Yesterday was a big day. I'm passionate about empowering women and in honor of International Women's Day, we made waves.
I was fortunate enough to grow up with a mother who empowered me from a very young age. When I was in seventh grade and started wearing makeup, she told me it was unnecessary because I am beautiful as I am. When girls were cruel in high school, she explained that sometimes women feel the need to take each other down when they feel insecure. She is an O.G. feminist who gave me books about meditation, purpose and self-love long before it was all the rage like it is now. She did everything she could to fight the inevitable feelings of unworthiness that would eventually take over from living as a woman in this world, and she still continues to support and elevate me every day. This is where I get my strength from, but I know many women aren't as lucky. Which is why we have to keep fighting to believe in our own worth and recognizing the same in everyone around us.
My friend and photographer Lauren Villa and I created a project called #WeAreEnoughAlready inspired by Aly Raisman's photos in Sports Illustrated and her fierce bravery in being a powerful voice for women around the world. We did this to take our power back and release the shame around the female body. As Aly said, "Women do not need to be modest to be respected." We joined forces with some of the most badass women in Charlotte who are also passionate about empowering women and it was absolutely incredible.
We did this for every woman out there who has ever questioned her worth, felt ashamed of her body or been afraid of speaking her truth. For every woman who has been silenced, censored, or told she is weak because she is soft and open. For every woman who has ever been called nasty or a bitch because she is fierce and determined. For every woman who has felt like she needs to become anyone other than who she is because society convinced her she’s not enough.
Last night, I hosted an event with lululemon, NC Yoga Bar, SweatNET, Dina Gambella and Kent Youngstrom for International Women's Day. I guided everyone through a gentle flow and meditation, followed by discussion and call to action (you can see a video recap from the event here)
Today, I'm filled with hope. Looking out and seeing so many faces - friends, students, people I know from Instagram - who made the effort to come out and celebrate their worth. Because this day matters. We have an opportunity to create lasting change. I can feel it. We are creating a shift, just by being talking openly about how hard it is to believe that you are enough.
The truth is, you are enough. You are worthy. You being here matters. Your voice matters. Your opinion, the way you feel – it matters. Your stories, the challenges you've faced and the pain you've experienced – they matter. We can all be change agents if we choose to be, but first we have to believe we can make an impact.
This is the revolution – learning to love yourself. Feeling deep down under the palm of your hand that you have absolutely everything you need. Your strength, vulnerability, softness, fire and willingness to speak your truth and be unapologetically who you are - this is where we begin. We have change our inner dialogue and become empowered so the next generation can live in a different world where we grow up believing we’re worthy, so our daughters and granddaughters can be comfortable in their own skin and not be ashamed by their bodies.
So to all women and men everywhere, here’s your call to action:
First, know your worth. And if you don’t know it – get to know it. Do the work. Fall in love with the beautiful, talented parts of yourself and also get to know the darkness, hurt, pain and fear.
Second, you to need to be brave. You need to speak up even when your voice is shaking and you’re terrified of what people will think – you need to be brave for the young girls today who will one day become women and we need them to know they’re worth fighting for.
To quote my girl Michelle Obama:
"When times get tough and fear sets in, think of those people who paved the way for you and those who are counting on you to pave the way for them."
We are the warriors of love and agents of change.
And know this: you are enough, already.
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