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WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND?

#lifestagesSpilled Cake

15 comments | July 9th, 2012

chestist threads

(by mir, from wouldashoulda.com) I was a very independent child. I can't swear that "Me do it MYSELF!" was my first sentence, but it certainly ranked up there, I'm guessing. I could do it myself. If I wanted it, I could make it happen. (Conversely, if I couldn't make it happen, probably I would have a tantrum. I'm not saying I was in any way more mature than others, just that I was stubborn and convinced of my own power.)

Of course, there were plenty of things I was not allowed to do or couldn't control. For the most part those things infuriated me, and so the things I could handle myself were all the sweeter, somehow, because of them. I yearned for mastery of my domain, though from my small child's point of view I just saw it as wanting to do it all myself, all the time.

It was probably no surprise to my mother the year I announced I wanted to make my own birthday cake, even though I think I couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 at the time. Not ...

Body Image Liberation

3 comments | June 28th, 2012

rising podos

(story submitted by Esia, a Chestist)

I've never liked my body.  My proportions are wrong, I'm usually a little overweight, and I seem stuck in a perpetual bad hair day.

Fashion has always been my way of hiding what I don't like and showing what I do.  It's been how I help myself feel prettier.  As you can imagine, summer has been a hard season because we begin to unwrap and the beach or the pool, sheer terror.  Until last weekend. 

We were in the Hamptons and at a beautiful cocktail party on the beach.  It was summer afternoon perfect.  The water is still freezing and so only a few people were crazy enough to go in, but everyone was running around or milling around in bathing suits and various stages of Hampton's elegant causal undress.  I felt like I was hiding, and that by hiding I was keeping myself from having fun that I should be having. I decided not to do that anymore.  Dropping my wrap and taking off my little sweater to get down just to my bathing suit was an odd ...

#chestismsHappier, Later. A Chestism.

12 comments | June 27th, 2012

chestismsmall

(submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

One of you wrote us with this.  It's so simple, true and important to remember:

Sometimes you have to do something that hurts now to be happy later. {end story}  

When have you had to do something that hurt now to be happier later?  Remember, if you share your story you can help change hers.

#thecumulativeeffectHBO’s “Girls” & Self-Entitlement: Do I Know How Lucky I Am?

4 comments | June 24th, 2012

chestist soup

(story submitted by Erin, a Chestist)

We don’t have HBO, or cable for that matter, so I’m a teeny bit behind the ball when it comes to television culture. But thanks to the bounty of blog posts and attention given to Girls, I feel like I know enough about the show that’s taken the media world by storm. Everywhere I click boasts the show’s success or criticizes its lack of diversity, which in turn allows me to offer my ten cents on a show I’ve never even seen. And thank God because when the happy hour/cocktail party/dinner conversations steer away from politics, engagements or graduations I feel a great sense of relief. I can contribute something to the conversation even if it’s about make-believe, overindulged, self-entitled, motivationally-challenged white women.

As it turns out, I have more in common with them than I would have guessed.  I shamefully caught a glimpse of former self while reading the exchange between one of the Girls characters and her parents, “I could be a drug addict. Do you realize how lucky you are? I mean, it doesn’t have to be heroin. It ...

#lifestagesI Am No Longer Comparing

5 comments | June 20th, 2012

change

(story submitted anonymously, by a 33 yo Chestist)

Sometimes what we see is not what we get.  Check out her story:

I was staring in the mirror.  Noting every flaw, every change, every thing I wished were different.  I was picking myself apart - more observationally than negatively, and wondering how what I had once been had become this 33 year-old version of me now, when I found myself saying "wow, you don't look very good."

Just as suddenly and actually taking me by surprise, I found myself saying "it is what it is and you are what you are."  And I smiled at my reflection, and walked away feeling pretty good about the me that I am and no longer comparing it to the me I used to be :-) {end story}

Truth, the happy ending here took us by delightful surprise.  How's about you, Chestists? What do you see when you look at you in the mirror?  However it makes you feel, why do you think you feel that way?   What needs to happen or change for you to feel (even) better?  Let's #discuss.   

#chestismsLessons Presented As Challenges

11 comments | June 14th, 2012

rising podos

(story submitted by Tara, a 21 yo Chestist) I want to be free. I feel like I'm sitting on a fence. I was born on that fence and realized I was there when I was 4. Now I want to jump off and run away. I just feel like it's time. I want to leave my old ways behind, my weed smoking, wall kicking, screaming, angry, scared self. I want to say "fuck you, thank you" to everything in my life that is a lesson presented as a challenge. Fucking pain in my body, lessons in my archive. I'm going to be fine, I just have to be patient. {end story}

Have you learned any lessons that were first presented as challenges? 

#lifestagesI Love Recovery

5 comments | June 4th, 2012

chestist threads

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

i love being in recovery; life without cutting and my eating disorder is so satisfying. I just want to tell everyone who is struggling how great it is, even though i had to gain weight i feel somewhat confident and my life isn't defined by how many cuts i have or how many pounds i lost. {end story}

We love a story of triumph in progress.  Did you know that 30% of HS girls have eating disorders?  Did you know something like 20+ million girls 8-18 self-harm?  Something crazy is going on when th numbers look like this...but let's never forget to celebrate the individual, lik eour writer, who rises above what's been to create what will be.  You ever been in recovery?  Know anyone who has?

What I Really Want

5 comments | June 1st, 2012

Mic

(story submitted by Anna, a 38 yo Chestist)

I'm completely bored out of my skull by my job and work. I sit here at this office all day long doing nothing. I let the work pile up all week and then power through it easily all in one day - in just a couple of hours. I get paid very well. I'm miserable.

Today I'm doing something about it. No, not quitting this job - yet. I'm here early today and will stay on top of all my tasks from now on so that I may make room for bettering myself, creating a plan for WHAT I REALLY WANT and using this huge amount of down time to my advantage.

I'm tired of being sad 40 hours a week, feeling like a paralyzed lobster in an ever-hotter pot of boiling water. {end story}

First, big ups to Anna for taking control of her happy.  Do you use your down time or do you stew in it (like a lobster)?  

Happy HatingFuck You, Voice!

9 comments | May 29th, 2012

cloudy talk burst

(story submitted by C, a 26 yo Chestist)

Even when things are going well, I can't just be happy.  Why is it so hard for me? Why do I take offense to everything? Why do I still believe this voice that tells me that I'm going to fuck everything up no matter how hard I try?

FUCK YOU, VOICE!!! I'm not going to take a fucking pill to make you go away. I'll just prove you wrong and defeat you like the little cowardly bitch that you are. Now if you'll excuse me, I have more important things to devote my time and energy to. {end story}

We all have that voice in our heads.  How do you shut yours up and out?

#bodiesEating Disorder

7 comments | May 26th, 2012

cloudy talk burst

(story submitted Anonymously, by a Chestist, on rewind)

I was never the fat girl, but I was never the thin girl either. I wasn't the ugliest girl, but I was far from attracting the attention and admiration of anyone either. I had flaws, but I wasn't a flaw. And this is how I felt during my years as a teenager.

I went through puberty at a very early age. Nine years old to be exact. I always felt special-- being the tallest, being the biggest. But those feelings changed once I entered middle school and learned thin was in.

I continued to gain weight a grow, and by seventh grade I was 5'3" and 150 lbs. No one ever said to my face that I was fat. I only felt that I was because I was surrounded by prepubescent girls and t.v. shows like America's Next Top Model, that praised and glamorized size 0 bodies. And growing up in a home with a constantly dieting mother and Barbie Dolls to play with, I knew I should have been thinner.

And to be honest, I could have eaten healthier and ...

#chestismsMy Thoughts Manifest

9 comments | May 10th, 2012

astronauts

(Story by ERF, a Chestist)

Our thoughts make our world, I've always believed this.  I think I read online recently that worrying is like praying for something bad to happen and it really resonated for me.  I've been making it a habit to focus my mind as I get in bed at night on how grateful I am, on all the things and people I have to appreciate, and to set an intention for peace of mind, and an abudance of health, wealth, and happiness.  I don't know if I can actually manifest these thoughts but it's a nice way to end a day even if not. (end story}

What do you guys think?  How does (or can) what you think affect how you feel and what you do and can become?  Do you ever set intentions for yourself, your day, or anything?

(P.S. we decided to illustrate this story with astronauts, as an ode to the intention set by President Kennedy when he said "we will put a man on the moon in the next decade."  Turns out we did)

#chestismsSmacked In The Inner Eye

26 comments | April 26th, 2012

rising podos

(story submitted by Leona Mizrahi, a chestist)

We ran this amazing story just last week ~ but we got hacked (hacked, I say, hacked) when it was up.  So in case you missed it then, here it is again. 

Before I got married, I thought I knew everything about spirituality and manifestation. Hoisting my self-realization flag in my late 20’s allowed me to manifest all of my sugar coated desires in my early 30’s: my job, my man, my marriage, and our home without a white picket fence.

Surprisingly at 31, I began to feel a spiritual buzz kill. I was disconnected from myself. My inner peace dulled. I was emotionally paralyzed. In moments of despair all of the tools that once cured moments of frustration as a single girl, no longer worked for me as a married young woman. Um, not happily ever after? Ultimate confusion set in.

My debut spiritual journey taught me to ditch toxic relationships and behaviors, meditate to clarity, and allow life to unfold. I had done ‘the work’. Life was unfolding… but my spark was diminishing. What the what!?

Seeking to reignite my ...

#thecumulativeeffectSadness

6 comments | April 16th, 2012

sadness

(by OOC)

One of the best pieces of parenting advice we ever got was this.  You know when a baby cries?  Let the baby know crying is okay.  Don't try and shoosh away what the child is feeling.  Let them feel it.

Most of us, pick them up anbd gently start ricking them and shooshing them and saying something like "oh, don't cry.  Don't be sad, baby, it's going to be okay."

Why do we do that?  Why not let the baby cry and be sad on their way to being happier and feeling more better?  It's like we're demonizing an inevitable part of our emotional lives.  Sadness isn't bad, it's sad.  We all feel sad, we all will feel sad, and while hopefully we won't spend a lot if time in that space, we often don't give oursleves the permission to spend any time there.  Why is that?

How do you deal with sadness in your life?  How do you work your way throught it and past it ~ or don't you?  Do you let yourself feel all your emotions, or do you try and compartmentalize ...

Blindfold – Celebrating Change And The People Making It.

3 comments | March 21st, 2012

change

We've watched with about 100 million others as Joseph Kony became a villian whose name and crimes we all know in a week's time...and then in the next breath, we watched how so many sought to tear down the people at Invisible Children for not being enough-enough.  Change, it don't come easy (you heard it here first!).  Whether it's personal, societal, on scales big or small.  Those of us interested in change, in rejecting a portfolio of status-quos that no longer serve the individual or collective interests (in our opinions, of course) need stand and band together.  We need to stop fighting with each other over our disagreements and start supporting each other over our commonalities.  We are all in this together - like it or don't.

Yup.  You, me, Newt, Mitt, Rick, Barack, Hillary, Gloria, Sheryl, Alexis and Emily, your neighbor, the person next to you on the bus, in class, at work, on a plane, around the world in a small village in China and the Congo and outside London....all of us, together.  And so we're happy to help celebrate a new magazine, Blindfold, that is celebrating the ...

#bodiesNo Such Thing As Balance

8 comments | March 14th, 2012

ying yang

(story by OOC via psychcentral.com, first posted 8.29.11 and again now))

We bumped into this on our travels around the interwebs, really loved it, and thought you would too.  Here you go:

"I interviewed  a researcher about attaining a work-life balance. Her first words to me were: There’s no such thing as balance.

And trying to reach a so-called balance is akin to reaching perfection. In other words, it’s not going to happen, and we’re going to drive ourselves insane along the way..."

No here's where the article get's really interesting and provocative (to us, anyway).  The author, a body image blogger, begins to explore balance in the context of body image.  We dig her take...a lot.  Here she goes:

But when people say balance, I think what they typically mean is a happy medium or not residing on either side of the spectrum. At least that’s the way I view balance.  With body image, I see a deeply negative body image at one end of the spectrum – where you hate your body, ignore its signals and rarely look after it – and an unrealistically positive ...

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