Monkey news and Weighing in~a special project for self acceptance

I yam what I yam, and that’s all what I yam.”
Popeye

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Hiya Beautiful Creative Monkeys!

Before I share this month’s mind-altering (you’ll see what I mean when you read it) togetherness project, just wanted to provide a little update on our lives and Monkey Chi. It’s been a busy summer at the Monkey House. The girls (Twinkle and Sparkle) just finished a 5-week break from school. It was awesome and we did and made so many fun things, but I’m sad they’re going back to school. I’ll miss my creative playmates–my biggest fans. On the other hand, Sonshine (my now 3 year old son) will LOVE having all my attention.

etsy and FACEBOOK
We worked an art sale last month which led to us reopening our Monkey Chi Monkey Do Etsy shop. It’s a small shop, but we’re continuing to add stuff, so if you are in need of handmade and natural gift ideas for your monkeys, please check us out.  We’ll be adding more things to our shop in the weeks to come, as we settle back to our school routine.

Pinterested?
We joined Pinterest. Talk about time spent online … but it’s a useful and colorful way to organize all that stuff you’d like to make, do, or just look at. It’s simple, beautiful and inspirational. Check out my personal Pinterest and our Monkey Chi Board and if you likey, follow and repin!

becky’s site for sunshine
Oooh, and I wanted to take a moment to invite you to check out a site I created for Sunshine! It began last year and it’s blossomed and become such a happy creative outlet for me to share my personal poetry, my art, and videos and things I find inspirational. Consider yourself invited! If you enjoy it, you can subscribe on the site.

Ok, now we’ve got all our news and updates out of the way, here’s this month’s togetherness project.

Togetherness projects are activities we do with someone we love: things that are creative and different. We disconnect from technology and stay totally present in the creative process, without judgment AND without cell phones, to enjoy complete presence with our loved ones. As we become more and more dependent on technology, it’s really important that we CONSCIOUSLY take time away from all these amazing sites and devices and remember that simply being present is the greatest gift we can give to someone, especially our children.

weighing in on self acceptance… our latest togetherness project idea

I yam what I yam, and that’s all what I yam.”
Popeye

For most of my adolescence and through my mid 30s I struggled with my body image. Sadly, I think it’s atypical for a girl/woman NOT to. As I’m raising two amazing daughters (my teachers) I am committed to loving my body and doing things that celebrate and honor the entire physical mass that I am, no matter how squishy–or whatever weight I am. I Yam What I YAM! I believe one of the greatest behaviors I can show my children is demonstrating my own self love and self respect. It’s NOT easy in this day and age.

I pray my children never have to liberate themselves from automated negative thoughts about their weight, or that they ever define their self esteem or value by a number on the scale. That’s what I used to do.

The girls and I talk often about the media’s manipulation of personal feelings and thoughts to create an insecurity within us: Marketing messages attempt to convince us that our negative and feelings of inadequacy can be relieved by purchasing their product. (yeah, right!)

If you have children in your life, I encourage you to share this amazing video with them. Although it’s sponsored by an enormous personal product company,  it delivers a powerful message through imagery. Start an on-going conversation about the edited images surround us, permeating our culture–on TV, billboards, and of course talk about the intentions of magazines and advertisers.

The bottom line is, we are all only slightly perfect! Nobody’s perfect. Nobody … no BODY! It’s true! We each are beautiful unique expressions of life energy: perfect individuals-perfectly individual, but too often we compare ourselves to others something happens and we lose the real and honest perspective of ourselves.

For years I struggled with my weight–or should I say, my perception of my weight. A few years ago I stopped obsessing over my caloric intake and started focusing on eating for good health and energy. But still, somehow that scale literally weighed on my emotions. I’d get on it, and if I weighed  a few pounds more, I felt crummy. But the truth is, no matter what my weight, I am still all of me!

I don’t feel crummy any more… my scale makes me feel good about me, no matter the number!

Supplies
♥  a blank scale
♥  colorful paint markers
♥  Mod Podge acrylic sealant (flat or glossy, your choice) and a brush or foam applicator brush
♥  fabulous colorful, magnificent, empowering accepting words!

Doing this togetherness project is an excellent time to talk with children about the power our internal thoughts have on the way we feel about ourselves, (if you like this project, you may enjoy the Mirror Mirror project).  As my girls get older (they are now 11 and 9) I’m hoping this ongoing conversation will set them up for a better chance at positive self image, despite our culture’s attempts at undermining.

Here were some of our words: sparkly gorgeous alive bella sweet awesome cool neat Bundle of LOVE sexcy kooky creative one off, rosy, fabulous, Bright, loved, amazing, lovely, good, shiny, adorable, powerful, super, magic, brilliant, groovy, radiant … they make me feel so good.

After you’ve taken turns writing all the words, then finish by coating it with an acrylic sealant like ModPodge.

This project was so much fun, and refreshing. The only guideline I suggested was we couldn’t use a word that described our actual weight, so words like skinny fat or thin (and others) were not acceptable. Those words have nothing to do with our reality or our health. Those words are judgmental, subjective and dis-empowering.

What do you think? What do you feel when you get on the scales? Do you have daughters or children who could benefit from your healing your own personal body image issues? Do you like this idea? Please share in comments on our site or on our facebook page.

Wishing you lots of love, creative moments, and beautiful discussions with someone you love,
Becky and the Monkeys

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4 Responses to Monkey news and Weighing in~a special project for self acceptance

  1. I love this idea–the kids in our neighborhood like to tease my 9 year old daughter, calling her fat. It drives me crazy! She is a healthy, beautiful girl, with enough love in her heart for the whole world, but because she doesn’t look anorexic, they have to say she is fat. I have also noticed that all of my female friends are constantly beating themselves up for not being 21 year old stick figures. These are women, like you and I, who have grown whole new people in their bodies-we ARE miracles! Yes, I have a scar from the C-section-and I am proud of it. A healthy, smart, funny, beautiful, loving child came into the world through that. I may not have gone to war, like my Navy submarine husband, but I have my own battle scar!
    I just found your site, and I love it. One question: have you done the project with the crayon wrappers yet? I didn’t see it anywhere, but I am not sure I found everything. Thanks!

    • Hi Sarah, Thanks so much for the encouraging comments and for sharing your daughter’s and your stories. I believe that if our children have Moms who have healthy esteem about our weight and image, we can be the greatest positive influence in their formative lives. Your daughter is blessed to have YOU!

      Oooh, as for the handmade paper project, I’m sorry to say, no I haven’t posted that project yet. We did it though, and the results were fun, but it was messy and required another afternoon to take some better photos in order to help our readers with all the steps. I’m glad you subscribed, so when I finally get to that one, you’ll be notified.
      Take care and thanks again for connecting!

  2. Wow, superb weblog format! How long have you ever been running
    a blog for? you made blogging look easy. The entire look
    of your web site is great, as well as the content!

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