Looking Past the Mess and Taking Off Your Mask

Healthy Food Options

As a result of a journaling discovery group coaching session facilitated by the wonderful ladies of Vivid and Brave*, I realized that food and I had a very deep relationship. It was definitely a love/hate relationship. You see, my kids have food allergies and sensitivities that affected them in ways that were undetectable to the regular Joe standing by. But deep in my soul, I knew it was slowly poisoning them and I needed to figure out how to stop it, quickly.

I also was feeling less well and not aging as gracefully as I had envisioned myself. I was tired all the time, handled stress poorly, had poor digestion, dark eyes, insomnia, and a myriad of other things I’ll save you from mentioning. As a young woman on the top side of my forties, this was not in my aging plan. Combining this with my life long quest to look and feel good, meant it quickly became a recipe for disaster. Okay…maybe not disaster ( I have a minor dramatic side) but definitely somewhat of a compulsion. My teenagers might call it a disaster because eating weird is inconvenient and does not fit in with the “normal” social scene. It also was thwarting my plan of taking fifty by storm. Something needed to be done.

Of Food and Life

Right now you may be thinking – where am I going with that little back story? Simply, the analogy of food to life is very interesting to me. For instance, as I washed some chickpeas the other day after boiling them, there was so much stuff that needed to come off. They were full of flaking skin that had boiled off. Those beans looked messy and unappealing. There was nothing pretty in that pot. I wanted to throw them away. Like so many things, we judge the surface. As I rinsed them off, resisting the urge to toss them, I found that underneath the mess,  soft, unblemished, tasty beans were left, ready for whatever I wanted to use them in. At that moment, it occurred to me that this is how life unfolds as well. (Stay with me, I can pull an analogy out of anything.)

We spend so much time hiding behind the protective, often coarse outer shell that we have created that we forget how beautiful and soft we are. We forget how our unique life experiences have made what we have to share tasty and nourishing to the souls of others who have yet to travel that road behind us.

While there is nothing new under the sun, there is really nothing old as well. It is all a circular journey by which we cross paths at different times and intervals. I spent way too much time trying to question how to make something new, something better, something different instead of embracing that the difference is what allows the circles of individual life be what they are through which everything “new” is created.

The Beautiful Essence of You

As we pull back the protective masks, coverings, shields and excuses that we have learned to hide under, the beautiful essence of you is all that remains. We are born as “beautiful babies” through a powerful experience and we remain beautiful until death. Our beauty is only masked by our willingness to believe the lies of hype heaved on us by a comparative society which has caused us to embrace the chains and cages of self- entrapment versus see them for what they really are. It is self entrapment because only we can accept or deny for ourselves what we allow in as “truths or lies” for our personal purpose in this life. How often do we toss aside so much of our greatness because of the trickery of the mess that lies on the surface?

With this understanding, food does not have to an enemy. No personal attachment is required. It is simply a tool, as is the gym, the mirror, the beautiful clothes, the water and everything else that I use to nourish this wonderful, beautiful, sexy…yes…I said sexy… temple that I have been given the privilege to experience this life in. Beauty, it seems is an external manifestation of an internal process.

“Internal” means:


1. of or situated on the inside.

However, how we take care of our outside, with proper, individualized diet and exercise as well as the words from our mouths are solely the proof of the state our beauty which begins in the mind. My family may be irritated or laughing at me now, but the day will come when wisdom will prevail. However, if they were to tell the truth, we all feel way better now than ever before.

A challenge to see beyond the mess

I leave you with three challenges

  • Think of one, just one, layer of covering, mask or lie you’ve been telling yourself about your beauty, body or mind that you can let wash away today.
  • Put on that new red lipstick, go polish your nails, put on your highest heels, or purchase that fancy bra & panty set that you saw in the store and said “one day” or “not me” and wear it. No one needs to know. Don’t forget, mommy and wife are just a few of the things you do. They are not who you are.
  • Tell yourself you are “Beautiful, Sexy, Dynamic and still Viable” because you ARE. Then get on the other side of a camera and print the darn picture. Title it the “Beautiful Still” and keep it where you can see it often. Because, you are.
  • *Editor’s note: coaching is now available through Christine or Stephanie individually – see the Writer’s Page for links.

    Photo Credit, Strawberries: Christian Schnettelker.Photo Credit, woman: ShannonBell_ via cc.

    Charisse Rhodes

    Just an ordinary superwoman trying to keep her crooked cape on while being a blessing to folks along the way. Find her online here.

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