Being your fabulous self & rocking it.

I think there’s been quite a bit of confusion regarding self-esteem (and women’s self-esteem in particular). As someone working to empower both herself and others, it can be challenging to balance love for your physical self and love for your inner-self. As women in this society we are taught from an early age to be pretty little things- we are told we are by nature something of great physical beauty, pretty aesthetic, and we must forever strive to be youthful and beautiful. On the other hand, I’ve noticed a decent portion of Third Wave Feminists insisting that any focus- no matter how small or rare- dedicated to admiring and accepting one’s appearance is purely selfish vanity and something to be avoided entirely. That we as women have so long faced the beauty standards imposed upon us, demanding we fit the attractive ideal of our societies; that we should be ashamed of ourselves for even regarding ourselves as “pretty” because being “pretty” is such a shallow concept.

As someone trying hard every day to love herself and teach others to love themselves, it’s hard for me to strike the perfect balance between these two conflicting theories. I don’t take what I do lightly. How dare I insinuate that you are beloved partially because you’re conventionally attractive? But I believe it’s just as important to question how I dare demand you not find your physique beautiful.

Newsflash~ It is 100% okay and acceptable and even GOOD to like how you look.

Let me repeat that.

IT IS GOOD AND OKAY TO THINK THAT YOU ARE ATTRACTIVE ON THE OUTSIDE. IT IS OKAY TO BELIEVE YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND GORGEOUS AND ROCKING THAT NICE ASS.

There is nothing wrong with loving your physical self. You are not vain, or shallow, or doing a disservice to women everywhere- you are being a badass bitch full of love, compassion, and confidence. Fuck anyone who says otherwise.

And while we’re speaking of screwing anyone trying to restrict you, You are NOT your body.

You are not limited to outer-beauty. You are a tangle of beautiful characteristics and inner-qualities and your beauty cannot and will not ever be measured by your weight, shape, height, skin tone, the color of your eyes, the waves/kink/straightness of your hair! You are not just a pretty thing.

You are NOT just a pretty thing.

You are so, so much more than that.

So while loving your appearance is very vital to your self-love journey, remember that you are also a stunning creature on the inside. Your every pore seeps beauty. However, you are also beautiful because of the way you snort when you laugh, and that quirky thing you do with your hands while speaking, and the love and empathy you show for other beings.

Your beauty is unlimited. So should your self-love be.

50 Ways To Cheer Up Your Inner-Grump

It’s okay to be grumpy sometimes. Shitty things happen and occasionally we don’t even need unfortunate circumstances in order to feel under the weather. And while it’s totally A-Okay to not feel good all the time, it truly does help to be able to cheer yourself back up. Whether it’s enough to get you on your A-game or simply make you less likely to hurt yourself and do something you will regret later on, it’s all good! Any step in the right direction is a great thing. Here is a list I’ve compiled of 50 techniques I’ve used in the past that have succeeded in raising my spirits. I promise they’re all positive, healthy ideas. (:

1. Give somebody a hug. 2. Bake something yummy. 3. Cuddle with a furry friend. 4. Read a good book. 5. Take a warm shower or a bubble bath. 6. Watch one of your favorite movies. 7. Play Uno with your family/friends (or your favorite game). 8. Volunteer your time for a good cause. 9. Clean the house/your room. 10. Gulp down a glass of water. 11. Take a walk outside. 12. Visit with friends and loved ones. 13. Wear super comfy clothes. 14. Write down all of the things you’re grateful for today. 15. Get crafty and create something. 16. Light a candle in your favorite scent. 17. Wear your favorite perfume. 18. Pamper yourself~ Use a face/body scrub, face mask, hair mask, body butter, etc. 19. Compliment a stranger. 20. Compliment yourself. 21. Exercise and get that heart rate up. 22. Have a delicious snack. 23. Paint your nails in your favorite color. 24. Go on an adventure. 25. Cheer someone else up. 26. Listen to music that makes you happy. 27. Smile. 28. Dress up in the outfit that makes you feel like you can conquer the world. 29. Get out of the house. 30. Cook a beloved meal. 31. Draw something. 32. Watch silly videos. 33. Grab your favorite Starbucks drink. 34. Buy yourself some flowers to brighten up your room. 35. Laugh as much as you can. 36. Have a good cry. 37. Take a nap. 38. Call up a friend. 39. Daydream about happy things. 40. Eat something that’s good for you. 41. Draw flowers/shapes on your arms. 42. Enjoy a cup of tea. 43. Pay fun Interwebs games. 44. Relax on something comfortable. 45. Try a different makeup look or hairstyle. 46. Blow bubbles. 47. Tell a stupid joke. 48. Go exploring the town. 49. Write in a journal. 50. Try something new.

One Hundred Things.

Happy Monday, everybody! It’s been a gorgeous couple days now. The grass is wet from rain, the sun is shining upon the face of the world, and this summer breeze is divine. Seems like a recipe for a peaceful day, eh?

To help add to this bright and lovely day, let’s get some gratitude up in this bitch. ;D This is as much an exercise for me as it is for you- I DARE you to whip out your Radical Self Love Bible/Art Journal/Diary and write down one-freaking-hundred things you are thankful for. Said things can be: people, memories, places, objects, creatures, feelings, etc. Hell, write it down using your favorite color pen! Doodle the heck out of these pages, man!

(TL;DR: Go H.A.M on this, por favor.)

Just for convenience’s sake- and the fact that I’m in the mood to type up a storm- I shall put my list right here. Maybe it will spark some ideas in you, who knows? What are the top five things you are grateful for today?

1. My laptop 2. My Mermie 3. My family 4. Fat cats 5. Chubby puppies 6. My friends 7. The rest of my loved ones 8. Silly straws 9. The Interwebs! 10. Green tea ice cream 11. My home 12. My crystal necklaces 13. This number (It’s my lucky one c: ) 14. Netflix 15. My phone 16. My bb Loaches 17. Summer days like this 18. Summer in general 19. Finding a journal that feels oh-so-right and that you can’t wait to write in 20. The fact that MICHAELS CRAFT STORE SELLS FUCKING GRUMPY CAT PLUSHIES eeeeeep 21. New videos from my favorite Youtubers 22. Trying new foods/adventures 23. The satisfaction one receives when cleaning their ears with Q-tips 24. Comfy/soft headbands 25. Having the house stocked with enough (and healthy, woo!) food 26. Crafting with my mom 27. The last weekend I hung out with my niece. She’s damn precious 28. Distancing myself from negative people and situations 29. Finding a new face wash that seems to be very promising 30. A warm cup of tea in the morning 31. Kittens that cuddle 32. Giant bath tubs that can fit more than one person and are more of a Jacuzzi than anything 33. Smiling! 34. Finding new body-positive pins on Pinterest 35. Fresh Peaches from the Farmer’s Market 36. French Macaroons that melt in your mouth 37. Waking up to C’s dog attacking me with love and smooches 38. Cuddles 39. Spending time with my Merm 40. Kettle corn 41. Catchy and positive songs 42. Having great concerts to look forward to 43. My purple/pink Cone-flowers being soooo in bloom 44. Knowing I’m almost halfway done with this list 😉 45. Actually-funny vines 46. Warm showers 47. Being brave enough to squash that monstrous bug in C’s bathroom that was trying to kill us 48. Fuzzy socks 49. Finding a new food that tastes yummy- bonus points if it’s healthy too 50. My new Happiness Jar (Will D.I.Y it up in next post) 51. When your hair feels hella soft right after you deep condition it 52. Purple hair 53. Candles 54. Tiny LED flashlights 55. Not having to wake up to an alarm 56. Knowing I don’t start school until super late August 😀 57. Online games 58. Accomplishing the stressful tasks on my daily To Do List 59. Kind strangers 60. Homemade Lemon Bars 61. Moments of utter silliness 62. Feeling in the mood to write again 63. A large, chilled glass of water 64. Feeling more relieved after days of relatively high Anxiety 65. Working on bad habits 66. Ridiculously comfortable and soft sleepy-time clothes 67. Petting furry animals 68. Seeing C’s mysterious third cat, Bubbles 69. Creepy kids’ movies/T.V shows 70. Peeing when you’ve been waiting forever to use the bathroom 71. Sleepovers that go well 72. Facing my fears 73. All that I have accomplished in my life so far 74. Glitter 75. Pretty nail polish 76. Super cozy beds 77. Disney movies 78. The extremely soft and wonderful couches in my basement 79. When I keep my room clean 80. Having the house to myself 81. Receiving genuine compliments 82. Modern medicine 83. My health insurance plan 84. My good health 85. My body 86. My soul and spirit 87. My determination to push through hard times 88.Positive thinking/thoughts 89. Decorating my room 90. Visiting the beach for the first time in years 91. A fully charged battery 92. A working freezer and refrigerator 93. Dancing 94. Seeing my loved ones being happy 95. That I’m alive 96. Having safe access to water and electricity 97. Snuggling a freshly dried blanket or comforter on a chilly day 98. Times of relaxations and rest 99. New episodes of Adventure Time 100. Happy dreams. ❤

Self-love workshop?

Happy Monday, precious nuggets. While searching for a better, more stable, state of mind I’ve returned to the basics of self-care. Self-help worksheets were a huuuge thing at the hospital and I find that- with the right mood, of course- filling them out brings me a sense of familiarity and comfort. Jessica Mullen has some pretty cool ones that I stumbled upon. Check her out if you’d like: http://jessicamullen.com/tag/worksheets/ . There are a few that you can download for free; I’ve even got my Mom doing them. 🙂

I thought I would create a little form/self-love worksheet myself. I’ll show ya’ll my answers and I would love for you to try it out and tell me your thoughts. You guys are important and I’m always up for feedback!

Top 5 awesome things your body lets you do: 1. Run long distances 2. Walk around the neighborhood with my best friend J 3. Feel the ridiculously soft material of my comfy throw blanket 4. Splash around at the beach 5. Smile at loved ones & share a laugh.

Favorite physical feature(s): My glorious (and healthy) hair, my hips, my booty, my eyes, and my strong legs.

Moment when you felt really good about your body/strength/physique: The first time I ran five-six miles!

Favorite body-positive quote: “Be careful what you say about your body, because she’s listening to every word.”~ Lisa M. Hayes

Ways you can treat your body: Stay hydrated, LUSH bubble baths, yoga, back massage from a friend, hella body butter, & eating healthy, yummy foods.

Top 5 amazing things your mind can do: 1. Solve riddles/jokes 2. Create words that become sentences and speech 3. Dream & daydream 4. Learn from my mistakes 5. Hold fantastic, irreplaceable memories.

Favorite personality quirks/characteristics: My weird “granny voice” that I do to sound extra cute, my sense of humor, my empathy and sympathy, my resilience & determination, and my love for myself and others.

Moment when you felt really good about your mind’s capacity to learn and grow/inner-self: A few days ago when a friend said I was so adorable I could “make ‘Little Shit’ sound like the cutest thing ever said”.

Favorite quote about inner-beauty: “Wake up every morning and tell yourself you’re a badass bitch from hell and that no one can fuck with you, then don’t let anybody fuck with you.”

Ways you can treat your mind & soul: Enjoyable puzzles, reading, writing, naps! , debates, and doing things that make me happy.

I hope you guys enjoyed this simple worksheet on appreciating yourself. Rock on with your bad selves, babes. You deserve incredibly good things. ♥

Self-care, aww yisss.

Happy Sunday, babes. Woo for me finding the will and energy to write a little! *woooo’s loudly* This shall be a short post, just wanted to share a few things that are in my self-care toolkit. It’s been tough to be me for some reason lately- like, NO reason- so I’ve been focusing on myself and my well being hardcore.

Violet The Radiant’s Self-Care List~

1. Books. Lots and lots of books. I may have a reading problem. I checked out nineteen (I REPEAT NINETEEN) books from my local library a few days ago.

2. Pay extra attention to my fishies and making sure they have enough food and that their space is clean.

3. Music that gives me good vibes. Will post an updated feel-good playlist sometime in the future.

4. Art therapy. Learned this one in Alexian and it’s never failed me. Creativity is good for the soul!

5. Computer games because hell yeaah.

6. Taking some time to think of others and/or help them out. A friend was feeling suicidal but a pep talk and some OITNB distractions worked beautifully. I’m glad I could help her get a good night’s sleep!

7. Kittens. I have yet to cuddle them so far :c

8. Pampering myself; this means body butter, bubble bath, warm shower, nail polish, face mask, scrubs, etc. It feels good to be me right meow.

What are some things on your list?

Gotta let it happen.

Hello, darlings! How are you? Have you been enjoying this deliciously strange summer? I hope all is well with you all. If you’re having a rough week already, remember that there is someone (& I’m sure more than just me!) wishing you well and rooting for you. You are loved, even if it’s by a sort-of-weirdo and unknown blogger! ♥ ♥ ♥
I’m back from my small Hiatus loves and, well, I’m pretty fucking positive! I don’t know if it’s the restful sleep I achieved last night, my willingness to go on more adventurous-type things, or the amazing music- regardless, I’m happy to be happy. I feel forever grateful.
Here’s what’s happened in the days i haven’t been blogging; I promise I’ve been super busy and not just neglecting ya’ll:
Thursday my beautiful Mermie took off work to help me out with birthday party preparations. It was nice spending a little time with her (as always).
Friday I turned nineteen! 🙂 *throws sparkly confetti and toasts with champagne* I tend to treat birthdays as very celebrations these days. It amazes me that not too long ago- three years- I woke up on my birthday and hated my life. I hated me. I was in so much fucking pain and was very much suicidal. I cannot describe the extent of my sorrows- that’s partially why I took comfort in self-harm, it was a way of expressing the pain that had no words to describe it. But now, right now, I am content. I am happy and feeling like a warrior and I have defeated the demons; or at least I have this morning. That’s a good enough victory for me. So I partied like no other champion: I got all gussied-up, met up with my sleepy bestie M in the late morning to catch up- she was out of state for ten days, man- and exchange birthday gifts. I missed her loads so it was lovely seeing her. Even her kitten Lucy quite enjoyed the assorted ribbons and wrapping paper spread out on her bed, haha. Then I cuddled with J and played a little with the cat and his two little dogs. We ended up grabbing Steak and Shake (the Birthday Caked Milkshake is freaking life-changing, by the way) and hung out with the lovely adoptable cats at the local Petsmart. Then we bought some fries and headed home to watch Archer on Netflix. My parents were as awesome as usual and gave me hugs and my favorite sandwhich from Panera. It was a blessed day.
Saturday was the birthday bbq my mom had planned. C was with me the whole day being her stellar self and there was food and family/family friends galore. J and M visited later in the evening and I made some super yummy Independence Day themed cupcakes that i shall forever be super proud of.
Lastly, yesterday I tried something new and drove up to Bristol, WI with a classmate for the Ren Faire! It was incredible; even better than I had dreamed it would be. It was truly magical and something I’ll have to do again next year for sure.
Which brings us to today~ chilling in my room, enjoying my self-love date (Gala Darling is totes a genius). Nope, I didn’t forget about my last D & T challenge, sillies. 😉

What does your self-love date look like?

Mine includes healthy food and a scoop of birthday cake ice cream as a treat, majorly uplifting songs from Paramore’s latest album (of course), comfy pajamas, staying indoors, and reading fiction books.

PS: I found the best, most positive quote on Pinterest today. “In the midst of winter I found there was within me an invincible summer.”

Self-Care Days (AKA: ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.)

Today is one of those days. One of those days where you feel extra miserable for no apparent reason and it feels like everything is awful and out of control. Because of my mental illness, these days- which most people get sometimes- are especially hard for me to deal with. I’ve learned that a trigger for me is feeling as though I have no control over things. It sucks knowing you feel shitty and you have no real reason why. ‘Tis why Self-Care Days are suuuper important for me. As much as it can be annoying (or feel counter-productive) to take a day off from normal life, it truly is the best, healthiest way to cope with days like today. It will be good for both you and your future projects- if you are rested and revitalized, you best believe you will achieve a lot more later on!

Here’s a small example of a Self-Care Day looks like for me:

Eating comfort food (even if it’s junk and not nutritious). Lounging around for hours straight. Pretty much until I turn into a potato. Watching Greys Anatomy and Ghost Whisperer. I can’t help but love that show, my only complaint is Wife Swap not being on. I also try to reach out to my friends and remind myself of the awesome support group I have. It helps to chat with loved ones and think about someone other than yourself. Drink tooons of water; dehydration makes you even more crabby, you know! Playing silly online games with no shame. Doing something super artsy and creative. Spending time with loved ones. Making sure to pamper and take care of yourself: brush your teeth, slap on some chapstick, lotion up, and wash your face. Take a bath or shower if you’d like. Lastly, running with the “getting out of your own head” thing and focusing your remaining energy on doing something kind and loving for someone else.

After all, part of self-love is reaching out to others and spreading some of that good stuff around. ♥

What does your self-care involve? What makes you feel better when you feel down in the dumps?

Second round of Dares & Tears Tuesday ;D

Happy tuesday, lovelies! How is your week starting off? Sending ya’ll good vibes and positive thoughts. So, last D & T Tuesday the challenge was to go on little adventures and find new things to do or enjoy. Here’s an update on how that went for me; feel free to use the same style format to let me know how your adventures went in the comments!

What I did: I didn’t do anything dramatically different, but I decided to create a Pinterest account to hoard awesome images and words, went to the earlier-discussed bonfire with slightly stubby legs (which is different for me), and also made sure to go with my creative impulses and craft my heart out. In last night’s case, this meant creating tons of colorful and gorgeous paper hearts to write on later! I even listened to music I hadn’t heard yet on Youtube and chose songs I normally wouldn’t listen to.

How it felt to do them: Nice. Nothing special, but it was much better than simply being bored! The only one that was uncomfortable was the stubbly legs one- I wore a dress and I don’t like the feeling of prickly hairs, haha.

Any inspiration to do something new? A little. I think I might branch out more musically and develop my taste better. I also want to make cupcakes or some sort of baked treat this week!

Not bad (: Now, onto this week’s Dares & Tears Tuesday. Today’s challenge is…

*drum roll*

*still drumming*

*Yep time for a bongo interlude*

*almost done*

*jk*

To write yourself a love song! Yes, you heard correctly- I want you to really think and meditate on yourself and write down a little song, ode, or poem dedicated to yourself. Why? Because you’re a stellar person who deserves a song to be written about them, duhh. It doesn’t have to be long or extravagant, just pour your heart into it. Really focus on what you’re saying. And keep it 100% positive! Remain honest; if you’re still struggling a lot on the journey to self-love, don’t feel stressed because you can’t make extreme statements of self-adoration. Write the best, positive statements about yourself that you can. If you have trouble, try talking to a trusted loved one and ask them what qualities/traits/quirks/features they admire most of you.

This is going to be an interesting (read: weird) challenge but I know you mega babes can do it!

Come on, I dare you.

Sassafrass speaking

Happy Saturday, lovelies! 🙂 How have you been doing? Good, I hope? Just in case, I’m sending out mental hugs and good vibes. I just thought I would share a snippet of the interesting epiphany I had yesterday. In the middle of one of my incredulous dreams (I can’t even explain how odd they are every time) there was a scene in which I was sitting comfortably next to some dude -who was totes gorgeous by the way- in a super bright, sunny room. I felt completely relaxed. He said something to me that I can’t recall, and I replied with something along the lines of “Yeah, I feel pretty good in my body. I mean, Damn. I look gorgeous and I don’t need someone to tell me I’m beautiful. I feel so good in my own skin.” I felt so warm and fuzzy inside! >_< I felt 100% confident, even though my self-harm scars were showing and I was wearing short shorts; proudly displaying my slightly stubbly legs and the inevitable cellulite my thighs carry. I gave zero fucks about these “imperfections”. When I told my bb girl M this dream, she mentioned that maybe it’s a sign from the Universe/my subconscious that not only is radically loving myself super possible but I can do it right at this moment! So regardless of what the heck that dream actually meant, I’m going to go with her theory and fill myself up with some positive inspiration!

Have you ever had an “Aha!” moment?

xxooxxoo 

Forgiving Yourself & A New Challenge!?

Good evening, little lightning bugs! It seems like Mother Nature decided to skip over Spring almost entirely and went straight to Summer. The day was sunny and hot as Hades, but luckily for the Midwest it seems that the next few nights are destined to be cool. Thank goodness! Warning: this post is going to be a bit sporadic.

Lately I’ve been trying to be aware of what I eat and how I eat. Although I have never suffered from an Eating Disorder, I can definitely say that I tend to be susceptible to disordered eating. I think it’s something a lot of people in this century have started to deal with. It’s not that I don’t like food or eating- I LOOOOVE food. If I could be in a relationship with a BTB from Panera, I wouldn’t even hesitate. However, I have a weird relationship with food, and it sometimes involves a lot of guilt, shame, or disappointment. It’s hard to explain. Some weeks ago I got really sick- I only made it 20 minutes into my favorite class and had to leave, it was that awful- and I believe it is because I wasn’t eating enough to stay healthy; the food I ate had zero nutrition and I would still exercise a little each day. I felt so incredibly sick that I vowed to treat my body better. I try my best to think of food equating fuel for my body. The better the food, the better the fuel for this vessel that I inhabit. I think I’ve been making some progress- my eating hasn’t been perfect but I ate when I felt hungry, had some water, and included some fresh veggies and fruits with some of my meals. It’s a step!

Another thing I’ve been working on is my skin. I developed acne my Junior year in high school and it can get VERY bad depending on my stress level and daily habits. I would love to clear up my skin this summer, so I’m changing up quite a few of my habits. The first to go? Always wearing a million layers of makeup over my irritated skin every day. I absolutely adore makeup and all of its uses, but lately I’ve been using it as a crutch for my self esteem. Uneven skin? BB cream! Blemishes? Concealer and Foundation! Then a lipstick or brow pencil or anything to keep the focus off of my difficult skin.

But it’s pretty damn vain of me to spend the rest of my life freaking out about something that so many people deal with as well. Unfortunately, it’s natural. So while I will be doing my best to prevent any further breakouts and allow the current ones to heal, I have challenged myself to stop wearing tons of makeup to simply feel socially acceptable. Screw it! I’m a marvelous soul, so why should I be so concerned about my appearance? My time could be better spent.

Fun fact~ when Demi Lovato (an inspiring individual, gorgeous inside and out) was attacked online and scrutinized for being “overweight”, this was her badass reply…

“I am healthy and happy. If you’re hating on my weight, then you’re obviously not.” 

Someone give this girl a medal!

As for forgiving myself, I got news yesterday about an ex-boyfriend and how his life has gone downhill. He was lacking in emotion a lot of the time, but still a person that I used to cherish, even after we stopped dating. I’d known him for five years- he was intelligent, dorky, cute, and always knew how to make me laugh. I cut off the friendship after a certain “friend” cyber-bullied me and he didn’t say anything about it. My friend then heard him making fun of me behind my back. Didn’t defend me, didn’t speak to me until my birthday (several months later) and I ignored him. That was it. Apparently now he might have quit college, works back at the high school he didn’t like, and is going down a bad hill. At first he was just smoking weed but then it started becoming excessive, and now I guess he’s been doing Acid back-to-back some days and smoking at the same time and just screwing with his brain.

I’ve been feeling sort of.. regretful, I guess. He had negative impacts on my life, but nobody was perfect. Sometimes I feel like I need to give people third, fourth, and fifth chances because I know I can make a lot of mistakes too. And he used to be someone I loved. I wanted to save him. But I think it’s time I forgive myself. I love him, but there were also other reasons why I cut him out of my life. He contributed to my negativity more than acceptable, and in order to be healthy and happy I had to let him go. It’s not my fault that he has ended up like this, and I need to let this go. Maybe at some point he’ll strike up a conversation, and maybe I might talk to him. But it’s been a long, long time and I’m okay not being his friend. I have some guilt in me, but I forgive myself. I forgive myself for doing something that might be selfish, because it was the best choice for my recovery. I forgive me.

Is there anything you’d like to forgive yourself for? Have you ever had to cut someone you cared about out of your life, for your health? What’s your favorite body peace quote? And is there any bad habit you’d challenge yourself about?

Love you guys. Keep on smiling, babes.