Watch Jean Kilbourne's Ted Talk above and check out more of her brilliant thoughts here.
Read the captions to the photos featured above. This is how the daunting entertainment industry took place in my life. In, what I like to call, my past life. I grew up with influence to become a model. And knowing it to be a lucrative business, I sought it out. When I graduated from high school, I wanted nothing more than to become financially independent and to create my own life, with direction and structure, a few aspects that I felt were missing in my upbringing.
Within a few months of living in Southern California, I was posing for the camera. I've always had major stage fright and a high level of self-respect. I did not want to sexualize myself and I did not want to perform. I wanted to use the "tool of modeling" to gain financial independence. Those of you that know me well, know that I had to have a deeper purpose to it. This deeper purpose was to gain a name for myself so that people would listen when I shared what really mattered to me - my pursuit of natural wellbeing, health and vitality (visit www.mintaallred.com for this backstory). Just like most young adults, I was figuring things out, searching approval and falling a victim of perfectionism. This industry did not help.
It was a short eight or nine months before I was out! I was asked regularly to try this diet or that one to "just lose those last five pounds." You were never good enough. Whether I was making money for the agency or not, I was never good enough. You might question why they even care about the form of the model if they end up altering him/her altogether with photoshop.
Point being, the modeling and advertisement industry does its very best to narrow the definition of beautiful to our society. Thus, causing endless shame and feelings of inadequacy. This feeling of lack is exactly what's needed for the ad industry. Then you must buy their most recent concoction that will transform your skin, lift your breasts, synch your waste, lengthen your legs, increase your height, ultimately, make you look better, younger, and more appealing to the opposite sex - The end goal right?
I feel compelled to get real with you to encapsulate the need for authenticity in our world. Due to social media and small town gossip, many of you reading this were likely already aware of this time in my life. And for those that knew nothing until now, here I am exposing a piece of me that I have struggled accepting since the day I said goodbye to it all.
Once I said "peace out" to modeling, I was deliberate in shifting my life for the better good, in the pursuit of wisdom. When I chose to change my path, I hid this part of my life like the plague. The relationships, connections and communities I gained in this newfound pursuit meant everything to me! I wanted to avoid being judged and/or defined by a piece of my past that I did not feel was worthy. I have had an incredibly hard time owning this part of my life.
Through years of practice and loads of support, I am learning to love myself. It ain't easy and there is no quick fix, but let me tell you, there is nothing more powerful that you can do for us all. Loving myself includes fully accepting this piece of my past. I hope that this article is seen as an avenue of exposure of an often corrupt and twisted industry that messes with our self-acceptance day in and day out. Here's to self-love, redefining the worlds beauty ideals and uncovering the badasses that we truly are ;)
"Only when you make things unnatural, do you have any chance of changing or intervening into the social process of advertisements. We must make what is invisible, visible, so we have a choice to make about how we want to participate in the world we inhabit."
It continues to baffle me that we are born into this world and immediately told to shove our minds, our left brains full of information. Information that then we can take and use for good or bad, but who knows which we'll choose! With our perceived idea of life and with plenty of clouded opinions. Why? I ask why are we not essentially taught how to live with our minds? Our bodies? How to tame the left brain when it needs more connection to the heart? Why are we not taught how to live with our bodies? With our hearts? Why are we not prioritizing understanding yourself prior to understanding a thousand other concepts and ideas and equations? Why are we not encouraging, promoting and facilitating self-discovery? Self-knowledge? From my experience, it is only through the exploration of self that one gains access to their intuition, their deeper purpose, to the pursuit of wisdom. Just imagine what our species would be capable of if we first focussed on the heart. On the whole being. A holistic approach to life. Not an information based education system. Don't get me wrong, I think education is key! Its huge! And through many forms of education, often times people do get to know themselves to some extent. But why not speed up the process? Support and facilitate greater understanding as well as providing ample forms of education?
#heartmath #rightbrainconnection #wisdom #selfknowledge #startwithyou#supportkidsyoga
It seems to me that our eager Western culture continues to desperately attempt to understand meditation. To do it. To feel it. What is it? How do I find it? Teach me how to meditate! please! But the thing is, here is this beautiful practice brought to us by the ever wise East. My teacher in India would say, "Well dear, I can't tell you how to meditate. I can tell you that I sit and attempt daily. I could tell you of an experience, or perhaps you have already heard a thousand ideas of what meditating has been like for others." But the thing is, hearing those ideas can often hinder our ability to find a beneficial meditation practice. it is easy for us to get hung up on what we are supposed to feel or experience. Meditation is all about the exact opposite. There are no boundaries or guidelines, there are no requirements and rights or wrongs. The whole idea is to bring yourself into the present. To veer your thoughts away from the worrying and the stress and the to-do lists. To come back to the present. To either listen to each sense individually as you draw yourself inward. Or to focus on the breath and JUST BE. In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali writes something similar to this, "and if none of these strategies work, simply focus on ANYTHING that uplifts your spirit." THAT passage right there has truly defined meditation in MY life. It is 100% a personalized practice. How will you ever know?... Practice! Enjoy! Namaste!
NOTE: There are numerous incredible resources out there for helping someone new understand and practice meditation daily. I highly recommend exploring all avenues. Guided meditation is a great place to start or a yoga nidra practice as well. But simply know, it can be this easy! Gsive yourself the space to just be and focus on anything that uplifts your spirit. HUGE positive impact!
#meditation #community #reflection #yoganidra
Admit when you are wrong. Own up to your quirks and tendencies... and have several belly laughs over them!!! Owning who you are can be insanely intimidating to many. It's an extremely intimate place to be with yourself. Aspire to grow so confident that you understand that humans FAIL.,, All. The. Time... and that is OK. In fact, its necessary. So keep failing. Keep making mistakes. But please, keep learning!
I spent over five years "perfecting life", or so I thought... I grew up as fast as possible. I thought this was the answer. I dove headfirst into severely austere eating habits; raw, vegan, organic, wild. All early experimentation (drug/alcohol use) diminished completely. I found myself in a relationship that reflected this perfectionism and imitated the maturity I was unconsciously seeking. It was all about being responsible, capable and “doing the right thing", for myself, for my loved ones and with a drive to make a big difference in the world. My childhood hugely lacked structure. Clearly I was seeking to fill those holes. Little did I know, this attempt for perfectionism would inevitable crumble. I started to wake up in 2011. By 2012, I could not continue living this life that, I was so sure was exactly what I was supposed to be doing. I couldn’t bare another day of it. I found myself miserable by every small detail of my daily life. On a whim, I followed my intuition and applied to go back to school…. From that moment forward, the universe, God, my true Self started to surface. In less than a years time, I was a certified yoga teacher, teaching this profound practice on this magical little island, my home. I never planned this life. I never imagined it was to be my destiny at this point in time. This experience, this transformation for me, will always represent this idea, to let go of what you thought, and let the world unfold around you, exactly as it should be.
#transformation #selfdiscovery #theplanmightnotbeyourplan #letgo #perfectionism#release #gowiththeflow
by a cumulation of the Iyengar, Ashtanga and Viniyoga methodologies. Dedicated to teaching intelligent yoga through proper alignment and awareness. Aspiring rock climber, snowboarder for life, practices aromatherapy and rebounding.