A couple weeks ago, on a flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles I picked up Southwest Airlines’ inflight magazine, Spirit, and was moved by what I found inside. Several celebrities and entertainers published letters filled with wishes, knowledge, comfort, and advice to their younger selves. Seth Green, Rita Rudner and Bill T. Jones all wrote letters encouraging faith and love. It was Gillian Anderson’s letter to her younger self that moved me the most. For hers was not only a call to action for herself, but a call to us all. She boldly mandates what might not seem like an obvious, or comfortable, path in the journey to find love for our bodies and selves. Get over yourself, and into the world.
I don’t know for sure, but this firm stand for self-love seemed to be inspired by The Choose Love Project. The Choose Love Project is the brain child of Rachel Cole, a life coach who helps women answer the question, “What are you truly hungry for?”. Rachel approached online colleague Lori Race, also a life coach, in May of 2011 with the idea of working on a body love project based on the “It Gets Better” campaign, a video campaign geared toward helping LGBT youth understand that life gets better after high school. The idea behind The Choose Love Project is to send the message to women, young and old, that at any age, body shape or size that they can indeed make the choice to love themselves and their bodies. Rachel and Lori both felt it would be extremely powerful to send the Choose Love message to women through a collection of letters written by individuals who had struggled with body image conflict and dysfunctional relationships with food and exercise in the past and who had come to choose love along their journey instead.
Each contributor was asked to write a letter to themselves at an age at which they felt like they were at a crossroads of sorts between choosing to love themselves or choosing conflict with their bodies. The letters were to include the wisdom of both what it looks and feels like to be on the other side of the body struggle along with words on how they got there. Each woman’s journey and story of a life lived, at one point, through the lens of a destructive negative body image is completely unique and as a result, there is wisdom to be gleaned for every single soul who comes across this project. Living in an age where we are constantly bombarded with images that tell us our appearance is flawed and requires tampering with, these women are here to say that it feels like the purest of freedoms and joy to be able to step into your own power and make the choice to love yourself just as you are. Rachel and Lori are looking to inspire a global explosion of woman who are ready to make that choice, to stand up in the face of the “ideal” of stick thin models, tooth whitened, spray tanned celebrities and the billion dollar weight loss and plastic surgery industries and say, “I Choose Love”.
They would love you to join them.
A collection of 39 incredibly compelling and resonate stories of true beauty and healing, it is worth checking it out.
To be inspired, download the project, watch many of the contributor’s accompanying videos, or find out how to become a part of The Choose Love Project go to http://www.thechooseloveproject.com .