exploration over manipulation

Working at a swim suit shop for over a year now has been a constant up and down experience in respect to body image. In the past year I've seen countless women in bathing suits. Countless legs, Countless arms, stomachs, butts, & boobs. I've heard every self loathing line you could think of. & because of this I have had a lot of time to think about the idea of body image and how it effects myself and those in my own life. So here is what I have learned.

I've learned that this tiny yet towering body of mine doesn't like to be self loathed. It wants acceptance. I've worked for a long time at not hating my body for being who it wants to be. And most of the time I am not successful at that fete . Everyone has an issue with their body- yes even skinny women. Changes in the body are inevitable and at some point I'm sure I will be wanting for this small body of mine again. But for now I am learning to love & not hate what I've been gifted.

& hopefully- at some point - my body will change as it learns to house another's. Echoing my sisters thoughts- I hope to look at my new body as evidence of the love that I will be holding in my arms. Proof that I am what I've always been- what we were foreordained to be- a mother to all living, a nurturer and comforter. I hope that if & when the day comes that I get to bring another into this world, that I will be thanking and not loathing. That I will look at my newly formed body with love.

You are here learning how this body that you've been given works. What things your body likes, & definitely what it doesn't. Your body is the result of self exploration. 
Exploring all the swig cookies.
Exploring hours with the combo of couch + Netflix. 
Exploring the practice of yoga - how it effects your body physically as well as spiritually
Even exploring how it feels to push a 9 lb baby out of your downstairs parts.

Let yourself explore.
Dont let those poisonous thoughts overtake what you already know.
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advice for the now legal baby

You're 18 today little one. & we are all cursing you for making us feel so old that "baby hannah" isn't so baby anymore. So - the family made you a list of advice of things we wished we had known when we were 18. We love you a lot kid. Good luck out there.

- always leave your door open. Good or bad- the people who walk in are there to teach you. Even if it takes you awhile to see that. - Madi

- there are very few times that anything good happens after midnight. Save those "all-nighters" for the "we literally talked all night" dates - Dani

- drive the speed limit - Mom 

- put your phone down as much as you can - Dani

- don't go to target on pay day. You will be broke with within an hour. - Kira

- mom actually knew what she was talking about when she tried to get us to take our vitamins and eat "healthy". Turns out it kind of makes a difference - Dani

- plan adventures and always say yes when they are extended to you. Your couch + Netflix may seem like a good place to be 95% of the time - & I'm not going to lie It's pretty great- but I promise getting out there and meeting new people will bless your life way more than watching that third season of vampire diaries. - Madi

- 30 rock. That's all.- Dani

- Ghandi said "Be the change you want to see in the world" - Jan

- don't drink from the target drinking fountain. No matter how thirsty you are you will always regret it. - Dani & Madi

-you should probably register to vote.. Or follow in my footsteps and feel guilty every election year for not doing it - Dani

- you need to work on yourself before you can efficiently work on a relationship - Cousin Jake

- take the time to study about mother eve. It will change the way you view everything, especially about your role as a woman. - Dani

- Taco Bell. Say yes. Every time. - Madi

- kids in the front seat cause accidents, accidents in the back seat cause kids - Brett

- you are supposed to change your toothbrush every 30 days. Not saying I do it, just saying you should - Dani

- Compassion is the answer - Madi

- Shit happens so make sure that Sit Happens - Dad

- call Brett when your car breaks down - Everyone

- sugar cereal for breakfast is the worst way to start your day - Dani

- Ice cream fixes everything. Sometimes it takes 10-15 gallons, but eventually it will. Keep eating - Kira

- never stop reading your scriptures. Study them like you can't get enough and always keep a scripture journal. Devour those things like your life depends on it - Dani

- VULNERABILITY. Learn everything you can about it. Center your interactions around it. Empathy > sympathy. The best connections made usually always involve vulnerability. - Madi

- wear sunscreen - Mom

- when you go out and get an apt on your own, married or not, "new" is not important. The sparkly-ness of it will wear off and you will hate how much you are paying for it. Go for old and cheap and make it wonderful. - Dani

- change the oil and rotate your tires - Dad

- make family everything. Wether that means your immediate family or those not related but might as well should be. Your idea & thoughts of that word will change over time through all the things you are about to learn. But turn the word family into something sacred & do everything you can to keep it that way.- Madi

- don't hitchhike - Jan

- IDAHO TOUCHES CANADA. I don't want you to have to wait until half way through your freshman year of college to figure that out like I did. - Madi

- don't drink the kool-aid - Cousin Jake

- family is crucial - Dani

- anything you say or do will be used against you in getting kicked out of the house - Jake Rugg

- re-read Harry potter every year - Dani

- always say yes to a date(unless it's a tinder date/ he's a pedophile. Mom would rather you stay away from both of those things) Yes the date could be awkward. But it could also be unexpectedly great. The date could even end by the boy getting a bloody nose while kissing you goodnight & you would have a story to tell for the rest for your life. Even if you aren't interested at all, you can learn some of the best things from people you'd never expect. - Madi

- start saving money as soon as you can. Figure out all that investment shiz while you are still little- Dani

- trust yourself when it comes to your babies. The professionals don't always know whats best - Kira

- "don't forget in the darkness what you've been promised in the light"- Dani

-be very careful what you say to yourself in your thoughts. It can be some of the most poisonous conversation or the most important affirmation you ever take part in.- Madi

- be rich in contentment- Dani

- NEVER stop taking your Zoloft. If you do your husband might want to leave you - Kira

- the terrible twos are nothing compared to the age of 3. You've been warned - Dani

- marriage is SOOO far from happily ever after. It's choosing to and share a life with someone who is imperfect and loving them anyway - Kira

- things are not gonna go the way you want them to or think that they should. It's okay. It will stretch you and mold in in all of the best and most painful ways. Have the courage to accept there is a bigger plan than yours - Dani

- never stop reading - Kira

- never stop learning - Madi

- you are probably going to have a manager or assistant manager who's a douchebag. The answer to that is of course "love and forgiveness," but sometimes the answer is also writing mean things about them in notes to your co-workers - Dani

- it is perfectly acceptable to give yourself a timeout - Kira

- sometimes you really just need a full day of SVU marathons - Dani

- & if you forget everything else, always remember this. That the Lord is more loving & merciful than you can begin to comprehend. That He is not a "one false move" God, but a "no matter what" kind of God. & that your family loves the shit out of you - Madi
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