Published on March 29th, 2012 | by Paz11
Stripping my fear and showing some cleavage!
Who knew traveling abroad with my family could make me go this far….it feels great! Part of our adventure is the adventure itself, but if read Why we moved to China, you would know that it isn’t just about the adventure as much as it is starting to live the life we want NOW and not later.
I recently read an amazing book Strip off Your Fear by Betsy Talbot and it is my inspiration for this post and my stripping. I have to say I have had the pleasure of having a few Skype calls with her and Warren and they are an amazing and inspiring couple that I hope to spend more time with.
After reading this book I decided that I would share my fears and cleavage with you so that you might read the book and also strip your fear and even show some cleavage…or not. What ever you like.
For the past 10 years I have made some decisions for the wrong reasons. Anytime I started doing things for myself…it got hard and I admit that I gave up and returned to my old ways of doing, liking, and feeling the way other people wanted me to feel or how I perceived they wanted me to feel.
When we decided to China we got a lot of mixed responses and the people we thought would be supportive weren’t always and the people we thought would be the least supportive were more supportive. It was hard for me to deal with. Many people thought it was some early-life crisis that I was going through, some thought I was selfish, and some thought I was just plain disrespectful and crazy. They were all right. I had realized that the path my life was going in was no longer what I wanted so I changed it 180 degrees. I was being selfish. I finally started thinking about what I wanted and what was best for me and not worrying about what they thought. I was being disrespectful before and now I was respecting myself. I am crazy, crazy about the world and crazy excited about what I feel there is out there for me. It is an amazing feeling once you realize the world is at your fingertips.
A lot of times I hear praises about what we have done and how blessed we are to have this experience. They are right we are very blessed and say our Thanks every day. But what people don’t realize is that it is more about concurring my fear and insecurities and focusing on my God given right to be me!
In reading Strip Off Your Fear the biggest revelation that I had was that when I get frustrated with other people (especially those closest to us) it mostly has to do with my own issues and not theirs. It isn’t always about me!!! Hard to believe right??!! For example….
When Zeek is 20 minutes late to something it isn’t because he hates my friends and doesn’t care about spending time with people that are important to me!!!….it is because he was late! I am always jumping to it being about ME. Granted…should he be better about time? YES! However I knew that when I married him. I forget that he does special things for my friends, helps out all the time, always goes out with me and my friends and if I want a girls night out he never complains about having to take care of two kids. I throw all that out the window and jump to the conclusion that his 20 minutes late is some sort of “hate Paz” conspiracy. hello Light Bulb…it is not about me.
Strip Off Your Fear also made me realize that when people are negative towards my life it normally has nothing to do with “my” decisions and is more of them realizing they are not living their dream. So they take out their frustrations on “ME” instead of admitting that they really want to quit their job and start a magazine or have always wanted to be a dancer. Instead they say how irresponsible I am being. I have to realize this and not take it personally. As long as I know that my marriage is strong and my children are loved and taken care of that is the most important thing. Those are my number 1 jobs and the rest is gravy….or so it may seem.
My cleavage! My cleavage has been a topic of conversation since the second grade. It has been brought up in interviews and has been something that I am actually quite conscience about…until 6 months ago. I have no problem with my over sized boozums. After two children and breast feeding I do wish they were closer to my shoulders than my hips…but hey what can you do. I now have realized that if people feel my cleavage needs to be a topic of conversation then it is of much more importance to them than it is to me. I like v-necks and YES I am going to wear them. I think having my cleavage evenly tanned looks nice and don’t mind if you see it, just please look at my eyes when we talk…if you don’t mind. You can stare when we finish our conversation. Again it has more to do with them than me. It isn’t my fault they can’t control themselves and I shouldn’t have to limit my clothing being YOU can’t control yourself…this goes for both men and woman. lol
Stripping off my fear!! Here are my fears for you to hear and I hope that in me stripping off any layer of protection you thought I had you now realize that I am just like you, however I have begun to conquer my fear and so can you.
- I will fail
- What will people think if I fail
- I don’t want to disappoint people
- I won’t be popular
- My friends won’t agree
- No one will understand
- No one will like me
- I won’t fit in
- I don’t have enough money
- Wish I could change 1 thing about myself
- I am not a good mother
- I don’t look good enough
- Not thin enough
- I am not smart enough
- I don’t have enough determination
Okay so this is what use to run through my head probably 10-20 times a day. I would think these things in the bathroom, as I watched Oprah, as I day dreamed about who I could be, as I browsed jobs, and while buying clothes….oh yes especially while buying clothes!!
So what are my realizations?! Here they are folks.
- Why will I fail? Would I say that to my daughter…why can’t I want for myself what I would want for her? I might fail…but I will learn in that process and guess what I did it and isn’t that a more important lesson to teach her. To try and have faith in yourself. Guess what my next project might fail…I know for 100% it won’t go as planned, but what does? Why not take those same risks with something that matters to you? When was the last time your day at the office went just as you expected? A day in trying to work towards your dream is no different….except it is what you want to be doing.
- This was the worst for me. I was so afraid of failing not for the fact of failing but of what people would think. “I told you so” was the worst for me. I wanted to show everyone that I could do it. However in our first 10 days in China we did fail….terribly, but it wasn’t us that failed it was the plan. So we had to remake our plan and try again. That lesson was the best, it made us realize the power of will and determination against any obstacle…even being homeless and jobless in China.
- I have been a people pleaser all my life. I always wanted to make people happy. However when I was making everyone else happy I was miserable. When I told them what I was doing was making me miserable they said then why are you doing it? Great question!!! The people you are trying to please only want you to be happy they don’t want you to please them….that is your true supporters and friends.
- “I won’t be popular” Not among them you won’t! You won’t be popular among a crowd that doesn’t share your passion for life…but don’t fear there is a whole crowd out there that you will be popular among and they make you feel great!!! You just have to find them. Surrounding yourself with people who inspire you to be a better person is the key.
- “My friends won’t agree” I had to let go of some friends in my drastic life/being change. It was hard and I wish them the best of luck with their lives and their en devours. However they were not good for me. They didn’t support my life and really only wanted me to be there to support theirs. So they had to go. Take a look at your group of friends and see who is there to make you a better person. Those are your true friends and they will be so happy to see you reach the stars and become the person you want to be.
- “No one will understand” Yes, I understand! There is a whole community of people out there that have realized that becoming who you were meant to be is so important.
- “No one will like me” You start liking yourself more and more and that is a great feeling and it sprinkles into your relationships, your diet, your mood, your soul. Kindred spirits are out there and you will find them! Think about it, even if you bumped into someone in the street if you are pretending to be someone you don’t want to be how would they know to connect with you? You have to start walking the walk and talking the talk to attract people that feel the same way.
- “I won’t fit in” You will! I like you!!
- “I don’t have enough money” Don’t worry so much about the money. Focus on how you want to feel and you will start to find opportunities to make extra money. Also when you feel better about yourself you are smarter with your money because you don’t need to use it to make yourself feel better. I was working a job I “HATED”, but Zeek and I were making very good money. Then we made the decision that money wasn’t important it was us being happy. I took a $20,000 pay cut over night to accept a job that I enjoyed in a great company. We were able to save more money. Our family was happier and we didn’t need to use our money to fulfill ourselves.
- “Wish I could change 1 thing about myself” Some days I wish I could change 10 things about me, but instead of thinking about those things I think about what I have and am thankful for things…like my short legs and stubby fingers. They are mine and I love them!!
- “I am not a good mother” I wake up everyday ready to try again! If I feel that I messed up I wipe it away and try again. I am not perfect and my kids know I love them. What I want them to know even more is that I am trying to be a good mom. Showing up and giving it your all is what matters.
- “I don’t look good enough” I am alive and well…that is good enough for me! Also with living a life that is fulfilling I no longer have to feed myself every 10 minutes. Weight doesn’t stick like it use to and I have embraced my muffin top. Love it people!
- “Not thin enough” It isn’t about being thin…really it isn’t! It is about being happy. Once you have released your fears and take on every day your weight isn’t an issue. Try it!
- “I am not smart enough” I am smart enough because guess what I am going to use every bit of brain power left to try and figure it out. Who said I wasn’t smart enough? Some person that doesn’t know the true me? Why are they the expert? That is my insecurities talking and not my powerful stripping self. You bet ya! In stripping their is no room for not being smart because you ARE!!!
- “I don’t have enough determination” I still worry about if I can do something. What if I don’t have what it takes? What if I just can’t do it? If you surround yourself with the right people and start taking leaps you realize you can do it! Those people that told you that you couldn’t were talking about their own insecurities more than your abilities.
I have realized all of this and I am ready now to strip in front of you all. Here are some facts about Paz! Do this exercise for yourself! Write down what you want and be truthful there are no right or wrong answers.
- I don’t want a corporate job 60 hour a week job. I like working on many jobs and having a bit of a crazy schedule. I like freelance work. I enjoy working for someone else and myself at the same time. I also like my independent projects.
- I like waking up early and do my best work in the morning.
- I love food, but need to focus on food that makes me feel good. I love sushi!!
- I don’t like heels! I find them very uncomfortable.
- I love mini-skirts!
- I enjoy teaching and talking to people about a lot of topics.
- I like dancing to good music…I don’t care who is watching!
- I am blessed with an amazing supportive husband who is quite sexy!
- My kids drive me crazy and I love them terribly all the time.
- I like having my kids around and love experiencing new things with them, but also love it when they go to sleep on time!!
- Finding a supportive group of friends has been so important and is directly related to our success.
- Doing things for the right reason is important. If you want to start a business so you can get rich quick and make money off of someone else…I am sorry you aren’t going to be truly happy.
- I don’t like shaving my legs all the time. I am hairy people…if it doesn’t bother Zeek than it shouldn’t bother you either.
- I am not perfect nor special. I am me! That is all I try to be every day. Tomorrow could be different, but I am going to try and focus on today!
The best thing is that this is what I want today! Guess what next year could be totally different and it is okay. It doesn’t mean I don’t know what I am doing, it only means that I am following what feels good today and not waiting for tomorrow.
So in Thailand I stripped and bought my first bikini in almost 10 years. I won’t lie, our new lifestyle and diet has helped me shed about 35 lbs…but more importantly because I love bikinis and haven’t worn one because I thought I wasn’t ________ enough. Think of any word…I know I have thought it.
My stomach still jiggles when I walk and there are a million of other things I can list off that I still wish were a little different…but guess what it is me and it felt so good to just let it all go and be proud of who I am today with no regrets and full of Thanks and Joy!
This picture is less about how my look has changed to how I think you can see my spirit has changed. Feeling better about who I am!
I hope that everyone gets the message but more importantly that my little girl understands that I don’t want her to be anything other than herself and she should never be embarrassed or unsure of who she is. I love her just as God made her and hope to nurture her and her dreams for as long as I can.
Buy your copy of Strip Off Your Fear! I hope to see you strip really soon too!