What we do is not who we are.

I was looking at Instagram recently and came across a post on Linda Evangelista. A popular super model from the 1990’s. She was and still is a beautiful, striking woman that drew attention to herself and the modelling industry because she was a different beauty, noted for her resemblance to Sophia Loren.


She was in an elite group of ‘super models' and was quoted for saying to Vogue, “we don’t wake up for anything less than $10,000 a day.”


Bold and strong. She was noticeable and memorable, with a long list of accomplishments in the fashion industry, making appearances in music videos, runway shows and voted one of the 'most beautiful' in the 90’s.

She virtually disappeared in 2010 and stopped working. She now reveals she has been disfigured by a cosmetic procedure.


I am not going to dispute how she feels or what has happened.


I searched for an image to see for myself how unrecognizable she was. After all, she is a woman younger than myself, 56, and how disfigured could she be?

What I saw of the images of Linda Evangelista now is a strikingly beautiful 56 year old woman. She still remains the envy of many people. Her story is that what she wanted in a cosmetic procedure created the opposite effect. However, by any other mortal standards, anyone with that face would be honoured to have her beauty. The tragedy is not the cosmetic procedure. The tragedy is she is known to look a certain way and SHE feels she is not the same person.

To me, she is.


This is what hit me most and why I wanted to talk about the 'identity crisis’ we all face.

It happens when we are known for something we do, not for who we are.

If you are only known for being beautiful, well, when that shifts - what happens to your self worth?

That's the bigger question.

Do we feel less than or perhaps shaken when the 'title' we are known for is removed and replaced?

That will happen when you put all your self worth in one thing.


We are so much more than:

  • how we look

  • what we do

  • what we have done

When you are facing retirement and the job you have always done is not what you're going to be doing any longer is there not a feeling of loss? Do questions surface, what do I do and who am I?

It’s easier to describe functions of what you do…but the real gift is to give yourself permission to find out who you are.


I recently read that Jim Carrey, the Canadian actor, has decided to call it quits in acting. I think it’s brave and brilliant. He says he has decided he wants to focus on family and that he feels he has done what he came to do in his acting career.


My husband, Rick always says it's best to leave wanting more than to regret staying too long and being asked to leave. Interesting concept.


What I love most about opening ourselves up beyond the boundaries of ‘what we do’…is we get to try on another concept of ourselves, another outfit, another challenge.


We get to break the mold and change the landscape.

We really are NOT what we do.

It's just a piece of who we are.


This is the time to embrace and have courage to explore the new possibilities that come out of the change.

I believe in silver linings and that everything has a purpose.

Stay with me on this...if we don’t embrace change, we will stay as is.

That’s not what we are here for, we are here to move forward.


Then comes the question after who are you - what can I do next?

The secret sauce in all of this is how you react.

Get excited!

Jump in. All in.

Look for the endless possibilities of WHAT NEXT?

Ask yourself, what do I want?

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I was listening to a podcast with Glennon Doyle and something she said clicked with me.

How we often feel guilt in pursuing joy. We feel the only way to learn is from pain, but and it’s a BIG BUT - what if we allow ourselves to learn from joy? Why do we celebrate suffering…and keep picking to suffer, instead of choosing joy?


Is this not a fascinating concept?


Guilt-free joy!


What if we give ourselves permission to do what brings us joy? And let go of the people and things that don’t.


What a concept.

Is that too simple?

I understand we all have to work and do our things…but if we focused on guilt-free joy and self care, what would that look like?

I wake up extra early to have my coffee and linger in the morning. That brings me joy.

If you love to walk or swim or ride a bike…do that more.

Do more of what you love and less of what you don’t.


You will be happier and when you are happier you will show others how to live in joy.

But here is the kicker, do it guilt free.

Do it because you and I are on this earth to live in joy.


I started this journey to address ageism, but as I dug deeper it became more obvious to me it's just a limb on a very big tree.


If we loved ourselves completely, the negativity and insecurities we all have would repel off of us.


Like a shield, they would not be able to seep into our souls and create havoc.


We feel our pain and have no idea what to do with it. We try to numb it one way or another or perhaps lash out at others or just walk around wounded and hurt. I like to think there is something we can do…and I believe it starts with ‘self love’.

Why do we feel uncomfortable with the thought of loving ourselves and taking care of ourselves?


Why is it we have been taught that others come first and we put ourselves at the bottom of the list?


We learn in kindergarten to:

  • unselfishly take a nap when we need a rest

  • have a snack to treat and nourish ourselves

  • stay home when we are sick because we need to be well

  • take a time out when we need a break and moment to calm down

  • have shorter days so we can have time in our lives for family and rest

When we grow up all of these important virtues of self love and self care get diminished and we learn to replace these core beliefs with:

  • skipping meals because meetings and other things become more important

  • being on call and on demand for others 24/7

  • never turning off our phones, even on holidays

  • depriving ourselves of rest and praising those who only get 5 hours of sleep

  • treating overworking and ‘doing it all’ as a badge of honour



How did we learn to give up so much of ourselves?


Self love and self care are the only way to make us whole. When you fill the hole, you are no longer coming from a place of lack.


I wish they would have classes in school on self love. Daily practices so it would be a part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth.


What I love is that we are starting to talk about self love and loving ourselves for who we are.


"Find out who you are and be that person. That's what your soul was put on this earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth and everything else will come.” - Ellen DeGeneres

I was driving to a store recently and saw a sign that was spray painted on someone's garage door,

"BE THE CHANGE”


I don’t know why, but it’s like fresh new wallpaper in my headspace. I think we all can "be the change.”


We can change anything we desire and my desire is encourage myself and others to practice self love and self care.

If that sounds self serving, it is…and that’s exactly the point.

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