Turtles…my favorite of all animals. I especially love sea turtles.  There is something about them that makes me smile. We share a kindred spirit I think.
Yesterday a friend posted the quote in the photo and it really struck a chord with me.
I have never felt at ease in my own shell. I have always tried to be something or someone else. I have always tried to do more and make everyone happy. It was not until recently, ok a few years ago, when I started coaching Girls on the Run that I had to be me. I had to set an example. I had to learn to be at ease in my own shell if I wanted the girls to do the same. Funny thing was that they were already comfortable with who they were. They made no excuses. They lived out loud and had fun and just wanted others to do the same. There were some times when the girls had a bad day here or there but for the most part they all knew that they were different and beautiful and talented…it was only a matter of time before society and the world would change the perception they had of themselves.
I realized that it was up to me to fill their toolbox with all that they would need to fend off these changes. It was up to me to make sure that the girls never lost the belief that they were strong and smart and talented. I grew up not knowing my knowing or owning my gifts and talents. I spent years trying to achieve someone else’s vision of beauty.  I spent years being something I was not….being what others thought I should be.
It was not until my 40’s that I learned the lessons my girls were learning. Be who you are. Be your own kind of amazing. Be you. I was learning with my girls. I was learning to be at ease in my own shell.
I wrote about envy and body image in a post a few years back and it was good to revisit it. I am so much more at ease in my own shell these days. I am happy with who I am, what I look like, and how I act. I am not perfect nor the most beautiful creature on the planet. But I have a strong shell that protects me. I have a soft inside that is filled with love. I am move forward at my own pace….slow.  I have a long neck that I stick out there for others. I am smart and always return home. I am a survivor and like the turtle, have longevity.
After years of being a chameleon, I have become a turtle… ease in my own shell.  Peace.

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