The Naked Face Project: My Last Post, April 21, 2012

Well…as some of you have noted, I’ve not mentioned the Naked Face Project lately.   I think I’m basically just done with it.  As a matter of fact I have felt a kind of “pushing away” of it and am ready now to continue (and pursure more opportunities) to cultivate a world where every girl and woman recognizes and activates her limitless potential and knows the joy of being!

While I had NO idea the media frenzy and or reach the experiment would have, I am personally very glad I did it.  The three major outcomes for me go a lil’ something like this:

1.)  The spirit-me…you know that one that was here before my body was born and the one that will be here after my body dies…is at last crazy in love with being human. I think for most of my life I have felt an internal conflict…a conflict I couldn’t have named, but I just know it felt like a tug-o-war competition.  The ego me and the spirit me were in constant pull and push mode to see who would win.   This experiment opened my eyes to the incredible joy possible because I AM able to experience WHO and WHAT I am through the human experience.  For those of you not “getting” what I’m saying, might I suggest a great author Eckhart Tolle.  I’ve read his books for years, but in the last several weeks have really understood, at a much richer level, the content of his work.   My yoga practice has also become a much more joyful experience.  The precepts of yoga are very much wrapped around the notion of finding JOY.  The spirit-me can only know of its existence through the consciousness provided in this human experience.  How awesome to have a body, my senses, ways to communicate, my thoughts, nature, relationships, pleasure…all the “things” that come because the spirit-me is on this fabulous, rich and joyful human journey.

Interestingly…how this has shown up…has been having a more light hearted approach toward my body and my appearance.  The first thing I purchased, many people were surprised to know, was a colorful pair of high heeled shoes.   I’ve also purchased more colorful clothing and jewelry.    I’ve recognized that in the past I’ve had a more “puritan” approach toward expressing myself physically and am enjoying the color, the fun and the light-heartedness of sharing the joy of ME through how I show up physically.  This is not to say that the joy of being ME can’t be communicated through other ways besides appearance…of course it can…but now, I’m also getting a kick out of showing up with more color both in spirit and in personality!

A fabtastic group of girls, in Bentonville, AR gave me this tutu. They run in these during their Girls on the Run 5k. I promised them I would take my picture in it at the airport gate. Here's the proof!

2.)  I’ve  become a lot more open about the complexities of figuring out “how to be a our full spirit-selves” in a world that uses words/labels to distinguish who we are…words like woman, mother, wife, founder, runner, athlete, leader…have all been used to describe me.   I’ve learned that I remain the same no matter what “role” I’m playing.  I always hope that my authenticity shows up first and foremost…but in order for what I have to say and what I wish to experience with another human to be at its fullest capacity, I must be aware that how I show up phsyically, does have an impact. In the past I would have seen this as a negative…there’s that tug-o-war going on again between the spirit self and the human one…but now I see this as a gift.  Showing up human and having the opportunity to experience YOU…is awesome…and showing up and having the opportunity to experience ME is AWESOME  too.  Using HOW I show up to further share the spirit of me with you is fun, celebratory and down-right joyful.

3.)  I’m laughing a lot more and certainly less judgmental.  I’m sure this will ebb and flow, but I have to say…and I’m not sure why (any takers want to chime in on this, go for it in the comment section), I’m no longer judgmental, at all, of someone’s appearance, how they show up, their bodies, their clothing.  It’s all gone.  All of it.  There are as many “reasons” for why women and men choose to dress the way they do, opt for plastic surgery, not opt for plastic surgery, wear lots of makeup, don’t wear any makeup, as there are people.  I realize that in the past I was filtering my own internal conflict on the subject through the decisions others had made in regards to their own physicality.

My desire now is to encourage every girl and woman…heck, every person…to lean into their joy and where they find it.  When she, you and I are emmersed in what brings us joy, the spirit-self is fully engaged and the “how we look” in that moment no longer matters…at all.  I want to hang out THERE, with her, you, US!

This is why I so love the work I do.  Standing at the finish line of any Girls on the Run 5k…I am FILLED TO THE BRIM with joy.  I am present, alive and BEING…and it is in each moment in THAT space where everything else truly slips away.

This will be my last public post on the topic.  I have noticed that when I am one-on-one or in small groups of women, they are fascinated by the experiment and want to ask a lot of questions as well as share their own views on it.  I think this is because it is a far more complex issue than it may appear on the surface and it really fires up THE conversation between how we navigate this human experience as the joyful, light-filled and radiant spirits we are.

I am more than happy to converse with anyone on the topic privately now, but do find that I no longer want to discuss the topic publicly.  I want to spend more time in the space of my joy…and that’s conversing with you on a more intimate and authentic level…spending time with the girls in our program and breathing in this delicious world around me.

Namaste ya’ll… and this time I really mean it.

8 thoughts on “The Naked Face Project: My Last Post, April 21, 2012

  1. I am so impressed by the honesty and the growth you found on this journey, I hope you can hold on to it day by day as you wander back into the world.

  2. I have enjoyed reading about your journey and I am so impressed with the honesty that has been shared. I hope that your new joy and peace are maintainable as you enter into the new phase; that I am afraid has always been my challenge.

  3. I will miss the posts on this, but I respect your choice & want to thank you a final time for sharing this amazing journey to this point – I have loved following your progress & learning from your insights 🙂

  4. This is fascinating. Guess I’ve been under a rock because I had not seen this until today. I admire your bravery; this is not something I would be willing to do personally. I work in a traditional corporate environment. It’s not all about image but there are some basic dress code & appearance ‘requirements’ for people to take you seriously. Admittedly, I do judge when I see people that cross the line on what’s acceptable in the office even though that has nothing to do with the value of that person or their ideas. I appreciate your perspective and what you learned. It’s made me think of some things differently. I would say I’m a normal person; no plastic surgery, fillers, etc but I do take care of myself, eat right, dress for my size, wear makeup & style my hair. Even so, having read your blog, my appearance is a much heavier piece of baggage than what I thought it was. Thanks for the perspective!

  5. I only just stumbled on this but love it! It brings to mind something I have learned in my recent exploration of Islaam. After meeting some remarkable American Muslims who I greatly admire, I decided I needed to form my own opinion of the faith rather than assume a judgement based on media information. One thing I discovered is many muslim women who cover themselves find it LIBERATING rather than oppressive since they are then recognized for their mind and contributions rather than appearance. Of course these are Muslim women who are not oppressed by culture and are free to work and express their faith by their own choosing. It has made me view ‘attractiveness’ in US culture a whole new way and I admit I sometimes wish I could pull a burka over my ‘bad hair day’ head or ‘feeling too puffy’ body and head out the door!

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