"I do not want to be the leader. I refuse to be the leader. I want to live darkly and richly in my femaleness. I want a man lying over me, always over me. His will, his pleasure, his desire, his life, his work, his sexuality the touchstone, the command, my pivot. I don’t mind working, holding my ground intellectually, artistically; but as a woman, oh, God, as a woman I want to be dominated. I don’t mind being told to stand on my own feet, not to cling, be all that I am capable of doing, but I am going to be pursued, fucked, possessed by the will of a male at his time, his bidding." Anaïs Nin
When I became a billionaire on Friday, everything changed. Moving through space and time while finally being free of internalized lies and perceived limitations, is a glorious thing.
The image below was inspired by a delicious man in my world the next day, and the result became a gift just for me, one that I'm now happy to share with you.
Here I am, bare. No filter. No edits. Just me feeling abundantly raw and beautiful and aligned and in love with who I am, what I've done, the body I inhabit and the soul it contains.
This image is truly a marker of my newfound sense of self love, self acceptance and self celebration since the big day. Until this past weekend, I had never even taken a photo of myself nude.
This wasn't planned or orchestrated. It was one moment in time - captured. One shot of what already was. The lighting was already perfect. The blanket framed me beautifully. It was meant to be a gift to another (inspired by my feelings for that other), yet it became a treasure I hadn't expected to receive.
I saw my own beauty and I claimed it. I glowed about it. I was in awe over it. And then I sent it to him. And then to Sherrie and to Melanie feeling so proud of my first nude selfie. And then I realized I wanted to share it with the world, to elevate it to the same level as my writings and my other images that reflect whatever it is that's moving me at that time.
And this is coming from a woman who hated her breasts up until a few years ago. A woman who believed up until last week, that she was only beautiful in pictures which didn't even count because anyone can be pretty in pictures with the right angles and good lighting, and then in real life her body was only attractive when clothed. I genuinely assumed people who met me in real life were always disappointed in my appearance (I was projecting my own insecurities), despite hearing from many that they find me even more beautiful in person. I won't even go into all the other distorted ideas I had about myself. It's just sad.
My increasing self-love and decreasing self-hatred has been an on-going journey/struggle and one I am proud of because I've come a long way, baby! I know I am well past the worst of it and now I get to revel in the results of all the difficult inner work over the years.
Now I get to see myself as others do. Now I get to live comfortably in my own skin. Now I am free of inner pressure. Now I love what I see in the mirror. I never imagined that day would actually come. I've had multiple glimpses of that possibility over the years, but now it's really here.
My mother never, ever, ever got to see and enjoy what was beautiful about herself - not inwardly or outwardly. Her feelings of personal shame and intense self-hatred were just heartbreaking. She believed so many cruel things she was told about herself growing up, and she never found a way to break through those shackles. Without meaning to, she passed these things onto me. Understandably. We cannot teach what we don't know.
But now I do know. I know what it's like to feel proud of who I am and what I've achieved. To love myself from the inside out. To be free from incessant self-criticism. To FINALLY feel good enough. To FINALLY approve of myself. To genuinely be happy I'm me. To be grateful for the body I'm in during this lifetime. And to no longer feel like I have to continually prove my worthiness to myself because I don't. I have always been worthy simply because I exist.
And now I am free.
With love and so much pride for having stuck around long enough to experience my ultimate dream and desire (self-love and self-acceptance),
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P.P.S. A few years ago I allowed my best friend, Melanie, to take pictures of me bare in a forest. As with the photo above, it was not planned at all. It was a sacred unfolding that resulted in something lovely. I'm sharing it here because it seems fitting. xo
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