Tag: self love

The Skill of Wanting

Written by Guest Contributor, James-Olivia Chu Hillman

All opinions expressed in this article are the sole perception/experience of the writer, and may not necessarily be shared by Michelle Lewis – The Blessings Butterfly. All Rights Reserved.

spiral notebooks placed on white cloth with burning candle
Photo by Diana Agapova on Pexels.com

If you’ve ever been in a conversation I’ve facilitated, you’ve probably heard me encourage you to show up with what you have and go after what you want. I say it a lot. Your wants are precious and worthy of regard. This idea can be a bit scary for some folks, and for good reason.


More than a few of us have been raised to disregard our own desires, to caretake, to people- please, to be “good,” to not disrupt, not make a scene. When we want something—resources, material goods, delicious food, satisfying sex, emotional connection, enjoyment of our own bodies, pleasure, success, power, authentic self-expression—we are labeled any number of things: greedy, irresponsible, undisciplined, wanton, immoral, needy, shameless, vulgar, bossy, pushy, weird, ugly, high-maintenance… I could go on.


Many of us were taught, either explicitly or through socialization, that only bad, careless, and harmful people are free to go after what they want.


When our own desire is disobedient, punishable even, we learn to hide and suppress what we want. If desire is bad and being bad is dangerous, then we’re safer and better off being good and keeping our desires to ourselves—or keeping them from ourselves. Going after what we want can be, initially, a massive undertaking that requires us to take the radical first step of knowing what we want. It can be a big, uncomfortable deal, and it can be courageous AF.

The Skill You Never Knew You Needed


Wanting is a skill. (This is great news, since a skill can be learned and you can get better at it with practice.)

Relationally, if we’re unskilled at knowing what we want, we’re probably even less skilled at asking for it… and even worse at relating when we don’t get it. Some of us can get up to some funky and woefully ineffective strategies (i.e. relational fuckery). We demand even though a request would suffice. We manipulate when we’re afraid to invite. We coerce, punish, or pretend we don’t have any personal power. We say nothing at all and expect people to magically know what we want and how we feel.


We shut down, roll our eyes, judge ourselves, talk to anyone but the person we have a message for, pretend a command is an invitation, diminish our own requests, pretend we don’t care, enact emotional violence—anything to avoid feeling our feelings and taking responsibility for our own needs and desires. The maneuvers are exhausting.

So what does it mean to show up with what you have and go after what you want in a way that regards both yourself and the other?

anonymous young lady paddling boat in lake during trip in mountains
Photo by Brady Knoll on Pexels.com


Since I don’t (and cannot) have your answers, I’ll share a few questions that guide me when I want something and the stakes feel high:

  1. What do I want? Am I being clear, honest, and specific—especially with myself? (Have I given myself permission to change my mind or want things I might not ever decide to pursue?)
  2. Am I open to the possibility that getting what I want may look different than I initially imagined, or am I attached to a prescriptive “how”?
  3. Am I willing to share my want with others… without placing responsibility on anyone else to make it happen for me? (Am I informing? Requesting? Demanding? Inviting?)
  4. Am I satisfied with compliance (e.g. delegating a task), or do I want enthusiastic consent (e.g. sharing a desire for intimacy or collaboration)?
  5. Am I willing to receive a “No” or “Not now” from another… without making it mean anything about my (or their) worthiness, goodness, or lovability?
  6. How will I tend to my feelings & experience and also get my needs/desires fulfilled in another way without punishing the other if they are unavailable to be a participant or resource for what I want?
  7. Have I decided to be the person I want to be whether or not I get what you want in this moment?

Desire holds possibility. Right relationship nourishes. More you is better.

james-olivia chu hillman

I’ll say it again (and again and again). Your wants are so very precious and worthy of your own regard. You are responsible for tending to them. You are responsible for being the person you have decided to be in the world. And you are responsible for your relationships—the primary relationship being the one you have with yourself.

If you’re unskilled or out of practice at knowing your own wants or going after them in ways that honor everyone involved, know that you’re not alone. We come by it honestly, and we can learn new skills and practices for being in joyful connection and right relationship with ourselves and the people we care for most.


Desire holds possibility. Right relationship nourishes. More you is better.


If you’re willing to share, I want to get to know you and hear what wants you’re willing to own and invite others into, and which relating skills you want to learn and practice. You can message me on Instagram (@inquisitive_human) or email me at james-olivia@inquisitivehuman.com.

James-Olivia Chu Hillman is a facilitator and enthusiastic advocate of necessary, uncomfortable, and life-changing conversations. They have a passion for asking squirmy questions that point us back to who we are and what we care about most. They spend most of their days knitting and talking with humans who want more joyful connection and less suffering in their relationships with themselves, the people they love & lead, and the world… and spend their nights with Ben (the human) and Lucy (the dog).

You can find James-Olivia at www.inquisitivehuman.com and on Instagram (@inquisitive_human)

Grounding yourself in what matters to you…

By Tracy Neely, Guest Contributor

There’s a spark inside of you and we all see it. Do you? Life has a way of sometimes masking our light underneath beliefs, thoughts, and life circumstances that keep us from feeling grounded in our desires.

We are just past the halfway point for 2021. What is life showing you right now? Is it in alignment with your desires?

As we experience life and everything that comes with that, I want to share a grounding practice with you that can activate your root energy center and stimulate a remembrance of what matters to you, so that in the moments when we may feel challenged, we can remember what’s important to us.

There have been many moments when I have felt lost or felt disconnected from myself. In those moments, the practice of grounding into my desires has supported me in feeling more rooted in myself and what matters to me. Our main energy channels direct energy up and down and all around our body. They affect our emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual bodies. We have additional energy centers that exist in our hands, feet, below our physical body and above our physical body. For now we are going to focus on our root center, our first energy center.

Life has a way of sometimes masking our light underneath beliefs, thoughts, and life circumstances that keep us from feeling grounded in our desires.

tracy neely

Root Energy Center

Our root center (first energy center) is the energy center located at the base of our spine.

  • It is connected to how safe we feel.
  • It governs our sense of stability.
  • It takes into account our self-preservation.
  • It shows us how connected we are to our community.
  • It is tied to our basic instinct of survival.
  • It is the foundation upon which everything else is built.
  • It is deeply connected to the Earth and signals to us how grounded we feel in our body, in our emotions, in our mind.

The symbolism of this practice is represented by a tree with strong roots. Without strong roots, a tree will wither and die. With strong roots, a tree will flourish and nurture everything around it. Words are very powerful and create energy in our lives so I’m sharing a practice that can ground you back into your true self. With so much going on in the world, it’s easy to lose ourselves or forget what matters to us.

Grounding Practice

This grounding practice is very simple and powerful. I discovered this from a beautiful soul name Oracle Blue. I’ve adapted it so that it connects with your root energy center.

Think of five words that root you back into yourself. These five words remind you of who you are when the world wants to tell you something different.

Take some time to get still and breathe. Think about your five words and write them down.

These five words will direct you throughout everything you do personally and professionally.

I’ve included two illustrations. You can print out the first one and fill it out and refer back to it. The second illustration is my five words. They are the foundation of who I am even when I doubt myself. It’s a remembrance of what matters to
me.

Prompt

As you write down each word, bring your attention to the base of your spine and breathe in your five words, allowing them to ground into your root energy system. If you’re so inclined, I would love for you to share your five words with us by commenting on this blog post.

As we navigate the rest of this year and connect with what lights us up, come back to your five words and feel the energy of them so that you continue to feel grounded in what matters to you.

I’m sending you love as you connect with the deepest part of yourself and experience a remembrance of being grounded and rooted in your whole self.

Gratitude and Love, Tracy

Tracy Neely – Intuititive Healer, Certified Life Coach and Seer For Womxn Entrepreneurs
Mindset Alchemy®

[A lovely Black Womxn sits in front of a gray brick wall. She is wears her natural curls in a way that frames her face. She has a black v-neck blouse on and smiles at the camera.]

Tracy Neely is an Intuitive Healer, Certified Life Coach, Seer and Soul Priestess for coaches, healers, and visionary womxn entrepreneurs that are ready to elevate to the next level of their business and experience success doing what lights up their soul.  ⁣Tracy believes that transforming the way we work in our business is an inside job. ⁣Tracy believes that harmonizing and balancing our energy, activating our light and accessing our gifts will amplify the impact we desire to share with the world through the transformational work she does with her clients. Tracy works one-on-one with private clients in her Elevate Alchemy Private Coaching and Healing Program and through her Mindset Alchemy Sessions. Tracy utilizes ancient healing tools, techniques and practices to support and guide her clients through their inner-transformation so that they experience a powerful shift in their life and business.

Connect with Tracy: Website Facebook Instagram Email: info@tracyneely.com

Want to read more about energy healing practices? Try These from The Blessings Butterfly: A Story About Energy & Healing Mindset Shifts and Deep Healing Transformational Positivity and the 4 Pillars

Watch this interview between Tracy Neely and Michelle Lewis – The Blessings Butterfly

All opinions expressed in this article are the sole perception/experience of the writer, and may not necessarily be shared by Michelle Lewis – The Blessings Butterfly. All Rights Reserved.

Without Condition

Written by Tina Falk, Guest Contributor

{watercolor painting with the words Dream, Certainty, Soar, Forgive, Success drawn in different colors of hand lettering. There is a multi-colored border of watercolors surround the words.]
Original artwork by Tina Falk

There’s a remarkable woman I know. A little bit on a personal level, but on a heart and soul level—I see her and she is pretty fxcking cool. I’ve witnessed her strength, and grace, and ability to consider others even during challenging personal moments. She’s someone I look to to remind me that we are far deeper and greater than our circumstances and that we can embody so much at one time. We can be fearful and hopeful, we can be grieving while dreaming, or even centered on self while being of service to others. 

I was incredibly honored, but a bit taken aback when this strong woman, Michelle Lewis, private-messaged me asking if I would write about how I show up to life with love, courage, respect, compassion and peace for MY SELF. So I got curious and started asking myself how I show up to life as a strong woman who embodies these high-vibe traits. ‘Cause man, does Michelle do it well!

Here’s what I know . . . I show up best to life through self-assessment.

tina falk

Here’s what I know… I show up best to life through self-assessment. It’s only when I know ME in the moment that I can make the necessary adjustments. And sometimes those are bold changes towards setting clear boundaries and loving myself. I learned 25 years ago, from one of my master teachers, that checking in with myself first was solid good practice for how to address any challenges whether situational or relationship wise. We are co-creators. We’re all in this together and if I don’t check in with myself to see what my role in “this” is, then I am missing the mark. Let me share a bold decision I made a few years ago that propelled me to the life I live now.

I was 50 (for those of you who know western astrology this is during a Chiron return and mine is in my first house—childhood wounds and trauma). It was Thanksgiving day. I shared a story with someone about my unhealthy, one-sided, and confusing relationship with my father. The person I was sharing this with was shocked, as they had known me my whole life. “Tina, I had no idea,” they replied with concern. Then they shared one thought that changed everything. 

“I wonder if he (my father) has Narcissistic Personality Disorder?” My whole life flashed before my eyes—like a video replay. And I heard myself say, “No wonder he doesn’t love me. It’s not my fault.” My eyes filled with tears, my heart pounded and I was devastated. AND I felt an indescribable sense of freedom.

I had spent my entire life wondering what I had to do to be seen and loved by this man. And now on the heels of this new aha! moment was a deep dive into understanding this disorder and what I was going to do about it. After weeks of research and consulting professionals, I had made one of the most challenging decisions of my life—to go NO CONTACT. 

Well, it’s been 5 years and it’s like he didn’t even notice. My own father hasn’t reached out to me nor his grandchildren. He moved on to his next source. MY GAWD! what a relief to come to this realization, that my own birth father, someone who was supposed to protect me and love me without condition, dropped the ball because of who HE is……NOT who I am. 

It was devastating because I knew no matter what I did things would never change. I doubted my decision for a while, grieved for a couple years, and to this day still think about him. Sometimes with anger, but mostly with gratitude for my awareness and the decision I made to protect myself and my family. Aside from not having to anxiously navigate that messed up relationship anymore, I needed to find purpose and meaning in it. Like Why? Why would I have picked him to be my father? Why would I have agreed to this? 

[blue sea under blue sky. a castle sits atop an island in the distance.]
Photo by Riccardo Bertolo on Pexels.com

What am I here to learn?

I was working with a Body and Emotion Code therapist, a couple years after my no contact decision, who sweetly yet firmly responded to my questions. She said, “You are here, as Tina, to learn unconditional love. In fact, you are getting your PhD in Unconditional Love. God wouldn’t put you in a family that knew how to love unconditionally. You wouldn’t learn that way, right?” Crap. Made total sense. 

This was a very empowering time for me. I felt rebellious and free!!! — to discover who I am rather than who I thought I had to be in the eyes of others. It was in the stars, right? Thanks Chiron. The timing was divine and each day moving forward I gained a greater sense of compassion (not pity) for myself. I have created a life of peace. A life that is at my pace, in my time, with my boundaries, plenty of rest and quiet, and bringing in moments of ceremony—like lighting a candle, reciting mantras, breathing, journaling, nature walks, and fire burning. I love to connect with others through my passion of Chinese metaphysics and astrology. And, I pay forward the gifts I’ve been given by teaching, as well as donating energy to charitable organizations that assist children who feel alone, hungry and scared.

Check in with Yourself

I’m still checking in with myself. It’s a habit now, it’s just how I do things. Not everyone has that skill—my father sure didn’t. Once I realized my role in enabling this nonsense and toxicity to continue, it was an easy call. I did what I did because I love and respect myself. The consequences of that decision have blessed me. I’m aware of the lifetime of trauma that came from this relationship. I’m more aware of what my wounds are and what stress responses I have because of them. I am learning to take all that love, respect, and compassion I have offered others and direct it upon myself by creating a life that is intentional, meaningful and peaceful. 

It’s never too late to love yourself. Check in. Ask questions. What are you co-creating? Is it serving your highest well being? How are you going to love yourself today? 

Tina Falk BFA, Certified Feng Shui Practitioner, Chinese Astrologer & Metaphysician

A lovely fair-skinned woman stands outdoors. She is clothed in a white v-neck shirt and a dark cardigan with geometric print details layered over it. Her hair is very long and warm brown. She smiles peacefully at the camera.]

About Tina:

I am Tina Falk, a Chinese Metaphysician and Astrologer. I’ve been practicing this way of life since 2005. My goal is to provide a professional and intuitive perspective to enhance your awareness and appreciation of Self and Space. My role is to bring you into a place of being in gratitude, creating conscious intentions, taking action and believing in your own power. This will propel you into a more meaningful and purposeful life. I am a classically trained feng shui practitioner who also incorporates Landform and BTB principles. And to me, the most exciting aspect is integration of your 4 Pillar Chinese astrology charts. My approach allows me to personalize your whole feng shui experience! I can make recommendations that are specific to you, and each member of your family or business team. Everyone deserves that personal attention. Overall, I am here to support — sometimes with a firm stance, but always with love and empathy — and to inspire a new way in which you see the world and your place in it. Feng shui has enriched my life by revealing everything from the insanely obvious to the subtlest of energy in our surroundings. We are sensitive beings and when we can connect and create a sacred relationship with ourselves, our space and others…damn, life gets exciting and motivating! Feng Shui has been a true gift to me . . . and my family. I intend for it to be the same for you. 

Connect with Tina: VIA Feng Shui Instagram

Want to read more articles on Self-Love and Acceptance? Try These: Self-Care for Self Love Transformational Positivity and the 4 Pillars

All opinions expressed in this article are the sole perception/experience of the writer, and may not necessarily be shared by Michelle Lewis – The Blessings Butterfly. All Rights Reserved.

Self Care for Whole-Self Love

For the month of March, I will be continuing my exploration of Whole-Self Love with a particular focus on the importance of Self Care. I will be sharing some of my own rituals, as well as those from some of my favorite folx around the world. Enjoy!

What does ‘Self Care’ mean to you? Does it conjure up images of a spoiled princess or celebrity whose every whim is being attended to by her groveling personal staff? Do you tend to write it off as something decadent, frivolous and/or unrealistic for you? I know that if you’re anything like me, chances are that you’ve spent a lot of your life resisting or flat out rejecting the idea of Self-Care as being something for you to indulge in while simultaneously labeling it as SELFISH, and therefore, BAD.

This, my friend, is a key step: recognizing that Self-Care is not a bad thing. In fact, it is a good and necessary thing that everyone, regardless of age, race, gender, ability, or socio-economic status deserves to experience for optimum health. Truly, it’s about providing the care that your body, mind, soul and spirit need to support you throughout your time here on the planet.

GOOD NEWS: Creating a personal self-care practice that feels lush, supportive, and satisfying is not as hard to do as you might think. It doesn’t have to break the bank, either! It’s helpful to remind ourselves that Self-Care does not necessitate Luxury. Self-Care is so much more than 24k Gold facials, Champagne bubble baths, or having a private masseuse on call 24/7 (although that would be the kind of luxurious amenities that I could learn to get used to). Luxury items and experiences are wonderful, and if you can have the privilege of access to them then please do so with total enjoyment; but if you aren’t a princess or a celebrity or a millionaire don’t fall for the mistaken thinking that it’s got to be all-or-nothing. Self-Care isn’t selfish, and it’s not just for the super-rich.

Tip of the Week: Build on the Basics

START WHERE YOU ARE: When you are trying to figure out what a regular Self-Care practice can look like for you, begin with finding your baseline then build from there. By simply taking some time to examine what you are currently doing, it’s easy to map out a cultivated routine that suits you.

We all have some basic maintenance requirements for these fabulous human bodies that we live in which include food, water, sleep, and shelter. These are non-negotiable for our survival. We must recognize that each of these 4 areas can be enhanced to build a practice of Self-Care. Additionally, you may have a body that is able to include movement as part of its daily experience, and you may also be in a position to enjoy access to clothing, bathing, community, education, and health/wellness. All of these have the potential to be developed into something that enriches and supports you physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally for a holistic approach to Self-Care.

Loving and caring for our physical body starts with basic maintenance and expands to suit our individual preferences and abilities. Food and Water becomes an adventure in nourishment. Sleep and Shelter becomes a commitment to daily restoration. Movement becomes stretching, strengthening, challenging, and exploring what your body can do. Bathing and Clothing evolve into personal grooming, tending, pleasuring, delighting, adorning, and expressing. Community, Education, and Health/Wellness turn into opportunities for including, accepting, embracing, expanding, soothing, and healing. Can you see the difference? Does this open your mind to new possibilities? This is how we develop a Self-Care routine that suits us and celebrates us as individuals.

 Food for Thought

Self-Care that makes sense will be tailored to YOU. It will take into account your individual needs and wants, it will fit into your current lifestyle and it will adapt accordingly as your life and your body change. Some questions to reflect on:

  1. How do you currently care for the body that you live in?
  2. Which of the 4 basic maintenance areas (food, water, sleep, and shelter) can you improve for your Self-Care? If there is more than one, list them in the order of which you would like to work on first.
  3. Which of the 6 additional areas (movement, bathing, clothing, community, education, health/wellness) can you build on for your Self-Care? If there is more than one, list them in the order of which you would like to work on first.

It takes courage to get to know yourself, so Bravo! I see you and I salute you as you take these positive steps towards Transformation. PLEASE do not be tempted to use your answers to these questions to heap shame on yourself. You are not a bad person, you are not “doing it wrong” or failing at life. Instead, use your answers as information to help you make new choices moving forward.

If you have questions about how to take some next steps in creating your own Self-Care routine and rituals, why don’t you go ahead and schedule a free consultation call with me? I would love to have a quick chat with you. Click on the “Schedule” button at the top of this page today to set up a no-obligation call or video conference with me.

Michelle Lewis (she/her/they) is the creator & founder of The Blessings Butterfly, a holistic coaching & energy healing practice that is teaching people to live a life that they love. She is a writer, speaker, energy witch/healer, and author of the Amazon bestselling positive affirmation books, The Blessings Butterfly and The Blessings Butterfly Having worked hard for decades to overcome severely traumatic events that began in her early childhood and repeated in painful, looping patterns well into her adult life, Michelle is passionate about using her gifts and wisdom in bringing hope and healing to millions. This is more than “mindset hacks” and “Pollyanna” positivity. Through the work of what she calls Transformational Positivity, Michelle helps her clients to get clear on where to shift their thoughts and actions, while dismantling the culture of toxic positivity.

The First Pillar: Whole-Self Love (Part 3- Loving the Body You Live In)

What would it look like for you to take your relationship with your body to the next level?

What if I told you that you could love the body that you live in, exactly as it is? YES- without losing/gaining weight, changing your hair, or altering your external image in any way. Imagine what it would feel like to stop being angry at it, disappointed in it, embarrassed by it, afraid of it, or ashamed of it.

I am not going to pretend that this is an easy, 2-step process or that I have a magic potion that will instantly take you from Loathe to Love. You won’t be hearing from me that you have go through some hard-ass Boot Camp to break yourself down first in order to build yourself back up. I am also not going to bullshit you with the claim that “all” you have to do is change your mindset (HELLO, changing your mindset is not like switching a light on or off!) We are much more complex than that and our stories require us to move forward with nuance and care. But I will tell you the truth that it absolutely IS possible and that you CAN learn to truly Love the body that you live in.

It’s also true that you will still experience some highs and some lows; you will still have moments when you slip back into old ways of thinking before you catch yourself and get your booty back on your positive path. I sure do, anyway, and I’ve been practicing Whole-Self Love for more than a decade! It is a life’s work that is well worth every ounce of energy that you put into it, every tear, every journal entry, every layer of pain/drama/lies/ peeled away.

Knowing that… Would you be willing to trade embarrassed for empowered?

Could you dare to swap disappointed in for devoted to?

Can you see the possibility for you and your body to have a positive relationship with each other?

Hallmarks of a Loving Relationship With Your Body

Any strong relationship will have some hallmarks that make it stand apart from more casual acquaintances. It’s no different for cultivating a loving connection with your body. Here are 5 key areas to consider:

  • Awareness & Clarity
  • Commitment
  • Communication
  • Support System
  • Fun!

Awareness & Clarity

Who do you think you are? Awareness & Clarity points to having an honest, true understanding of who you are, what your body is, and how the two of you are going to move through the rest of your life together. One of my favorite tools for this is what I call the Look Deeper Mirror Experiment. This means having the courage to really see yourself as a Divine, sovereign, intelligent being, and your body as both a unique entity and as the temporary housing and vehicle through which you are experiencing life as a Person. To do this, Strip down to your bare-naked self and face yourself in the mirror. Start with your eyes; look into them- really get in deep! You may be tempted to look away, but don’t. What do you feel? Nervous, scared, sad, surprised? Don’t pull away from the feelings, notice them, acknowledge them, follow them. They are clues to Who you are, Where you need healing, and What your body most wants from you. Next, notice everything that you like about your physical body. Send some love, appreciation and kind words from the top of your head to the soles of your feet. When/If you start going down that tired old path of self-criticism and the list of bits and parts you wish looked different, STOP. Remind yourself then and there that you are on a new path now, and that you are learning how to Love yourself. Your WHOLE self.

If you want to experience the positive transformation and deep healing that comes from a Whole-Self Love practice, I recommend having a loving conversation with yourself every day, and a kind word for yourself every time you see yourself in the mirror. At the very least, how about no more actively hating the person looking back at you? That’s a good place to start!

Commitment

Commitment is about making the choice to stay, stick with, and work at something. It’s having the quality of dedication, and it shows up in people who are trustworthy, loyal, honorable. Making a commitment to care for yourself and to love yourself, doesn’t mean that you are being narcissistic or selfish. Far from it. In fact, by committing to love yourself and the body that you live in helps to develop your autonomy and your ability to care for and love the people around you more authentically and with healthy boundaries.

Another favorite tool is writing a Love Letter to Your Body. If you’ve never tried this, you may be surprised by how powerful this can be! You can write it in any way that suits you, whether it’s a narrative or a list or a stream of consciousness or a sonnet. You don’t have be an eloquent writer and you don’t have to show it to anybody; it’s really just another way to reveal and encounter more of your truest self. For an example of one I wrote a while back, click here.

Developing a self-love practice takes some time. It takes some thoughtfulness and intention, and it takes a commitment. It takes some courage to break free from the negative scripts and internal dialogue, and to rebel against the culture of body shaming. But every bit of effort that you put into it is precious and creates a more positive relationship and connection to your true Self, which in turn leads to a more satisfying and happy life.

Communication

Having good communication is one of the most important components of any successful relationship, so now that you’ve taken steps towards Awareness, Clarity, and Commitment it stands to reason that having good Communication with your body is key to cultivating this positive relationship. Where are you at with this? How well do you pay attention to your body signals, and what do you do with them? For example:

  • FOOD– Do you eat when you’re hungry? Do you know which foods are most nourishing and supportive to your body, and which ones to avoid because they are causing you pain? Do you find food & eating in general to be tricky and triggering? This is a HUGE area of challenge for so many of us. Over the years I have worked with dieticians, nutritionists, health coaches, WW, etc and have had varying degrees of success. None of them have helped me to change my unhealthy relationship with food until I began Noom. For me, it was the exact kind of support that I had been missing. I have an affiliate link that will get you 20% off if when you sign up for their program: Click Here
  • SLEEP– Do you let yourself rest whenever you’re feeling tired? Do you give yourself enough sleep each day? When your head hits the pillow, does your brain fight with your exhausted body, or do you drift off into a blissful slumber? I have always been a vivid dreamer (good and bad) and since childhood have been able to remember them upon waking. For years, particularly after surviving some major traumatic events in my early 20’s I suffered from nightmares, night terrors, and insomnia. It wasn’t until I finally began to address the underlying stresses and traumas I was carrying (hello, therapy!) that I could return to giving my body good sleep on a regular basis. Now, whenever I have some unresolved issues that keep me up at night, I know how to handle them.
  • PAIN– How do you respond to pain in your body? Do you ignore it, numb it, push through it? Do you get mad at it, or get angry at your body? I recently shared through my Facebook group, Transformational Positivity, about a breakthrough regarding my response to injuring my back: “Whoooo am I working on this one for sure! I mysteriously injured my upper back yesterday morning and my first response was anything but loving. I was Mad! 😡 I was SO angry at it. 🤬 It actually shocked me how much rage I felt towards the pain in my body. So what did I do after the unhelpful yelling? • Slow, mindful, deep breaths • Concentrated on relaxing the seized muscle • Verrrrrrry gentle stretching • Let [my fiance] help me • Heating pad • Cold cloth • REST • Lots of water, juice • Advil • Recognize that being mad at my body was not a loving or helpful response to it being in need, but was instead abusive and a very old pattern that I am working to replace with kindness & support.”

These are just 3 of many areas where it’s valuable to be in good communication with your body. Essentially, what you want to do to cultivate better communication for a more loving relationship with the body you live in is to listen to your body and actively meet its needs. Understand that our bodies are designed to change throughout our entire life. Pay attention to when your body’s needs change, and adapt your care routine accordingly.

Support System

Having a strong Support System is vital to the health of your new, positive relationship with your body. After all, up until now you’ve likely been firmly ensconced within the destructive, oppressive body-shaming culture that is fueled by the diet industry, fashion industry, cosmetics industry, the social media & entertainment industries, pharmaceutical companies, Westernized religion and the patriarchal, puritanical system that rules it all. Having the audacity to radically love yourself is to effectively stick your middle fingers straight up at it all. That kind of courage requires that you have people in your corner who get it, who understand and can hold space for you to learn, process, and grow in your healthy, positive relationship to your Self and your body.

You need to have people in your life who support you as a person, people you can turn to when you need advice and guidance as well as when you want to celebrate. Ideally, you want to have people like this who you can connect with in person as well as through phone, text, email, or even public & private social media groups. I would love to be part of your support team, whether through my 1:1 Soul-Mirroring Sessions, Spiritual Clarity Readings, or as part of my free Facebook group. If you’re not already on my mailing list, join today and get a free gift as well as a Weekly Positivity Boost from me, straight to your inbox.

FUN!

The last area I want to look at is that special not-so-secret ingredient that makes successful relationships stand out above all the rest: FUN! It’s the same with your relationship with your body.

FUN can look like anything from adrenaline-pumping sports and high-energy physical activities to quiet meditative walks in Nature or relaxing on a sunny beach. It can be found through artistic expression, creativity, dance, making music, writing poetry or enjoying your favorite shows. FUN can be sexual intimacy with your partner or a private, solo exploration of what feels great and turns you on. FUN can be hanging out with a few good friends, playing with your kids or grandchildren, walking your dog or watching funny cat videos. This is obviously not an exhaustive list- the point is that FUN is something that every human desires and deserves to experience. Also, it’s good to note that what may sound like a great time for me might be either too wild or too tame for you, and that’s perfect. You do You, Boo.

You could go through your life being miserable and not having any fun whatsoever, but why do that when you have a world of opportunities to explore?

Like Before Love

If you’ve read all the way through and feel as though Self-Love is still a little too far away for you, but you are willing to try somethingstart with a Like List. A “Like List” is a list of all the things that you like about yourself. It should include as many positive attributes about yourself that you can possibly come up with in each of these 4 categories- physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. The Like List is something that you can add to at any time, or make a new one anytime you want to.

If you find that you don’t know where to start, ask your best friends to help you. ONLY ask the people who you trust and who have proven themselves to be kind, not critical! You may be very pleasantly surprised at the good things that others can so easily see in you. With a little practice, you can begin to start seeing, appreciating, liking and even loving these qualities that all help to make you You.

Michelle Lewis (she/her/they) is the creator & founder of The Blessings Butterfly, a holistic coaching & energy healing practice that is teaching people to live a life that they love. She is a writer, speaker, energy witch/healer, and author of the Amazon bestselling positive affirmation books, The Blessings Butterfly and The Blessings Butterfly Having worked hard for decades to overcome severely traumatic events that began in her early childhood and repeated in painful, looping patterns well into her adult life, Michelle is passionate about using her gifts and wisdom in bringing hope and healing to millions. This is more than “mindset hacks” and “Pollyanna” positivity. Through the work of what she calls Transformational Positivity, Michelle helps her clients to get clear on where to shift their thoughts and actions, while dismantling the culture of toxic positivity.

The First Pillar: Whole-Self Love [Part 2- The Art of Releasing]

What are some of the first things you do when you come home to rest at the end of a long, stressful day? Do you kick off your shoes, drop off all the things in your hands like your keys, the mail, purse/handbag/briefcase, your phone, an old coffee cup, a bag or two of take-out food and/or groceries and make a beeline to the toilet? (Okay, I admit that I am most definitely taking my phone in with me to watch TikTok or Instagram Stories while I’m *taking a seat* to pee.) Maybe you also hop into the shower or draw yourself a bath and just let the warm, soothing water do its magic.

And WOW- how great does it feel to finally shed those work clothes [read: BRA] and slip into something soft, cozy and comfy?

All of these actions are signals to & from your body that it’s time to take things down a notch. To relax. To quite literally release the excess that you’ve been carrying.

Releasing Creates Space for Positivity & Healing

On the path to Whole-Self Love, one of the most important skills we can develop is the art of releasing our negative attachments. Hurt People, hurt people. This can become some of the most powerful work that we do for ourselves, as it frees us from some of the deeply held pain of our experiences of being human. As we release and heal, we shed our old patterns of negativity and create more beautiful new ways of being in the world, which is what is often referred to as the “Higher Self” or the best versions of ourselves.

Releasing our baggage aka negative attachments is not an easy-peasy, one-and-done flip of the switch; it’s more complex and nuanced and layered. It’s an evolutionary process that requires us to actively face and address the things that we may have spent our whole lifetime trying to avoid, hide from, or cover up. AND… it is through this process of enlightenment where we heal ourselves, and in turn help to ease and end the suffering of others by not perpetuating harm. It may or may not involve forgiveness, it may or may not involve therapy, but it will definitely involve support.

So what are some of the things that we may want to work on releasing? What are some of the negative attachments that we may be needing to face? Whatever you choose to release, will create space for something else to fill it so it’s important that you take a mindful approach moving forward.

There are many different ways that negativity shows up in our day-to-day, and it’s not necessarily all bad. Sometimes finding yourself in a “bad mood” is just an indicator that your body needs more rest, or something nourishing to eat. Sometimes it’s connected to a family member or loved one who is experiencing struggles. Maybe there’s an important or difficult conversation that you need to have with someone, or perhaps a personal boundary has been crossed. Shitty things happen, and we are not immune to them- it’s when it goes unchecked that negativity can develop into something much more serious and require the help of trained professionals. This can look like:

  • Negative self-talk, scripts of our unworthiness, a shame spiral
  • Patterns of self-sabotaging behaviors, unhealthy personal relationships, cycles of abuse or neglect
  • Substance addictions
  • Behavioral addictions

The good news is that no matter where you may be on your Whole-Self Love journey, you can begin to make progress, you can begin healing, you can begin releasing whatever is not serving your higher self today. There are resources available to you, and if you’re not sure what they are or where to look, schedule a free call with me and let’s get you started in the right direction. If it’s something that I can help with, I will, and if it’s something that is beyond my scope (such as clinical diagnosis), I will refer you to one of my many expert colleagues or point you towards additional resources. Even one tiny step creates space in your life for more positivity, and every tiny step forward is evidence of your positive transformation that you can build on. Let your one tiny step towards Whole-Self Love be the act of learning the art of release.

Michelle Lewis (she/her/they) is the creator & founder of The Blessings Butterfly, a holistic coaching & energy healing practice that is teaching people to live a life that they love. She is a writer, speaker, energy witch/healer, and author of the Amazon bestselling positive affirmation books, The Blessings Butterfly and The Blessings Butterfly Having worked hard for decades to overcome severely traumatic events that began in her early childhood and repeated in painful, looping patterns well into her adult life, Michelle is passionate about using her gifts and wisdom in bringing hope and healing to millions. This is more than “mindset hacks” and “Pollyanna” positivity. Through the work of what she calls Transformational Positivity, Michelle helps her clients to get clear on where to shift their thoughts and actions, while dismantling the culture of toxic positivity.

The First Pillar: Whole-Self Love [Part 1- Personal Empowerment Overview]

The 1st Pillar of Transformational Positivity is Whole-Self Love. It’s the beginning of your personal revolution, a shift in positivity that leads to your most empowered, on-going transformation. Why?

• Because it invites us to daily disrupt our old patterns of negative self-talk and allows us to begin seeing who and what we really are in our wholeness. We develop a loving & supportive way of relating to ourselves that is personally healing and breaks the cycles of negativity.

• Because it allows us to question and rebel against the negative messages that have been sent to us about our bodies from the industries that benefit from making us feel like shit. We discover & create inspiring new communities of radical acceptance that feel like a celebration and a homecoming.

• Because it requires us to push back against and break the oppressive systems designed to keep us small & muzzled. We begin to take back the control that we didn’t even realize we were giving away, and create a powerful new paradigm of true equality as sentient, autonomous beings.

Some things I must acknowledge

Changing behavior is uncomfortable. Changing paradigms is uncomfortable. Facing our inner sh*t is triggering as f*ck. It’s often a bit messy and clunky and awkward and imperfect, until it isn’t, and we find ourselves finally moving forward little by little by little.

I think it’s important to acknowledge that doing the personal work of Transformational Positivity has some common factors that almost everyone will relate to, and there will also be very specific factors that are going to be unique to the individual. Especially within the 1st Pillar of Whole-Self Love, we will each come to the work with our own biases and lived experiences in tow. Some things to consider:

  • Am I a member of the dominant culture? Do I hold certain privileges based on that? My self-love practice and self-care rituals will look differently than someone who has been systemically marginalized because of their race, gender, economics, etc.
  • Did I grow up experiencing a supportive family structure? Did I experience any forms of abuse as a child? My self-love practice and self-care rituals will look differently than someone who has also had to overcome a difficult upbringing and/or adverse childhood experiences.
  • Am I able-bodied? Am I generally in good health? My self-love practice and self-care rituals will look differently than someone who also has to navigate within our ableist culture. My self-love practice and self-care rituals will look differently than someone who must also manage a physical health crisis and/or mental health issues.

Before I steer too far out of my lane, let me be clear in saying that there is room for ANYONE and EVERYONE to do this beautiful and empowering work of Whole-Self Love. For some of us, we will need to do some deeper healing (yes please). We may need to work with a qualified therapist to help us get past our old patterns of recreating pain (I have and I do).

The point of looking at these considerations is NOT to create more shame. It is to acknowledge that each one of us has a story that is beautiful (even the ugly bits), powerful (even in our failings), and worthy of love.

The Pervasiveness of Body Shaming

Like 9/10 people reading this, I have experienced body shaming and I have struggled with my self image. For me, it started pretty early on in childhood at school- by kids and by teachers- and then again in church, and later on in my intimate relationships and even in my professional life- especially when I was working as an exotic dancer and a model, but even when I was working in corporate office jobs and non-profit organizations my body was somehow offensive.

There is a common language of shaming and degrading that seems to be inescapable. It’s a destructive narrative continuously amplified by the media: Too Much, while at the exact same time, Not Enough. To which, I call Bullshit. Among the many damning comments I’ve received for simply existing: “Too Fat. Too Skinny. Too White. Too Freckled. Too Old. Too Young. Too Curvy. Too Narrow. Too Wrinkly. Too Bumpy. Too Slow. Too Fast. Too Slutty. Too Frumpy. Too Loud. Too Quiet. Too Opinionated. Too Bitchy,”…and on and on and on. If it’s a crappy thing to say to a person, I’ve had it said to me, and I must admit that at different times on this journey I’ve said it to or about someone else. If the comments weren’t directed at me, then they were directed at or behind the back of someone else. When I wasn’t personally reeling from hearing the poisonous words, I was either feeding them back to myself or flinging them carelessly at someone else. Ugh.

It’s no wonder that we struggle with basic self-care skills, let alone the practice of Whole-Self Love. But that’s why it’s so important to me that we have the awareness, that we have the knowledge, and that we have the tools to experience our life in these crazy-amazing human bodies as the whole, complete, brilliant beings that we truly are. Whole-Self Love teaches us how to tap into a level of Positivity that can truly transform our old stories of pain into masterpieces of healing love.

Michelle Lewis (she/her/they) is the creator & founder of The Blessings Butterfly, a holistic coaching & energy healing practice that is teaching people to live a life that they love. She is a writer, speaker, energy witch/healer, and author of the Amazon bestselling positive affirmation books, The Blessings Butterfly and The Blessings Butterfly Having worked hard for decades to overcome severely traumatic events that began in her early childhood and repeated in painful, looping patterns well into her adult life, Michelle is passionate about using her gifts and wisdom in bringing hope and healing to millions. This is more than “mindset hacks” and “Pollyanna” positivity. Through the work of what she calls Transformational Positivity, Michelle helps her clients to get clear on where to shift their thoughts and actions, while dismantling the culture of toxic positivity.

Transformational Positivity and the 4 Pillars

What is Transformational Positivity?

TRANSFORMATIONAL POSITIVITY is a set of healing tools and positive practices used to form a framework for manifesting, experiencing, and supporting our Deep, Personal Transformation within these 4 key areas: Self, Community, Nature, and Spirit. Each of these 4 key areas is supported by it’s own pillar.

The 4 Pillars- in a nutshell

The 4 Pillars of Transformational Positivity represent the most important relationships of our human existence, with each one relating to and supporting one of the 4 key areas. The 4 key areas are Connection to Self, Connection to Community, Connection to Nature, and Connection to Divine Spirit.

The First Pillar: WHOLE-SELF LOVE

The First Pillar: Whole-Self Love

[Key Area = Connection to Self] Who are you? How do you see yourself? How do you talk to and about yourself? What makes you YOU? Do you like yourself? Do you love yourself? How well do you take care of yourself? How do you relate to the body you live in? Do you know, understand, realize, accept, see, believe in who and what you really are at the core of your being?

Most of us get so tripped up in this first key area that we waste years, decades, lifetimes focusing the majority of our energy, attention, and hard-earned cash only on our physical appearance while neglecting to gain an intimate understanding, appreciation, and genuine Love for who we are inside, aka The Real Us. And/Or, we have to unpack so many layers of bad programming and painful lived experiences that the idea of “Self Love” seems like a bridge too far.

This is one of the first areas where many people meet me. Typically, they are looking for some Positivity tools & training to supplement the deeper healing work they are already doing with their therapist.

How Can I Help?

I’m not a therapist, or a psychologist, or a psychiatrist so I am not qualified to diagnose or treat any medical, mental, or emotional health issues. What I can do for my clients is provide additional support, spiritual guidance, and teach positive practices help assist in strengthening your relationship to Self.

Additional reading about the First Pillar: Whole-Self Love

The Second Pillar: SERVING WITH JOY

The Second Pillar: Serving With Joy

[Key Area = Connection to Community] Which communities do you most identify with? What are some of the various roles you have played or are currently playing in your different communities? What do you need in order to feel like you are seen, heard, and a valued part of your community? How are you contributing? How are you receiving? Where are you serving with the most Joy?

“Community” includes all of the other humans we interact with outside of ourselves. Some of these relationships are knit closer to us than others- family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, colleagues. While other relationship threads are going to be much thinner and stretched over a greater distance, it is important to recognize that in the most basic sense we are all connected in some way.

If we can understand that the First Pillar is about Who We Are, then we can recognize that the Second Pillar is about Why We Are Here.

Whenever clients come to me looking for guidance in this area, it’s typically because they are struggling to find meaningful ways to connect in their communities. Their “Why” isn’t showing up in ways that feel in alignment with who they are and how they are seen by the people in their communities. They feel unfulfilled because their is no reciprocal Joy that they are experiencing.

How Do I Help?

I help my clients to look for opportunities that they may be missing. I guide them through shifts in their mindset to see a new perspective. We work on actions that they can take to create new, more positive connections in their various communities.

Additional reading about the Second Pillar: Serving With Joy

The Third Pillar: NATURAL HARMONY

The Third Pillar: Natural Harmony

[Key Area = Connection to Nature] How do you most like to connect with Nature? Which of these natural settings makes you feel the most energized, relaxed, peaceful, or awestruck: Ocean, Mountains, Forest, Desert, Prairie? When was the last time you spent the night stargazing? Are you an animal lover? Tree hugger? Aspiring gardener? Rock-hound and crystal wearer? Where is your nearest green space, and how often do you visit?

The modern era that we live in with its many conveniences and high-level technology has in many ways caused us to dramatically disconnect from the natural world. On a global scale, the push for more more more shows that we have all but abandoned our stewardship of the earth and instead are continuing to consume her vast and varied resources at an unsustainable rate, wreaking havoc on ecosystems, pushing fragile and necessary plants and animals to extinction. Life does not simply begin and end with us; we are part of something much more and we all share a responsibility for the health of our planet.

When my clients are seeking help in this area, it’s typically because they have lost touch with ways to unplug from the daily grind.

We are spending on average 1/3 of our lives- that’s like 90,000 hours of your life- at work, in an office (don’t read this article from Business Insider unless you want to be thoroughly depressed) plus all the time spent commuting to and from (more depressing stats from the Washington Post here) and it’s all leaving our daily connection to and harmony with the natural world as an afterthought, a luxury, or a “someday” dream.

How Do I Help?

I help my clients to create simple ways to restore their connection to Nature so that they can regularly recharge their energy.

Additional reading about the Third Pillar: Natural Harmony

The Fourth Pillar: EXPLORING YOUR DIVINITY

The Fourth Pillar: Explore Your Divinity

[Key Area = Connecting with Spirit] What does your current connection to divinity look like? How does spirituality play out in your daily life? Where do you experience the Divine? Are you able to separate religion and doctrine from spiritual practices? If you could SEE your own Spirit, your life-force, your essence- how would you describe it? What does she/he/they look like? Do you know the guides and energies on your spiritual support team, your Spirit Council?

After all, we are so much more than just our physical flesh and blood, more than what we can see and touch;we are magnificent spiritual beings having a human experience. We ARE each an expression of divinity! This is especially powerful when you consider the positive characteristics that are commonly ascribed to the Divine:

love

joy

peace

creativity

transcendence

blessings

abundance

truth

eternal

holy

sacred

beauty

goodness

generosity

justice

mercy

powerful

liberation

sovereignty

knowledge

wisdom

healing

compassion

empathy

This is probably the most “woo woo” area that people find me to begin work together, and I FREAKING LOVE IT. This isn’t about rules and religion; this is about exploring the ultimate in healing energy. Connecting with Spirit allows us to have a deeper understanding of the divine traits within ourselves, so that we can embody and express them in our human experience.

We get to do this today, in this lifetime- not just in some faraway afterlife. Whether it is connecting with and sharing messages from your Spirit Council during a Spiritual Clarity Reading, or helping you to create more positive connections with the divinity within and around you, this is some of my favorite work of all.

How Do I Help?

I support your exploration of sacred and spiritual practices, and help you to develop your own intuition. I help my clients to differentiate the freedom of spirituality from religion.

Additional reading about the Fourth Pillar: Exploring [Your] Divinity

Why does Positivity matter?

Positivity improves our connections to self, to community, to nature, and to spirit. When any of these connections are weak, damaged, or removed we experience collapse in the relationship. Therefore, it is vital to the health of our relationship to each of these 4 key areas that we do the work of examining where we are at, where we want to be, and what if anything needs to change.

For some of us, it means doing some deeper work of healing old wounds, rewriting our old narratives, and learning how to do Life in a whole new way- or even just a slightly different, more empowered, satisfyingly positive way. One thing is for sure- we won’t be engaging in any toxic positivity. No spiritual bypassing. And definitely no gaslighting.

Wherever you may be on your journey, whatever level of awakening you are in, you can find guidance and support from me that will help you to cultivate Positivity in any or all of these 4 key areas of connection.

How To Get Started

Soul-Mirroring Session & 4 Pillars Assessment

The way we begin our Transformational Positivity work together is through a Soul-Mirroring Session. This is a 1:1, deep-look together in which we talk about where you are, what you want, and where you want to go.

I have an incredible gift of being able to truly see YOU, and will share what I see from a spiritual energy perspective. We will do a 4 Pillars Assessment and create a plan for ways that you can begin to cultivate & integrate Transformational Positivity in the area(s) of your choosing.

Schedule a Soul-Mirroring Session with me today and let’s get started!

Michelle Lewis (she/her/they) is the creator & founder of The Blessings Butterfly, a holistic coaching & energy healing practice that is teaching people to live a life that they love. She is a writer, speaker, energy witch/healer, and author of the Amazon bestselling positive affirmation books, The Blessings Butterfly and The Blessings Butterfly Having worked hard for decades to overcome severely traumatic events that began in her early childhood and repeated in painful, looping patterns well into her adult life, Michelle is passionate about using her gifts and wisdom in bringing hope and healing to millions. This is more than “mindset hacks” and “Pollyanna” positivity. Through the work of what she calls Transformational Positivity, Michelle helps her clients to get clear on where to shift their thoughts and actions, while dismantling the culture of toxic positivity.

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.

Michelle Lewis (she/her/they) is the creator & founder of The Blessings Butterfly, a holistic coaching & energy healing practice that is teaching people to live a life that they love. She is a writer, speaker, energy witch/healer, and author of the Amazon bestselling positive affirmation books, The Blessings Butterfly and The Blessings Butterfly Having worked hard for decades to overcome severely traumatic events that began in her early childhood and repeated in painful, looping patterns well into her adult life, Michelle is passionate about using her gifts and wisdom in bringing hope and healing to millions. This is more than “mindset hacks” and “Pollyanna” positivity. Through the work of what she calls Transformational Positivity, Michelle helps her clients to get clear on where to shift their thoughts and actions, while dismantling the culture of toxic positivity.

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. ( from Bachelorette Hannah Brown‘s season) 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*
Michelle Lewis (she/her/they) is the creator & founder of The Blessings Butterfly, a holistic coaching & energy healing practice that is teaching people to live a life that they love. She is a writer, speaker, energy witch/healer, and author of the Amazon bestselling positive affirmation books, The Blessings Butterfly and The Blessings Butterfly Having worked hard for decades to overcome severely traumatic events that began in her early childhood and repeated in painful, looping patterns well into her adult life, Michelle is passionate about using her gifts and wisdom in bringing hope and healing to millions. This is more than “mindset hacks” and “Pollyanna” positivity. Through the work of what she calls Transformational Positivity, Michelle helps her clients to get clear on where to shift their thoughts and actions, while dismantling the culture of toxic positivity.