Let it go (like a fart)

Happy New Year Lovelies!

I hope 2017 has started well for you and you’re being gentle with yourself after the crazy rollercoaster ride that 2016 was for most of us.  I certainly am, even though the lessons for this year are already coming at me thick and fast.  But I guess that’s what happens when you make self improvement a priority.

One of those lessons for me is about letting go of situations totally out of my control and not allowing the actions of others to affect my energy or feelings.  It’s not something I’ve quite mastered yet but I am sure as hell working on it.  Hard.  In fact, not a day goes by that I don’t do some kind of research to try and figure out how best to deal with my self in relation to accepting what ‘is’ and understanding that many situations we encounter in life may never be resolved.  They are what they are and that has to be ok or it will drive you mad.

Some people are really good at this.  They can cop an arrow to their bubble of protection without so much as the slightest piercing; turn around from the attack; pivot on the shiny floor underneath them and skip away like nothing ever happened.  I envy those people and strive to be just like them one day.  Sooner rather than later I hope.

And then there’s those like me.  I’m a super sensitive and empathetic creature, so when I know someone is choosing to hurt me on purpose, I feel it and as much as I’d like to shake it off like Taylor Swift, it takes a little time for me to process and work through in order to feel centred again.  As I get older, this stage is taking less time with each hit but it’s still something I go through before bouncing back.

We are constantly told ‘don’t give your power away’; ‘what you give energy to will remain’ and statements like this that tell us we should not be letting outside entities shake our core but we are all human having a human experience and from what I can tell, most people are affected by the words and actions of others.  We just get better at dealing with it over time.

Humans can be volatile creatures.  Many whom we come in to contact with and whom we may have close (or not so close) relationships with can be stuck in a place they never move out of and this leads them to behave in ways that are hurtful to others.  I’m sure we’ve all had our share of being on the receiving end of toxic behaviour and the hardest hitting are when you know the person is doing it with intent.  But no matter what, at the end of the day, we can’t control how people choose to treat us.  All we can control is how we choose to respond.

I’m sure you’ve heard the term ‘hurt people hurt people’.  If you remind yourself of this when these situations arise, it makes them a lot easier to deal with.

Forgiveness is also very important; especially when you’ve never even received an apology.  It is a gift we give to ourselves more than anything else and it doesn’t have to mean you forget.  These two dudes express it so eloquently that I had to include this rather than try to express it myself:

 

It’s a powerful video isn’t it?

It’s not easy to let things go but we simply must for our own peace of mind.  Focus on forgiveness; feel whatever it is you need to feel; talk it out and then let it go (like a fart).

 

Love & Light Always,

Yvette xxx

It has to stop!

Hi Lovelies,

It’s that time of year when a lot of us become reflective of the year that was and life that is and all that stuff.  That is certainly the case for me.

Like a lot of people, a shit load of stuff has happened for me both internally and externally and I find myself in a place that is unsettled when it comes to what I see going on around me in this crazy world we live in.

Without beating around the bush, I feel the need to speak up about something that really bugs me and that is, the ridiculous, unattainable perfection we are subjected to on a daily basis that is quite frankly making us as a society sick.

Literally.

Imagery is everywhere and yes, we are visual creatures and it’s human nature to adore pretty, beautiful, shiny things but I think when it comes to advertising and the media, it has gone too far and the resulting repercussions are distressing.

What do I see?  I see people getting plastic surgery and enhancements at an alarming rate and a ridiculously young age.  I’m seeing humans becoming more and more mentally and physically ill with eating disorders and body image issues; in fact the rising prevalence of this is in line with the increased exposure to media and particularly social media.  I also see a disturbing amount of people struggling with ‘not being enough’ in so many ways and I witness people being made fun of for how they look time and time again.

It’s not okay and it has to stop.

99% of what we’re seeing and aspiring to isn’t real anyway.  It’s been said before and I’ll say it again, ‘Even the models in the pictures don’t look like the models in the pictures’.

And you know what’s even crazier?  We KNOW the images aren’t real.  We KNOW they are largely (if not mostly) computer generated but we still SEE them and assimilate them in to our psyche and the result of that is what causes the aforementioned.  Crazy right?!

As a makeup artist and part time model agent, I am aware I work in an industry that perpetuates all of the above.  I get that.  But that doesn’t mean I have to agree with what is happening.  I question how we got here and I think it’s up to all of us, especially those in the fashion / beauty / media / advertising industries, to start taking responsibility for what is happening and start asking the question “WHY?”

When a designer calls to ask for a model that is reed thin and obviously not healthy, I think we should be asking ‘Why do you want such a thin person to be in your campaign?’

When a photographer retouches a model’s body so much that they become almost, if not, totally unrecognisable, they should be asked ‘Why do you want this person to appear like an alien instead  of real?  Aren’t they enough?’

When a brand manager wants their images retouched to the point of fantasy and not reality, shouldn’t we be asking ‘Why do you want to use fantasy to sell your brand?’

When an agent says a model’s measurements are not small enough for their market, isn’t it time we said ‘Why?’  Who is it that expects the models to be so tiny?  WHO?  No one is taking responsibility for this and I think it’s time we ALL did.  It is up to every single one of us in the industry to be game changers.  I know it’s a mammoth task but I’m certainly up for it.  I think it’s time.

It’s clear in life that all things swing and roundabout.  What goes up must come down and all that, so I’m hoping that is true for the fashion and advertising world too.  You see, what I’m also witnessing is a revolution that wants to happen.  I see people cheer when a curvy woman struts the catwalk.  I see people comment on how amazing it is to see and hear about what is REAL in life and not this fantasy bullshit we are being fed… and that brings me hope.

I think what is real and true is what people want to see.  I think we’re tired of seeing perfection that doesn’t exist.  I think we want to know we are enough, just as we are.

I think it’s time to pull each other up and compliment each other for more than what we look like.  It’s time to give praise for who we are as people.  That’s my opinion anyway.

Are you with me?

Love & Light Always,

Yvette xxx

Respect

Hi Lovelies,

It’s been a while since I sat down to write.  Life has been hectic to say the least and a lot has gone on that has left me well and truly speechless, hence my absence.

Now that I’ve had time to digest some of it,  I feel the need to comment on how fired up society has been lately.  I don’t think I need to mention what about.

Whatever happened to the old social rule that you ‘don’t speak of politics, religion or money’?  It seems to have all but gone out the window of late, particularly when it comes to keyboard warriors on social media and the like.  It has become a free for all and the results are scary.  More segregation, separation and hate energy is spewing forth in to the world with vitriolic words than ever before and reactive, fearful respondents are taking part in a war of words that seem to go no where but downhill fast.

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What happened to respect?  If nothing else, don’t we all understand that we are all different?  Isn’t that what makes the world go around?  If we were all the same, we’d be robots instead of human beings having a human and completely individual experience.

As the amazing Anaïs Nin once said “We don’t see things as they are.  We see things as we are”.  There is no truer saying as far as I’m concerned.

And haven’t we all figured out that there is greater power in love and understanding than there is in fear?  I’d like to think that’s still believed by the majority of humans on earth.

The pendulum will always swing, it’s the law of gravity.  There will always be good and evil; truth and lies; day and night.  We need each of these to know, understand and appreciate the other.  One can simply not exist without it’s opposite.  How can we ever know what is right for us unless we know equally what is wrong?

All clichés aside,  I think we need to bring the focus back to ourselves in times of perceived darkness.  We need to love harder and respect others more wholeheartedly.  We need to understand that everyone has just as much right to believe in and stand for what they choose to, as we ourselves do.  It is not our place to try and sway anyone to our view uninvited.  That is merely going against the grain of love, compassion and respect, which in my opinion are the three cornerstones of peaceful living.

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Aren’t peace and respect what we all want?

It is simply impossible for anyone to know absolutely everything about the world, therefore there is no human that can be absolutely correct about all things.  It simply can’t be.  There will always be a story told by somebody, somewhere that will make you question what you thought you knew.

Each of us believes what we believe because of the life we have led.  It’s as simple as that.

Call me idealistic and perhaps a little naive, I don’t mind.  I know my nature is to always look on the brighter side of life and I don’t believe that’s a bad thing, it is simply who I am.  I will always make my decisions based on my inherent nature and I’d like to think there are just as many people, if not more, out there like me than otherwise. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate and respect those that err on the other side either.  I understand that without them, I wouldn’t know which side I belonged to.

So, I am hoping the current reactive state I’m witnessing is simply a pendulum swing and that things will start calming down sooner rather than later.  I am hoping respect for our differences will prevail instead of an incessant need to convince others we are right.  Who’s to say who is right and who is wrong in their opinions anyway?  We can only ever say what is right for us.

Many things in life are simply out of our control but how we choose to respond to those things is not.  All we can do is focus on who WE are as humans.  If more of us did that instead of pointing the finger, this world would undoubtedly be a better place.  That’s the kind of world I want to live in.

Love and Light Always,

Yvette xxx

 

 

 

Embrace

Hi Lovelies,

I recently saw the incredible and life-changing documentary ‘Embrace’.  It was so brilliant and gut wrenching that I bawled my eyes out through most of it because it hit home so strongly.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here is the trailer:

This film should be seen by everyone, especially by women and I ask all Mum’s out there, please take your daughters.  You won’t regret it.

You see the distortion of body image and how negatively most of us view ourselves has reached truly disturbing proportions.  The percentage of people, especially women, who dislike their bodies and / or the way they look in general is incredibly sad and society has a lot to answer for when it comes to the projection of an unrealistic and unattainable ‘perfection’ that we can’t avoid.  That is unless of course we crawl under a rock and stay there.

It’s everywhere.  Images of so-called ‘beauty’ that are not real.  It’s been said before and I’ll repeat it now.  Not even the models in the images look like the models in the images.  They’ve been stretched and slimmed and primped and smoothed.  Eyes are made larger; teeth are whitened; breasts are enlarged and cheek bones are raised.  Even Men’s biceps and other body parts I won’t mention are exaggerated and chiselled.  No one actually looks like the pictures we are surrounded by and although we all know that photoshop is the culprit, the visual  assimilation of these images are what we are absorbing, whether that be subconsciously or consciously.

The beauty and fashion industries are worth billions of dollars and are sold to us in the seeking of perfection.  A perfection that doesn’t actually exist and largely lowers the vibration of society as a whole by making people feel they are ‘less than’.

It’s sad and it’s time we all took responsibility for what is going on, not only for ourselves but for the children growing up in this world of false imagery.

We owe it to ourselves and others to stop the nonsense and start spreading the message that ‘you are enough’ as you are.  People come in all shapes and sizes and that should be celebrated.  It’s what makes each and every one of us unique and special.  We are who we are because of everything we have experienced in our lives and none of us should feel like we’d be happier or better off if only we had bigger boobs or lost 5 kilos or got botox to smooth our skin.  It’s bullshit and it’s time to change the dialogue we allow to come out of our own mouths and the mouths of others.

It starts with you.  Watch your thoughts.  Watch what you allow to come out of your mouth.  Watch what you allow to be said by those you care about.  Pull yourself up.  Pull your loved ones up.  It’s time to pull society up on this craziness.

As someone who has been in the fashion and beauty industries for 26 years, I know full well the effects this falseness has had on not only myself but on others around me.  Eating disorders are rife and people are unhappy in their own skin, which has a ripple effect on their whole life.  I’ve been conditioned to ‘talk the talk’ and ‘walk the walk’ and have been criticising my own self for way too long.  I’ve also criticised others’ bodies and appearances and I’m ashamed of that.  Very ashamed.

I’ve done a lot of work over the years to change this but I have to say, seeing this film has been one of the biggest game changers for me.  Truly.  Madly.  Deeply.

This film helped me to embrace myself, jiggly thighs and all and I want nothing more than each and every one of you to feel the same way about yourselves, so make sure you see it!  It will be one of the most valuable documentaries you will ever see.

I believe it’s creator, Taryn Brumfitt, is an Angel in disguise.

embrace

Have you seen it?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Love & Light Always,

Yvette xxx

 

 

The Fear Foe

Hi Lovelies,

Something happened to me last month that provided me with a huge opportunity for growth and I wanted to share my observations with you.

Without going in to detail, I found myself in a situation that was totally out of my control and affected my life greatly.   I had 2 choices.  I could choose the victim mentality and wallow in the fear associated with finding myself in a new and unexpected situation or I could trust it was all for the best and believe the universe had my back.

When it happened, I felt like someone pulled the ground out from under me and the fear began suffocating me.  I had to fight like crazy to keep my head above water so to speak.  It’s times like these you realise its all up to you.  How you deal with what life throws at you has a ripple effect which can make or break your future.

It was time to practice what I always preach and be gentle with myself.  I had to think about all of the things that make me feel really good and do them, so that I could stay strong and beat the fear foe.

FearQuote1

Fear is such a huge part of most of our lives.  It’s what stops us from doing things we really want to do.  It stops us from being the best version of ourselves.  It stops us from living the life we imagine.  It drives us to make bad decisions and stops us in our tracks sometimes.

It leads us to attract situations into our lives that we don’t want because the focus is on the negative rather than the positive.

Having worked really hard on beating fear in the past (and succeeding), it was concerning to me to be really feeling it again.  I mean really feeling it.  I wasn’t doing myself or anyone around me any favours but I had to sit with it and feel it before I could fight it.  I had to acknowledge what was going on in order to get past it.

One of the most important parts of my lifestyle is exercise, so I took myself outside as often as I could and moved my body.  I walked and I ran and I walked and I ran and I focussed on replacing the fear thoughts with positive chants.  My mind kept returning to the fear but I just had to keep bringing it back to my chant and with each day, the fear thoughts began to disappear.  I replaced them with thoughts of trust and understanding.  I had to believe there was a bigger picture at play.  If you believe it, it will be true for you.

I also saw the situation as an opportunity to not only be kind to myself but also to be kind to others.  I put myself in the shoes of each person involved and asked myself what I would like from the situation if the shoe was on the other foot and did those things.

I understood that everyone is on this earth doing the same thing.  We are all trying to look after ourselves and sometimes that means things not going your way.  At least that’s what it may appear to look like on the surface.  But then I realised, sometimes not getting what you want is a blessing in disguise. If you have faith and surrender to the situation, it certainly can be.

The best way to move forward from it all is to face your fears head on.  If you have thoughts going over and over in your head, get them out.  Say everything you need to say.  As hard as that can be sometimes, it is the only way to stop them from destroying your sense of being and allowing you to move forward with what ‘is’.

fear quote 2

Difficulties are opportunities.  Without them, we can’t grow.  To get comfortable, you must first be uncomfortable, so embrace challenges.  I do.

Now what happened doesn’t hurt me anymore.  It showed me I have great strength and for that, how could I be anything but grateful?

Love & Light Always,

Yvette xxx

 

 

 

Outside in

Hi Lovelies,

This week, my cousin nominated me for the Facebook 5 day 15 + years photo challenge, so I accepted and took myself on a trip down memory lane.  In sharing some of my old modelling photos, I was overwhelmed by the lovely comments from everyone and I must admit, they made me feel better during what was a difficult week.

Despite the virtual hug my ego received, the comments highlighted something I feel very strongly about and that is how invisible mental illness is.  At the time every single one of the photos I shared was taken, I was struggling with a very serious eating disorder and had been for many years.  Although the photos show what appears to be a glamorous life, on the inside I was literally killing myself.  Considering what I was doing, I’m lucky to still be here today.

I suffered from Bulimarexia, which is a combination of both Bulimia and Anorexia.  Sufferers swing between bouts of starvation and binge / purge cycles by means of self induced vomiting and or laxative abuse (or both).  I was doing both.  I would purge up to six times a day and then I’d take laxatives at night.  The number on the scale was more important to me than anything and my body dysmorphia was rife.  I had no idea what I looked like.

Even though I worked constantly as an underwear model throughout my career, I loathed my body.  When I looked in the mirror, what I saw was fat.  When my agents or clients (or anyone for that matter) told me I had a great body, a voice inside my head said “no I don’t, I’m fat”.  When I looked in the mirror, all I saw was that I was too big.  When I was told I was too thin, I thought whoever was saying it was nuts.  It was crazy but it was my truth.

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Eating disorders are everywhere.  The more I’ve spoken about my own experience, the more people have opened up to me about theirs.  I can’t tell you how many people I know who have suffered, or are still suffering, but it’s a lot.  Unfortunately, with the increased exposure to media, especially social media, statistics show the prevalence of eating disorders is growing relatively at an alarming rate.  It’s scary.

It took me a very long time to reach a place of authentic health and although I’m pretty much there now, it’s still something I have to work at constantly.  As most people who have suffered will tell you, it never really goes away completely.  It just becomes easier to manage as you get stronger and better at talking back to the voice inside your head that is basically an inner bully.  It’s a fight you have to keep fighting because unlike giving up smoking or drugs, you can’t give up eating and lets face it, who would want to?!

It pains me to know how may people out there are going through what I went through.  It’s an absolutely insidious disease and because sufferers often look ‘healthy’ on the outside, they usually suffer in silence or in secret.  There is not always visibility of there being something wrong.

It also becomes a part of your ‘identity’ and a coping mechanism for life.  The irony however is that a sufferer is clearly not coping at all.  It is a form of control when a life feels out of control.

I always felt there had to be a reason for my journey though.  It had to make sense somehow and thankfully, now it makes absolute sense.  My reason, my purpose, is to help others going though their own struggle.  As I’ve said before, we are all here to help each other get through this maze of life, no matter what it throws at us.  We’re not meant to go it alone.

Just over 3 years ago, I decided to write a book about my story and in doing so, came to understand myself and how it all came about very clearly.  When it all came down to it, it made so much sense it was uncanny.  My book is currently with my editor, so it’s coming along nicely.  I can’t wait to share it with you all when it’s finally ready and in doing so, hope to help millions of people around the world.  That’s my dream and I’m dreaming big.

Until next time.

Love & Light Always,

Yvette xxx

 

You get what you give

Hi Lovelies,

All my life I’ve heard the term “You get what you give”.  I’m sure we all have.  The thing is though, until the other night, I have always thought the saying was in reference to what we give out or purely about what we give to others.  It had always been my belief that’s what it meant.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.

Now some might say this makes me a slow learner but on the night in question, I was reflecting on how great things had been for me lately, which was in line with how much better I had been treating myself.  Suddenly it hit me.  “You get what you give” also pertains to what you give to your self.  Lightbulb moment!

I’m not talking about buying yourself gifts or acting in a selfish manner to get what you want out of life, that’s not what I mean at all.  What I am trying to say is the more you treat yourself with genuine respect, love and care, the more life seems to have a way of treating you in the same manner.  The ripple effect is extraordinary once you open yourself up to living your life in a parallel universe.  One in which you behave in a way that is a gift to yourself.

It’s not always easy to maintain this way of being, particularly if it’s vastly different to how you’ve treated yourself in the past.  Life has a way of testing you when things are going fabulously.  Just when you think things are perfect, BOOM!  There it is. Something to shake your soul to ensure the groundwork you’ve been putting in is based on a foundation of truth and strength.  Life’s funny like that.

To be good to yourself takes work.  Consistent, self aware, no bullshit, hard work.  It starts with a decision and from that point on, there’s no denying how much effort is required to bring about real, positive, life changing results.  But it does get easier.  And then, after a while, it becomes second nature.  Well almost.  You still need to stay ‘with’ yourself as much as you can.

Looking back on the things I’ve needed to change over the years, I can totally see how I’ve gotten what I’ve given to myself.  My life was a reflection of what was going on in my head and the self sabotaging patterns I manifested simply validated what  I believed about myself.  Instead of giving myself the love I deserved, I gave myself nothing but grief every step of the way and in return, my life gave me grief.

That’s all changed now.  It has taken a long time and a great deal of patience with myself to get me here but I’m in a very different place now and it feels amazing.

It’s funny isn’t it.  We’re always so great at giving others advice but when it comes to ourselves, we can be so judgey wudgey and downright awful.  It doesn’t make any sense and it’s time to stop.  It’s not our place to judge others and it’s not our place to judge ourselves.  It’s our job to show ourselves (and others) as much love, patience, kindness and nourishment as we can.  Give yourself everything you would want for your favourite person in the universe and you’ll find that life surprises you in kind.  Its quite incredible to observe!

A lot of it comes down to letting go and trusting in the order of things.  It’s a lot easier said than done but once you do, there’s no going back.

It’s important to give to others but make sure you’re giving to yourself first.  Then you’ll have a lot more to give.

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Wishing you magic every day.

Until next time.

Love & Light Always,

Yvette xxx