Thank you, beautiful people.

I don’t know if you noticed, but last week, your Reader pages were bombarded with AWESOME. I just want to give one more shout-out to the brave, thoughtful, funny, smart people who guest posted last week’s five diverse pieces on body image. Kim, Ken, Samantha, Emily, and Lizzy… you’re all beautiful to me. Thank you so much for coming over to play!

Just for fun, as a way of putting a lid on this mixed package of media analysis and self love, here are the comments from each post that especially resonated with me. Thank you all (and everyone who commented) for joining the conversation!

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From Defying Gravity: Jules said, “This was really inspirational – thank you for sharing, Kim! It helps to hear about the ups and downs we all experience (in life, and in weight!), but know that there’s a place of peace to look forward to.

From Secrets a Father Must Keep: John said, “Wow! Conspicuously great post. Hat off to the author. Man, woman, it doesn’t matter…. the strength of a person’s character is what they do for others without hoping for reward.

From Body Image and Gaming: Problematic?: Tim said, “While I agree with your post 100% – for some reason I always viewed both video games AND music I listened to as just video games and music I listened to. I never cared that my Dad banned the Black Sabbath album since it was satanic. I liked the beat, the sound, and the throbbing rhythm. I could care less about the words. I guess that’s the same way I always viewed video games – just as a game and nothing more… not as a view into my soul or anything. All that crap being said :-) , I do agree with you that video game manufacturers definitely play up that aspect of things for no reason whatsoever. I’ll support you in whatever campaign you want to start!”

From An Ode to My Postpartum Body: Kelly said, “Love this. It is a struggle all mothers go through, even the ones who have appeared to regain their pre-pregnancy body. Because the fact of the matter is, even if you lost all the weight, evidence of growing babies always remains. It’s not always easy to love those remains, but they are the markings of the most important thing we have ever done in our lives. Things that carry that much weight are never easy or always pretty. Amazing post, friend. And you are definitely one beautiful mama, inside and out.”

And, because I couldn’t choose just one for this post: Magpie said, “Of course I love your brilliant post, my precious Emily. I will add my own two or three cents to this topic. My body felt magical when I was pregnant, adjusting and adapting like crazy to meet my babies’ needs. And after I had my babies I always thought I looked GREAT! Until I tried to put on clothes and realized I would be returning to the land of elastic waist pants for awhile, but my whole being was so focused on my perfect new baby, my appearance wasn’t very important to me. Being a mother teaches us that love transcends a person’s physical appearance, and is much more enduring. I still have many stretch marks. My skin is kind of dented in and thin in those spots. I wear them proudly. Love you!”

Finally, from The Compassionate Body: Erin said, “Thanks for such an honest – and funny! – account! I once heard that we should learn to think of ourselves as a friend who we are slightly amused by (Anne Lamott, I believe, said that). In doing that, we pass ourselves a little of the support and compassion we’d unthinkingly give to others, but all too often forget to give ourselves. A great post!”

And again, because there was just so much good going on, one more: Molly said, “This is an incredible post – thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us. This part is especially helpful to me: ‘Our bodies want our approval. They deeply want our love and acceptance. They are like tender-hearted little children who want nothing more than to please us, to do our bidding, and show us the things of which they are capable.’ …Also, thank you for the simple plan: 10 nice things for 30 days. Awesome!”

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Following Lizzy’s wisdom from Friday’s post, I’m going to go home now, take a long walk with my dogs, eat something delectable, and spend a minute telling that amazing woman in the mirror how much I love her. Happy weekend, y’all!

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31 responses to “Thank you, beautiful people.

  1. Jennie-LOVE-BUNNY! what a wonderful idea to make a post re-capping the fun-filled week we all had together, babe. Thank you again for letting me in on the stream of abundant joy and light that you emanate into the world. I am forever blessed and touched by this work and this connection that we all share and our friendship. honey. This is the meaning of life. This is what we are all about. Love, love, love, love, love. Big, warm hugs to you! Your friend, Lizzy

    • I’m glad you like it! There was just SO MUCH good going on all over the place, and I wanted to wrangle it into a quick buffet line of nomnomnomhappy.

      Thank you for being so exquisitely you, Lizzy, and always beaming such warm, glowing rays of energy! I love you, too.

  2. Jennie, thanks again for including me among these amazing writers. It was a big honor for me to share such a personally important post on your blog. I am endlessly grateful for all the wonderful people I’ve come in contact with through blogging, yourself being one of them ;D

    • Emily! It was such a pleasure to work with you. Thank you for bringing some of your wonderful readers this way. What you wrote about was so important and valuable, and I’m really glad to have been a part of sparking you to put it down in words. I’m grateful for you too, and hope to meet you in person someday if I’m ever in your part of the state!

    • I think about you when I play games now. 🙂 I’m actually not active on WoW at the moment – there’s NO time!! (insert pouty blood elf here) But I was looking at my character in Knights of the Old Republic the other day, and realizing that the bubble butt they let me give myself was way ahead of its time.

      • Most of the time, I’m on for raid and then off again. I am also one of two people in the progression raid team that does not have their legendary cloak, if that tells you anything 😛

        Haha! I’m really looking forward to the new character models in WoW that are coming with the new xpac. From the examples I saw, they are leaning toward realistic body types, but they haven’t done races like the night elves or humans yet, so who knows. But there are images floating around of the female/male dwarves, gnomes and tauren, and male orcs.

  3. I enjoyed the posts, and really enjoy reading this re-cap and salute to all that was good there! Nice work, Jennie. What a wonderful, rich community blogging has brought to my place on the sofa. 😉 Bravo!

    • I’m saluting them, too! (Although I’ve been told my salute is nowhere near regulation.) I feel the same as you do about the real friendships I’ve found online… my life is more colorful and I feel more free to share my stories because of folks like YOU.

      • Aww. You are so sweet, Jennie. I feel so blessed to have made such meaningful connections. I enjoy exploring them and seeing where things go… It’s all very sweet. (*note: I mean blessed in an unreligious way, and sweet in a non-baking way. 😉 )

  4. A perfect ending to your guest blog line-up. Look at all of the terrific conversations you have started, and all of the beautiful seeds and your peers have planted. Kudos, love, and metta to you all. 🙂

    • I was giddily grinning when I read the exchange between you and Lizzy! So glad you two amazing ladies found each other, and so moved that you’re going to start a personal body-love expedition.

      Also, I could Google “metta,” but I’d much rather have you tell me… what does it mean?

      • Jennie, thank you so much for providing the venue to facilitate our introduction. I continue to be amazed and impressed with the outstanding people you know.

        “Metta” is a Buddhist (Pali) word. It has multiple different translations, but generally means “wishing you much good will/friendliness/benevolence”. It’s one of my favorite “wishes” for others. 🙂

  5. Wonderful idea!!! And the posts obviously got people thinking. I also love that have these guest posts led me to your blog! Yeah for new blogging connections! My name is Kelly, by they way 😉

  6. Jennie, per your request, here’s the quick article I wrote about “metta” earlier this week. Enjoy!

    I work on the 35th floor of a skyscraper, so I spend several minutes every day riding elevators. When I’m in the small space with other people, I silently send them quick hits of metta (thoughts of kindness and friendliness) for the duration of our journey together.

    This morning, I was curious as to how long it really takes to go from the ground floor up 35 stories, so instead of my usual mini-metta elevator practice, I counted how many seconds my ride lasted. (Answer: 37 seconds.) But when the doors opened on the 35th floor, I noticed something very interesting: I felt an absence of positive energy around me. I could sense a *palpable* void, which I can only think to attribute to my lack of mini metta practice. It caught me off guard, actually – I was not expecting that at all.

    This brief-yet-powerful experiment revealed something else to me, too: it helped me understand why so many people smile at me “unprovoked”. So often when I walk the hallway, or travel in the skyway, or go up and down escalators/elevators, complete strangers will pick me out of a crowd and smile at me. For a long time I thought it was just because I had a friendly face – but now, I honestly think it’s because on some level, these people can feel my earnest desire for them to be happy reaching out towards them. And so they return that energy in kind.

    So now I’m even more curious – and I’d love to call on other people to help me conduct a little experiment. I’d love it if people would be willing to try mini-metta exercises for a few days, and report back if the same response/results are experienced. I really feel like there is something going on here…. and it’s pretty cool.

    Even if I’m completely crazy, and people do just happen to smile at me for some totally unrelated reason, I will still keep up my mini-metta practice – purely because it makes ME feel really, really good.

    Wishing you all a good dose of metta. (And even the simple act of writing that sentence made me smile just now. So cool!) 🙂

    • I was going back through old posts tonight, reading comments that brought back really good feelings. I then I found this one! Somehow, despite the length, I missed it when you posted!

      So, months later… what a stellar experience you shared. I utterly believe in the power of extending positive energy to others, and don’t doubt for a second that people gravitate to you for this reason, although that wouldn’t be the name they’d put to it. Metta to you as well – and I will let you know how my experiment goes!

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