#TeachItMamas Body Love Workshop

#TeachItMamas Body Love Workshop

This post is not sponsored. Thank you so much for your time and support. Enjoy!

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On Monday, October 15, 2018 Alex Andrade, founder of Teach It Mamas, hosted a Body Love Workshop, alongside three other empowering mamas: Crystal Dominguez, founder and artist at Crystal Domi, Rachel Carrillo, founder and photographer at L.A. Momma Photography, and Mary Carrillo, founder and educator at Maryposa Essentials, the workshop emphasized the need for women to self-care, love, and accept.

I attended Alex’s first community event back in May 20, 2018. You can read all about my experience here.

We met for the Body Love Workshop (Workshop) at 6:00 PM at Makers Mess, located on 602 N. Hoover, Street, Los Angeles, CA (Silver Lake), just around sunset.

Let me share with you, I took a moment before the Workshop to take in the beauty of nature and let my gratitude sink in.

I was grateful to have made the Workshop a priority and to have the support of my loving husband. To avoid the after-work traffic, I drove to my husband’s place of employment to drop-off my daughter with him and take off to the Workshop from there.

Earlier in the day, I had productive day of biking for bonding, cleaning the house, and getting ready for the workshop — physically and mentally. Is anyone else a social introvert with anxiety? 🙂

Nothing better than a gorgeous sunset overlooking the city to ease into a group setting and calm the nerves.

However, there was nothing to worry about! The atmosphere was welcoming from the moment I hugged Alex “hello!”

As we finished setting up, and the ladies started arriving, you could already feel that the night’s group was going to connect and love on each other.

There was mingling and whispers of support, while enjoying sweet snacks, infused water, and even some adult drinks (I’m sure this helped relax any nerves).

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I contemplated where to sit. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and sat in the middle of the group, instead of the corner — my personal favorite.
Anyone else go for the corner of the room?

Plus, I loved how the sunlight was coming in gorgeously bathing the studio walls, furniture, and beautiful women in the room.

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At each seat, the ladies could find a beautiful spiral-bound journal and pen for them to embrace journaling, during and after the Workshop. Journaling has becoming a form therapy for me. It used to be scrapbooking. I would love to merge the two!

The journal was beautifully decorated with custom art by Crystal Dominguez. The art piece was simple and inclusive. Isn’t that how we should be with ourselves?

Yet somehow we inevitably learn to get into our head, over analyze, and criticize our every thought and move; it’s much more complicated and discriminatory.

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How do we ground ourselves enough to focus on our inner positive voice, yet energize to be able to do all of the things?

Mary shared a great option for just that! Essential oils!
All while holding her months-old daughter in her arms (…and breastfed later on while standing tall and loving — that’s her superpower.

From her personal experience, she has found that essential oils have been able to aide her during the most common cold symptoms to heart-wrenching life experiences.
We thank her for opening up her wounds to share with us the power she has experienced with essential oils.

Nature has been able to help us since the beginning of time, yet I do not think it has been this easy to access its goodness. You’re just a few drops away from mental healing, and that sounds amazing!

Do you use essential oils?

Crystal has found that journaling and art is one of the best therapy options, as well as the best method to revolt against society’s unrealistic body expectations for women, and a creative way to empower and inspire women to heal and live their best life.

Crystal shared a future project of hers with us: A journal for your thoughts, while also providing space to color-in beautifully drawn women-empowering designs. Two-in-one goodness.

I’m looking forward to seeing the final product!

I love all of this! As you can see from the photo below, so did Alex!

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All the ladies in the room were able to share their body love journey: struggles and wins, ranging from when they were children to that very moment sitting at our table.

The conclusion is always the same. We all have different body compositions, but in the end, we are all dealing with the same conflicts. Let’s make like Elsa, and let it go…

We are stronger together.

We took a moment to choose a word we felt defined our body that night. Without giving it much though, I felt the word ‘Resilient’ appear in my mind’s eye. I wrote it down without hesitation.

And on my Crystal Domi Worksheet I quickly answered the question before moving on to the next phase of our Body Love Workshop:

How do you see yourself?

“I love my journey of self-acceptance. Turning thirty years old and becoming a mother has blessed me, not only with a healthy baby girl, but also with the blessing of self-love. Having this gift now allows for me to truly appreciate it. I would have taken it for granted as a teen and as a twenty year old. Thank the Lord for knowing His time.”  — Vanessa Torres

How would you answer this question?

We were to take our chosen word and bring it to life in our portrait session with the talented photographer, Rachel.

In this phase, we were granting ourselves permission to allow our body and all of the feels to be the center of attention in our portrait. Take up space!

I cannot wait to view the final edits of our portraits and admire the Resilient body that I am blessed with. I have to admit, I was feeling sassy during the portrait session, and I know for a fact that the light came from within and from the positive vibrations around all of us in the studio. We were empowered.

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Inspired by the night’s heart-felt stories. Here’s a small round-up of some of my favorite body-positive quotes:

  • “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” – Brene Brown
  • “Health isn’t just about what you’re eating. It’s about what you’re thinking and saying too.” – unknown
  • “In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.” – unknown
  • “Admire someone else’s beauty without questioning your own.” – unknown
  • “I’ve put up too much, too long, and now I’m just too intelligent, too powerful, too beautiful, too sure of who I am finally to deserve anything else.” – Sandra Cisneros

Do you have a favorite body-positive quote?

Remember, the lesson is to self-care, love, and accept where you currently find yourself in your journey of growth. Don’t wait until tomorrow, or when the timing is “perfect.”

And in the spirit of Teach It Mamas: Teach, Learn, Connect, Empower.

Teach it mama!

Love,

P.S. Subscribe to our newsletter tribe to see my sassy portrait! Are you curious?

P.S.S. Little awesome inside scoop:

Teach It Mamas was nominated to be able to utilize Makers Mess through their first Move-in Mondays giveaway! This is where Makers Mess allows members of the community to nominate their friends to take over their empty studio every third Monday of the month. How amazing is this of Makers Mess! That’s what I call paying-it-forward.

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Avenue Mama Super Self-Love Saturday: A Gathering for Women to Stand in Their Light

Avenue Mama Super Self-Love Saturday: A Gathering for Women to Stand in Their Light

This post is not sponsored, but does contain affiliate links to products I love.
If you purchase something with these links, you are helping support this blog and my family at no additional cost to you.
Thank you so much for your time and support. Enjoy!



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Only two months into 2018 and I already know this will be a year of pure growth for me — low days included!

I was having one of those low days, when Super Self-Love Saturday was announced and described as a “morning to refuel yourself, practice self-care, and dive into self-love and self-compassion. Disconnect from the hustle and bustle of life and join a community of like-minded women.” I just knew I had to attend! Plus, I had been following Avenue Mama on Instagram and really felt I had to meet its founder, Annie Vovan, in real life and give a her hug after so many virtual fist pumps and high-fives! Have you experienced that type of human connection before?

Our morning began with introductions, while enjoying a few tasty homemade tidbits by Annie and her adorable children — how awesome is that! The women easily approached each other and seamlessly came and went within multiple circles of conversation. It was beautiful to see and experience.

The Super Self-Love Saturday hosts, Avenue Mama founder, photographer, and former pharmacist, Dr. Annie Vovan, and Embraced Podcast host and psychologist, Dr. Whitney Dicterow, led the women into the studio to begin the event.

SELF-CARE

We began with a Self-Care Yoga Session lead by Rachelle Tratt. Her personal story, her choice of music, inspirational quotes, and yoga movements, all energized the room. So enjoyable! Do you practice yoga? I enjoyed that towards the end of the session she allowed us to have a moment to take our practice at our own pace, so we could concentrate more on our personal intention(s).

SELF-LOVE

We then transitioned to Self-Love Journaling led by Annie. We sat in a healing circle on these lovely and comfy bohemian-styled pillows with our gifted flowered-journals adorned with the quote “She believed she could. So she did.” Love it! Annie shared her story and slowly and organically opened-up a space for vulnerability without judgement. We went around the circle as every woman in the room shared a portion of herself. I learned, we have many journeys throughout life and sometimes we have multiple journeys working simultaneously with each other.

SELF-COMPASSION

During our self-love journeys, we need support and guidance for ourselves, so Embraced Podcast host, Whitney, taught us the Pillars of Self-Compassion through mindful meditation. I have always found meditation simple, yet not easy, to say the least. The challenge is to stay in the moment of each present breath — however, your mind is always wandering! And that’s just it, you shouldn’t react and become frustrated. Allow yourself grace and compassion. Getting to know yourself deeper brings many emotions, but also clarity for your future-self.

From there, there’s only pa’lante! We must keep moving forward!

At the end (or is it the beginning) superfood snacks were provided by Philosophie founder, Sophie Jaffe, a Los Angeles-based health and wellness expert (insider scoop: she has worked with George Clooney!). The nutritious smoothies she prepared for us were a great way to replenish our bodies and minds.

The day’s event was hosted at WMN Space (10764 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232); and it couldn’t have been more perfect!

WMN Space Founder and doula, Paula Mallin, says, “WMN Space is a conscious space for women to gather in service to their own healing as an offering to the community. The intention of WMN Space is to support women wherever they are on their journey of womanhood and motherhood. We offer healing modalities that include; doula services, spiritual counseling, pre and postnatal classes, bodywork, massage therapy, workshops and women’s gatherings.”

Avenue Mama Super Self-Love Saturday and WMN Space coming together was the best collaboration for the women in attendance — the healing energies were aligned.

I have seen time, and time gain, that finding people whom share common ground with you bring calmness and provide support for your self-care. The relationships that are formed are not forced, and they assist with positive reinforcement of personal growth.

 

“YOUR
VIBE
ATTRACTS
YOUR TRIBE.”
— unknown

What I have learned:

Making yourself a priority is not selfish.

Taking small steps to embrace every season of our lives is key. How many times have we heard, “It is not a sprint, it is a marathon.” We must take our time to evaluate all the components, in and out of our home, that make up who we are and who we are becoming.

It is okay to create space between something or someone that does not positively serve you, or your family.

However, I must say, do not allow this journey, to seek love for yourself, bring you more stress and anxiety.

Getting closer to self-acceptance is a life journey you can enjoy.

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“you carry
so much love in your heart.
give some. to yourself.”
— r.z.

 

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“Choose, everyday
to forgive yourself.
You are human, flawed,
and most of all
worthy of love.”
— Alison Malee

 

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“Allow yourself to transform
as many times as you need
to be fully happy and free.”
— yung pueblo

 

vanessa of life of torres blog after avenue mama super self love saturday session with yoga mat and gift bag

Here I am after the Avenue Mama Super Self-Love Saturday. I could feel my inner light shining and I wanted to document it. This is a photo taken by my lovely iPhone timer and Ford Edge.  ; )

Taking a few minutes each day to yourself will make a world of difference for you!

Don’t forget to love yourself, amiga. Remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup.

 

Love,

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The following photos have been provided by Annie Vovan of Avenue Mama:

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