One of my favorite year-end activities is reviewing the photos I’ve taken during the last 12 months. It’s a wonderful way to reflect on the year and savor all magical and ordinary moments captured for posterity. Viewing the pictures will trigger memories of what happened before and after too.
The first dare in this first Love Growth Challenge is about celebrating YOU and highlighting your magic from 2014 in photos (or just one).
My first love growth spurt was triggered by a digital art that got placed in the center of my 2012 vision board. I’d connected deeply with my inner primal love fire in the last quarter of 2011 and wanted that connection to continue. I had no idea what putting this image in the center of my board would bring.
Of course, the first challenge designed to expand your (and my) heart begins with digital art.
Peruse Your 2014 Photo Library
Choose your favorites. Be sure you are in some. Or at least one. Preferably most, since it’s all about celebrating YOU. And expanding your heart’s capacity to love and celebrate YOU.
If time is short (or it’s hard for you to find pictures of you that like and adore) choose just one.
Then make it your wallpaper photo on your computer and/or your phone.
And then be bold. Make it your profile picture on Facebook (or you favorite social media site). Just for today. See how it feels. If you like it, leave it for awhile. Add a caption that declares what it celebrates for you.
The one of my husband kissing my cheek that I chose to illustrate this post is a celebration of love. It’s a self-portrait I took on the beach while my husband and I celebrated his 50th birthday in Point Arena. It captures and celebrates our love for each other. How precious I feel with him. It also represents a milestone in my own self-love journey. Though it shows a bit of a double chin (which I dislike having and seeing in photos) I don’t mind it in this one. That makes me happy and feel like celebrating my growth
If (or when) you have more time.
Collect 12 (or more) photos.
Make a collage using Diptic or Fuzel or your favorite app. I like Diptic for its range of options and controls. I use it often. I just discovered Fuzel. I like it for its auto feature that enables creating a collage of a bunch of photos instantly.
Bonus Tip: Order Mighty Prints (or Squares if you prefer) from Social Print Studio.
You might be feeling resistance due to discomfort and anxiety
This is normal.
Especially for women.
Women are less likely to talk about our achievements than men because we live in a culture that mandates modesty for women.
Research has demonstrated that women feel uncomfortable and even anxious when asked to praise themselves.
One fascinating study found that women downplay their own accomplishments but have no trouble promoting a friend. Fear of un-ladylike bragging stresses women out. Most intriguing, when women were given an external source (i.e. ‘subliminal noise generator’) to blame their discomfort on, they more successfully celebrated their own achievements.
It’s time we change our culture and honor women, not just men, as confident and capable when we celebrate ourselves and discuss our accomplishments.
Shine your light. Celebrate YOU with one photo or a whole bunch!
Come share your photo, your collage and/or what happens when you do in the Facebook group Pole Dancing Professor Glitterati for extra love and support.
Love Growth Spurt Background
For those of you who haven’t heard the love growth spurt story here’s a recap. In August of 2012, I cried every week for the whole month during my two-hour pole dance class. I’d feel better after my dance, then cry more the next week. I was inextricably drawn to Donny Osmond’s cover of I Want to Know What Love Is, which confused me because I was in a long-term, love and joy filled marriage. Then I danced to I Shall Be Free on (what I realized later was the 7th anniversary of my first S Factor session class). My heart expanded and filled with divine love from within. After that, choosing love over fear became my natural tendency and first response. The fear still came, but after the love. Heart shattering and opening happens periodically now, each time deepening my capacity to love. I affectionately refer to them as ‘love growth spurt’ because it reminds me of the scene when the Grinch’s heart grows three sizes. And he glows with strength and radiance. And chooses love and generosity over hate and fear.
Dare you to Dance to I Shall Be Free (or you own Love-Fire song) to expand your heart.
For more ways to Celebrate You, check out my pre-Christmas piece on the Bodybinds Blog: Appreciate the Genius of You with 3 Celebration Dares.