An Apology To My Body

An Apology To My Body | A Body Positivity Poem

An apology to my body

I’m sorry for endless empty 
stomachs filled with nothing 
but coffee grounds and ash. 
For burning your insides 
with bottles of liquor 
and broken glass.

I’m sorry for trying 
to claw out of you 
as if I were buried alive. 
Fingernails into your flesh 
trying to rid myself of you.

I’m sorry for carving train tracks
from razor blades and pooling 
blood beneath, hoping 
they would take me somewhere 
far from you. I’m sorry for 
the twelve inch gash on your thigh 
I splayed open like a butcher 
to a cows stomach.

I’m sorry for all the times 
I screamed at you and called 
you names like an abusive lover, 
white-knuckled in rage.

I’m sorry for all the people 
who roughed up your soft skin. 
They never deserved to know you 
the way I do.

I’m sorry for taking so long
in learning how to love you. 
I’m sorry I will forget 
how once again, always in
learning of how to love 
you stronger.

We began as one,
an archaic bond. 
You knew me before 
I knew my first breath.
Let me press yarrow 
to our wounds
and begin 
to mend.

Intentional & Minimal | The No Spend Challenge I Want To Take On This Year

If you worship money and things — if they are where you tap real meaning in life — then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough…On one level, we all know this stuff already…The trick is keeping the truth up-front in daily consciousness.
— David Foster Wallace

Intention. Mindfulness. Freedom. Gratitude. These are words that have been lingering softly against the inner corners of my mind since 2019 started. Words I want to embody as the beginning of this new year unravels. The world moves quickly. Always rushing, thinking less, going with whatever gets put in front of us, living the way we are taught. Living by advertisements and anecdotes and being slaves to money and things and objects.

Shopping isn’t on my list of hobbies. I think I want something until I get into a store, try something on, remind myself I have enough clothes at home, and then leave. Same goes with home decor and beauty products. Many people make jokes about not being able to enter Target empty-handed but one of my skills is being able to walk in and come out with nothing.

Fast fashion is fleeting. Popular trends come and go in waves. Home decor changes with the seasons. Marketing makes us think we need things we don’t. I keep on my toes so I don’t fall into that trap but it can be hard. Knowing psychology and how marketing works makes things easier and I’m grateful to understand where my desires stem from. It’s often misplaced and I want experience over things. My house is cozy, my closet is full, my bookshelves are stacked.

We don’t need more things.

When I vowed to working towards a minimalist lifestyle, buying less naturally came with it. My goal is to go 30 days without buying any new, non-essential items. For me, it’s achievable since I’ve been able to go long periods of time without buying new and try to always thrift first. Lately, I’ve been finding my closet dull and boring since I’m so used to everything. Instead of buying something new, I’m challenging myself to play around with the pieces I have and create completely new outfits. My closet is diverse and it’s time I start working with it rather than against it.

I’ve seen people set their goal to an entire year. However, I think it’s more achievable to start small and work towards a larger goal on a month-by-month basis. Starting with 30 days is a small and achievable beginning goal. It’s not too overwhelming and will give better insight into spending habits to decide if you want to continue the no-spend challenge.

Disciplining ourselves in our habits is how we create more mindful, grateful, and intentional lives and can replace them with better habits.

Reasons for a No Spend Challenge

  1. Minimalism

    Minimalism is about intention, improvement, purpose, and simplicity. It’s not only external, but internal as well. The no-spend challenge doesn’t bring anything unnecessary into our home and allows us to be more intentional in our mindset.

  2. Produce less waste

    The amount of waste that comes with what we buy is huge. By limiting what we buy, we also limit our waste in packaging.

  3. Budgeting & Finance

    If you’re in debt, looking to save for something, want to become better at budgeting, or have an understanding of your family’s spending habits, a no-spend challenge can bring you better responsibility with your money.

  4. Self-control & discipline

    Saying no to impulsive desires isn’t an easy task in our culture desperate for us to consume. This challenge is not only for physical purposes, but to improve our internal selves.

  5. Awareness & Understanding

    Focusing on our life habits and understanding where we spend our money and why gives us the opportunity to change and reset our habits into new ones.

  6. Immunity to marketing

    Saying no to marketing brings the power back to us. Not many people are aware of how marketing affects us and in how many different ways it affects us. Life has become an abundance of advertisements and it can be tricky to navigate it.

  7. Freedom

    Self-control, self-discipline, letting go of impulsive habits, being aware of our habits, being immune to advertising is all freedom from the modern world which is busy, impulsive, manipulative, and constantly yelling at us to buy things. No spend reminds us to be aware, intentional, and free.

Rules

These are my rules and they may vary slightly for yourself.

  • No shopping for clothes or accessories. I have a full closet, enough shoes, and enough accessories.

  • No buying new make-up products, hair products, or skincare products until I’ve used something up entirely. I have everything I need and then some.

  • No buying unnecessary media. I have books I need to read in my home already + I can borrow from a friend or from the library.

  • Create a weekly budget and meal plan for groceries. Use what’s in the pantry.

  • Personal grooming will be limited to dying my hair only.

  • Limit one coffee date outside the home

  • My exceptions are: school supplies I don’t already have (i.e. textbooks & a new notebook), travel fares (i.e. gas for trips), activities for my son, bills & groceries (these obviously need to be paid, however, I am considering giving up my amazon prime & adobe monthly subscriptions), and gifts for people.

examples of non-essentials

  1. Clothes

  2. Coffee outside the home

  3. Take-out/going out to eat

  4. Beauty products

  5. New technology

& many more!

A no-spend challenge helps reorganize our lifestyle habits into better ones. Living with intention welcomes more wholesome experiences into our lives. Most purchases I’ve wanted to buy and have chosen not to buy has left my memory very quick. I hope you’ll join me in a little self-discipline, intention, and mindfulness.

Do you think you could do a no-spend challenge? Have you done one before?

8 Self Care Apps For A Better You

Self Care Apps For A Better You

 Calm

Having a mindfulness practice is something I incorporate into my daily life. Allowing me time to reflect in silence and simply be has made me an all around calmer person. With Calm, I'm able to enhance my mindfulness. They have the most beautiful sleep stories, meditation options, sounds, and music. Simply opening the app is relaxing with their beautiful visuals and soothing sounds. They have sessions for guided meditation, walking meditation, open-ended meditation or even topics such as stress, kindness, forgiveness, and so many others. As you meditate, Calm begins to compile a calendar for you so you can visual how often (or how seldom) you are incorporating meditation and calmness into your days. To keep you motivated, it even gives you the amount of time you've meditated, the amount of sessions you've done, and your longest day streak. For sleep, they have sounds you can play or even sleep stories to listen to. There's a melody called "Milky Way" and the tune is ethereal, otherworldly, and so calming it puts my son out within minutes and makes my eyes heavy as I lay down with him. There are so many amazing options within this app. It's perfect to add a little calm to our busy lives.

Headspace

Headspace, like Calm, is a meditation app. Headspace believes that meditation and mindfulness is a necessary to help relieve stress and anxiety while upping creativity and focus. Even if you've never meditated before, Headspace will guide you through it. If you're busy, they even have mini exercises you can do at any time that last anywhere from 1-3 minutes. If you're looking for something specific, they have sessions for anxiety, productivity, anger, regret, and more. A simple 10-minute meditation is a great beginner to start becoming more mindful and aware of oneself and Headspace allows you to do just that. 

Happify

Happiness relies on games and activities for emotional support and happiness. Each track within the app is science-based to help train your thoughts into positivity and reduce your stress and anxiety. Follow the tracks to help you acquire the skills you need to conquer the negative thoughts. Each track is different ranging from guided meditation to writing exercises. There is also an option to see your "skills" which is composed of five different ones: Savor, Thank, Aspire, Give, and Empathize. As you do the activities, those status bars begin to fill up. They also have a section that tells you "why it works" and the literature even has footnotes to links so you can read or research more. The app is great if you like science-backed apps, games, and positive thinking. It sounds like a lot but the app is user-friendly and extremely innovative for  online, personal mental health support. 

Grateful: Gratitude Journal

A gratitude journal will help focus on your appreciation for the things that matter most. It's easy for us to get caught up in the negative moments but it's important to remember the little things, the things that keep our heart beating and our laughter loud and our smile wide. Each journal session begins with a prompt to help guide your thoughts. You can use one of theirs or even create your own prompt. It also allows you to add a photo – maybe you took a photo of your kids that day or were really grateful for an amazing meal or attending an exciting event. When you want to go back and reflect, the app makes it easy by allowing you to view as a timeline or as a page. If you want to turn it into a physical journal, Grateful makes it easy to export as a PDF so you can always be reminded of what made and makes you grateful. 

All Trails

Love hiking? Well, this app helps you locate any and all trails (get it?) and even allows you to choose between length, difficulty, rating, location, and so forth and gives you detailed trail maps.  Not only that but you can favorite different trails to tackle in the future and find which ones are dog and kid friendly. When you find one and are ready to hit the trails, you can turn on your GPS and it'll follow you along the trail making sure you don't get lost. Connect with friends to share and find trail inspiration. Nothing beats the outdoors and this definitely ups the game to make your hikes even more exciting. 

Think Dirty

As you're shopping, scan barcodes of beauty products and Think Dirty will tell you how bad or good the ingredients. With almost 900,000 products, Think Dirty will tell you how good or toxic the ingredients are in the items you use daily. All you have to do is scan the barcodes of your beauty or personal care products and it'll let you know how "dirty" it is on their "dirty meter." It also lists off the ingredients for you so you can judge yourself. If you want, you can even save products for future shopping trips so you have your good and bad list on hand. The app also allows you to track your progress on limiting the bad products and will give you a score on toxic your bathroom shelf is. This app is great to keep you aware of what's going on your body. 

Stigma

1 in 4 people in the world will be affected by a mental or neurological disorder. Stigma is a mood journal that is meant to help relieve some of your suffering. It allows you to choose the mood you're currently feeling and then gives you a journal space to describe who/what/why/when/where/etc that may be attributing to how you're feeling. Not only that but as you set your moods, the app begins to generate a calendar for you so you can see how your mood rises and falls throughout time. Mental illness often focuses on the negative days and weeks you may be having but this app can show you the positives as well so you have a visual that the bad can and does pass. It also provides a community for those struggling with mental health and gives you "penpals" to connect to. 

Acorns

Saving and investing money can be a daunting task, but Acorns makes it easy by setting aside your spare change to grow your own personal wealth. Acorns syncs with your cards and rounds up the change from whatever purchases you make. So if you bought a coffee for $4.50, the app will invest $.40. The perk is – it seems so painless you'll never really notice it's gone but it'll all start adding up into a nice little savings in the long term. Don't knock off spare change and start investing it today with Acorns. 

These apps should not replace stepping away from technology and practicing mindfulness in a more "natural" fashion. However, these are great teachers to help us start somewhere and track our mental health. 

Whats your favorite self care app?