Posts Tagged With: acceptance

Photo Shoots

932cf2d99fcd7e09e912d043c4a68a68In general, each of us have that one photo moment every now and then, that we wish we could just destroy or take back…. Capturing and forever remembering that one moment we regret or wish we could just completely forget… Don’t you just hate it when someone pulls out a photo, that to you looks so bad that you’d actually nearly attended therapy to try forget?! Ha. I’ve had a couple such moments.

Yet, as girls we still love photo shoots. Many of us would say, we hate being photographed… And yes we do… BUT, when it comes to being perfectly done up, hair, makeup and wardrobe sorted – very few of us are gona hate it… I mean it could be uncomfortable at first, but later it is kind of fun!

I have quite a couple of model friends and they totally love it, even though the industry is a tough one. But even if it’s not for a big company these could be fun. Even when you’re not getting paid. We have had a couple of shoots and have one coming up… And there is something nerve-racking about it but at the same time, it is soooo fun and a definite confidence booster…

c532b0312970f231d456615ecdca6796What is fun about it, is having the right photographer, which does make a huge difference. It is something I have noticed about a friend of mine who is a photographer. What is awesome about her doing our shoots, is the fact that she makes it fun and puts you at ease. She totally gets who you are and doesn’t push you into doing anything that isn’t comfortable. She also won’t try and make things look unnatural or photo shop it so much that you hardly recognize the person in the photo! She definitely encourages you to be yourself and love who you are and then captures that, which is so special and hard to find.

Especially since we aren’t into not being ourselves, real or natural. We don’t dig being portrayed as what we are not, or as these skinny photo shopped people who pressure our opinions of how we look onto others. We want people to love themselves and their bodies, the way they are. To embrace yourself the way you are is important…

deedefab2aac9e787a43356d5c3a0068And the wardrobe, makeup and hair should just be an extension of who you are, it should compliment you and your personality. Let it build your confidence and add to who you are. Not overshadow you or break you down in anyway! From now on, embrace any camera shot, and make it worth the moment. Don’t let regret or embarrassment rule and be what you remember.

In your next photo shoot or any camera shot, whether you’re dressing up or down – feel beautiful and enjoy it!!!

Categories: Pursuing Health, Pursuing Hope, Pursuing Life, Pursuing Love | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Confidence

c4ebf5f48073b2a7eaf421d557f72e6aIt is often said that the most beautiful thing a girl can wear (apart from her smile) is confidence! But that doesn’t seem to come too naturally to all of us.

Blame it on comments we get, the media or whatever the excuse might be, generally it is something girls lack and I often wonder why. I myself, easily give into my insecurities and forget how to be fearless and live happily as a unique woman. Once again, Cape Town is awesome in this sense. There everybody wears and looks the way they want, co-existing without comparing and it seems everyone and everything there is different – being ordinary or a copy of something seems to be what puts you on the outside. It truly is a breath of fresh air compared to the city life of Gauteng where it feels like everybody is fighting to be somewhat the same or similar… Maybe being the same and what others expect you to be is what makes me struggle to get along with some people (including some in my family – and now I don’t mean my mom if that is what people assumed). The set standards of society can often be what breaks people’s confidence as they fear being different and suppress that as no one wants to disappoint or be an outcast.

What a sad thought.

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God created each one of us so uniquely different yet still He is totally pleased with each and every single one of us as we are still created in His image. How awesome to think that each of us, although different are created in His image, just shows how many facets there are to Him and how different and awesome each and every single one of them are if you think how many of us there is…. Each different but so complimentary of one another… So many different, and yet He loves us ALL the same…so why are we actually all fighting to be the same?!

What makes you confident? Is it makeup? Pretty lingerie? Pretty clothing? Is it just being you – all natural without anything? Naked? Dirty hair, comfy clothing? Jumping off a cliff? Wearing heels? Acting like a tomboy? Doing a photo shoot? Is it a new red lipstick? Being silly and having people laugh at your jokes? Mine are definitely a little make-up, wearing cute lingerie, when someone makes good jokes and I actually get it and can laugh, doing a photo shoot, having a good hair day and skin day without even having to do my hair or makeup, dancing and some good music, when I can actually accomplish a new pose in yoga, when a recipe comes out right when I try it, my boyfriend compliments me, when I pass a test, when I’m around good, close and positive friends or people…. there are many things…but whatever it is for you, go out and do those things or find those things and embrace them. In each moment, take up the challenge to love yourself and embrace feeling confident…

1279c910dbd327460f6b57cc53e74986But also take the time to figure out how to be confident when you don’t have any of those things…when you have just yourself…find a way to love yourself in all your forms – the way Jesus sees you and loves you…you will be more confident. Embrace who you are, your strengths and weaknesses and in that way you’ll be able to eliminate insecurities because then you know yourself and accept yourself. That confidence will compliment you and who you are. You won’t let insecurity rule and turn you into someone who knows who you are and shove that down people’s throats. That is just being cocky.

You are a beautiful being and creation. Confidence is such a great accessory, so use it. Go ahead and own it!

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Yoga time

f3c8119297010ec2f7c9383e67d11fbfSo it is the beginning of twenty-fourteen and I am excited about doing some new stuff. What is really great and a theme that God has been putting on my heart, is taking the time to LOVE yourself. God totally adores me…He believes in me. He thinks of me as beautiful and confident, after all, He created me and I am His daughter, His princess.

Unfortunately, I don’t always see myself the same way and I don’t have much patience with myself either. I seem to compare myself, giving into being ruled by insecurities and that just won’t do it for me. After being in Cape Town, I really feel a sense of bringing back my focus to God and I. Seeing myself through His eyes.

So I have a few things lined up for myself this year, that will be taking me out my comfort zone, that will build confidence, teach myself to have the patience God has unconditionally with me, grace abundantly, things that will take accepting and loving myself in ways I could never have imagined.

One of the really cool things I have lined up that really gets me inspired, that will teach me to accept myself a lot more, have patience with myself as well as be a little more determined – is YOGA!!! Some know that I’m into the yoga kind of thing, but this year I’m taking it a bit more serious and totally up-ing it a notch or two. I really am keen on this one, not only as it is about the journey of loving myself in all my forms, but also because it will definitely be challenging on so many different levels.  I guess not only because I’ll be challenged on different levels, I guess, when I get a little bored or any other time too, I DO like to get a little silly and do weird things (not that yoga is silly), so why not do crazy poses?!

af10048c01c7eea61b3e1e95ed236767In a sense, it is also to get out of my head, so that I don’t think too much or rile myself up into any state of panic – which I do very easily – and to just get away from limiting myself, and do things I never thought I could do or that I thought my body couldn’t do….just defy all limits and live a little outside of the box we all put ourselves into.

Candace Moore and her story about fighting Lyme Disease, has been so super inspiring as well as motivating. Her story has moved so much in my heart and I am truly excited about her passion for yoga and the way in which she is so real and honest and wants to help others through her yoga and other stories. She makes it seem fun and exciting, and it’s just awesome to see how and hear how she motivates you to explore all aspects of life and yoga and everything involved in it…

There is just so much more to yoga than poses and exercise, it is just a way of focusing yourself on what makes you tick and the present moment. Your breath, your heartbeat, your movement. It is about persevering, patience, acceptance, loving, experiencing, building confidence – just plain being!

More than that, it can be done anywhere, anyhow, with anyone or by yourself. You also get to get close to nature and all of creation….and I think, why not use this time, to get close to God as well…just appreciate yourself, your body, your present circumstances – all these things that God created and the beauty of being alive in HIM!!!

Not only is there yoga, but coming up there is other experiences leading to more confidence…there is my studies, driving and other adventures like stand-up paddle boarding, photo shoots and different courses in restorative justice, makeup and other things…but this is a year of exploration and just diving into crazy awesome opportunities and enjoying life to the full – no holding back!d4

Categories: Pursuing Faith, Pursuing Health, Pursuing Hope, Pursuing Life, Pursuing Love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vulnerability

Weirdly enough I am now at a place where God is preparing me for the things He had inscribed on my heart years ago. Since that time I have only ever had glimpses of what He has wanted me to do but in the past few months and especially now, I am slowly seeing it all come together and I am left in awe as I have seen how He has prepared the way and started to bring it all together.

I am very excited, feeling like a child on Christmas Eve, too excited to sleep and constantly thinking about what gifts await my opening them the next morning. So yes, I am super excited as I feel the time nearing to what God has laid on my heart.  Not only have I been excited, I have also felt nervous and scared…the kind of scared because I am ready but I fear I’m not…So once again, I am filled with mixed feelings…

Obviously with all this, there is a requirement of preparation – so continuous research is being done. Reading articles, rapports, books, journals, watching videos made about prisoners and gangs…it is a lot on an intellectual and emotional level but there is a lot of preparation required spiritually too. It really means getting rooted in the Word and in my relationship with God before I go…it has meant looking at myself in all honesty…People and relationships are important. The Body of Christ is important. Very important. The parts of the Body of Christ help in supporting one another and establishing key characteristics needed in everyday life.

In this preparation I have learnt the importance of sharing with others and the importance of including others…if you don’t – they feel left out and like you are shutting them out, which might sound weird in a sense, or at first it did for me – because I did feel like this was something God has for me and it has nothing to do with anybody else…it is my gift, my treasure, something God placed in MY heart…but the more I look at it and think about this issue, the more I realize it isn’t just mine…that I am being selfish…in the beginning it was mine, given to me, but God wants me to share it…it is like grace..He gives it to us and first when we find the little treasure, we want to keep it and cherish it…constantly opening our own hands in which it was placed, to just look at it and admire it and just soak it all in, but once you have and you’re saturated and you realize just how beautiful it is…you can’t help but want to share it and feel you need to share it because if you don’t you just might burst. It would just be selfish not to, right?! It is so good, you just have to!

I guess I didn’t want to share it because it was mine, but also because you would then be able to see deep into my heart. Deeper than what has ever been seen before. And I’m not sure I want anybody but God seeing that deeply…why? Because it makes me VULNERABLE. Vulnerable is great but it is scary..it means that I could get hurt… It means I could get laughed at or mocked… And I try protecting myself from that and also from the negativity and death people could speak over me… But even that, God has shown me, is no excuse for shutting myself to the world…to family..to friends..to Jean… I have to open myself up…that is what love requires… And love casts out all fear..so why do I still hesitate…? Isn’t it selfish? I have always been transparent, with all my issues..because being vulnerable, making myself vulnerable and transparent makes me admit everything, putting it all out there myself, by choice, takes it away from others..gives me control and shows I’m okay with me, that way, no one can really harm me… but with this…this piece…this command God has put in my heart…it is the only thing I have been reluctant to share…the only thing I have chosen to be selfish with and not fully shared with people. People know bits and pieces of the story and what I feel God leading me to do, but no one knows the whole truth…

So what am I talking about? I want to work in the prisons… I am all for supporting the raped, the hurt, the victims…but long ago, God placed the other side of that coin upon my heart…the murders, the liars, the convicted, the rapists…that is what I want to do…the gang members…the youth that go into the gang life..who end up in prison and those who live on the outside of prison… That’s as far as all people know. Many cannot understand that.

But I have come to know many like them…I have also watched enough footage to feel something different for these people… Watching and observing these people, I have come to know they are no different from us…We all want the same things and they are just as scared, if not more than us, of vulnerability… They shy away from it, just like us, but we all do long to be vulnerable…all of us do…and we long to be accepted even when we are vulnerable and only when that happens…that acceptance and love that takes place when being vulnerable, does change come. Vulnerability is what ties us… And vulnerability doesn’t have to be as bad a thing as the world has made it. And the biggest lesson I have and am learning is that – if I can’t be completely vulnerable in front of God or others, no preparation in this world will prepare me for what God wants to do with these people and with me on this journey of working with convicts in prison.

So to those I have not been able to be vulnerable with, I am sorry and I hope I will have that chance again. I hope others will be able to learn from this too. Love casts out all fear. So as God has showed me and said to me, I will say to you – DO NOT FEAR. 1376039_orig

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Vow of Love

This is just so true 🙂

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‘The Vow’ of Love

tumblr_m7hsg8t5pu1rzed5jo1_500_largeI watched the movie ‘The Vow’ for the second time the other day. What a great movie! Whether you’re in a serious relationship with someone or not, it really seems to apply to any relationship you have with any other person on this planet – be it family, your colleagues, your friends, or your partner.

There are a few really amazing themes that stood out for me.

Moments & choices:  In the movie Leo, talks about ‘moments of impact’. Our lives are made up of many moments, moments which can end up defining exactly who we are and who we become. Many times we hang onto them, some good and some bad. But we have to learn which to hang onto and which to let go. Because sometimes, it isn’t what happened in those moments that is of importance, but what we choose to do with them and from that moment onward, that is. We get to choose whether moments will bring us closer in our relationships with others or with God or whether they will completely tear us apart or come between those relationships. But in the end, we make that choice.

Change: There is ALWAYS potential for change. Although we can’t always see the potential for change, it is there and we have to believe in it and hope for it. No relationship, no situation – is static.

Glass half full: There will be times of immense closeness and also times of being far apart. But just because things spin a little off, doesn’t mean those can’t be great opportunities & ventures. Things can be worse than ever but there is also a chance that it can be greater than you ever expected. You can find treasure in the most unimaginable places you just have to be willing or open to exploring & letting God show you what He needs to.

Control: You can’t always, no matter how hard you try, control every situation you land in or how it affects you. Only God can. But you can choose how you deal with it and how you respond to how it affects you. You can choose what effects will come after how it affected you.

You have to let God take control, let the beans spill where they may. Go on the journey. Take things as they come and roll with the waves. Until God chooses to bring it all back together/put things back together again.5939747968_b4c32920d8_z_large

It’s kinda like that wait between waves…. That period when the water is just flat for ages and you think nothing is coming. In that wait, you have gotta chill out and just enjoy it…feel the water. And suddenly when you can feel the ripples and the vibration that there’s a wave coming, you turn and prepare yourself for when that wave comes…and when it does, you ride it again. It’s the same with waves, you can’t make them come. You just gotta wait it out and make the best of that wait.

You can’t change people. Only God can. You’ve just gotta go on, wait it out, until they’re ready. All you can do is get ready and prepare yourself for when that change comes. Things have to happen naturally, you can’t force them.

It starts with me (or for you, it starts with YOU) – it starts with US: To be able to love people, and I mean truly love them..we have to love ourselves first. To bring out the best in others, we have to be or try be the best versions of ourselves.

We have to be willing to accept ourselves, love and accept all forms of ourselves. Be comfortable in our own skin. We have to love all forms of others, accepting every version of them. We can’t love and accept pieces of people. God didn’t do that with us, so why should we or why would we do that with others? We have to accept people completely. Although we may not like all of them or even all versions of ourselves, we still need to accept them and ourselves, love all of it as a whole.

Love is a CHOICE, more than just a feeling: Truly loving another human being (no matter the type of relationship), is a CHOICE. Not merely a feeling. You choose to love someone despite your feelings at that particular moment. You choose to love despite the bad versions of themselves. You choose to forgive their wrongs. You accept the whole human they are. If you had to lose all your memories about that person, like Paige does in the movie – if you had to lose all those moments, what would happen? You’d have lost all records you’ve kept of anything they ever did, including their wrongs. It would be a clean slate. Exactly like what Christ did for us on the cross. He accepted us for who we are and who we are not and who He knew we could be. But never forcing what He believed we can be down our throats, but giving us the freedom of choice. He gave us an undeserving clean slate. Another chance. If you truly love, you do not keep record of wrongs and do not abandon that person for the wrongs, but rather love and forgive, staying for all the reasons and things done right, hoping in what is right.

My last point is just how much this movie showed me about acceptance.

Accepting others for who they are, is so much more important than accepting them for what we want them to be. That is truly loving and putting their needs first. In that also, wanting them to be happy even if it would mean we won’t be a part of that.

God accepted us for who we are and not for who He wants us to be. That’s why He died on the cross, wiped the slate clean of all the wrong. And because He knows who He wants us to be but accepts us for who we are and truly loves us, He gave us FREE WILL.

It truly is a great movie, but the lessons that lie within it, are amazing treasures that are even greater.

 

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