Dear magnificent shiny-object chaser,Welcome, new subscribers! I take note of every person who signs up for this newsletter (usually by doing a booty shake in my chair), and am very grateful for your time and attention. Whether you’ve just arrived or have been reading from the start (thanks for that, by the way), here’s a handy link to all of the past Makearoo Newsletters.
And for those who just can’t get enough:
The Makearoo Facebook Page
Makearoo on Twitter, and
The Makearoo blog.
Last week, I wrote about hearing voices in my head. I clicked the seat belt on my flight home and heard:
“The secret is to love yourself.”
In the moments before, I’d been ragging on myself internally. “Look at that flab on your upper arm! How gross!” I’d been having negative body image stuff popping up throughout my otherwise lovely anniversary getaway, and when I started tearing into myself on the plane, some part of me stood up and said “Enough.”
The secret is to love yourself.
I’ve hated my physical appearance since puberty. I started dieting at age 12, because all of my friends were doing adorable things like drinking only tea all day long or eating only grapefruit, and at home my mom was always on a diet. I’d started reading women’s magazines that commanded me to blast my butt or flatten my abs. I was a pre-vanity-sizing 5, if that. This month, I turn 45. I’ve been overweight for about 18 of those years, but the self-loathing predated that and isn’t about weight at all. I think being away from the comfort of routine and seeing myself in more angles in hotel bathrooms and lobbies stirred up some negativity for me. I think something just clicked in my head–knock that shit off. It felt good. It felt freeing.
Do I feel 100% sexy and slammin’ 24/7 since that plane ride? Nope. But when I feel those thoughts starting to swirl, I counter them with kinder thoughts. “I hate my stretch marks” becomes “Hey! I got to make three babies!” Every single time my brain wants to play the self-loathing game, I gently redirect it like I would a toddler trying to gnaw on my phone.
Last week, I had a VIP day with my coach, Darla LeDoux. I’d been looking forward to this for weeks: a half-day JUST FOR ME to focus on my business or myself, or both. Honestly, it’s always both, especially when you’re a creative entrepreneur. At one point we started talking about a very painful point in my life, during college. I mentioned off-hand also being very pretty in a girl-next-door sort of way and receiving frequent male attention. Darla asked me why this bothered me so much, and I said because I wanted to be liked for ME, not as some sort of extension of THEM. “But your beauty was a gift,” she said. “How would that time in your life have been different if you’d seen it that way?”
The secret is to love yourself.
The way I saw this question is “What if I’d chosen to love, instead of loathe myself or constantly pick at my perceived flaws? How would my life be different?”
I’d have taken different risks–ones geared toward helping me thrive instead of gaining acceptance
I’d have nurtured my body instead of remaining an emotional eater
I’d have appreciated my physical self instead of wishing it could meet the warped ideals I had in my mind
I’d have understood, without resentment or anger, that most of the unwanted male attention directed my way was about those individuals and not a reflection of my worth in either direction and learned to set better boundaries
So let’s turn this around to you:
Are there any gifts in your life that you’re not appreciating? (This doesn’t have to be about your physical self.)
Is there something for which you receive frequent attention or praise that you’re downplaying?
What about tasks you perform effortlessly that people ooh and aah over, while you say “It was nothing” because it just flows naturally for you?
What if you chose to see those aspects of yourself or your talents as gifts instead of burdens or things that make you go “meh?”
Are any Big Insights hitting you after reading this? Email me and tell me about them. I know the body image stuff runs deep for many of us, particularly women, but I also know guys struggle with this stuff, too and all creatives face times when they doubt their talents. If I hear from enough people, we can continue this conversation in next week’s newsletter, because I know this is a ‘deep dive’ issue for many of us.
Recently on the Makearoo blog:We are here to thrive.
My all-time fave quotation (what’s yours?)
Go forth and be AWESOME! A convo with Kate Swoboda
How about some Instagram? You’re welcome.
The Makearoo Newsletter is crafted with love and silliness by Toni McLellan, a creativity coach and the sublime weirdo behind Camp Makearoo. Learn more at makearoo.com.
- Are you curious about the benefits of creativity coaching? Want to know how coaching supports both your creative work and spirit, or to get a sense of whether we’d work well together? I’m offering 45-minute Makearoo Mini-Sessions for just $35. Email me for more information and/or to sign up. Learn more about creativing coaching and my offerings here.
If you’d like a half-day of coaching fun with me like the one I wrote about in this newsletter, check out the Makearoo Jam Session – I know we’re not supposed to pick favorites, but this is my very favorite offering. It’s like a virtual, one-on-one Camp Makearoo with just us two. Swooning yet? This is the only offering I can also do in person if you’re local to the Chicago or Milwaukee areas! A field trip focused on YOU, YOU, YOU! Duration: 4 hours Cost: $450 Note: Because of the time and energy commitment required, I offer a limited number of Makearoo Jam Sessions. Email meto get on my calendar and spend a day focused just on YOU and your big ideas.
What are you doing next May? If you’re a creative person looking for more (clarity, clients, joy, permission to be awesome, etc.), you need to be at Camp Makearoo, a gathering dedicated to creative evolution. And silliness. And communing with like-minded people who are inordinately fond of making cool stuff because they can. Your people. Want a piece of this? Details and registration are at makearoo.com. (Don’t forget the new CAMP MAKEAROO BRING-A-FRIEND DISCOUNT: If you have a friend, partner, or partner in crime you’d like to bring to Camp Makearoo, you each save $100 on registration! Contact Toni (that’s me!) to get your twofer.)
GO FORTH AND BE AWESOME! This month, I’ve interviewed some wise and wonderful people about finding our purpose–especially as it relates to creative work–and working through, around, and in spite of issues such as: overwhelm, procrastination, depression/anxiety, and fear of failure and/or success. Stay tuned for interviews on the Makearoo blog with Kate Swoboda, aka Kate Courageous, Katrina Martin, aka Katrina Dreamer, and Kate Hanley, aka Ms. Mindbody. (If you’re reading this and have insights, experiences, and/or wisdom to share on these topics, please get in touch!).