Hi, Anxiety

I have just finished reading Andrea Petersen’s On Edge, which chronicles how she medicated, meditated and investigated her way through a 25-year journey with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (and a constellation of related syndromes).

Despite, or maybe because of the challenging symptoms, she has nevertheless lived what on the surface would appear to be a charmed life and has maintained a successful career as a contributing writer for the Wall Street Journal. She is an excellent writer, integrating the scientific with the personal so seamlessly that the book reads like a novel.

She catalogues the symptoms of anxiety (racing heart, hypochondria, inability to concentrate, panic attacks, phobias), the neuroscience, the genetics, the treatments (pharmacological and psychological) and the very profound effects it has on a person’s life (isolation, despair, stigma). She feared the effects of psychotropic meds on her unborn child and worries that she has passed on the anxiety gene to her daughter. Her husband is a mensch.

Only once did my attention flag. It was toward the end after hearing about yet another siege of panic attacks and weight loss. Ok, we get it, I thought. Enough….yet, imagine how she, or any other sufferer feels. You think you have this thing under control, and then, boom, it’s back. Putting readers in someone else’s shoes like that is a gift.

While both men and women can suffer from anxiety, women, from childhood on, are made to feel that they are “responsible for [their] own negative outcomes…” As a result, girls become more anxious, self-evaluative and self-critical. They withdraw from the things that scare them. They withdraw from life.

Unlike fear, which is rooted in the present and resolves once the threat is past, anxiety is fear of some unnamed future and is governed by catastrophic thinking. It never goes away.

Anxiety, Petersen says, is a thief that steals your life. You may not be able to “avoid” a diagnosis but when the symptoms strike, don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. Study the science (it’s really interesting and empowering), ask questions, be open and receptive to treatment. Keep fighting.

On Edge can be a roadmap to finding your bravest, strongest { self }.

Hunger

Roxane Gay’s “Hunger” was a difficult book to read and even harder one for the author to write. It is the story of her “unruly body and unruly appetites,” a before-and-after view of a body and soul devastated by a gang rape at twelve and the massive overeating that followed. Her way to fill up the hollowness—the hunger—inside her.

As she makes clear, this is not a weight loss victory story. It is instead a “book about disappearing and being lost and wanting so very much, wanting to be seen and understood…learning, however slowly, to be seen and understood.”

And that, to me, was the heart of the story. We all want to be seen and understood. At the root of so much misery and self-inflicted punishment, this is what we’re looking for. To be seen, understood, accepted and loved. And we don’t get it; we look for other ways to satisfy that hunger—food, drugs, alcohol, love in all the wrong places.

Gay also observes that one of the most shocking discoveries about sexual assault is just how common it is. How it has riven and ruined so many lives in ways we’re not even aware of. How many lifestyle diseases (eating disorders, addictions, domestic abuse) are the result of hearts and minds being broken on such an existential level? And most of us have no idea.

This is an angry book, and no wonder. It’s gripping and repellant in equal measure. While there is no weight loss celebration at the end, you get the sense that Ms Gay has at last found some peace and happiness. And because she writes so compellingly of her experiences and emotions, you’re happy for her.

“Hunger” is a heartbreaking book about profound loss, resilience and compassion for your { self } and others. Please read it.

Poolside

To me, it’s one of the loveliest words in the English language. I love the patterns the sunlight makes in the water, the scent of sunscreen, the snatches of conversation that come in and out of my consciousness. That first day at the pool is pure bliss.

For you, perhaps, not so much. A series of blows upon the ego—in the dressing room (do I really look like that?); the wallet (how much for these three microscopic pieces of lycra) and in our heart of hearts (This is hopeless. I'll never have the perfect body.)

The fact is, a day at the pool really is a day at the beach. Vitamin D in abundance, sunlight as mood elevator, easy exercise in the pool. Don’t waste precious moments feeling bad about your body. Before your outing, treat it kindly with a beauty treatment (mani-pedi, massage, waxing) and a little water aerobics. Sleep (in the shade) and wake up to find that whatever wintry thoughts were dragging you down have miraculously disappeared. Or try taking in the scene through new eyes—your phone’s viewfinder, perhaps—and create some artful IG worthy photos.

A few hours at the pool can be therapy without the angst. A fresh face without make-up. A restorative outlook for your loveliest, sunniest { self. }

Recalculating

Every once and while, and probably more often than I know, I realize I have to practice what I preach.

For the past few weeks, it seems that many of my clients have needed a pep talk: “Set some boundaries,” I’ll say. “Know your worth and get paid for it. Don’t confuse being liked with being valued or appreciated.” From such advice and in sufficient number, I want to believe, gender pay gaps and other women-unfriendly policies can be overturned.

This week, I realized assertiveness starts with me.

In one of my other lives, I write a weekly column for a local newspaper. It’s a ton of fun. It is not, however, a probono gig although, recently, it has seemed that way. I have not been paid for months.

It’s the curse of the freelancer and I let it go for about thirty days, then sixty, but as the 90th day of no pay arrived, I very politely reached out to my editor and the publisher and asked “what gives?” I got a lot of justifications and excuses and finally the offer of a partial payment so small it required an electron microscope to see it.

I was on deadline and at first I thought, “OK, I’ll take it. Something is better than nothing.” And then somewhere in the depths of my heart—or checkbook—I heard the words. “No. This is unacceptable. You're being exploited.”

So that is what I said. As I have learned from Christine Hassler, “No” is a complete sentence.

I wish I could say I’ve been paid in full. I have not. We’re in “negotiation.” But I said what I needed to say. And the value of asserting myself, for not taking the easy, default people-pleaser way out, is almost more valuable the money. For once, it really is the principle that counts.

Lesson learned: it pays to know and advocate for your { self } worth.

Down the drain

Is Mercury in retrograde or something? There has not been a day this week when something has gone not unexpectedly and spectacularly wrong.

An almost fatal misunderstanding with a dear friend. A missed deadline. And now, my sink which, as readers of this blog know, has the unpleasant habit of backing up and exploding for no reason and without warning.

So, first, I swore. And then, I asked myself: why is this happening to me? No, wait, why is this happening FOR me? What lesson am I to learn from this? Is it the universe’s way of telling me to slow down and pay attention to my calendar, my life? Was I short tempered with a friend because I felt needy for a little attention myself and just didn’t have it in me to be more empathetic? As for the sink, it’s a mystery. I have no clue and neither, I suspect, does the plumber.

One of the hardest lessons I’ve ever had to learn is that I can’t control everything. Sometimes things just happen. On the other hand, there are some things I can be more mindful of and correct when I see I am going off course—whether it’s my mood, my appetite or time-management.

So I’m going to call my friend and (gulp) apologize. Make up the work I missed. Call the plumber. Take a breath and work on becoming a kinder, gentler and more efficient version of my { self }.

What’s holding you back?

Ah, the lure of self-limiting beliefs. Those niggling doubts that, if repeated often enough, keep us in our place. Afraid to push forward, to fail, or maybe even succeed. The things we tell ourselves that keep us stuck.

You know the drill. I’m not smart enough to go for this job. I’m not accomplished enough to ask for this raise. Experienced enough to lead this group. Pretty enough to even want to stand out. Worthy enough to take up space. Demand equal treatment.  Be loved on my terms.

Self-limiting beliefs are the fake news of the soul. And nothing breaks through fatal deception like a healthy dose of self-awareness. When you feel your perceptions are at odds with reality, ask yourself these questions:

1. Is it true? Familiarity breeds, well, more familiarity. If you’re used to perceiving things (yourself, a situation) a certain way, it can be difficult to adjust to a new reality. Break the habit and old think by approaching yourself with a child’s mind—open to seeing things as they are, not as you wish or, worse, fear they may be.

2. How does it make me feel? We all have stories we tell ourselves or that others have told us about ourselves. True or not, they leave a mark, which no amount of denial can cover up. Own your reaction (sadness, anger, regret), acknowledge it and, if you can, let it go or find a way to channel the emotion into something positive (advocacy, action, self-compassion).

3. How do I want to feel? If you could free yourself from this belief, what would your life look like? How would you feel in your body and mind? Think big, write it down and figure out how you can make it happen.

See those limiting beliefs for what they are. Barriers to becoming your best, most fulfilled { self }. Then break free.

Fame, fortune and finding my voice

Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be famous. I have no idea why or what inspired the want. Nor, I’m guessing, did I understand what “fame” even meant. But I saw it as a desirable thing to be, a reward to be enjoyed once I grew up.

So of course I chose a profession that guaranteed anonymity—advertising. No one knew who I was. My name was that of “the client,” the logo at the bottom of the page. And even if the ad was successful, I—the writer—stayed hidden.

Even when I did community theatre (ever the tragedienne), I was never the flamboyant lead. My characters were observers, watching, waiting until the very last moment when they took action that changed the entire course of the drama.

A week ago, that all changed. I appeared on Bmore Livestyle, an afternoon talk show broadcast in Baltimore, It was my debut as myself: Susan Bodiker, founder of One Girl Wellness, author of Fat Girl.

Was I nervous? Terrified.

Excited? Breathless.

“You always wanted to be famous,” I told myself. “Now's your chance.”

The segment—on self-care—flew by in a flash. The conversation flowed. And while I haven’t seen the footage, everyone seemed happy. And I couldn’t stop smiling. I felt great. (And thanks to make-up artist, Owen O’Donnell and hair stylist, Ashley Windsor, I felt beautiful.)

It wasn’t until I was back home that I realized what “fame” had meant to me all this time. It wasn’t celebrity I was after.  It was being seen, acknowledged, appreciated for who I was as I was. Valued.

Something everybody wants.

In those few minutes of fame, I found not just my voice. But my { self }.

High anxiety

How are you? Tell me, I really want to know.

It’s been a tense couple of weeks and if you’re anything like me, you haven’t been sleeping well, eating well or feeling well. You (OK, I) have been spending way too much time watching--and reacting to--the latest headlines. I have to stop listening to “Breaking News” bulletins on MSNBC. Or cut back on those daily calls to my congresspersons, urging them to vote “no” on this or “yes” on that.

Actually, they’re not really my congresspeople. As a DC resident, I have no representatives so I call the committee heads or undecided members and hope they pay attention.  I have never made so many calls or sent so many emails to Capitol Hill in my life.

And you know what? It’s fun. There’s power in having your say with a “decider,” no matter how tenuous your connection is. And after the woman’s march (another new thing for me) on Jan 21, I feel as though I have to do it.

So I got over my fear of cold calling and just did it.

I also started my taxes today. In truth, I just organized the paperwork and the numbers so I could deliver a coherent financial narrative to the CPA. I’d been angsty about it since New Year’s Day, and putting it off and putting it off. But finally, I powered through my fear, pulled things together and made quite a bit of progress this afternoon. I feel so much better! 

It occurred to me that so much of our procrastination or reluctance to try new things is due to fear. Fear we’ll do it wrong. Fear we’ll be laughed it. Fear we won’t understand it and have nowhere to turn. But once you take that first step, you find it’s really not that hard after all. You can do it. And it may even be fun.

Just take a deep breath and trust your bravest { self }.

 


Never underestimate the power of a woman in pink

Back in the day, when I was a feminist in training, there was a book called “Sisterhood is Powerful.”  

It was a radical piece of work for its time and long after “leaning in,” diversity committees and “I’m with her” had their day, its calls to action found new life on the National Mall yesterday and in cities around the world as millions of women (and some men and many children) marched in solidarity—and in pink hats—for equal rights, civil liberties, environmental protection, access to health care and reproductive choice.

There was also that little matter of the tweeter-in-chief now living in the White House and the dystopian program that he and his Congressional allies hope (threaten?) to put in place.

Despite years of advocacy work, I had never participated in a march before—even for causes I really cared about. And to be honest, I wondered what the event could accomplish. Would the new administration pay attention? Would Congress? Definitely not and probably no. But in light of how we all felt after the election, the mood of the day was so buoyant and the feeling, so warm and supportive, it felt like aloe on a burn. It was empowering, energizing and exhilarating.

Postscript: This is what democracy feels like the day after: sore feet from marching and a sore throat from chanting. I hope all of us who participated and all who cheered us on can find a way to translate our passion from clicks into action for causes we believe in. Sisterhood is powerful and it starts with believing in our { selves }.


What’s your question for 2017?

It’s been quite a year. And for many of us, it’s good riddance to bad rubbish. We’re now hunkering down, devoting ourselves to hygge (life’s simple pleasures—the new trend according to the hip and happening) and hoping for the best. In short, it’s resolution season, a time of big thoughts and promises.

Rather than limiting ourselves to--and failing to achieve--these bold declarative statements (lose ten pounds, read more, volunteer), what if we posed our goals for the year as a question? How can I live more healthily? Learn something new? Bring comfort and hope to those in need?

Old school resolutions are like “shoulds.” They imply there’s only one path. Questions give you options. They foster creative thinking, new ways to get to where you want to go. Without the judgment or expectations of a specific outcome. Sometimes they lead you to an entirely different direction and a level of self-understanding that bring you more joy or lessons than you could imagine.

As for me, I’m asking myself “how can I be more open? More, um, vulnerable (my particular bête noire)? How can I connect to my truest self and build deeper connections with others? I’ll let you know how it goes.

So this year, take a breath, ask a question and then toast the new year and your best and happiest { self. }

P.S. Lots of new stuff coming in the coming year. So watch this space!

 

Plumbing

No, this is not about the glories of a post-Thanksgiving cleanse, fast or detox. It’s a story of actual clogged pipes and what they taught me about my day-to-day life.

Let me back up. I live in a pre-war building. And like most things of a certain age, its infrastructure is not quite what it used to be. Throw in a few kids who put questionable things in the food disposal and voilà, you have a loudly burping, almost overflowing kitchen sink. So the plumber was called and now all’s well that ends well. Before he left, he said something interesting: “Every so often you have to perform some preventive maintenance. It saves a lot of time and misery later.”

“How wise,” I thought. How healthy and happy would we all be if we performed a little preventive maintenance in our lives, like saving or investing a few extra dollars every week. Or suppose we exercised a little restraint over the holidays so we don’t have to deal with January guilt. Or if we took a little time to learn a new skill, read a new author or spend a few minutes proactively addressing a small problem before it became a big one.

How would that make you feel? It doesn’t have to be a dramatic re-set. Just a tweak or two—baby steps, really—that get you closer to something you really, really want.

Preventive maintenance, my plumber called it.  Really, it's just another word for preserving your best { self }.

 


More's the { self } pity

This past week has undone me. I am really sad, anxious, depressed, angry, numb. I'm in a stupor of misery. It's like the end of a relationship or a death but without the good memories to soften the blow.

You don't need an election to feel this way, of course. We can all fall into a funk in a heartbeat, even without a clear reason.

But after a while, it gets boring. So here's what I've done since Wednesday to restore myself:

1. I fasted. No, not from food. The non-stop news. After a while, post mortems weren't giving me the informational nutrition I needed, so I just stopped listening to the punditry. I thought my own thoughts and tried to find clarity in my own mind without getting lost in the noise.

2. I worked out. Never underestimate the power of endorphins. You may not change the world from the barre, but if you can do one more minute of plank or hold a position longer than the day before, that's an accomplishment. Celebrate it. Plus class companionship is good for the spirit.

3. I kept working. I have to do something creative everyday and thankfully deadlines concentrated my mind. When clients are waiting for copy, you can't keep taking exit poll breaks. You've got to stay focused on what you can control.

4. I did my homework. I've been taking Spanish classes since September--in part to stave off dementia and in part to piss off a certain president-elect. Conjugating verbs and composing simple, declarative sentences has been a happy distraction.

5. I'm fighting back. Becoming an ex-pat is not an option. So I'm re-evaluating the causes and organizations I support and deciding where I can do the most good over the next four years.

6. I counted my blessings. I have resources. I have health. An apartment I love with three wonderful companion animals. Good friends. Suerte (luck), as they say. Whenever I get too much in my own head, I remind myself how lucky I am and thank the universe. I think of ways to pay it forward.

Whether it's political or personal, it's OK--desirable even--to give into self-pity. But not for too long. You're entitled to indulge in tears and comfort food, but eventually you have to get up and get going. You owe it to the world. And to your { self }.

What steps are you taking to move forward? Tell us in the comments below or on our Facebook page. 

VULNERABILITY IS POWERFUL

In your wildest dreams, did you ever think that sexual assault would be an issue in the 2016 presidential campaign? Me either. Yet, here we are.

But just when you think the story can’t get  any stranger (or “deplorable,” to use the word du jour) there comes a revelatory moment that changes your whole perspective.

In a roundtable convo on MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell show, Ana Marie Cox observed, “the fear of seeming vulnerable keeps us broken. It takes strength to reach out and ask for help.” She was talking, of course, about the People reporter whose story of the republican’s nominee’s boorish behavior had broken that day. She was attempting to explain why women don’t come forward and bear witness. That the fear of being seen or judged as vulnerable somehow made them seem weak in their own or others’ eyes. So they swallow their pain and do what they can to move on.

Of course, as we’ve all learned in our own lives in all sorts of circumstance, you can’t move on unless you identify the source of your distress (whatever it is) and deal with it honestly, courageously and with self-compassion. Sometimes that means speaking up. Or speaking truth to power. Or asking a simple question. Or feeling safe enough to reach out and say, “I can’t do this alone. I’m stuck. Please help me.”

And just like that, what you think is your weakness becomes your strength. By enlarging your circle and bringing help to your side, you start to become your most powerful { self }.

A time to renew

Not quite Throw Back Thursday, but I thought I'd bring back last year's Rosh Hashanah message urging reflection and renewal...

It’s Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, but you don’t have to be Jewish to make a fresh start and take these lessons to heart:

Reflect.  Look back on the past year—goals accomplished, wishes fulfilled, dreams not quite realized. Did you expand your emotional horizons or remain stuck in old patterns? How can you move forward, be better, do more now and in the days to come?

Forgive. “Sorry” may be the hardest word (just ask the Republican and Democratic headliners), but in the ten “days of awe” between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), it’s all about apologies and granting forgiveness, of wiping the slate clean of errors, disappointments, resentments and hurts. Letting go can be liberating. It frees the heart and opens it to greater love.

Re-commit. To friendships, families, your community and—if you’re a believer—a higher power.  Find ways to “repair your world” starting with just one individual or cause. As we approach the end of the election season, walk the talk and get out the vote. Or get involved with an advocacy group. Contribute your time and talents to something bigger than yourself and start a ripple effect of good.

Eat! It wouldn’t be a holiday without a feast. Love your body with good foods that love you back and enable you to be your best and most awesome { self }.

Wishing all One Girl fans and readers of the blog a sweet and happy year.

Looks like ...

I’m losing my hair. Chalk it up to age, too many years of chemical processing or genetic heritage. Whatever the cause, I’m unhappy about it. So I’m taking biotin/zinc (me taking vitamins--shocker!) and virtually mainlining Rogaine. I’m even looking into extensions.

And all around me is hair—from Trump’s otherworldly orange confection to deliberate baldness. Yes, there are women who are intentionally shaving their heads, claiming that the buzz cut is empowering and liberating. “It’s given me the confidence I never had,” claimed one young devotee (who, incidentally, also possesses flawless skin and exquisite bone structure).

I struggle with make-up too. I’m not especially deft with application (my cat eyes look like lollipops…not good) but I love the idea of it. The packaging. The scents. The promises it makes. So I keep at it. Now it appears I’m wasting my time. The fabulously talented (and beautiful) Alicia Keys has sworn off make-up, claiming the act is—yes—liberating. Her revolutionary decision has provoked loud and mixed reviews but surely in this age of body positivity and “living your truth,” she’s entitled to present whatever face she wants to the world, no?

Which is exactly the point. Every woman (and every new generation of women) gets to define what beauty means to her and the statement, if any, she wants to make with her physical self. Often, it ends up challenging or threatening what others think a woman should look like. Other times, the look du jour tyrannizes the very women it’s supposed to serve.

The personal can be political, sure. (Just look at the French reaction to the burkini.) But for a woman, this act can also be reflection of her most courageous and independent { self }.

{ Self } care or bust

True or false: Self-care is self-indulgent. Self-absorbed. Not a real thing.

Anyone who has ever read this blog or any of the hip and happening health/lifestyle/beauty newsletters out there knows that these statements are ridiculously false. Yet, for some unfathomable reason, women feel uncomfortable with the notion.

Yes, we schedule our hair or nail appointments without a second thought, but a regular self-care practice that honors our bodies and or emotional needs seems beyond us.

It’s as though we don’t feel entitled or deserving. And besides everyone else comes first.

Sound like someone you know?

Try thinking about it this way: Self-care is self-preservation. You can’t take care of others unless you take care of yourself first.

It’s not self-absorbed to get in touch with your own needs and feelings. It’s how you re-engage with who you really are and what you want. Right now and in the future. When you identify what’s important to you, you can live and embody your values in an authentic way.

It’s not self-indulgent to show yourself some love. It helps you become a better advocate for your dreams and desires. When you know your worth, you don’t allow others to dismiss or marginalize you. You find your voice and you aren’t afraid to use it.

We all need daily self-care whether it’s a nap or a workout, a makeover or a moment of mindfulness. In the next few days, what can you do to take better care of your sweet and deserving { self }?


Hustle and grow

Something magical happens when you get a group of women together in a room. Differences fade, creativity flows and bonds develop. Just. Like. That.

On Saturday, I took part in a business mastermind sensitively facilitated by Michelle Talbert, business coach, mentor and creator of the HerPowerHustle podcast. There were five of us, mostly coaches (corporate, life and health), at various stages of professional development, looking for insights and strategies to grow.

We each started with five-minute uninterrupted intros, followed by 20 minutes of lively brainstorming that was as therapeutic as it was instructional. When you work alone as most of us do, just hearing yourself think aloud and explore “what ifs” in a safe, supportive environment can be so helpful. And best of all, I got some ideas I can put into place today so watch this space.

Lessons learned: find your tribe, listen with your heart and have the courage to change your mind. It's the surest path to your most successful { self }.


Escape

My bags are packed. The pet sitter is booked (and there’s enough food to feed a shelter’s worth of dogs and cats for a month). Clients have been advised and the holiday email is ready to go. Got my hair done, my nails done, some cool clothes and beach reads.

Have I forgotten anything?

Oh, yes…the guilt! I’m going on my first vacation in nine(!) years and already I’m worried. Is this right time to go? Don’t I have something better (i.e. serious, not self-indulging) to do with my time? Do I really deserve this fun?

 The fact is, we all deserve a break from the pressures and concerns of every day life. It’s like sleep. You need to refresh your body and your head. Even a day trip to a place you’ve never been can restore your perspective and open you up to new ways of thinking and doing.

As for me, the white sands and turquoise waters of Punta Cana beckon. Four days of doing nothing, thinking about nothing in particular and nurturing my soul for the days and weeks to come.

I can’t wait to discover my most relaxed and guilt-free { self  }. 




Who do you love?

I don’t do vulnerability well. Don’t like admitting weakness. Don’t like feeling scared. Don’t want people to think that I’m not smart enough to handle it all on my own, thank you very much.

Sound familiar?

In short, I’m not brave enough to face the uncertainty of simply showing up without any protective armor or “expectation of being seen with no guarantee of outcome” (as Brené Brown describes it in her new book, “Rising Strong”). Maybe that’s why it’s taken me a lifetime to learn that you can’t experience authentic love from others unless you can wholeheartedly love yourself first. Which is why these spots from Dove (“My Beauty”) and JC Penney (“Here I am”) resonate so strongly for me. I love how they celebrate the power of putting yourself out there and finding the body positivity and self-acceptance that go along with it.

We'll know we've finally achieved enlightenment when we allow love to embrace all of us, including our { selves }.

Never underestimate the power of bling

There was pink (so much pink), sparkles, makeovers, fashion shows, feather boas and enough cake, cookies and candy to put the American Dental Association on high alert.

 It was every girl’s dream. But a dream with a purpose. To educate young women and girls about breast cancer and to encourage them to take charge of their health and wellbeing.

 Pajama Glam, this confection of sugar and spice, is an offshoot of the Tigerlily Foundation, an advocacy organization dedicated to “changing the young adult breast cancer landscape…that seeks to impact the quality of care and lifestyle for young women affected by the disease.” Founded by Maimah Karmo, who herself was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32, it empowers and educates women to “be their own best advocates.”

 Inspired by her mother’s courage, Noelle Karmo was moved to create her own program to reach out to girls like herself. Hence, Pajama Glam, a four-hour “sleep-over” that delivers this serious message to girls of all ages.

 I was honored to talk the girls about confidence and the positive messages we should share with our friends, our families and with our own minds and hearts. They were a great audience, eager to participate and learn. (Will post pix on Facebook when I get them.)

 Tragedy can overwhelm or transform us. Thanks to Tigerlily, women find the strength to celebrate their most powerful and beautiful { selves }.