|photo by Connor Kloster © 2011|
I did it! 30 days and 30+ pictures of my belly!
Because I was a little shy to write too much on the blog, I wrote this note last night. It sums up my 30 day experience and my plans for the next 30 days.
I attended the ALisa Starkweather's 13th Belly and Womb Conference 30 days ago. The first night there I signed up for the henna painting group where women were painting henna designs on their bellies. I was immediately afraid to lift my shirt. My pants were too tight and well, I just don't show my belly to anyone. I wondered if it was too late for me to join the group making dream catchers. But there was this beautiful woman sitting with her pregnant belly exposed and something about her made me feel so comfortable. Unfortunately, a few minutes into it, I turned to look in the mirror at my belly design I had just painted. I was horrified at the site of my belly. Cellulite, stretch marks, flab hanging over my pants. I couldn't suck it in hard enough to feel good about my belly. I looked over at the younger, more firmer bellies and started judging each woman in the group, even the women I was close to. I suddenly realized that I was judging the other women the way I judge myself. I decided at that moment to challenge myself to take a picture of my belly every day for 30 days and record it on a blog. The rest of the conference was inspiring, empowering and moving. It made me want to do the challenge all the more.
I thought the blog was private and no one else could see it. I found out I was wrong when I received several responses from other women. Women who were inspired and who offered me encouraging words. This was followed by women, some I know and some I don't, lifting their shirts and proudly showing me their bellies. Some women even sent me pictures of their bellies. Not only did they share their bellies, but most importantly, they shared their stories.
I am honored and inspired by every woman's belly and every story I hear. My son's belly appeared in one photo and yesterday's photo actually included 3 men who felt inspired to lift their shirts and join 6 women for the belly photo.
So, after tomorrow (day 30) and for the next 30 days, I will be sharing photos and stories from anyone who would like to share. If at all possible, I would love to be able to take the picture of your belly.
Belly Love to all.