Thursday, March 02, 2006

Wrapping It Up

I'll admit it--when I read February's Self Portrait Tuesday theme I was not thrilled. "Embracing all of me." "Loving the ugly bits." Ugh! And yet, here we are, the dreaded month is over and I find I still have a little more to say.

The theme was based on this post by Keri Smith. I read this post when Keri wrote it. It made me feel a little sad, not because I felt sorry for her but because I had been there. I had been the woman who avoids photographs. I had been the woman who tried to hide behind others instead of getting stuck in the front. I was the woman who sucked in my tummy and hid under baggy clothes. I've been there. But I'm not there anymore. I've come a long way and somehow this theme seemed to be a step backwards, not forwards. I've been to therapy. I've read books. I've written journals. I've meditated. I've worked hard. I've put a lot of intention towards healing the wounds that kept me at odds with myself. And it paid off. Yes I still struggle, I probably always will, but I have come to a pretty nice place of self-acceptance. I didn't want to have to go back there, to that old, dark, heavy place. And so when I read the description for February's theme and saw that it was inspired by Keri's post I dreaded it. I just didn't see the point. Of course I knew that I could still participate in SPT without following the theme. You don't have to abide by the theme. There are no rules. But I decided to go ahead and accept the challenge.

I actually ended up liking the results. No I didn't post a pic of my little fat feet (I'm a 5 1/2-6 WIDE). I didn't write about how smelly my feet can be...and they can be smelly. I didn't reveal that I can eat Trey under the table any day and that I can be about as gassy as him too (embarrassingly, both are true). I didn't so much dwell on the ugly bits...although if you look closely at this week's pic you might notice the scab of a pimple on the lower right side of my mouth. Instead I focused on the parts of myself that I'm ready to embrace, accept, and live out. I discovered that even when you've done the healing work there are always additional steps to be taken. As I wrote the last SPT post of the month I realized that this theme actually helped me to define what my next steps should be. When you've done the work to embrace yourself, when you've begun to accept all the bits and pieces that make up your whole, then it's time for more. And that's what I chose to focus on--the more. I chose to write about wanting to be heard, needing to be seen, daring to show up, and giving myself the grace to remember and then move forward. And I think it turned out to be some of my best and most honest writing to date.

Yesterday, I read Liz's final February SPT post. It left me speechless and teary eyed. It was a perfect ending to a difficult theme. Like Liz, I usually accept the invitations of guilt, responsibility, and "holding back." But she's right. This month was an invitation, an invitation to open my arms a little wider. When I saw that she had lovingly chosen to include me as one of the bloggers who extended the invitation to her I melted into a puddle of tears. I am so proud to be included in that list of amazing, sassy, real, bodacious women. I am so honored and so humbled. To belong to that kind of group is what this blog is all about. If I had a calling it would be the desire to encourage women to connect to themselves, befriend themselves, explore themselves, heal themselves and fall in love with themselves. That is my vision...for myself and for all women. To think that maybe this month I fulfilled part of that calling, well, I can't even describe it. Let me just say the tears are rolling down my cheeks as I type these words. That's what it's all about. That's what I want to be doing with my life. Thank you Liz for blessing me with the gift of acknowledgment.

So when it's all said and done February turned out to be a pretty good month afterall.


Anonymous Ali said...

So very insightful - really enjoyed reading this post.

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Jill said...

I found it to be a really powerful month, too.

10:29 PM  
Blogger Wenda said...

I'll say! Your posts (and comments)have been a great part of the month for me.

10:40 PM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

Oh Michelle. You are welcome. You are amazing and brave, and I appreciate the way that you let us take a small peak into your soul every day.
This is what it is all about...

10:59 PM  
Blogger gkgirl said...

great entry...
and a good way to look
at life...


3:20 AM  
Blogger acumamakiki said...

Your so right! It's amazing when we come to the end of a process and find ourselves stronger and richer from it.

3:41 AM  
Blogger Sarah e.Smith said...

You are an amazing woman & writer and should not be surprised that other wish to embrace your words and spirit. Your honesty and thoughfulness is refreshing, and I love reading your posts :)

5:14 AM  
Blogger Sharon K said...

I enjoyed your post and I think every women should read it and learn from the words that you wrote.

5:56 AM  
Blogger bella said...

It's been nice watching you come to terms and embracing yourself. I haven't had much luck this month.. I couldn't face the challenge. It was too raw and reavealing for me.
But.. it was great to see you as well as others take such beautiful things away from this challenge.

6:43 AM  
Blogger melba said...

I have enjoyed your writing this month too. It is Friday morning and I just received my email that this week's Illustration Friday topic is insect. I think you should submit this post there. Your lady bug ring is a perfect interpretation of the theme.

6:54 AM  
Anonymous navylane said...

i initially felt like the spt theme this month seemed to be a step backwards, too. it was hard to see so many of us being so hard on ourselves. but when we begin to embrace ourselves, it's inpiring and amazing. and you my dear, with your honest and insightful words are indeed amazing and inspiring!

7:50 AM  
Blogger Bethany said...

I haven't been around for awhile, so I missed the Feb. SPT's...but this post has me tearing up all over the place. I must now go back and read them...but first, I must get some more coffee. Thanks for being are an inspiration to my heart!

8:32 AM  
Blogger Bohemian Girl said...

your words have touched and inspired me yet they always do.

thank you for being so brave, so honest...for speaking your truth.

it helps others in the sisterhood to do so.

warm hug and still celebrating you!

8:54 AM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

that is a sweet pic of your little lady bug. you have a very gentle spirit.

9:01 AM  
Blogger mikaelah said...


10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post made me a little teary. Brava! I've also been thinking about wanting to be heard and needing to be seen. I loved your thoughts on both.

And I think you are fulfilling your calling everyday. I am so happy I found your blog and so many others...they've really lifted me out of myself and helped me focus on what I want to do and who I want to be. On abundance instead of lack. So thank you so much.

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post...I read this at 5ish in the morning and chose not to comment till I could truly absorb it all.
Its wonderful.

7:09 PM  
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8:06 PM  
Blogger Bohemian Girl said...

i forgot to mention...sounds like we have the same foot.

(short and wide, that is).

i am 5 1/2,6 wide too.

my sisters would always say i have Barney Rubble feet.

i found a shoe that fits perfect for my type of foot. Crocs. do you own a pair? i love, love, love them. have two pairs; orange and brown.

if you haven't seen them, you can find them on

she foot power!

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Marilyn said...


12:15 PM  

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