Imagine: You Want to Change Nothing About Yourself

I was in my favorite class dance class the other day when the instructor said something like this:

“Do the best you can with the body you brought in the room today.”

This statement really hit me.  It was just what I needed to hear, and got me thinking:

What if there was nothing I wanted to change about myself or my life?

What would life be like for all of us if we accepted ourselves, our homes, our bodies, our bank accounts, our jobs, our partners for what they actually are – instead of wishing they were something different.  How many times a day do you find yourself saying:

I wish my paycheck were just a little bit more…


I wish my boobs/hips/biceps were just a little bit bigger/smaller


If only I lived in that neighborhood over there…

Now imagine that these thoughts never came to mind.  What would you do differently? Are there things you would try that you don’t have the courage to now? Are there groups you would join, jobs you would take, clothes you would wear if the “what if” and “if only” thoughts weren’t continually popping up?

In a world where we are bombarded with self-improvement tips and tricks, it can feel almost impossible to enjoy the space and the bodies we occupy RIGHT NOW.  But none of us can improve all the time, and in fact a little self-acceptance might be the one improvement many of us most need.

Motherhood: Perfection is Not Possible

Welcome to Moms’ Month on Dr. Stephanie! This month I will be featuring guest posts from some awesome moms around the country.  They will be sharing tips, tricks, and funny stories about motherhood.  This will be a fun celebration – thanks for joining us!  Today’s author is Ariahn Knoedler.  Welcome, Ariahn!

Hi, I’m Ariahn Knoedler, mother of four girls under the age of six.  I am a church accompanist and play piano for other things occasionally but mostly, for the last five years, I’ve been busy with my babies.  I distinctly remember the first day after I quit my job as a financial advisor and chose to stay home with my only child at the time.  She was about 15 months old and it was a gorgeous day.   I took her outside in her diaper with a bunch of finger paints and let her make a disaster.  I will always treasure the sweet leisure of that memory and I feel so thankful that I’ve had more moments like that than I have had moments where I have felt overwhelmed and out of control.
Fourteen months ago, I had twins. The biggest way I have grown as a mother over the last year has been to yield to the chaos a little, to make myself open to others, and to accept help.  Before children, I worked hard to make it seem as if I always had it all together.  The last couple years, the friends and family who have supported me have come to realize there are ALWAYS about five loads of laundry piled in my laundry room, my kitchen floor is a mess with the remnants of the last “cooking show” the big girls and I have “hosted”, there’s marker and nail polish all over my beige carpet, and the remnants of two or three crafts can always be found in any given room in my house.  I like to think of my home as happy chaos.
The moms I know, whether they have come to this point of motherhood through adoption, through a planned pregnancy, or through the shock of unexpected multiples, are doing the very best they can.  They are an amazing, strong, diverse, and beautiful group of women.  If I had one piece of advice I could impart it would be to take a breath and accept the mother you are.  There is so much pressure to do everything perfectly, and perfection is simply not possible with these little tornadoes, but a (mostly) happy chaos is.