I love the dimple on the right side of my face. My dad has one in the same spot. So does my Grandmother; it makes me feel connected to them.
I love the freckles painted all over my body. They remind me of the stars. I used to draw lines and make constellations out of them when I was little — sometimes I still do.
I love my long fingers and wrists. As a 5’ 10 athlete they have always felt like the most feminine part of me.
I love my strong legs. Each step they rub together I am thankful. Grateful to have a healthy body that can practice yoga, hike, run down subway stairs, and cliff jump into the cold ocean water. It’s a gift I know not everyone has.
I love my tenacity — if I have an idea, or if there’s something I want… I go for it.
For example… in 5th grade I decided I wanted to play tennis in college on a full scholarship. Eight years later my mom packed dropped me off at school to play D1 tennis.
These things may seem to spill out of my mouth with ease. But it hasn’t always been this way. I struggle with being present. I often focus on what I haven’t done, my unaccomplished dreams.
I’ve spent a lot of my life being jealous of other women in every single way. From wanting their bodies and wrinkle-free foreheads, to wishing I had their financial success, and envying their dating lives and marriages.
Living this way is exhausting and lonely. It stole from me, sucked energy out of my relationships, and kept me at the center of my own pity-party of a universe. Shifting from this perspective has taken time, patience, discipline, and allowing myself to be real with my community when insecurity strikes.
When I began to slowly acknowledge who I am today — not some future or past version of myself — I noticed something shocking. Women became less threatening to me. In fact, the more I choose to love myself I began to see others more purely. Their successes inspire me. Their blunders breed empathy. The women around me are no longer my competition, but a source of support and strength.
And here’s the thing — I think we’re all dying for permission to be who we were created to be. What I have discovered: no one can give you that permission but yourself. Ghandi was onto something sacred when he said be the change you wish to see.
I’m grateful to be surrounded by a community of women who lead by example, empower, and challenge me each day to love myself so I can in turn love others without condition or agenda.
It may sound simple and cliche, but some of the most true things are.
I finally love myself. Every square inch. And today I invite you to unapologetically celebrate the infinite beauty, worth, and value of YOU!