(Re)Learning to live my truth.

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Lately, a few things have been prompting me to think about living more authentically. Moving about in this world in a way that is good for my soul (and hopefully for those around me). Not hiding away fantastic, vibrant, maybe a little sassy (but ultimately fun and harmless), or even darker parts of me that I’m afraid some people will not like.

I am a people pleaser from way back. I’ve always had this thing about craving the approval of others. I get anxious at the thought of someone judging me or treating me differently/worse because I didn’t please them first (and usually the people I’m anxious about do not deserve this much power over my life). I have come a loooooong way but I have realised that I do have a fair distance to go!

I want to role model to my children that the things about us that make us different can be our greatest strengths and that we should be proud of the things that can make us stand out for all the right reasons. If someone wants us to hide those things about ourselves, they are not our people! I don’t want to live a life where I’m constantly in turmoil because I care too much about what certain other people think of me being ME because that’s not what I want for my children and that’s not what I want to teach them! I can’t expect them to be brave and confident if I am not!

Throughout my adult life I have been inspired by people who are unapologetically themselves (without hurting anyone else).

Think Em Rusciano, Emmylou (of Emmylou Loves), Corrine Lynskey (creator of Curated Curves) and many others who are bright, bold and assertive – thriving thanks to the courage to be exactly who they are!

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A few months ago we were invited to participate in ‘Re:Purpose Runway’, a secondhand clothing fashion show and market (cool, right?!) run by @homeandfamilysocietychch. . “We’ve been running this event for 3 years now,” an e-mail from their lovely coordinator, Jess, read. “But we’ve never had any plus-sized options… and we’d like to change that!” . We couldn’t think of a more fabulous reason to attend (I mean, plus-size representation is what we’re all ABOUT!), so we put together 10 outfits to be showcased (and seriously, they were LOOKS 🔥), couriered them down to Christchurch, and then set up our market stall (we were the super colourful one 😂) for the big day yesterday. It was a *lot* of fun, and we can’t wait to get out there and meet a lot more of you in the future! 💖 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #repurposerunway #nzplussize #plussizenz #nzstylecurvettes #nzsmallbiz #shoplocalnz #nzpreloved #supportlocalnz #supportlocalnzbusiness #nzgirlboss #girlbossnz #nzbloggers #nzblogger #nzwomen #nzwomeninbusiness #girlsinbusiness #girlsinbusinessnz #sheownsitnz #nzbusinessnetwork #smallbiznz #christchurch #nzmarkets #nzbusinesses #nzbusinessbabes

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I also think the people from my every day, real life who have inspired me would probably be quite surprised to be on my little list! I watch them giving no fucks (at least that’s what they project) about being exactly who they are and getting away with it and it just makes me realise that I could do the same! They speak out about everything from the little things (social plans they aren’t feeling/saying no to stuff most people struggle to say no to/honesty about situations we would usually politely mumble about etc) to the big things. Like speaking out when someone is acting like a dick and everyone needs to know about it or being open about their struggles in a meaningful way (and not being scared about pissing someone off or being bullied for it or losing the approval of people who don’t agree). These people wear what they want. They express themselves on the outside to match their insides. If they want to wear a fuckload of sequins and shiny colourful things, even if they are sure that everyone else will turn up in black, they do (and often get a bucketload of compliments for their efforts)! If they see a bold lippie they love, they’ll wear it. Every day! When I realise that I don’t judge them in the slightest, I wonder why I judge myself!

Everyone has their insecurities and imperfections, but the people who inspire me don’t let their overthinking stop them. They don’t let bullies get them down (or at least they don’t change who they are to appease them). If a situation isn’t working, they find the courage to make the changes they need to. They surround themselves with people who love what makes them THEM. They live the way they know they are meant to live in order to be their best selves. We only have one life!

It horrifies me to think that we could spend a massive portion of our one life hiding, blending in and trying to be something we’re not.

Recently I have realised that I have been losing my confidence in a particular situation that has crept up on me. It’s taken a lot of courage but changes are finally being made. The closer I get to feeling a sense of freedom in my soul, the more I realise just how much I sacrificed (too much – even though my intentions came from a good place) and how much I beat myself up unnecessarily and how much I let the situation change the way I lived my life – everything from how I dressed to how I felt like I had to parent my children (when my very smart self – who has an amazing support network/very qualified brains trust that would have absolutely backed me up – and gut instinct told me otherwise).

Knowing what I know now, I wish I had lived a lot more unapologetically during this time. While strong influences in our lives may make us feel like we have to bend or shrink or ‘agree’ to fit in, I forgot that I had the power to decide on how to live my life, regardless of what anyone else thinks. I could have been living MY best life all that time and living in a way that was true to my core values, which ultimately benefits those who I care about the most.

I need to have faith in the fact that being a good person and a good parent who is always open to learning and improving are what really matters. That is ENOUGH. I am ENOUGH exactly how I am.

This has been a huge lesson. A wake up call. As much as I wish I had realised earlier, I know this will make me stronger.

Can you relate?

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