A-C-C-E-P-T-A-N-C-E is my theme of this year. Acceptance of who I am and where I’m at right now. Acceptance of the opportunity and abundance that is all around me. Acceptance of my past – and forgiveness of myself for choices made then. Acceptance of my future – the numerous unknowns and possibilities – as well as imagined and expected experiences I will never have (a result of loss and death).


A new mantra I’ve created is: from Awareness comes Acceptance, from Acceptance comes Accountability, from Accountability comes Action… from Action comes transformation, growth and change.


Over the past few years, I’ve really come to realize the power of my thoughts and my words. I create the narrative of my life. I give meaning to words and experiences. I control my present and influence my future. 


Past feelings tied to emotional experiences that have been suppressed or ignored, have dictated my present and future for far too long. Having the courage to go into my pain – to bring these feelings to the surface – welcoming them with open arms – giving them love and support so they know they are seen and heard – has been a huge part of accepting my reality and healing. 


In order to accept who I am and where I’m at – right now, I’ve learned I must forgive myself for choices that have kept me small and overpowered by fear. I’ve learned I must acknowledge the strength it takes to be vulnerable – to face my fears, feel the pain and release it. I’ve learned that as uncomfortable as I may be outside this comfort zone, I must move forward with no agenda to dictate my future based on my past. 


Living this way is a bit unnerving, but also incredibly liberating. It creates space for opportunity and abundance beyond my imagination. It pushes me to grow and develop more into my most authentic self. It enables me to see the gifts that are within me and all around me.


Complete acceptance of who I am, right now, has been a struggle – largely because I pin my self-worth to a narrow and unrealistic definition of beauty. For me, acceptance, self-worth and beauty seem to go hand in hand.


Growing up in North America plagued by pop culture and immersed in the dance world, my definition of beauty and my self-worth were more focused on the exterior – the physical body, than the interior – values, ethics and morals. Looking back, I see how I got wrapped up in the toxicity that is comparison. Instead of being grateful for having a fully functioning, proportionate, strong and healthy body – being in love with my physical, mental and emotional bodies and seeing them as one – I got fixated on the physical body and removed the mental and emotional layers from what I came to associate as “beautiful” and “worthy”.


To me, beauty and self-worth meant flawless skin, a super slender body, long legs, proportional butt and boobs – basically the models in most magazines and commercials. The airbrushed, highly edited, uncommon and unnatural body type of few women around the world.


Not being like the models or ballerinas did not and does not make me any less beautiful or worthy of my dreams and desires. My “never enough” mentality was exhausting. 


Constantly focusing on what I did not have was destructive to my physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. I dieted to be a certain size that was not healthy for my physical anatomy. I spoke so negatively to myself every day. I ignored emotions or shamed them as being stupid or weak, which perpetuated a toxic and viscous cycle of being unhappy, feeling incomplete and believing I was unworthy.


Comparison kept me reaching for something I was never meant to be. 


With lots of strength to dive deep into my darkness and pain, I’ve learned immensely from my past. We are all different from one another for a reason. Our uniqueness is what makes us interesting and what makes the world so diverse. Truly embodying this has created a great shift within me.


As I’ve come to understand the immense power that is love, I’ve learned that the definition of beauty is completely subjective and ever-changing. When I define beauty and worthiness, they are no longer limited to an external description of a person who also has a corporate job with a house and family. 


Beauty is everything and everyone. Self-worth is solely defined by each of us.


My definition for both concepts have shifted from being externally focused to internally focused.


When we connect with who we are at our core, follow our heart, live out our passion, speak our truth, step into our power, practice self-awareness, uphold integrity, are honest and kind, we demonstrate that we know our self-worth. To me, these qualities and this ownership of our life is absolutely beautiful. 


I’m no longer giving in to the definition of beauty that is tied to my ego. I am embracing the definition of beauty that is felt from living in my body vs my mind, and being led by my heart.


In learning all of this, I’ve come to realize that ACCEPTANCE, self-worth and beauty still go hand in hand. When we accept who we are and operate from the place of deep connection and authenticity, it is the most beautiful thing we can do. It is also the most powerful and freeing. Owning my power and experiencing this new found freedom from self-acceptance is awesome.


I’ve come to embody that I am enough. I am beautiful. I am worthy. I am whole. I hold my power – not anyone else.


The body is so vast and so magical – what’s not to love and be proud of?