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Getting Naked And Falling In Love

IMG_2492-67[2]Sometimes I feel like I don’t belong anywhere – like I don’t have a home.

I’ve spent the last few months living in the town I moved to to be with a guy who I’m no longer dating. It’s beautiful, but lonely here.

I visit LA often because I have lots of friends there, but crashing on my friend’s couch is a constant reminder that “this is not my home.”

When I go back to the East Coast, it feels great to be at my parents’ house and hang with my family. No one loves me more in the world than my three DiAltos. And I love adventuring into NYC to catch up with some of my favorite people – but still, neither of those places are my home.

The truth is – home is not a place.

Sometimes I forget this and get lost in my search for a home.

That is why this picture means so much to me – because this right here is my only true home, and I love her.

photo credit: Christa Meola

photo credit: Christa Meola

Now, before I get into the story I’m going to share with you here, I want to invite you to find yourself in it along the way. I know you have a desire to love, accept, and express yourself. We all do. Yours may not be around a photo, or your body, or maybe it is. Just be open to discovering the thing that’s welling up inside of you, that’s deeply connected to who you really are, that’s waiting to feel safe enough to be revealed.

Here we go.

I’ve been holding onto this picture, waiting to muster up the courage to share it for

32 months.

Back in April, I was meditating one morning and felt an undeniable nudge that it was time to share, so I posted it in Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map group on Facebook.

Here’s what I wrote in that post:

“In Feb 2011 on the first retreat for Marie Forleo’s Adventure Mastermind our surprise adventure was a boudoir photo shoot with Christa Meola. This was NOT something most of us were comfortable with which was exactly why it was SO magical. When we got our photos, there was one that I loved so much, I couldn’t really express why at the time, but now I know it’s because it was the visual embodiment of my core desires to feel wildly feminine, free, and connected. I wanted to blog about the experience but I *knew* my mom would flip out if I posted a half naked photo of myself on the internet without giving her a heads up. The conversation turned into a battle that lasted a few days and I gave in. I never posted the picture. The way that made me feel reminds me of that quote about being folded that I know I’ve read somewhere in The Fire Starter Sessions. This morning during a little meditation, the image came up and the words, “Never ask permission to express your soul’s desire.” So! while I’m not exactly ready yet to post it super publicly, this felt like the perfect place to sneak a peek. Thank you for the space. Commence unfolding…”

The full quote I was thinking of is this, “I want to unfold. I don’t want to stay folded anywhere, because where I am folded, there I am a lie.” – Ranier Maria Rilke

Hits you in the guts, doesn’t it?

When I hit send on that post I had no expectation or attachment to what the response would be. My only intention was a selfish one – to completely honor myself.

And holy shit, when I tell you this was one of the BEST decisions I ever made, I am not exaggerating because what happened next was magical.

A complete outpouring of LOVE.

Here are a few comments that not only that moved me to tears but reflected back to me the power and responsibility I have as a woman and a leader to inspire action through my openness:

    “Everything about this is exquisite and so achingly raw and authentic. Love, love, love, mad respect, and a boatload of gratitude to you, Liz DiAlto for sharing!!”
    “As you step forward into your own authenticity, actively shedding the shame skins of so many thousands of women and their lineage you truly give so many more women permission to be themselves to be transformed.”
    “Congratulations Liz DiAlto and Thank you for sharing your story. The photo is stunning because it translates your message and desires beautifully, but it also speaks to the deeper issues most women face embracing their feminine and loving who they are, no matter what shape or size. It must be so liberating to share this… Major Applause.”
    “I am grateful you had the courage to share this image! It instantly surfaced a groundswell of energy and desire in me. And I immediately wrote 2 important letters to share the image with 2 important women whom I feel need to receive the flame in their chests as much as I.”
    “Liz! I LOVE, LOVE your post! I am one of your followers. I was introduced to you by one of our mutual friends. I’ve read your book. Point is that your followers would resonate with this post so much. After all, my body issues (real and made up) have lots to do with those voices of others (notably my mother’s). Thank you for sharing your beautiful photo with us, as well as your poignant message!!!”

I thought my little heart might explode.

I’ve been unfolding ever since with lots and lots of help. The journey of being a woman, falling in love with our bodies and owning our power is not something that can be done solo.

When left to our own devices a lot of us punish, blame and deny our bodies under the guise of some moral code of modesty or a delusional claim that we are taking care of ourselves.

We cover up, we hide, we shrink to make other people feel comfortable.

We diet, we force ourselves to workouts we hate and all other kinds of things we don’t enjoy in pursuit of happiness. (Silly.)

Fill in the blank (you know your own story), “When I __________, I’ll be happy.”

Lose 10 lbs.
Meet the man of my dreams.
Make x$$/yr.

The list of things that don’t actually matter goes on and on. What matters is how you feel. What matters is knowing who you really are and allowing yourself to be that woman.

I’ve spent the last few days scared shitless to write this blog post because I remember feeling two distinctly different things when I first laid eyes on my photo.

1. This is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

2. I shouldn’t feel that way about a picture of myself.

While we’ve taken many strides as a gender and a society, we’re still operating with lots of tacit patriarchal agreements. One of which is the preference for women to be in constant pursuit of self-esteem, but very careful about expressing it once they acquire it.

I suspect if we polled a group of women the majority would rather be labeled as “slutty” or “promiscuous” over “attention seeking” or “full of herself.”

The latter of course being the labels we receive (from some, not all) when we do dare to embrace and express our true power, greatness and beauty – so much of which comes from our BODIES.

In her book, Red, Hot and Holy, Sera Beak quotes Teri Degler who said, “Even of all those women who are comfortable with emotions, very few are comfortable with the feeling of wild, surging power… the trick is to realize that we do indeed embody this power and then to become comfortable with the way this feels. We need, in other words, to come to a place where we can sit and quietly hold this great power in our bellies.”

YES. YES. YES.

I’m coming to this place and I’d love for you to join me.

Because the process of unfolding and embodying is deeply personal, I’m not asking you to go all public with your body issues, vulnerabilities and darkest fears. But I have created a private sacred space for women who feel this tug of truth in your body – that you may or may not exactly be able to explain, but you KNOW it’s important to you… and you’re open to discussions around what this means and how we support each other as women in accessing this power and connecting to our higher selves.

To join the group click here. It’s free.

If you’d rather not, no biggie.

The last thing I want to share with you is an exercise I do every morning that helps me love my body and connect to her more deeply.

-When you wake up, stand in front of the mirror in your underwear, topless or completely naked.

-Put your hands on your body in some way – I usually rub my belly, cup my breasts (I hated them for years, so now I like to make up for it by showing them some love on a weekly basis), stick out my ass, or sway my hips a little.

-Instead of picking yourself apart (which may be your natural inclination), just observe your body like a work of art, look for the details and intricacies.

Since I’ve been doing this everyday for quite a while, I notice things like how the shape and feel of my breasts changes with my cycle and the tone of my skin changes with the seasons. I’ll notice a new freckle or how my muscles are changing shape or taking form.

Get to know your naked self.

Once you get comfortable doing this practice, you can take it a step further by finding something new to admire on your body everyday. Even if it’s a small space like your collarbone, the space just above your belly button, your ankle.

All of it matters.

All of it is yours.

All of it is home.

Never ask permission to express your soul’s desire.Tweet it.

Exploding with love and gratitude,

Liz

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If you enjoyed this post, I’d be honored if you share it. We need more women (and men) on the body love team.

You may also enjoy the following books:

Awakening Shakti by Sally Kempton
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
Way of the Superior Man by David Deida
Red, Hot and Holy by Sera Beak

And this blog is a must follow:

Justine Musk

  • MaryIam

    I want to let my ego go so badly!!! It took me months to buy a car because I was stuck in the label. I wanted the car that would tell people how well off I was, how much greater I was than the next. What I could afford, was what I could afford, and that was that, because in a world of making money the creditors aren’t interested in hearing how badly you want it. I finally purchased a car, and for the first week felt as if I was not worthy of what I’d purchased. Somewhere along the line I realized there are people who wish they could even have the opportunity to say they’ve purchased a new car, no matter they style, or make. I am going to be juicing my way through the new year, and I want to ask for prayers that I find my purpose, find a way to check my ego, and live on purpose.

    Mariam :)

  • Neerja Sharma

    I love the earth photo and reference! And, your words: “you get to be EVERYTHING you were born to be” Often not so easy for me to believe, but I am aware that it is important to truly believe it. The power of belief, and love. Great blog today! thank you.

  • Kristianne

    In a two sided mirror you see yourself, but you can’t see through to the other side where life is, where life can see you.

  • ashley

    how? i nver get this..pls,how do you drop your ego/logo? What does this look/sound like in real life? THANKYOU!

  • http://www.telluselle.com/blog Alexandra Telluselle

    To me what happened was that I did drop my Ego at the door, but others, both in the US and Sweden, who hasn’t thought of it as an opportune time to make money off me while not letting me be a part of the abundance that I enabled creation. As long as we have these conditions of money and rules that govern our world, we must also play by them.

    • http://www.telluselle.com/blog Alexandra Telluselle

      PS. Where did you get the inspiration for this particular post Mastin? Can you pay your rent and food? Do you have customers? Are you in a loving relationship? Have you been recognized? Are you living your dream?

      I am not.

  • Kathleen Chelquist

    And… out beyond “wrongdoing,” we begin to distinguish the doer from the deed. We realize that EVERYTHING has spiritual purpose; when this is “SEEN” from the eyes of our heart, we realize that the doer is truly innocent and there was actually nothing to forgive in the first place. All an offering..giving us an opportunity to choose LOVE.
    http://www.kathleenchelquist.com

    • Liz DiAlto

      this is beautiful, thank you for sharing :)

    • The Daily Love

      Wow Kathleen, thank you for sharing this! It IS truly beautiful! An opportunity to choose LOVE is always an amazing opportunity! -Team TDL

  • Sean O’Meara

    I regularly remind myself that my ego should just be an advisor, not Prime Architect of my life. We humans cannot completely remove our ego as it is part of us BUT we can bring greater awareness to the choices we make. And not be ruled primarily by our ego

    • The Daily Love

      Great insight, Sean! Thanks so much for sharing these thoughts! -Team TDL

  • Gaynelle Jasper

    I’ve come to understand that EGO is where all of our attachments live. EGO thrives on WANTING, and cannot exist in PEACE. EGO truly is Edging God Out, and my work is doing everything I can to constantly remind myself that I always have everything that I need, because the Source that put us all here, is total and complete Abundance and Love!!!

    • Liz DiAlto

      I love this acronym for EGO – Edging God Out – thank you Gaynelle!

      • Gaynelle Jasper

        Thanks, Liz. It was passed to me, so, I’m passing it on. Hey, whatever works, right?

  • thebewell3

    Why do you think it is so hard to go soul to soul with someone? Wouldn’t all the borders be dropped? Why aren’t we conditioned that way…hmmm

  • Naomi Goodlet

    Oooh, love this: “when we remember our sameness, it helps us accept our differences”.
    Reminding myself of this is such a helpful way to realign with my ‘flow’ and connection. Thankyou :)

    • The Daily Love

      Naomi, this is such a fantastic and applicable quote! Love it! Thanks so much for sharing!! -Team TDL

  • Guest

    Effing awesome!!! Thank you. Not very many women love their bodies or even want to look at themselves in the mirror naked of clothed. I’ve been forcing myself to look at my body named every morning while I dry brush my skin and repeat affirmations. It’s nice to know I’m not alone with this struggle and that there is hope. Hope that I will come to love me and my body just the way it is.

    • Liz DiAlto

      when I originally posted this on my blog, I was shocked to see how many women thought they were alone in this. Couldn’t be more the opposite. Droves of women are craving this kind of freedom and love. Thank for the comment!

    • The Daily Love

      So glad you have found hope and that you are working toward peace with your body! You are doing AMAZING work!
      -Team TDL

  • Qglenda

    When I drop the ego and the logos … I experience pure peace. However, when something triggers, as Tolle would say, the “pain body” … I go back into that frenetic, stressful space. The ego and identification with logos is such a strong draw … but, so is the peace of knowing that the Uni-verse will provide just what you need. Mastin, this piece is just what I needed to read today to bring me peace … once again, the Uni-verse provided what my tired ego needed in order to put it back in its place! Thank you! Namaste …

    • Liz DiAlto

      I’m so glad you found peace here, Qglenda. Appreciate your comment :)

  • Diana

    Beautiful and confident! Thank you for such a generous gift of love.

    • Liz DiAlto

      thank you for receiving it :)

    • The Daily Love

      She certainly has given women and men SUCH a gift of love! Thank you for reading, Diana!!
      -Team TDL

  • Jeannie

    So beautiful. Brought to tears. Love the quote “Never ask permission to express your soul’s desire.” Thank you!

    • Liz DiAlto

      mmm…thank you. Let the tears flow – whatever it is you’re releasing, it’s time to go!

    • The Daily Love

      Amazing! So glad that you found such a connection here, Jeannie. Sending LOVE!
      -Team TDL

  • guest

    How very courageous of you! My intial reactions were fear based…vulnerability creates this within me. You’ve inspired me to look a little closer and open my heart to myself with kindness and grace rather than fear.

    • Liz DiAlto

      feels good just to read, “kindness and grace rather than fear” – yes!

    • The Daily Love

      So happy to hear that you have been inspired, and that kindness and grace is your new approach toward yourself! Sending LOVE your way!!
      -Team TDL

  • Chris Assaad

    Beautiful post Liz. Thank you for your courage in sharing yourself so vulnerably and setting an example for women (and men too) of what it looks like we when we love ourselves completely in body and spirit and can stand powerfully in the knowing of who we really are. Much love my friend :)

    • Liz DiAlto

      Feeling the love – thank you for this beautiful comment :)

    • The Daily Love

      She sends a wonderful message here, doesn’t she, Chris? So glad you were able to take away from this post!
      -Team TDL

  • Joan Kline

    Thanks for the article, it really got me thinking. Especially when i’m not pleased with my health, weight and relationship with my husband. When you spoke of not belonging, and not having a home ,and that your true home is yourself. How many times through life we search for the perfect life. The perfect body, perfect home, husband or other things, and not realizing that nothing can buy happiness, peace or contentment. It comes from within. When i was younger in my early 20′s i thought that at 135 lbs i was fat and over weight. Now years down the road now that i am over weight i would love to return to that weight, and now realize that unless you love the person with in, you’ll never be happy, no matter what you weigh, where you live, or who your with. Thanks again for sharing! I hope and pray that you’ve found what your looking for in life. God Bless!

    • Liz DiAlto

      thanks Joan, it comes back to an old saying, “You take yourself with you wherever you go.” Simple but true.

    • The Daily Love

      The realization that peace and love comes from WITHIN is so liberating, Joan! So glad that you were able to take away from this article!
      -Team TDL

  • Gaynelle Jasper

    I absolutely LOVED your post, Liz…Truth to Power!! Thank you! My naked body and my full-length mirror are no strangers to each other, but now, with your suggested exercise, we’re going to become Best Friends!!

    • The Daily Love

      So glad to hear that you’re taking on Liz’s exercise! We’re sure it will be a rewarding endeavor!! -Team TDL

  • Meagan

    So completely moved and inspired by you and this post. Sending you my sincerest thanks and love.

    • Liz DiAlto

      Thank you Meagan!

    • The Daily Love

      We agree, Megan! Liz plunged RIGHT IN with this post and WOW!! What an inspiration she is!
      -Team TDL

  • Daphne Dominique

    Thank you for this article. I am really meditating on how to really receive and give my universal abundance with grace.
    Then I came across this piece. I live my life by the Serenity Prayer (MY Peace, MY Courage and MY Insight). Whenever, I am aware and present I recite this prayer and when I read your piece I felt the line “The desires you want, wants you too!” to be so true. As I write this line and take this line, thought and feeling in my heart chakra opens wider. I feel at peace with this line, belief and feeling. To know and feel my desires wants me just as much as I want them increases my faith and I feel all is well. Thanks again! :-)

  • The Sumptuista

    Way to go, you, showing the world how beautiful you are! Seeing what within us is unique and sparkly is so powerful. And girl, I need to stop asking permission to be awesome, because I do it all the time, and no one can say yes but me!!

    I love that you’re wearing an “I love me” ring! I’m looking for my own daily reminder that I love myself too, something that reminds me of my radiance — and hopefully heart shaped, since it’s a shape I love. (I, uh, might actually have a heart-shaped-thing obsession. I have brass swans in my livingroom that kiss to form a heart, heart shaped nesting mixing bowls in my kitchen, and a morning meditation in which I made the question marks hearts. I’M THINKING I NEED MORE HEARTS IN MY LIFE, YOU GUYS. ;-) )

    • Liz DiAlto

      Haha…believe it or not, almost 10 months later I lost my ring on a flight. I took it to mean that I didn’t need a totem reminder anymore that I loved myself – it totally served me as long as I owned it though. I’m with you on the heart symbolism though, I’m actually getting a tattoo next week that’s a heart/infinity to always remember that love is infinite :)

  • http://PositiveWomenRock.com/ Kelly Rudolph

    The perspective shift from being our own worst critic to being our own best friend and using the lessons we’ve learned to be a good example for other women (and men) is the turning point between “I’m not good enough” and “I’m rockin’ my life, wanna join me?” Thank you very much, Liz for your candor, authenticity and spectacular example! You ROCK!

    • Liz DiAlto

      Yes, I LOVE the way you put this, Kelly – thank you!

      • http://PositiveWomenRock.com/ Kelly Rudolph

        My pleasure! ♥