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Filtering by Tag: this is me

i'm thinking about...

liz lamoreux

 

I'm thinking about the way rest is so often something we avoid, but something we deeply need.

I'm thinking about how sudden blue sky lifts my spirits and reminds me to always create space for hope.

I'm thinking about the seasons of so many words and the seasons where the words swirl inside me but can't find their way to the page.

I'm thinking about how delicious a really good cup of coffee tastes.

I'm thinking about how grateful I am to be able to do the work I do.

I'm thinking about how I can continue to let this year be more gentle every. single. day.

I'm thinking about how to set down the rules and the shoulds and the invitations to have things be a certain way and just live. really, really live.

I'm thinking about the fragility of life.

I'm thinking about the sound of Eleanor's giggles and how her hand feels when she reaches for mine and grasps tightly as we walk together.

I'm thinking about the moments of uncertainty and wishing it was easier.

I'm thinking about what it would feel like to pause even more before I speak.

I'm thinking about the way Puget Sound laps against the rocks and wondering why I don't stand beside it more often.

I'm thinking about how to create more space for friendships and hugs and girls' nights and date nights.

I'm thinking about the warrior me, the magician me, the ninja me, the gentle me, the sacred me, the woman finding her way and reaching out her hand to you me.

I'm thinking about creating with paper and photos and color and how it feeds me and how I must commit to more of it this year. (Join me?)

(photo is a peek of the Alchemy Deck I'm creating in Mindy's current class.)

the turtleneck sweater

liz lamoreux

Last week, I decided to put on my favorite black cashmere turtleneck sweater. I was about to head into my studio and remembered I'd forgotten to turn the heat up, so I knew it was going to be chilly in there for the first hour or so.

This is a sweater I've had for years that bought at Lord & Taylor in downtown Chicago. And I wore it a lot. I think it was even part of my wedding rehearsal outfit almost 12 years ago.

But I haven't worn it in years because sometime in the last 12 years, Stacy and Clinton of "What Not To Wear" (and probably other articles I read in "women's magazines" when I used to read "women's magazines") convinced me that my body type and turtleneck sweaters were not friends. Something about how my boobs and my waist and my neck would all blur into a lumpy mess. I should focus on scoop necks. And it is true, scoop necks do look good on me, especially because I wear a bra that fits (insert quick digression where I gently suggest you go to Nordstrom to get fitted for a bra that is your size honey. please give yourself this gift).

I got rid of all my other turtlenecks, including a favorite favorite favorite chenille sweater that was just like my friend Virginia's that she let me borrow on the morning after a crazy night out when we lived in Chicago and my mom was driving up for a girls' shopping day and I overslept at Virginia and Rebecca's and wasn't at my own apartment and my mom thought I was dead when I didn't answer the buzzer and she left about 10 voicemails where she's yelling into the phone "ARE YOU THERE???" and when I woke up I quickly showered and put on V's sweater and my jeans from the night before and some of Rebecca's perfume and took a cab to my own apartment and apologized to my mom because I'd never done anything like that before even though dude I was 23. Thank god for cell phones so when Ellie does this to me she can just text and say, "In the morning, can you just swing by my friend's place and pick me up because I'm sleeping over here tonight?" And I'll wake up at 3:30 when the phone goes off and thank the angels for helping her make smart decisions in not trying to get home on her own when she shouldn't and text back "yep. love you."

Anyway, I kept the soft black turtleneck sweater and moved it around my room from time to time until I found it again on top of my sweater pile last Friday.

And then here's what I did. I put on my current favorite lipstick (in butternut) and stood out in our messy living room and held out my iphone camera and turned until I found some decent light (just like my friend Viv taught me) and snapped a photo. Because of the messiness around me, I clicked a black and white filter and posted this photo with these words:

Years ago, Stacy and Clinton convinced me my body type can't wear turtlenecks, but I've kept this cashmere turtleneck sweater I bought at Lord & Taylor in the late 90s in Chicago because it was my first cashmere purchase with money I made in my real job after college. Today I set down that old story and look you in the eye and say, "Yes, I have a double chin and I'm still going to wear what makes me feel beautiful and full of light and love."

Of course I'm aware that in this photo you can't see my double chin because the sweater and the angle I took the photo hide it. But I have one and sometimes it really distracts me from feeling beautiful. And I cringe when I see certain photos from the side when my double chin is really more like a really big neck because I eat too much cheese and ice cream. I seldom post photos from the side because I don't want to look at this part of me and I really don't want you to look at it.

During the last ten years, I've come to a place of love for my body and all that it helps me do each day. I've found clothes that fit and make me happy. I take self-portraits to help myself feel deeply seen by me, the one person who deeply knows where I've been. I dance and do yoga and let my body do what it loves. And I've marveled at how this body grew a human and lived to tell the story.

But that doesn't mean that I don't get tripped up in the old stories from time to time or that I don't think about what some people might be thinking when they look at a body my size.

Moments like the one I captured above, where I remember one of those old stories and make the choice to set it down, become a powerful step toward continuing to love this body of mine. 

Turtleneck sweaters that make me very happy are now back in rotation baby!

I hope you can set one of your own stories down today.

Much love,
Liz 

PS If you're in a place where you need to find a softer self-talk and look at yourself with more love and kindness, I highly recommend Vivienne McMaster's class Be Your Own Beloved. It starts tomorrow and it will change your life (for real).

oh this hat

liz lamoreux

Last week while in Portland for WDS, I was lucky enough to go on a Be Your Own Beloved photowalk with Vivienne McMaster and a group of lovely women.

I wore this hat because oh my gosh it was hot in Portland and I wanted to keep the sun off of my face.

And I wore it because when I put it on, I can't help but think, "This. Is. Fabulous."

Vivienne creates such safe space when she invites us into the world of being your own beloved. On this walk, she invited us to look for the love and gave us a few different prompts to play with. 

If you've been here for awhile, you know I'm pretty comfortable with self-portraits. I even wrote a book about them (though at the time, the publisher and I wanted to avoid the word "self-portraits" in the title because people weren't really comfortable with the idea yet...little did we know selfies were on the horizon). But even though I'm comfortable with turning the camera toward myself, I always need to return to the prompt of looking at myself with love. Viv's photowalk invited me to do that and my heart really needed it.

Playing with self-portraits and this big hat was a little bit of an adventure. It was almost like having another person in the photo with me because it takes up so much space. I snapped away and tried to really concentrate on playing with the light in the ways Viv had explained.

I LOVED the way the light took up all the space behind me in the photo above almost like I'm standing in front of a white background when in reality I was in the middle of courtyard with statues and people around me. Looking at it again today, I feel luminous. LUMINOUS. And determined. And perhaps a little mischievous. This is the gift of self-portraits and playing and finding the love. My eyes are sparkling and it isn't just those glitter glasses. I was feeling the joy of connecting with like-minded souls and the confidence that comes from saying, "Yep, I'm wearing a huge hat and glitter glasses and even in this heat that is melting me a bit, I choose fabulous."

I choose. 

I choose.

This confidence doesn't surface every day in quite this way. But when it does, snapping a photo becomes evidence that it does happen so I can return to the photo and go back into the memory so I can remember I will feel that way again.

And then I found this photo.

It was an accident. Meaning, I thought my eyes were in the photo. I didn't realize the hat was hiding them.

I stood apart from our group for a moment staring at my phone and this photo and these thoughts tumbled through my head, "Look at this woman with her soft lips and the slight curve of her smile. What is she thinking? There's an allure around her that seems to come from inside her that pulls me in. I want to know her. Really really know her."

This feels like the next step in my own self-portrait, inner excavation journey: Getting to know that alluring, sexy woman in that photo.

This is gonna be good...

Yes.

(and because i know i'll get emails: the hat is from old navy and my head is not small and the l/xl fits awesome and the hathead wasn't too bad, the glasses are dolce and gabbana [mine are from lenscrafters and here's another option if you want to buy online though it looks like they don't have the burgandy but other colors], and the necklace was a collaboration between kelly barton and me. we have a few left hiding in my studio, just contact me if you're interested.)

this is me

liz lamoreux

This is me. Standing tall in the midst of my 37th year. Me pausing in the middle of the day and creating space to notice, to say, "What do you need kid?"

And then standing and breathing and listening. 

Here in my 37th year, I'm claiming this truth: I'm so damn glad to be here.

To be able to feel and hold and see the beauty and the shit that make up this gorgeous, crazy, sometimes really hard life.

To be able to deeply know that I am whole in the midst of all that has come before this moment and all that is to come ahead of me. And that I will continue to be whole even on the days I don't feel like I am.

To be able to look at the wrinkles forming around my eyes and mouth, the grey roots that I keep forgetting to cover, the softness that holds me together and feel my shoulders relax as I settle into the beauty of all of it.

To be able to make mistakes and still choose love. 

To be able to know the difference between speaking my truth and knowing my truth.

To be able to gently hold the vulnerable bits. The parts where I'm learning how to ask for help. The parts where I'm trying to open up to even more love. The parts where I'm admitting that I don't know. The parts where I'm listening more and softening judgement more and letting things just be when that is the right move. 

This is me looking myself in the eyes with compassion.

This is me seeing beauty and wholeness and truth.

This is me softening and opening up even more to the love within me, that surrounds me. 

Yes.
Yes.
Yes.

****

Today is Susannah's Conway's birthday and she's asked a few kindreds to share thoughts on "the (delicious) truth about aging." Soak up the wisdom from Susannah and others here.

this is me

liz lamoreux

this is me . sept 19

this is me.

me wrapping trust around my wrist. me on the path. me finding my daughter's barrette on the floor and slipping it in my hair. me drinking tea, drinking life, choosing yes. me head bopping, mumford and sons singing, me.

me releasing the whispering, taunting ghosts. me resting between grace and fear. me holding out my hand. me creating space for joy. me needing a shower. me needing more space, white space. now. me.

me talking in circles. me getting off the train. me releasing me from what it has to be. me hearing you circle. me steeped in gratitude. me sloughing off the anger. me barefoot, heart sleeves, hammering, twirling, breathing it all in. me trusting. me.

right here. breath. light. love. me.

::this is me::

liz lamoreux

 

here. #nowyouworkshops

here (photo inspired by this week's now you workshops prompt)

This is me. Me weaving words and chocolate mint ice cream and striped socks and long oh-my-god-i-am-finally-alone showers into a life. This is me. Me gathering plastic zoo animals and fruit loops and suddenly the gentlest words I could ever hope to hear and tucking them into the pockets hidden under my skin. This is me. Me pushing myself to sift through what was and hold what might be in softly cupped hands. This is me. Me choosing trust in this second and the next and the one after that. This is me. Me hearing their laughter and looking down to find another stitch sewn into my heart. This is me. Me finding my way to rest and relearning and listening.

This is me choosing to open myself to all of it again and again.

*****

Sometimes sitting in the quiet and giving myself the space to just let the words tumble out of me reminds me that I am not alone. If you are looking to create space to pause and listen to the words you most need to hear (to listen to your own words), consider coming along for the next session of Create Space that begins May 6. In this class, we explore creating sacred space in our homes, in our days, and within us using the tools of writing and poetry, photography, and be present practices that invite you to be right here in this moment to notice what you need. Learn more and register here

over here...

liz lamoreux



one very small dahlia . point defiance park, august 2011

goodness it has been quite a week over here. the usual living stuff combined with jon's return to school and the schedule that brings combined with some pushes and pulls that have me a bit off kilter.

i'm trying to remember the self-care tricks i have up my sleeve while also chasing an always-on-the-move 15-month-old little girl. i'm trying to fit it all in somehow. i'm trying to breathe more than worry. i'm trying to quiet the chatter within. i'm trying to put family first while caring for my dreams. i'm trying to soak up the last few days of blue skies and warmth. i'm trying to let go and listen.

i guess the truth is that in some ways, i'm trying to find my way as i look for all that i already know...as i look for the light that is (always) waiting.

i hope this weekend brings you moments to rest and laugh and breathe it all in...and maybe a cupcake. yes. a cupcake would be perfection right about now, don't you think?

blessings,
liz