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How To Learn To Love Your Body: Forget Societal Standards

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The women behind the body positive movement.

Learning to love your body can be an incredible feat. The older we get, the harder it seems to be to keep up with societal standards. Aging can come with a variety of side effects that cause us to feel inferior. Fashion magazines sport images of extremely thin figures whose bodies have gone through the Photoshop machine one too many times. Stretch marks, cellulite, wrinkles, freckles and more are digitally removed to show an image of what makes perfection. We flip through the pages and sigh as we view what we’ve been brainwashed to believe is admirable.

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But while there are plenty of stories of models being told their already svelte bodies are too big for runways and actresses that they’re too big for parts (not to mention the silent operation of removing flaws with technology), there is an incredible movement happening that seeks to provide awareness of this problem, and to move past it entirely, living in a world where all bodies of all shapes and sizes and with many different “flaws” are considered normal.

Taking a Stand

What we need in our world is people to look up to; to be the change we seek to see. When people take a stand against over-editing, against being called too fat or too skinny, amongst a number of other insults, it’s a powerful thing.

As a content researcher, I have been incredibly inspired lately by the amount of people fighting back. While it seems that no time has been wasted in dishing out detrimental comments in the form of bullying, online or otherwise, it seems that many people are coming forward in hopes that their experiences, and their feelings on the matter, can make a change.

The Fighters

Having a voice in today’s world is much easier than it ever used to be. Social media has created a plethora of platforms to make this happen. And while the harsh comments continue to roll in, so do the fighters; those who refuse to let anyone or anything decide what is right for them and their body. Here are five to feel inspired by.

1. Megan Ellis and Taryn Sisco

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These fitness instructors stand up to body shaming.
Photo: Today

These ladies are the co-managers of Barre East Fitness Studio. They received a disheartening newspaper clipping in the mail. The studio had recently been featured in a local newspaper, so when Ellis came upon the piece of mail, she assumed it was a friend congratulating them. To her dismay, it was something far less kind. What the ladies did receive was their clipping covered in hateful messages. “You are fat, bordering on obese,” wrote one comment pointing to Ellis.  “You are overweight,” wrote another comment pointing to Taryn.

This is how the duo responded:

Standing up to body shaming.

Photo: Self

2. Kate Allan

This illustrator came out with a series of GIFS this fall to promote self-love and body positivity in a time when we need it most, and when people are willing to listen the most. Her animated illustrations feature women of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Each illustration comes complete with a beautiful message. From “I am amazing just as I am!” to “Confidence looks good on you!” and “The number on the scale does not define me,” they represent an inspiring and innovative way to promote the beauty of self-love.

Kate Allan's message about body positivity.

“I think it’s important for women to appreciate everything that’s beautiful about themselves,” Allan said to The Huffington Post. “What’s often represented in the media is a very narrow interpretation of beauty — thin, long legs, glowing skin. And while it’s obvious why that’s attractive, that archetype isn’t the only beauty worth noting and flaunting.”

3. Sjana Earp

This Australian model, vlogger, and Instagram sensation has quite a few followers listening to and watching her every word and movement as she trots the globe and dishes out advice. But being in the spotlight comes with a price, especially when social media is your main source of representing yourself career wise. When you’re a social media influencer, you’re allowing yourself to be exposed to intense scrutiny from others. But that doesn’t make it okay, and when Sjana was sick of receiving countless comments on social media that called her too skinny, gross, or even told her she needed to eat a sandwich, she decided to stand up for both herself and for anyone else who may be dealing with a similar situation.
Models fights back against body shamers.

“I am so much more than a body — I know that. I am not defined by numbers OR by other peoples opinions of me,” she captioned an Instagram photo. “And the body I have, as imperfect or ‘skinny’ or ‘gross’ as people may think it is, is MY imperfect body. And I am happy with it despite their irrelevant opinions.. My imperfect body helps me to move, travel, explore, play, and even hug people.. To me, that makes it beautiful. My body is natural and unmanipulated – that to me means that nothing about it can be ‘wrong’… We don’t look at a landscape and criticise the shape of a valley or the size of a mountain do we? So why are we so quick to judge other natural things like the human figure?”

4. Chrissy Teigen

Celebrity stands up to body shaming.
Source: A Plus
Chrissy Teigen is a famous model, a TV show co-host, and wife to singer John Legend. Being in the spotlight like she is comes with a lot of pressure to look a certain way. But this beauty isn’t afraid to show her ‘flaws.’ Earlier this year, Teigen shared an image of herself on Instagram that would do much more than have fans hitting the ‘like’ button and moving on. The image, which focused on her stretch marks, came with a caption that read: “Bruises from bumping kitchen drawer handles for a week. Stretchies say hi!” The response was overwhelming, with women from all walks of life posting similar photos with the incredibly empowering hashtag #LoveYourLines.
5. Rachele Cateyes
This is artist stands up to body shaming.

Rachele Cateyes is an artist, author, and activist who, as a visual artist, creates drawings surrounding the theme of body positivity. Her images range from slightly sweet to bravely blunt.

This is artist stands up to body shaming.
Source: Buzzfeed
This is artist stands up to body shaming.
Source: Buzzfeed

One of her biggest messages is that bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and just because one might be bigger than the other doesn’t mean they can’t both practice healthy living. “By just existing as fat people, we are told that we’re glorifying or promoting obesity. We are harassed under the guise of ‘being concerned for our health,’ ” the artist began. “The reflex is to explain how ‘good’ we actually are. We engage in healthy behaviors, have loving partners, and will somehow earn the right to be humans.”

There are, undoubtedly, people of all shapes, sizes, and career paths taking part in this body positivity movement in a variety of ways. The overall hope seems to be that we will find a healthy way to view ourselves and each other. What do you think of this movement, and are there any people who inspire you most?

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Awareness

Why Vegan and not Vegetarian? Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hanh Answers The Question

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hanh explains why he chooses not to consume any meat or dairy products, and points towards the overwhelmingly cruel food industry.

  • Reflect On:

    What gives us the right to torture animals, steal their babies, abuse them simply for our consumption? Where is our compassion, morality and empathy? Have we been made and brainwashed to believe that it's ok?

The most heartbreaking thing to see and to witness is an innocent benevolent being getting tortured and suffering. This is the realty of eating animal products today. Billions of animals are raised for slaughter every single year, and the overwhelmingly large majority of them go through horrific and terrifying experiences. It’s hard to imagine how anybody could eat or wear the clothes of diseased animals knowing what they went through. It’s also hard to believe that anybody who does eat or purchase products that have used animals in their manufacturing process would do that kind of “labour” themselves.

The truth is that many people still don’t know what these beings are going through. It’s absolutely heartbreaking, immoral, and unethical. Morality, empathy, and love are all emotions that need to return to planet Earth, and as long as we have multiple industries exploiting animals, that can’t happen.

If you’re unaware of what these animals are going through on a daily basis, a recent PETA investigation on two of the world’s top cashmere exporters revealed extreme cruelty, including the violent killing of cashmere goats. You can read more about it and see some footage of that here, if you’re interested.

You can view more examples of graphic footage in the trailer of “The Buddha Bowl,” a documentary in the making featuring personalities and some of the most influential and renowned spiritual leaders from all over the world sharing their perspectives on veganism. These include viewpoints from Buddha himself and from spiritual leaders from the past and present, totalling about 30 interviews on animal rights, environmental issues and health.

One of the people in that documentary is Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who is recognized as a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist. The video below is not part of the documentary listed above, but from an interview taken a few years ago at a conference.

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Are We Even Designed To Eat Meat?

There is no doubt our world is becoming more awake, aware, and compassionate. Millions of people around the world have transitioned towards a plant-based diet. This represents the kind of compassion and empathy our world needs more of, and this diet can do nothing but benefit human health, the planet, and the animals.

It’s no secret that eating meat and animal products is destroying the Earth, as clearing land for animal grazing and slaughter is one of the leading causes of deforestation, and factory farms are an environmental disaster.

More people are also starting to become aware of plant-based diets and their health benefits.

A recent study conducted by researchers in California and France found that meat protein is associated with a very sharp increased risk of heart disease, while protein from nuts and seeds is actually beneficial for the human heart. The study is titled “Patterns of plant and animal protein intake are strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality: The Adventist Health Study-2 cohort,”

It’s one of many studies that’ve emerged over the years showing the benefits of plant-based diets and their ability to reverse diseases. On the other hand, many studies published have shown how the consumption of meat has the exact opposite effect.

Below is a clip from a recent CETV episode where CE founder Joe Martino and I go into the discussion a little deeper, with a specific focus on plant-based protein compared to meat protein. If interested, you can watch the full episode here by signing up for your free trial. CETV is a platform that we created to combat the censorship we’ve experienced over the past couple of years.

I also go into this type of discussion, if you’re interested in reading about it, in an article I recently published: “Another Study Suggests Humans Are Not Designed To Eat Meat.”

The Takeaway

Human beings are born with compassion and empathy. What we are doing to animals on our planet today, and how many continue to ignore it and be unaffected by it, is simply as a result of mass brainwashing and marketing by big food corporations. The truth is that we’ve been taught to ignore it, we’ve been taught to believe that it’s OK and it’s our right to do this to others who share the planet with us. No child would ever stand for such a thing unless they were taught to do so. It’s the same thing as racism, we are not born with it, we are taught it. I urge all those who are reading this to do their research into where the vast majority of our food and clothes are coming from, watch what these animals are going through, look into their eyes and and feel what they are feeling.

The ability to feel and understand the emotions of others, animal or human, is a HUGE and VITAL step towards creating a better world and a better overall human experience.

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Alternative News

Marianne Williamson Admits “The System Is More Corrupt Than I Knew”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Marianne Williamson stated in an interview on Fox and Friends that she did not realize the political system was as corrupt as it is.

  • Reflect On:

    This is an important revelation of how leaders often don't quite see the full truth of our system at hand. Through them and their experience, we can learn a lot about what is truly going on. Is it time to let go of the systems we have?

About a week ago Marianne Williamson told the New Yorker, I know this sounds naïve, but I didn’t think the left was so mean. I didn’t think the left lied like this.” In a segment I did on CETV, I discussed the fact that Williamson is doing a great job of bringing a bit more of a conscious conversation into the mix here, which is very important, but seems to not quite understand what politics is really about and how things function in our world.

In my article about this statement I stated:

Some have suggested that Marianne already knows these truths, and she may, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she is only uncovering these things now. I say this as I belong to a group that communicates regularly that contains many high profile conscious industry leaders like Williamson and other big authors, speakers etc. Many of them are great with spirituality but seem to struggle to see how politics truly functions. I have witnessed this first hand and this is why I’m so passionate about what I do as I feel bringing together both personal transformation and hard truth is imperative.

Some felt that my analysis was off and that Williamson is just ‘playing naive,’ but to me, this did not feel true nor did it seem to be the case. While some might view this as an unimportant detail, it’s very important as for society to truly begin to shift we must not only personally transform but also realize the true nature of the world we live in.

As outlined in the CE Protocol, the formula I built to help awaken and shift the masses, the very first step is Breaking The Illusion about our programmed reality and understand what’s truly going on. From there, personal transformation becomes key.

Williamson Admits She Was Unaware

Here we are a week later and Williamson has stated what I observed in my previous segment, she did not quite realize how corrupt our political system truly is. In an interview on Fox and Friends Williamson stated:

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“I would say that I feel that I’ve learned that the system is even more corrupt than I knew and people are even more wonderful than I hoped,

I want to state this isn’t about picking on anyone as much as it is about understanding the importance behind seeing the full picture of the change that needs to take place here. For 10 years now I have built CE to include both personal transformation and truth seeking for the reason that either one of those topics on their own doesn’t create the change we all know is possible in our hearts.

I’ve seen many ‘spiritual leaders’ still deeply support the dysfunctional nature of our systems because they believe there is truth to them when in reality they belong to a consciousness we are shifting away from.

Our political system is built and exists within a system designed for a very limited state of consciousness, some call this 3D consciousness. The goal isn’t to shift our political system, it’s to let it go. Collectively we are shifting and the new state of consciousness emerging doesn’t support the political system at hand. Hence why the chaos around it is increasing, because it’s acting as a mirror for us to see how it doesn’t resonate with our emerging consciousness.

It’s like trying to install Windows on a Mac or vice versa, the systems aren’t designed for the operating system. Humanity is faced with a challenge of ‘letting go of the old,’ not trying to fix the old.

In a brand new segment of The CE Show I did on YouTube and CETV, I discuss Marianne’s latest comments and what I feel we all must realize as we move forward in this journey of shifting ourselves and our world.

The CE Show airs multiple times per week on CETV. Membership proceeds from CETV go towards supporting our journalism and future broadcasts. You can start a free 7 day trial here.

The Takeaway

I feel that we have become addicted to the systems of a state of consciousness that we are moving away from. The choice is up to us, we stop resisting and holding onto things of the old, move through the process of watching these old systems fall away, or we continue to fight tooth and nail under the belief that we must hold up the old systems, and suffer along the way.

Ask yourself within, do you truly feel that this is about changing our current political system to be more open and evolved? Or is it about letting go of the rigidity of our current systems and creating new ones that are birthed from a  new state of consciousness, not one that is centuries old…

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Consciousness

Full Moon In Pisces: Navigating Ideals

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We are having a Full Moon in Pisces which will be exact at 4:33am Universal Time on September 14th 2019. It will appear the fullest on the night of the 13th for most of the world and on the night of the 14th for the Far East, Australia, and New Zealand.

This is the peak of the Lunar cycle which began two weeks prior with a New Moon in Virgo. The energies of it build up as the Moon increases its light and are strongest in the days before and after. However, it will still be a part of the backdrop over the following two weeks.

Full Moon’s are a period in which we feel a push-pull between two opposing signs, in this case being the Moon in Pisces and Sun in Virgo. It can reflect either a conflict or integration of both signs. We can feel this opposition happening individually within us and/or we can also experience it play out around us with some people (or circumstances) expressing the Virgo side and others expressing the Pisces side.

Pisces is associated with sensitivity, compassion, creativity, and oneness. It is spiritually conductive, mystical, energy oriented, dreamy, flowy, imaginative, idealistic, and empathic. Negatively, it can be delusional, lazy, intoxicated, deceptive, confused/confusing, elusive, flaky, and lack critical thinking. Pisces energy is the least compatible with the mundane world and is associated with escapism in its many forms.

Virgo is about productivity, duties, service, physical health, cleanliness, and purity. It is organized, conscientious, skillful, diligent, efficient, analytical, detailed, and practical. Negatively, Virgo energy can also be overly critical, too cautious, fault-finding, irritable, discriminating, and overly perfectionist.

Full Moon Aligned with Neptune in T-Square with Jupiter and Mars

This Full Moon is close to Neptune which has many of the same qualities of Pisces that were mentioned above. It is viewed as a modern ruler of that sign and it amplifies its energies even more so during this period. Neptune is also associated with glamour, romance, and addiction. It has a dissolving, flooding, and watery energy that doesn’t comprehend boundaries.

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Neptune is completing its last of three squares with Jupiter in Sagittarius which will be exact on September 21st and will be strong into the following week. It began last January and peaked again this past June. At best, this can be an expansive period in a spiritual, creative, or compassionate way.

However, it can also be a time of confusion or lack of discernment around beliefs, ideologies, education, and teachers. It can also be a time in which we become aware of us being like that previously. We can be more excessive when it comes to how we express Piscean/Neptunian energies mentioned above.

At the time of the Full Moon, Mars in Virgo is also involved in this configuration along with the opposition of the Sun and Moon, forming a T-square aspect. This can be good for asserting ourselves towards our ideals or with a different Jupiter-Neptune approach (mentioned above). However this can also make our actions scattered, less assertive/direct, and make it harder to apply ourselves with practicality.

Full Moon Sextile Pluto Near Saturn and South Node, Saturn Going Direct

This Full Moon is in a tight sextile with Pluto which is near Saturn and the South Node. This could trigger some of the themes of the previous Lunar Eclipse (that is still reflecting this period) in a more harmonious way. Purging aspects of our past that are getting in the way of us moving forward. This can help to facilitate empowerment through some sort of release or transformation.

Saturn will be finishing its retrograde on September 18th and will move towards its final conjunction with the South Node which will peak at the end of the month and early October. This energy was also strong in mid Spring and part of it in early Summer.

Saturnian themes get amplified and we can be dealing with limitations, obstacles, restrictions, or perhaps issues around boundaries. We may feel a need to make changes around responsibilities, commitments, career, and structures in our lives. Similarly to the last Lunar Eclipse, there can be a sort of ending playing out around how an area of our lives is being expressed.

Full Moon Opposing Mercury and Venus Conjunction As They Change Signs

At the time of this Full Moon, Mercury and Venus are in a conjunction at the very end of Virgo, (Mercury’s sign). They will then be moving into Libra (Venus’ sign) in the hours following with the Full Moon triggering after it begins to wane.

This can be a time of heightened interactions, catching up with friends and other relationships. While it is in Virgo it could lean more towards its themes connected to work, service, fault finding, etc. For some people there can be a feeling of some sort of urgency.

After this conjunction moves into Libra, especially a day after the Full Moon,  it becomes more pleasant, social, and creative. Our interactions can be more harmonious, diplomatic, and less critical. We can more easily see both sides to something, find balance, and a great time to discuss relationship matters.

As a result of both of these planets transitioning near the same time, some people may experience some sort of significant shift in other areas of their lives within a few days following the Full Moon.

Things To Consider During This Period

How can you better balance the mundane aspects of life with your ideals, creativity, or spirituality? How have your beliefs been impacted this year and what is the conclusion to your experiences? Is it possible that you may have been confused about some aspects of newly or previously acquired perspectives?

What themes are coming up for you now that have been playing out since last April? What do you need to release? What changes do you need to make when it comes to your work, responsibilities, commitments, structures, or boundaries?
These are just some examples of what could come up during this period; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out. If you wish to do any sort of intentional release connected to what has come up at this Full Moon, it is best to do so anytime after the peak of the Full Moon when it begins to wane until the next New Moon in two weeks. The exact moment of this Full Moon is on September 14th at 4:33am Universal Time. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

Follow me on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, and YOUTUBE for more astrology related content.

astrology, astrology readings, carmen di luccio

Looking for astrological insight into what is going on in your life? Or perhaps looking to better understand your life and its potentials? Get a personalized astrology reading with Carmen (author of this article) specific to you based on your exact birth date, time, and location. Click here for more information or to order. 

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