Body Image from the Inside Out

“Every day I am faced with a challenge. I can either accept and embrace myself, or I can choose to listen to the negative voices that threaten to tear down the walls of my self-worth. Building my body image is a job that begins on the inside, and it’s one that I must form with blocks of love and patience.

In order to construct a solid foundation, I must clear away the rotted materials and replace them with long-lasting ones. As I take inventory of my life, what do I see that needs to be swept away? What does not serve me anymore? What are healthy changes that I can make that will ensure a positive environment for my mind, soul and body?”

 

Read more on Eating Disorder Hope.

 

Mondays at the Mission Four Year Anniversary–A Celebration to Remember

About six years ago I had the pleasure of meeting entrepreneurย and author Christopher Kai, who became my friend and inspired me to continue writing and working with young people. ย Christopher Kai founded the wonderful program Mondays at the Mission at Union Rescue Mission, and on September 8, 2014, I had the privilege of celebrating the four year anniversary with the mentors, staff, and inspirational young people.ย Christopher works incredibly hard to uplift and instill worth and value in others, and that is life-changing for countless young people that go in and out of those doors at the Mission every year.

My tumultuous past gave me a sense of a connection with Christopher, the team, and the children. In June, I told my life story, and taught a B.E.A.U.T.Y. art class, where I had the students paint a picture that reflected what inner beauty meant to them. After that day, I couldn’t stop coming!ย I felt privileged to be able to give of myself every Monday night to young people, to help them grow and to see in themselves what was already there. I have so much respect for everyone at Mondays at the Mission and at Union Rescue Mission, and will never be the same because of their dedication and support to helping others transform their lives. I thank you all for letting me be apart of such a phenomenal program with devoted volunteers. You guys are remarkable in every sense of the word!

Thank you to Andy Bales, Matthew Bennett, Christopher Kai, Kiersten Brown, Jason Kwon, Darin Leach, Ariel Yarrish, Kelly Gluckman, Vani Murthy, Antonio Spears, Justine Sophia-Rabia, Lisa Nola, Adam Marks, Marco Curreli, Cindy Ghali, Kevin Lee, Tim Mudd, Cheri Hodge, Rozzi Crane, all of the inspirational mentors, speakers, staff, and of course, the reason why I kept coming back and will live a life of passion–the leaders of NOW–the young people at Mondays at the Mission!! You all are more talented than you will ever know.

Here are some highlights and a video from the night, made by Darin Leach, one of the Mission’s motivating mentors! Also I would like to share some memories at MATM and with my mentor friends ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Mondays at the Mission 4 Year Anniversary Photo :)
Mondays at the Mission 4 Year Anniversary Photo ๐Ÿ™‚
MATM 4 Year Anniversary Banner I made, and everyone signed :)
MATM 4 Year Anniversary Banner I made, and everyone signed ๐Ÿ™‚
A Poem I wrote for the students :)
A Poem I wrote for the students ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you to the team for all of your help in putting the composition books together ๐Ÿ™‚
Most of the students at the 4 Year Anniversary Party with Christopher Kai :)
Most of the students at the 4 Year Anniversary Party with Christopher Kai ๐Ÿ™‚
With Vani Murthy, fellow mentor and talented writer, see my resources page :)
With Vani Murthy, fellow mentor and talented writer, see my resources page ๐Ÿ™‚
Receiving the biggest hug at my inner beauty art class :)
Receiving the biggest hug at my inner beauty art class ๐Ÿ™‚
inspiring students creating inner beauty art :)
inspiring students creating inner beauty art ๐Ÿ™‚
Students working on the Inner Beauty Art Project for B.E.A.U.T.Y :)
Students working on the Inner Beauty Art Project for B.E.A.U.T.Y ๐Ÿ™‚
with Maggie and our precious students, on a class discussing how to develop their life's passions :)
with Maggie and our precious students, on a class discussing how to develop their life’s passions taught by Kiersten Brown ๐Ÿ™‚
Kiersten Brown, the fabulous Associate Director of MATM :)
Kiersten Brown, the fabulous Associate Director of MATM ๐Ÿ™‚
Lisa Nola teaching a fascinating class at MATM. Lisa and Adam not only mentor at the Mission, but they took a family into their own home and helped them get back on their feet, and helped the children through school. I just can't say enough about Lisa and Adam! :)
Lisa Nola teaching a fascinating class at MATM. Lisa and Adam not only mentor at the Mission, but they took a family into their own home and helped them get back on their feet, and helped the children through school. I just can’t say enough about Lisa and Adam! ๐Ÿ™‚
Dance skills with Adam, one of the awesome mentors :)
Dance skills with Adam, one of the awesome mentors ๐Ÿ™‚
Nikki DuBose and Antonio Spears for the Young Literati Social with the Library Foundation of Los Angeles
With Antonio Spears for the Young Literati Social with the Library Foundation of Los Angeles
Antonio Spears is one amazing person. He is a true friend, and dedicates his time to inspiring and helping others. I am proud to know you, Antonio! Christopher Kai is the founder of MATM, and has a heart full of compassion to see others succeed. Thank you Christopher for being my friend all of these years!
Antonio Spears is one amazing person. He is a true friend, and dedicates his time to inspiring and helping others. I am proud to know you, Antonio! Christopher Kai is the founder of MATM, and has a heart full of compassion to see others succeed. Thank you Christopher for being my friend all of these years!
With singer Rozzi Crane!
With singer Rozzi Crane!
Kelly Gluckman and Darin Leach, two of MATM's dedicated mentors :)
Kelly Gluckman and Darin Leach, two of MATM’s dedicated mentors ๐Ÿ™‚
Inner beauty art by Sanivvia for the B.E.A.U.T.Y Project :)
Inner beauty art by Sanivvia for the B.E.A.U.T.Y Project ๐Ÿ™‚
Max and Damien, two leaders in the making :)
Max and Damien, two leaders in the making ๐Ÿ™‚
A funny bunch, with Pascal from France! :)
A funny bunch, with Pascal from France! ๐Ÿ™‚
with Vani Murthy and leaders of today :)
with Vani Murthy and leaders of today ๐Ÿ™‚
With Justine Rabia and Anastasia from Russia. Justine and I mentored at MATM, and Justine and Anastasia are both talented ballet dancers! :)
With Justine Rabia and Anastasia from Russia. Justine and I mentored at MATM, and Justine and Anastasia are both talented ballet dancers! ๐Ÿ™‚