a hot minute since I have shared much publicly about my physical body, and here’s why:

  • Dieting Sucks
  • Talking about dieting is capital B BORING
  • Diet Culture is toxicAF
  • The number on the scale does not determine (nor can it ever measure) my worth

I know this to be True. You probably do as well! (And yet…)

It’s why, for the past 4-5 years, I have made it my personal mission to learn how to Love the body I live in, every damn day. Regardless of my clothing size, weigh-in numbers, age, shape, wrinkles, lumps, flab, rolls, freckles, muscles, strength, etc ad nauseum. I’ve been helped tremendously on my body-positive journey by trailblazers like Jessamyn Stanley (@mynameisjessamyn), Amber Karnes (@amberkarnesofficial), Dianne Bondy (@diannebondyyoga) and most recently Tiana Dodson (@onebeautifulyes) who are all amazing and beautiful.

So, I pose these questions: What if Loving your Whole Self meant loving your entire body? What would it take for you to Love all your parts and welcome them into your Wholeness?

I’m practicing Radical Self Love & normalizing fat bodies, even as I continue to shed some weight & heal what’s hurting inside. I even have been taking a series of rather societally unflattering selfies as part of my whole-self Love medicine and posting them on my Instagram stories. (It feels insanely liberating, btw) I knew that I couldn’t begin to address my health issues without first being willing to really, REALLY Love all of me. Including the parts that weren’t as pretty, the parts that hurt, and the parts that were breaking down.

As of this writing, it’s been 3 weeks since I began a total shift in my relationships with food & exercise. With the help of an interactive app/virtual program I am not just learning about healthier ways to eat and move and less psychologically & emotionally damaging ways to think about those things, but I’m integrating these new habits every damn day that are supporting my whole self. I won’t lie, it’s been some hard word (first week was the worst) but through the effort I am putting in and the support received, I’ve seen and felt some pretty spectacular results, including my first 10+ lbs. shed; increased endurance; a dramatic reduction in pain in my back, knees, and feet; increased strength; no more chest pain or wheezing; no more bloating or food hangovers; fewer mood swings & more sustained energy; improved sleep and almost no more snoring.  All of this Love being poured into my body is coming back to me in these very tangible ways, and I am truly grateful. I am excited to see how much more my body and I can do.

More of this story to come, stay tuned!

Getting My Sexy Back

UPDATE: Since writing this entry in August 2019, I have developed a much healthier & more positive relationship with food, eating, exercise, and caring for my body in general. During the course of my program, I shed over 40 lbs.* (at an average of -2 lbs per week) and watched in amazement as my body composition began to change. I felt such pride at being able to go through my daily activities without feeling exhausted, and I have been delighted to have more physical activity, strength, and endurance become a natural part of my life. More incredibly, I have experienced the release of long-held pain in my body, specifically in my feet, knees, back and chest; released long-held beliefs about my worth being tied to my appearance; and released long-held habits of self-destructive thoughts & actions.

By coupling my mindset work with a refreshed self-care plan, I have discovered JOY in moving my body again, and I have developed a kind of confidence, acceptance and deep Love for the body that I have- lumps, bumps, folds, wrinkles, spots, flabby bits and all. How freeing to realize that I don’t need to look like a Victoria’s Secret model to feel sexy, beautiful, comfortable in my skin (things I never felt when I was an actual lingerie and bikini model).

It is my sincere hope and belief that I will continue to take good care of myself by using the tools that I’ve learned and keep learning. I have a great support system now to lean on when I need to, and I have empowered myself to be in charge of taking care of my Whole-Self… body, mind, and soul.

*No matter how much I stress that the size of my body is not that important, and no matter how much I believe and teach that you don’t have to lose weight before you can love your body- people are still always fascinated by my weight loss and ask me, “How did you do it?” So here it is: I signed up for Noom. If you would like to try their program for yourself, you can click here to use my affiliate link and get yourself 20% off.

The Bachelorette, Gaslighting, and True Love

Bachelorette Fans: Let’s Discuss 🌹

I think it’s pretty safe to say that we have all experienced (or have had someone close to us experience) falling for someone who is soooo not right for us. Someone who you are so attracted to, knowing full well that there’s just something “off” but you convince yourself that it’s not really a big deal, or justifiable, or somehow you can work through it together for Love. Someone who makes you second guess yourself, twist to conform, dumb down, or dim your light because it’s just too damn bright for them to handle.

I mean, I get it- I personally have given myself away to men like Luke P. in the past, seduced by the pretty packaging while blowing past all of the early red flags until it was too late to pull out of the relationship without a big mess.

In my 20’s -and even in my 30’s- I was so entangled in the drama that I lost myself, my voice, my power, and permanently damaged some friendships and family connections as a result. In more than one such relationship, it nearly cost me my life. The injuries I sustained were physical (some I still carry to this day), but also deeply wounding emotionally and eventually led me to seek professional guidance from a great therapist or two.

So, when I watch shows like The Bachelorette for fun and cheesiness, I can’t ignore the twisty feelings in my gut that come up when watching the Luke P. scenes. I recognize those feelings, because the truth is that our bodies hold our stories- for better or worse. We have a physical response that reflects our past traumatic experiences, reminding us that we don’t want to go through that shame and pain again.

One of the most important messages I can ever share, whether I am speaking to a room full of women, or a classroom of young people, or 1:1 in coaching sessions is this: You don’t have to change or hide your true self to earn true Love.

If you are stuck in a relationship (romantic or otherwise) where you don’t feel like you can really be yourself, I invite you to schedule a chat with me for some personal empowerment coaching. *And especially if you are in a situation that is not safe- call the domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233*

SAPPY HAPPY LOVEY DOVEY

(i double-dog dare you to keep reading): Hi! I am Michelle Lewis, and I am so in Love with the most wonderful person! Truly, madly, deeply, beautifully in Love… and oh my goodness, it’s actually mutual. Reciprocal. Magical! It makes me giddy, and it makes me believe in miracles.

I spent waaaayyyy too many years in shitty relationships, settling for scraps and normalizing bad behavior. Accepting the unacceptable. Suffering abuse, betrayal, and a long list of other foolishness. And yes, there were a couple of good guys along the way, but heartbreak was my normal so cue the self-sabotage. Right? I know you know.

And then, something clicked inside. A switch flipped and I began to start listening to the teeny, tiny, glimmer of hope for something better, for a life that could dare to be… Happy.

It took plenty of work to face my inner shit-show and begin unraveling the tangle of old stories about not being worthy and not being enough. I hit up against some roadblocks on my path to healing, and when I was too stuck to figure out my next steps, I sucked it up and got some help. And you know what? It was awesome. It was freeing to admit that I didn’t know EVERYTHING already and that there is value in seeking the help & wisdom of someone who gets it. Someone who can help you to ask different questions, and empower you to find your own best answers.

Eventually, I began to see myself in a whole new light: I began to see the divinity in me, something deeper, my true Self. And I felt such Love there. Such acceptance. Such peace. I began to listen to her, and honor her, and give her what she wants & needs. I protected her with strong boundaries and gave her the freedom to shine & BE. And you know what? It’s made ALL the difference. I can finally LOVE myself, truly, madly, deeply- and in Loving myself enough to forgive, to heal, and to open up to receive Joy and positivity and so much Love in my life leads me to today, surrounded by 50 gorgeous roses, delivered from the most wonderful person, who sees the real Me and loves her, too.

.

.

.

#theblessingsbutterfly #loveyourself #loveyou #loved #radicalselflove #sappylovepost #roses #positivity

Love Notes

My fiancé and I don’t plan to have any kids together by mutual choice (I am a 1-and-done momma of a grown ass man, thank you very much).

We don’t have pets (he’s terribly allergic, and when my last two kitties finally crossed the rainbow bridge, I needed a break. Also we travel ALOT).

What we do have is an abundance of stuffed animals, some from childhood but mostly collected from our 6 years of dating. Some are tiny. Some are HUGE. Some help us sleep. Some help us manage days when our hearts are broken open (death of a family member or friend, empathy for suffering around the world). Some travel with us on our global adventures. All of them make us smile, and yes they spark our joy (thanks @mariekondo we 💖 you!)

Almost every day, I find one or more of these fluffies placed on my desk when I get up in the morning to work. Like a little helper, but really just a tender reminder, an unwritten love-note that I am seen, valued, and so deeply loved. 💖🦋

What little tokens of affection do you share with your favorite people? #theblessingsbutterfly #lovenotes #positivity #love #lovestories

Amazed and Grateful

OMG. She’s almost ready! We took another sneak peek yesterday of our house and so much more has been done. The sweet brick motor court is completed. Exterior is 95%. And inside, oh, my… I cannot wait to share what’s going on inside. It’s Beautiful.

——

I am so very grateful for the life I have, and the Joy that I am a co-creatrix of. In my 20’s, my life was such a story of pain and struggle and desperately seeking to escape my suffering. It was a broken heart and a battered body. It was fear and fight. It was a wish for someone to save me, and it was a wish for something better. Little could I imagine then that Love and the power to change EVERYTHING was not external, but waiting to be discovered inside of me. I promise, it’s also inside of you.

💖🦋 #theblessingsbutterfly #firstthoughts #buildingyourbestlife #inspiration #thereishope #loveyourselffree #selfloveheals #writer #author #speaker

Amazed and Grateful

OMG. She’s almost ready! We took another sneak peek yesterday of our house and so much more has been done. The sweet brick motor court is completed. Exterior is 95%. And inside, oh, my… I cannot wait to share what’s going on inside. It’s Beautiful.

——

I am so very grateful for the life I have, and the Joy that I am a co-creatrix of. In my 20’s, my life was such a story of pain and struggle and desperately seeking to escape my suffering. It was a broken heart and a battered body. It was fear and fight. It was a wish for someone to save me, and it was a wish for something better. Little could I imagine then that Love and the power to change EVERYTHING was not external, but waiting to be discovered inside of me. I promise, it’s also inside of you.

💖🦋 #theblessingsbutterfly #firstthoughts #buildingyourbestlife #inspiration #thereishope #loveyourselffree #selfloveheals #writer #author #speaker

Building a New Community

My lovely new neighborhood, in the process of being built. It speaks to me in this way: Even as I am building a beautiful new life for myself, so is my community also in this energetic space of building something new.

You- my people, my tribe, the amazing souls who get me and with whom I most deeply resonate – we are building new lives. We are creating our own next level. We are defining what matters most to us and we are designing a community that supports us. I SEE YOU, I Love You, and I am here to support You.

Click here for a 20-second video of the sneaky-awesome thing I did in our new home!

https://secureservercdn.net/166.62.112.107/i4o.fb4.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/img_6685.mov

💖🦋 #theblessingsbutterfly #newhome #community #support #empowermentcoach #speaker

Treasure Hunt

I’ve always been fascinated with treasure hunting, how about you? When I was little, I used to paint rocks in glitter and gold, bury them in my front yard, create an elaborate map (complete with burnt edges to make it look cool and really old) and gather a couple of the younger kids on my block to go find the buried treasure. They loved it, and it was such fun for me, too!

On my most recent international adventure, I did a grown up version of this by blessing and hiding these tokens on a tiny island in the middle of a beautiful lake. Each letter corresponds to someone special in my life; I told them where to look, sent them a “clue” by taking a picture of the hiding place, and let them know that they are special to me & I was thinking of them. See, the treasure is not so much about them finding the token, but in their beautiful journey to finding someplace amazing.

What are the treasures you are searching for? Is it improved confidence, courage to take a big leap, cultivating positivity or discovering how to radically love yourself & create space for more Love in your life? If you need some help figuring out the clues on your personal road map, I am your girl. Call me for a free consultation and let’s see if I can be a personal empowerment guide for you on this next leg of your journey.

#theblessingsbutterfly #empowermentcoach #author #speaker #inspiration #love #positivity

I’ve Been Thinking

Dear Universe: I’ve been #Thinking about more ways to share my Love with you. With your people. With your creatures.

Through individual efforts and as part of the collective, sharing from my creative gifts that you’ve blessed me with and amplifying the good work of others who are moving in the same direction, with good intention, to foster healing for myself and for us all. 💖

I am not entirely sure what it will look like, but I know it is something powerful and needed. A community of healers, healing their own pain and sharing their gifts with a waiting world. Collaboration not competition. Wisdom and wonder, magic and science, spiritual, physical, meta- fueled by the deepest Love.

We are gathering, every day taking a small step closer to finding each other. There is strength in our numbers. We are waking up a little more each day, to our calling, to our true nature. I can feel the energy of the hurting and the healers, drawing ever nearer, seeking peace within and easing the suffering that plays out among us all.

……..

Do you feel it too? Where do you see yourself in this new awakening? 💖🦋

📸: Rodin’s “The Thinker” shot from my iPhone stopped in traffic in Philadelphia PA #theblessingsbutterfly #thinkingofyou #healing #inspiration #love #rodin #thethinker

Thoughts on Faith

BACON? Nope. It’s a beautiful section of marbled stonework inside of St. Mark’s Basilica, Piazza San Marco, Venice Italy.

I found myself weirdly, simultaneously awestruck & kinda grossed out by the mind-boggling level of artistry and over-the-top display of riches throughout the sacred site. Reverent & Judgemental, Humbled & Indignant, Leaning in breathlessly & achingly Repulsed. And so goes my on-again, off-again, Hot/Cold relationship with all things Religion. (It’s not you, it’s me. And maybe also a little bit you.)

Religion to me always seems to feel forced, coercive, deceptive, manipulative, Dark, violent, misguided and fake. All showy and opulent and disconnected and so, so cold.

Faith, though, that’s something altogether different. That is, to me, a deeply personal connection to Spirit, to Love, to Light-as well as to all manner of suffering. Faith, or Spirituality, takes the view of all of Life as sacred and perfect and beautiful, without malice or judgement. It takes every mistake and covers it in Grace, every hurt and bathes it in Forgiveness, every brokenness and wraps it in Compassion. It doesn’t need to argue about who’s right and who’s wrong, it just LOVES.

Please don’t get me wrong- I absolutely LOVED seeing this cathedral and truly marvel at the beautiful artwork displayed throughout. Pictures just don’t do it justice. I just could use a little more Faith to move through this life, how about you? 💖🦋

Atop the loggia at St Mark’s in Venice, chillin’ with the 4 Horses

Nice Knockers

A peek inside before noticing the no cameras sign[/caption]

#theblessingsbutterfly #theblessingsbutterflyinitaly #thoughtsonfaith #religion #spirituality #duality #juxtaposition #veniceitaly