A piece of my heart
If you are reading this, then I truly believe it's on purpose. When I first created this blog, I labeled this tab "a piece of my heart." The goal behind everything I make, create, or write is to encourage women to believe in themselves, their abilities, and their value. Since before I began working as a therapist, this was the goal behind everything I did and the messages I put out into the world. With all the negative things happening and everything going on in the world, I realized that I could do something to combat that negativity. This was possible through sharing part of my own heart for the things I was passionate about, so the name seemed like a natural fit.
I remember how nervous I was the first time I hit "publish" on a post that wasn't surface level. I got that uncomfortable feeling, which I've known grown to love that pushes me out of what feels safe. The response to my first post about my journey to appreciate and accept my body was raw and it resonated with so many people. I knew in that moment, that my platform had to be used to share things that were hard and didn't get tied up by the end of post. While I wasn't sure of my exact direction, I knew it was involved sharing message that were encouraging, and a little sassy about value, self-acceptance, and being enough.
A few thoughts on being enough
These thoughts are what I believe to be true about "enough-ness." Since 2014, I have worked with girls and women who are battling self-esteem, body image, and eating disorders. A lot of my observations of what those women, as well as the women I love and spend time with personally is what has impacted my beliefs.
Being enough isn’t based on anything measurable. It is not based on having something, doing something, or accomplishing something. Being enough is not something that can be externally measured or validated. It is hard to find that balance between believing in yourself and not feeling like you are conceited for most people, so they fall into the trap of never feeling enough.
You hear messages of “love yourself” and “love your body” as much as you hear messages of “change your body” these days. I’m writing this to challenge you to think about what is in the middle. The middle of not loving or hating, but rather accepting yourself and not trying to change yourself constantly. If you have spent a large part, or really any part, of your life at war with yourself or your body, going straight from hate to love is a bit extreme. It also is really time consuming. I often ask clients what they would do with all of their free time if they weren't comparing themselves to someone else or striving to be "more". Even if we aren’t talking about body image specifically, I feel like this is accurate for any type of struggle with being enough. There is a constant need to be something we aren't.
Being enough is about learning to accept the here and now, without worrying about the future (anxiety) or thinking back to the past (depression). Personally, I think we come into the world feeling like we are enough and slowly as the messages of “not enough” creep in, we begin to doubt who we are and the abilities and security we have based on what we process. Learning to feel and believe that you are enough comes from the idea of finding internal validation and not basing your worth on the successes you have. You are not “more” because you do or achieve something, just like you aren’t “less” when you don’t.
At the first eating disorder treatment facility where I worked, patients often would create sticky notes to hang on the mirrors with encouraging reminders and affirmations, as well as bible verses. They were placed there strategically to catch them when they wanted to look in the mirror and pick apart their bodies. The first one I ever wrote and left for them said "you are enough." The next day, they asked me what I meant by that and I told them it was just as simple as those words. They didn't need to keep trying to be thin, to be perfect or to be anything they weren't. Hard work and motivation are not inherently wrong, but when we worship the idea of success, it can make us feel like we are never enough.
Those three words became my affirmation for myself and for everyone I came in contact with. There are always going to be ways to improve ourselves, both internally and externally, but even if we choose not to engage in those things, we can rest in knowing that we are already enough.
Earlier this year, that affirmation changed from "you are enough" to "you are already enough." Adding one more word to a sentence may not seem like a big deal, but it was. Already implies that at this current moment in time, there is nothing else you need to do to be worthy or loved. Sure there are things you COULD do or CAN do, but you don't have to do any of them. You are already capable and strong and part of that means choosing to believe in yourself.
How #racheltennylovenotes started
Did you know the name #racheltennylovenotes came from my scrap watercolor paper?!
I am the recycling queen and hated wasting the extra pieces of paper that I trimmed from the illustrations I made. So I saved them and one day as I looked at my ever growing pile, I decided to make little notes and send them out. I painted the cards in the brightest colors I could find and then wrote encouraging words like "You are beautiful," "You are Loved," "You got this,” and "Keep Chasing Your Wildest dreams!"
That was more than 2 years ago now, and I've sent out over 500 cards of encouragement. It’s crazy to think about all the places they've gone and the moments of encouragement that have been born from what would have otherwise been trash.
These affirmations were created from my desire to remind women how powerful, strong, capable, and talented they already are. That they don’t need to change. They don’t need to succumb to what the world says they are. They deserve to take up space and be just as they are.
Here's a little introduction to all 3 sets of #racheltennylovenotes! If you click on the banner below each photo, it will take you straight to the shop listing for more details!
This set includes the following sayings:
-You are already brave
-You are already magnificent
-You are already beautiful
-You are already strong
-You are already capable
-You are already valuable
-You are already loved
-You are already worthy
-You are already powerful
-You are already enough
This set includes the following sayings:
-Everything is beautiful when you stop looking for flaws
-There is no wrong way to have a body
-Don't let your mind bully your body
-A number on a scale or a tag can't measure your worth
-You are allowed to take up space
-Be grateful for what your body does for you and not just the way it looks
-Accepting yourself is the greatest revolution
-You don't have to sacrifice your mental health in order to be a certain size
-Your body is already enough
-Be as kind to your body as you are to everyone else
The idea to create the “already enough” bangle came from my love for words and affirmations. I am a huge fan or wearable reminders and the theme behind these cards is “already enough”, so it came as a natural fit. I collaborated with Moriah of Born to Be Designs to make this design come to life. I couldn't be more thrilled with how they turned out! For years, I have wanted to get a tattoo on my wrist (I still might, sorry mom!) and this is the next best thing to a tattoo. A reminder for each time you look down at your wrist in moments of doubt or struggle...you are already enough.
I would love to hear from you and your thoughts on this collection and the idea of being enough! Which design or designs are your favorite?
Want to continue the conversation?
Be sure to join the FREE Facebook Community and continue the discussion there! What other struggles are you currently battling with as you navigate your small business journey? I would love to help! Feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions you may have or topics you would like to see covered in future posts.