Embracing our inner beauty!

Hello Cleopatras!!! You are beautiful, You are wonderful, & You are perfectly made!!

Every day is a new opportunity to love yourself. The saying goes “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” – what lens are you looking through? How we view ourselves is the most important aspect of self-development/self-worth. This self-reflecting lens influences how we think, how we interact with others, and how others interact with us. As with most things, we have choices. We have the choice to love ourselves & embrace our uniqueness or to live “down-in-the dumps” doubting ourselves. I don’t know about you, but I choose the former. Loving yourself can take practice, so check out my tips on how I embrace my beauty every day!

Thoughts become reality:

Positive affirmations!! The mind is so powerful! Every morning I wake up & repeat to myself, “I am beautiful, I am wonderful, and I am perfectly made”. Why? When we do something repetitively, it becomes habit and then second nature. We have to actively train our thoughts to speak positively. What we think does change our reality. I wake up each morning feeling worthy, beautiful, & positive because this is what I think of myself! Here’s a perfect example: I recently struggled with acne. Every morning I would wake up, see a new blemish and I think, “Great, here’s another one”. Like clockwork, every morning I would see another new blemish… my thoughts became reality! I was focused on what I did not want, the acne, as opposed to what I did want, clear skin! I kept  thinking I would get more acne & I got exactly what I “wished” for. Once I noticed this thought pattern though, I quickly I changed my thoughts. Each time I would look in the mirror, I would say to myself, “I love my skin, I love my face, I am beautiful”. I repeated this mantra for about 2 weeks and slowly but surely, my skin began to clear. Now I make sure to start each morning nurturing myself with praise. Positive praise and affirmations are one of the tools I use to embrace my inner beauty, nurture my spirit, & start my day in a positive way. What’s the lesson? Our thoughts & words carry weight! Wake up each morning declaring praise over yourself & next thing you know…it will be true!

Embrace on the positive:

Every diamond is unique just like every Cleopatra is unique! Like diamonds, we are all a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. What may seem like an unfavorable characteristic, or a flaw in the diamond, is really our unique staple.  This is what makes us different. For example, I have ears that stick out pretty badly.  I was made fun of for this unique characteristic throughout my childhood . I could have chosen to let other people’s opinions affect how I felt about myself. I could have let that influence my life by always wearing my hair down to cover them up, but no, I refused to stifle my uniqueness. I refused to let someone else make me feel bad about the way I was uniquely made! WE HAVE TO BE BOLD IN OUR LOVE FOR OURSELVES! What one person may see and try to use against you to bring you down, is really your highlight to bring you up! Life is all about perspective – choose to focus on the good, choose to be positive & embrace your beauty.  Here’s the key to remember: everyone has flaws. When people try to bring you down, it is often because they are miserable themselves. Don’t join the misery my friends, join the victory! Embrace what makes you different – IT is what makes you shine!

Focus on you:

Society teaches us that everything is a race; a race to have a better job, a bigger house, a nicer car – always “keeping up with the Joneses”. Here’s the thing, the Jones are miserable and in debt. I’ll admit that when I first started competing, I absolutely feel victim to this practice. I always found myself thinking, “I wish I had her abs” or “I wish I had her glutes”. This practice left me feeling empty, unsatisfied, unworthy, & consistently down on myself. I finally realized this practice was not healthy; it was not helpful, rather it was hurtful. It had to stop! I realized that someone else’s single snapshot in time is not fair for me to compare myself to for a lifetime. Here’s the thing (and I speak from experience), being super shredded is a SNAPSHOT – it is a temporary moment in time! I do not walk around year-round with shredded abs, hard delts, and ripped up quads – that is just not reality. Once I realized that I was wasting my energy on comparing myself to others, I refocused that energy into meeting my specific goals. I am unique and I don’t want to be anyone else. I don’t want anyone else’s abs, delts or quads. I simply want to be my best me! The sense of empowerment that can be achieved through simply wanting your best you is life changing. We must stop the comparisons – comparing your chapter 5 to someone else’s chapter 20 is like comparing apples to oranges. I can promise everyone had a chapter 1 and it sure as heck doesn’t look like their chapter 20. Don’t compare your chapter 5 to their chapter 20, it’s simply unrealistic and not fair to yourself. Focus on your own goals and next thing you know, you’ll look up and be on your chapter 20.

Remember friends that some of the most beautiful things in life are often hidden under rough exteriors; diamonds, pearls, and agate are all hidden beneath a rough exterior until polished and then they are precious and valuable finds. We must polish ourselves every day. We are precious and valuable. We are Cleopatras!

By Jennifer Reichek