Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Story of Mum is BEAUTIFUL

See Beautiful Woman of the Month: Pippa Best

It started with a tweet. We stumbled upon Pippa from Story of Mum and saw beautiful. Pippa is a beautiful woman. Her writing reflects an amazing spirit of an individual who simply and beautifully wants to make life an inspiring place for both her family, her friends, and the community. Upon every visit to her blog, Story of Mum, we learn more about the passion rooted in Pippa's heart. Her reflections about life and living and ways to invite others to see beautiful in the world are real, empowering, and loving. Feeling like you're reading notes from a good friend - someone who cares - you also feel like you're invited to grow as an individual through her writing. We leave her blog thinking, "Thank you so much for that" and we often find her words reverberate throughout our day. We are honored to feature Pippa as our See Beautiful Woman of the Month as she embodies this purpose.

Beauty: Dark and Light by Pippa @ Story of Mum
I’m so honoured to be part of this wonderful community of women looking for the beauty in all of us this month. Lydia suggested that I share a little about how I see and create more beautiful in my life, so here we go…Much of the beauty I see in my life stems from motherhood - rediscovering life through my children's bright eyes, seeing my own creativity and purpose in its rawest form, and acknowledging my own beauty for having made my children. As they look up at me with unquestioning love (they're not teenage yet...) it buoys my capacity to love others.

Yet so much of the 'ugliness' I see and create in my life also comes from motherhood - impatience and anger when I'm exhausted and frustrated, mum-body misery, a lack of appreciation or time for my husband, and that same lack of time and appreciation for myself.

The dark days throw the good days into beautiful relief. Beautiful is complex. It is dark and light. It is only by acknowledging and accepting the 'ugliness' in us that we can know our beauty too. We are not alone in our flaws, we are part of a global community of others who fail and get up and try again. And we are all beautiful for that. It is beautiful to hope, and to try our very best, and to fail and to still hope.
When I had my first child, I felt completely lost. A sudden shift from social career-defined woman to stay-at-home mum who didn't want to leave the house. I missed the creativity of my career world and struggled to value the creativity of my role as mother. I lost the ability to make time for myself, completely. I certainly couldn't see my beauty. Storyofmum.com, set up with my own mum, was part of my journey towards making time for me to emerge again, slowly ferreting out that beauty within. All the activities on storyofmum.com are creative projects that have impact on me, and often my mum too. Our mission to harness the power of creative activity and storytelling (written, visual, craft, arts) to help mums of all ages and backgrounds to explore our identities and passions, and value ourselves more, transformed me first.

I'd like to talk a little about Love Mum Body, an activity that recognises our intrinsic beauty as mothers. The media's constant focus on 'post-baby' perfection is far removed from the reality of life as a busy mum without personal trainers, dieticians and a full complement of hair and make-up artists. So for Love Mum Body, mums share photographs of parts of our mum-bodies that we struggle to love -either in the flesh, or recreated in plasticine!
Motherhood gave me a new respect for my body, an awareness of its innate miraculous power. It has also left me much droopier, saggier, squidgier, than before - all qualities that we associate with the opposite. But sharing my stomach in the Love Mum Body gallery broke through my fear of shame, my fear of putting my 'ugly' belly out there. That bravery opened the door to a flood of moving posts and images from other mothers. An incredible collection of images and words that validate mothers' strength and beauty, regardless of our stretch marks, sag and loss.

We're reminded of what we have gained, of what our amazing bodies have given the world, and we can reclaim their power. Even those of us who still struggle to love our bodies see that we are not alone, and find the beauty in others.

Well, this month, out activity is Mums' Reward Charts - why should the kids get all that stickers? While it's a fun task, it's another activity where we have to share our story and acknowledge our fears - what are the things we'd like to change about our behaviour? What can we admit that we're not doing that we'd like to do more?
I've started mine, and already the tasks are becoming their own reward, I feel more beautiful after yoga, I see the beauty around me as I revel in my kids' joyful play, I see my husband's beautiful smile more often. What could you do in ten minutes that would help you see the beauty in you and others?

I have always believed that stories can change the world. That sharing ones' story and being heard has an incredible impact on self-esteem. That everyone has something to offer, and mums are innately creative - we create people after all. Nurturing ourselves is the first step towards nurturing others. By helping mums to see our own beauty we can help everyone around them to see it too.

Our hope is that storyofmum.com serves as an inspiring interactive portrait of motherhood today - one that captures all aspects of our beauty, the dark and the light. Please join us.

You can follow Pippa on twitter @storyofmum, on facebook, and on the storyofmum.com website. Storyofmum.com host regular Make Dates, in real life and on twitter (#Somum). You can join us and join in any of our online activities at any time - we would love to have you.
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Are you looking for a for a tangible reminder to see beautiful, or know someone who needs one? Check out our See Beautiful products (and feel good knowing a portion of proceeds from every purchase is donated to charity. This month 20% of all product sales will be donated to Everyday Service. Click HERE to learn more.

2 comments:

  1. Yep Pippa is beautiful indeed and is doing an incredibly beautiful thing for mom's (and I hope for those who are not mom's) everywhere.
    Blessings,
    Goose

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  2. Oh my she is beautiful and inspiring - I know I say that often on your blog but so true. Love her chart. Thanks for sharing.

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts & helping others see beautiful too!