16 year old self.

 Photo: Age 16, middle of a Maine winter.

Photo: Age 16, middle of a Maine winter.

I remember a beautiful older girl turning to me in the bathroom “you’d look really sexy smoking a cigarette."

I had just spent the whole summer running 3 miles everyday, doing hundreds of sit ups and following a rigorous eating schedule to loose 5 pounds my frame didn’t need to drop.

I was 15 and had yet to start wearing mascara.

I wanted to be a natural beauty, someone who sparkled without the help of a contour and a smoky eye.

I hated facades even before I knew what they were. “But you should wait, I think it’s cool you don’t want to smoke.”

A few weeks later I puffed my first cigarette, puked off the side of my friends golf cart and fell to the ground.

Is this what she meant by sexy?

We’ve heard so many messages from such an young age; about what is sexy, desirable, ok to feel, NOT ok to touch, but have you ever stopped to think about whether or not you still agree with those subtle subconscious stories?

Or are you still taking the advice of your 16 year-old self?

At 16, I thought I would never have a boyfriend, was a relative of the orca whale family, and that if I didn’t stop growing taller I would for sure end up in Coney Island freak show.

Does that little girl sound like she knows what she’s talking about? Absolutely not. If the stories you tell yourself haven’t evolved since puberty, it’s probably time you start rearranging the small talk inside your mind.

Consider the possibility that what you say to yourself has the potential to perpetuate peace.

Inner peace for outer peace. It’s possible. It starts with YOU.