Exposed

by Lance Ekum on · 81 comments

PIC0009ab

“Outside show is a poor substitute for inner worth.” ~ Aesop

The human body is our vessel to carry us throughout our days.  Are we more than that, though?

Recently, I was asked by a good friend, Carla Birnberg (aka MizFit around here) to join in an appreciation of the whole human body – our wholeness is what makes us who we are. 

This all began when Mish, from Eating Journey, wrote about loving who we are…today.  (Mish:  You are a brave woman, and that is a wonderful thing to see!)

So, this is me – exposed.

That's the outer me.  Just like each of you, though, I am much more than what you see here.

I AM my legs.  They are used for walking, for running, for kicking, and for playing.  

I AM my smile.    That feeling of joy from just tipping my cheek bones up, from the corners of my lips pointed skyward.

I AM my eyes.  To see the beautiful sunsets.  To see those I love – my wife, my kids, friends.

I AM my heart.  Love.  Connection.  Feeling.  Truth.

I AM me. 

Life is funny.  This is me, recently.  It is not me today, though.  Perhaps I'm a couple of pounds more today.  Perhaps I'm also a little more deeply grounded, too, though.  Perhaps I'm not comfortable showing the real outside appearance today.  Perhaps I'm not always comfortable showing the inside me, too.  Perhaps I see that this picture represents me at my best.  Perhaps "best" is relative. 

None of us are perfect. 

We are not fast enough, or smart enough.  We don't have enough friends.  We have too much weight around our midsection.  We are too emotional.  We don't show enough emotion.  We look the other way when bad things happen.  We yell at our children.  We are mean to our spouse.  We sometimes just don't care.

Been there?

And all of us are perfect.

We are who we are, today.  In this moment, this is us.  We are living and breathing.  We are human.  We are perfectly human.  With all the challenges that go with that, and all the joys.  We are our body, our mind, our spirit.  It is us…each of us, at this moment.  It is what we have.  All of it. 

"I find that when we really love, accept and approve of ourselves exactly as we are, then everything in life works." ~ Louise Hay

Celebrate YOU! 

Love YOU!

Each of you are amazing!  In so many beautiful ways, you are all shining examples of living beings.  Human life, living here on earth.  Wow! 

And that is so much more that just skin deep. 

Celebrate LIFE!

Special Note:  Celebrate the success of several others who have exposed their bodies, and see the beauty that is there.  YOU are all brave and amazing!

Mish, MizFit, Roni, Kate, Heather, Ron, AJ, Manic Mama, Mary, KatieP, Cynthia, Hilda

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
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{ 72 comments… read them below or add one }

Miz November 24, 2009 at 5:45 am

thank you thank you thank you for sharing. for joining us. for baring so much more than your torso.

Carla
.-= Miz´s Last Fabulous Post ..Tweetsgiving gratitude post. =-.

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Stacey Shipman November 24, 2009 at 5:49 am

Makes me wish we could take a look on the “inside”…to see what’s really going on! I love that first quote – you look good outside, when you feel good inside…It’s funny, when I quit my job I felt “exposed” – but emotionally, not physically. The whole person indeed, is what counts, we are so much more than our physical body! And we are all perfect, just as we are today. thanks, Lance, for sharing your perspective.
.-= Stacey Shipman´s Last Fabulous Post ..Exercise and Yoga: You’re Never Too Old to Start =-.

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Joanna November 24, 2009 at 6:12 am

You certainly have a way with words and a way of finding a deeper meaning in everything you do.
.-= Joanna´s Last Fabulous Post ..Junior Hi’s and Goodbyes =-.

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Trish @imaSUcceeding November 24, 2009 at 6:20 am

I am in awe…you are amazing!
.-= Trish @imaSUcceeding´s Last Fabulous Post ..#Mamavation Monday: A First Week Re-cap =-.

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Hilda November 24, 2009 at 7:18 am

This post has inspired me Lance. What’s going on in our bodies is never a surface issue. It represents more going on at a deeper level. Not loving our bodies means we’re not loving ourselves enough. There is something I need to reflect on…
.-= Hilda´s Last Fabulous Post ..As within, so without =-.

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Mary :: A Merry Life November 24, 2009 at 7:29 am

Thank you for joining us and doing this Lance. This is beautiful.
.-= Mary :: A Merry Life´s Last Fabulous Post ..Another Goal Accomplished =-.

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Lynn November 24, 2009 at 7:33 am

Yes – we must love ourselves first. Great message, Lance!
.-= Lynn´s Last Fabulous Post ..Tom & Jerry, mouse hole and bowling =-.

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AJ November 24, 2009 at 8:09 am

Thanks for joining! You have a great message- I am glad you are sharing it with the world! 🙂
AP

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Mindful Mimi November 24, 2009 at 8:17 am

Lance,
Perfection is overrated. I love imperfection. It’s what makes us all so interesting and alive.
How brave of you to expose yourself like that. I think we give way to much attention nowadays to our looks and bodies – where we should really take care of our insides. Because when the inside is pretty, the outside doesn’t matter – it will shine anyway.
Way to go!
M
.-= Mindful Mimi´s Last Fabulous Post ..Sunday laugh =-.

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Tess The Bold Life November 24, 2009 at 8:20 am

Lance,

You have much love to give because of your self-love. Thanks for being part of another great project and encouraging us to do the same.
.-= Tess The Bold Life´s Last Fabulous Post ..20 Tips For Holidays That Rock =-.

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Erin Prais-Hintz November 24, 2009 at 8:26 am

Thank you Lance for the reminder that I am who I was meant to be and there is so much to celebrate in that. I may not care for the way I look or the way I act or the things I do sometimes but each choice is a part of who I am. And that is perfect…..for me. We spend so much of our lives comparing ourselves to others without appreciating who we really are. I think that sometimes I am afraid of the real me…that we all are. Thank you for reminding me that God loves me as I am and that I only need to be the best that I can be and not any better. Enjoy the day! Erin
.-= Erin Prais-Hintz´s Last Fabulous Post ..Thanks Giving =-.

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Yum Yucky November 24, 2009 at 8:33 am

I love the “much more than what you see” part and how you detailed it all. That’s what is most important. That’s what really counts.
.-= Yum Yucky´s Last Fabulous Post .."Tasting!" POST Vanilla Almond Shredded Wheat =-.

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suddenly slimmer November 24, 2009 at 8:33 am

Hi Lance,
It’s been awhile I haven’t checked your blog but still the posts are inspiring as always. The closing quote is really something.
.-= suddenly slimmer´s Last Fabulous Post ..To Walk For =-.

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Hayden Tompkins November 24, 2009 at 8:36 am

“We are living and breathing. We are human.”

So. True. Letting ourselves be more – more than stats or the scale, more than the mirror – is to let ourselves truly be. I truly love this message. You rock!
.-= Hayden Tompkins´s Last Fabulous Post ..sensitive (adj.) deeply perceptive =-.

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suzen November 24, 2009 at 8:57 am

Hi Lance!
This post is simply AWESOME! And really timely for me – thank you! As I can’t help but notice my body and what it was once capable of, going the way of aging (ugh) I realize how my power is growing inside! I care for my “house” so it will function properly but it grows less and less important compared to stoking the fires within. Aging has a way of making one realize the superficial nature of a lot of things – and the true importance of others!
.-= suzen´s Last Fabulous Post ..Monkey Goes Bananas on Banana Schpeels =-.

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Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker November 24, 2009 at 10:25 am

Lance, I am so grateful for the wonderfully, uplifting, real articles that you continue to write. I love the quote that you started out with today. What is inside each of us can often come wrapped in a quite ordinary looking container. Some of us become more out of shape as we get older and life sometimes weighs us down. You always cheer me up with your words of wisdom and your thought provoking pictures. Thanks for coming into my online world. Have a glorious Thanksgiving, one and all who read this.
.-= Patricia – Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker´s Last Fabulous Post ..Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse: November, 2009 =-.

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Evita November 24, 2009 at 10:28 am

Fabulous turn around in this article Lance – I love how you said we are perfect. We are our bodies, and yet we are not – we are so much more than our bodies. To me as long as someone is healthy in the truest sense of the word, it doesn’t matter what they look like. Some of us are smaller, some of us are bigger. The diversity is beautiful!

Too often society pushes us to be something that does not define us. We need to get back in touch with us and love us, really love us as you demonstrate here how you love you – and that is so deeply inspirational Lance – thank you so much!!!!

P.S. You know Roni too? She was there at the event I attended in California last week…what a smaller and smaller world 😉
.-= Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Essential Energy with Cyndi Dale: Beyond the Golden Rule =-.

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Davina November 24, 2009 at 12:43 pm

I was reading something the other day to the effect that we can ONLY express who we are. What we don’t share of who we are is wasted because no other can share it the way we can. And that’s what makes us perfect! 🙂 And your smile shines through in your writing Lance… and in that piggy avatar of yours I see on Twitter.
.-= Davina´s Last Fabulous Post ..It’s Midnight & I’m Still Single =-.

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Laurie November 24, 2009 at 1:00 pm

You are tanner than I thought you would be! I think that if I put a photo of my bod on your blog, I would get a different reaction. Guys can get away with so much! he he he!

I am a bit overweight. Funny thing, when I was a little trimmer, I felt really uncomfortable about my body. Then I worked on accepting me and liking me and now, while I want to lose the extra pound for health reasons, I feel comfortable in my skin. I can get dresses with the lights on and not rush for a towel when I get out to the shower. I don’t look better but I feel better. It’s nice.

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Sami - Life, Laughs & Lemmings November 24, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Lance, I wish the fashion, advertising and general media world held the same perspective as you. Imagine how different the majority of people would feel about their bodies if that was the case. The lack of focus on what’s inside a person as opposed to how they look is a major reason I don’t buy fashion/gossip magazines anymore. Bravo to you my friend. Very courageous. I’m applauding you all the way from Aus!
.-= Sami – Life, Laughs & Lemmings´s Last Fabulous Post ..Climbing Out of the Depths of Despair – Part 1 =-.

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KatieP@head.heart.health November 24, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Thank you for joining us and celebrating your amazing body. I am glad to have found you and will be back to visit ?
.-= KatieP@head.heart.health´s Last Fabulous Post ..How to Speed Up Your Metabolism =-.

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Akemi - Yes to Me November 24, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Lol, I LOVE this! I’ll tweet so everyone can admire your shirtless figure.

Now let me see if I want to go in bikinis…^_^
.-= Akemi – Yes to Me´s Last Fabulous Post ..My eBook On Spiritual Entrepreneurship =-.

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Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord November 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm

What a wonderful message to share; thank you, Lance! It makes me wonder why it’s so hard to remember, though. Why do we get so wrapped up in the exterior stuff? Why are we constantly measuring and comparing? Then again, in those moments when everything feels just right – exactly as it is – those moments are pure bliss. However fleeting they are, they make the challenges of getting back to them worthwhile.
For me, anyway.
Thank you for your brave, loving message, and for being such a bright light in this world.
.-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s Last Fabulous Post ..Read. LAUGH! Repeat. =-.

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Lance November 24, 2009 at 9:14 pm

@Miz – No…thank YOU!! Your encouragement made this happen! You, Carla, are an amazing person…and that is something I’ve witnessed time and again. Keep on being “you”…

@Stacey Shipman – Stacey, if there’s someone I think of who really “gets” this, it is you. And to your point – being exposed can definitely come in many different forms. When we are feeling exposed, that can really take a hit on our self-confidence. As a whole person, though, we are much more than any one dimension. There’s so much to each of us, and to who we are – and “seeing” this is a very good place to be at.

@Joanna – Joanna, thank you!

@Trish – Thanks so, so much!

@Hilda – You have really touched upon a key point, Hilda. Yes, not loving one aspect of us means that we are not fully loving our complete self. And when that happens, we miss all that we are. And we are so amazing, every one of us!

@Mary – Mary, thank you for so bravely being a part of this too. You shine!

@Lynn – If we can love ourselves first, then it’s so much easier to put love out into the world. Thanks always, Lynn, for all your support.

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Karl Staib - Work Happy Now November 24, 2009 at 9:29 pm

It takes guts to put your body out there. It’s funny that I wrote that first sentence because it shouldn’t take guts. I wrote it because I believe it. It’s just ashame that we aren’t more free with our bodies. We should all be proud of our beauty. We are so lucky to be here interacting and enjoying each other. We shouldn’t be afraid of what other people think.

We are all beautiful.
.-= Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s Last Fabulous Post ..Need an Edge Up on Your Career – Part 2 =-.

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Lance November 24, 2009 at 9:39 pm

@AJ – Hi AJ! Thanks so much for stopping by here today. And even more, thank you for your brave sharing on your own site. I am so impressed with everyone who has done this! AJ, you are an amazing person!

@Mimi – Hi Mimi. Yes, if we can start on the inside – and love ourselves for who we are, at our core, then that love shines out! And that is beautiful and amazing! Thanks so much, Mimi, for all your support.

@Tess – Hi Tess. You have a way with words, that makes me always feel important and believed in. That really is a gift you have! Thanks so, so much for all your caring.

@Erin – Erin, you have really hit upon something so important. This idea of comparing ourselves to others. We are each individuals. And I know, it can be easy to compare ourselves to the person who seems to have it all together. There is so much that we are not seeing, though. And what matters, anyway, is our belief in ourselves – over what others might think of us anyway. God does love you, very much. And me. And everyone else! And that is wonderful news, always! Erin, I see you as such a shining light in this world, and it is so good having you here today…

@Yum Yucky – Hi Josie. Yes, what we don’t see…all that stuff that really makes each of us the person we are – that is what really counts. And when we connect with that, and love our complete selves, that shines out into the world. You shine out in the world.

@Suddenly Slimmer – Hi Alia. Thanks so much for being here. And that last quote really resonated for me, too…

@Hayden – Hi Hayden. We are so much more than a reflection in the mirror, or a number on a scale. We are our whole being. And I love what you say about “…to let ourselves truly be”. Hayden, you are so on with this, and these are refreshing words to read.

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Evelyn Lim November 24, 2009 at 9:46 pm

Bravo to all of you! Indeed, all of us are perfect even if we can only see the imperfections in the mirror. The message is to really practice self-love! Love this post tremendously! Message is simple but on the mark!
.-= Evelyn Lim´s Last Fabulous Post ..Timeless Unfolding of Truths =-.

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Lance November 24, 2009 at 10:16 pm

@Suzen – Hi Suzen. Thank so much! And I love what you are saying about your power growing inside – and how the outer can really be so superficial. Suzen, this is so good to read, and really – you are filled with so much wisdom…shining through here!

@Patricia – Spiritual Journey of a Lightworker — Thanks so much for your sweet and kind words, Patricia. And this thought of us as an ordinary container not being a reflection upon what is inside – this is so good to read. Patricia, you shine! And it is beautiful to see. And you too, have a wonderul Thanksgiving!

@Evita – Hi Evita. Perfect…I really spent some time thinking about this. And I just kept coming back to the idea that, in our human existence, we ARE perfect. And then thinking about health – which can encompass so many different aspects – and when we make wholeness of health a priority, our bodies, in so many ways, internally and externally, can become even greater. And that is “even greater” – no matter what we look like on the outside. When love starts on the inside, love radiates out. Evita, I witness this in you – always. And it is beautiful to see. And how interesting and exciting on just how small our world is. I don’t know Roni well, although I am definitely familiar with her site. So cool!!

@Davina – That’s a great point, about only us individually can truly express who we are. I’m really letting that thougth sink in. And it is good. And that piggy avatar…yikes!! I wonder if my nose is going to freeze in that position! Thanks so much Davina, YOU make me smile tonight!

@Laurie – Hmmm…I wonder if I’ve been hanging out at the tanning bed? (I haven’t.) And you bring up another good point – this idea of men vs. women. I think you are right – that in a way, men may have it easier. Perhaps that’s the proliferation of women’s bodies on magazines, tv, media shoots, etc – that seems more prevalent than men – and more damaging? It is great to hear that you are comfortable in your own skin, Laurie. That’s a greate place to be…

@Sami – The whole media angle, in my opinion, really makes this difficult for everyone (including the models who the airbrush to look just “right”). I wonder, who isn’t negatively affected in some way? Sami, you always bring a smile when you come here – and you offer a glow out into the world that is so, so good. Thanks so much for being here.

@KatieP – Thank you, Katie, for stopping by here today. And even more – for the brave post you did, and shared of you…an amazing YOU!

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Zeenat{Positive Provocations} November 25, 2009 at 2:41 am

Lance,
You’re so full of love and compassion. Your loving soul just radiates from this post.
Thank you fro sharing so much of you with us….you truly do inspire.
With Love
Z
.-= Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s Last Fabulous Post ..My “Mark Twain” Approach-Worlds Strongest Librarian =-.

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Lance November 25, 2009 at 4:32 am

@Akemi – Ha!!! You are funny, Akemi! As for me AND bikinis…I’ll stay far away from that!!

@Megan – Hi Megan. I wonder if that whole idea of getting caught up with our exterior appearance is because that is what we see, and what everyone else sees. And so it feels like that is how people might view us – especiall initially. And then, if we are somehow not loving that out appearance – this just makes us even more self-conscious of it all. Getting to that spot where everything feels right, to us individually, is a good place to be. I think it relates much along the thoughts that Evita shared about our health – and how that is so much more than just our physical health – although that is certainly a component. This wasn’t an easy post to do – and I questioned very much whether I should at all. So, Megan, know that I am deeply appreciative of all that you are saying. You are a kind and wonderful friend…

@Karl – You know…this was one of those posts I really debated about doing. Especially when MizFit and Mish first shared their thoughts with me on this. Seeing them and others, though, share in their own very brave and courageous moments just really helped me to feel okay with this (well…after much thought and consideration!). Karl, your last line says it so, so well – we are all beautiful!

@Evelyn – Thanks so much, Evelyn. Yes, the message I really hoped to share here was this idea of self-love, and how important that is in not only loving all our own bodies (the internal and the external) but also how that feeds into our love out into the world too. Thank YOU for your caring and support on this piece!

@Zeenat – Hi Zeenat. Thank YOU for being so caring with the beautiful words you have written – I’m moved and touched by all of it. You are a light into the world!

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Katie West/The Levity Coach November 25, 2009 at 6:42 am

Lance. This post is seriously stellar. I want to print it out as a reminder of these fundamental truths…and then I just realized I’d have a pin up headless Lance staring at me from my desk…ha ha!!!

I love what you expressed here. So poignant and something tells me it is really timely for everyone during this time of the year. Thank you as always for being on the leading edge. For trying what you might not have tried yesterday and for subtly asking us to rise up and do the same.

And yes, I agree wholly. We are perfect. We are divine…..
Katie
.-= Katie West/The Levity Coach´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Upside of Gravity =-.

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Peggy November 25, 2009 at 7:27 am

Hi Lance!

I’m a true believer that when you feel good on the inside, you feel good on the outside. Our light shines from the inside outward. And if I’m to believe what I teach (which I do!) we are the Divine. It’s inside each and every one of us…which makes us all connected.

Happy Thanksgiving Lance!

Peggy
.-= Peggy´s Last Fabulous Post ..Happy Thanksgiving! =-.

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Julie November 25, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Lance, your message is so beautiful. It points out that we can look in two directions: outward or inward. Or even both simultaneously. When we see ourselves as who we reallyare—beautiful spirits needing to find expression of that—we can then see our bodies as the vehicle that allow us the means of expression. It’s the EXPRESSION that is so important!

You’ve written a magnificent piece, so simple and clear. What a wonderful message you all are sharing, and how inspiring it is! …it promotes such beautiful self-acceptance. Without that, expressing our beautiful selves is impossible.
.-= Julie´s Last Fabulous Post ..A Different Thanksgiving =-.

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Hilary November 25, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Quelle horreur .. if that was my pic there .. Good middle .. but it’s the extremeties that are doing the work – the bits we can’t see above .. your fingers typing, your brain working out the post, your toes tingling to get out and do a triathlon, your nose smelling good blog posts elsewhere, your eyes laughing and sharing life with us .. and your ears ready to listen to us all ..

Have a great Thanksgiving with your family and friends –

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
.-= Hilary´s Last Fabulous Post ..Witches, Hazels and helmets … =-.

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Laura Hegfield November 25, 2009 at 4:10 pm

love this post Lance…and brave to post this photo…even if it is from your best fit outer self and you don’t think you measure up to that now, as you say…that’s simply the vessel…we are indeed so much more than our skin and bones…not that caring and loving our bodies is not essential to loving our whole-self…it is…with our flaws, our illnesses, our wrinkles, our blemishes, our lovely eyes, our curly hair, our creative hands, and our legs that don’t always work properly or our speech that is sometimes altered by disease, our laughter, our ease around animals and babies, our open heartedness, our kindness, our inability to pay full attention at all moments and ability to pay attention in this moment.

so much to be grateful for.

stop by my blog tomorrow for mega moebius gratitude quilt…Possibly the longest blog post in internet history! so many loving beings have sent me their thoughts, prayers, blessings of gratitude, including you of course!

Happy ThanksGiving,
Laura
.-= Laura Hegfield´s Last Fabulous Post ..Changes Gradual =-.

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Chris Edgar November 25, 2009 at 5:24 pm

Hi Lance — I think that’s a great way of putting it — kind of like what Byron Katie says as well — that you are always doing a perfect job of being you, and others are doing a perfect job of being them, and once we realize that life becomes much clearer and simpler.

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Tim November 25, 2009 at 6:34 pm

Hi Lance:

Thank you for exposing yourself and for sharing these helpful reminders. There are always going to be ways to improve our outer (and inner) selves, but at a certain point we need to accept ourselves just the way we are. I’m glad I’m a little wiser and I’m past trying to look and act like something I am not. Have a great Thanksgiving holiday!
.-= Tim´s Last Fabulous Post ..Cooking as a Spiritual Experience =-.

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Cath Lawson November 25, 2009 at 7:09 pm

This is great Lance. Like you – when everything isn’t going so great, I tell myself I’m not the real me. I did it today in fact – now maybe I’ll stop. I’m not brave enough to expose my body online though.

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Diane Fit to the Finish November 25, 2009 at 9:23 pm

We are so much more than just our external bodies – just like you shared. I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful Thanksgiving.
.-= Diane Fit to the Finish´s Last Fabulous Post ..Do You Even Remember The Food? =-.

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Angelia Sims November 25, 2009 at 11:57 pm

Lance,
I love the journey and heart of this post. It is so true. We just need to love ourselves NOW. Before it’s too late, there will always be better, but there will never be this moment again. We have to take hold and live. Awesomeness divine!
.-= Angelia Sims´s Last Fabulous Post ..Random Awesomeness =-.

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Lance November 26, 2009 at 4:55 am

@Katie West – Katie. Hi! Hahaha…you are scaring me! (and probably yourself too!!) It is that time of year, where we might overindulge just a bit. And I guess it’s then in how we look at that – with disgust for eating so much, or with joy for having the opportunity to share a meal with someone else? (still, though, I can probably let go of that extra cookie I grabbed as I walked by the dessert plate…) YOU are perfect Katie. I am perfect. We are all perfect. And we are all human… (right???)

@Peggy – Hi Peggy. If we can start on the inside, and really work on our core – that most certainly shines out! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

@Julie – Julie, thank you. That inner beautiful spirit that we all have…finding her, and letting her soar – that just makes us each really shine in new ways when we let her really “be” what is possible. And the expression of this is what is so, so beautiful (Julie, you have an amazing way with words).

@Hilary – Ha!! Your picture would be great here, Hilary. It would, no matter what…. And thank you for all the super kind words and encouragement. You are wonderful!

@Laura – This was not an easy article to post. There was definitely some levels of self-consciousness floating around as I went about doing it. Still, I’m really glad I did. Our outer appearance is certainly part of who we are – but we are so much more. Each of us are amazing individuals! Thanks so much for stopping by…

@Chris Edgar – Hi Chris. And what I’m also thinking about as I read your comment, is that if we really do see the people in our world this way – as being perfect at being themselves – we would have a lot less judgement of others going on. And that would be a very good thing… Thanks much Chris!

@Tim – Hi Tim. It’s a journey, right! And as part of that journey, we are always evolving. I think this idea of acceptance is an important one, even when we know that we still have growth within us – that we accept where we are now as okay. Happy Thanksgiving to you too, Tim!!

@Cath – Sometimes things don’t always go as we had hoped. And we can tell ourselves that’s not the real us we are seeing. It is, though. It may be that we are somehow behaving differently but it is still us. So, me too…I’ll try to stop that too.

@Diane – We are all complete persons. Each of us…and that is so much more than just the external. Great reminder Diane! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your wonderful family!

@Angelia – Hi Angelia. “Love ourselves” is such an important message. And that doesn’t mean we can’t change, or evolve into something more – it just means that we are okay with who we are, at this moment. Thanks so much Angelia!! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving day!!

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Jeanne November 26, 2009 at 7:14 am

Blessings
Beautiful is all you share
Happy Thanksgving
.-= Jeanne´s Last Fabulous Post ..Thanksgiving =-.

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Nadia - Happy Lotus November 26, 2009 at 11:51 am

Hi Lance,

Amen to everything you wrote! 🙂 We each are beautiful and amazing. We each have the power to change the world. We definitely are all awesome.

And yay for celebrating life! Have a beautiful Thanksgiving, my dear friend!
.-= Nadia – Happy Lotus´s Last Fabulous Post ..Voting with Your Wallet – Food, Inc. Rocks! =-.

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Jodi at Joy Discovered November 26, 2009 at 12:32 pm

Hi Lance,
This is such a sweet message! I think this is such an important, message, too. Even when we realize there are physical or emotional things we would like to change or enhance about ourselves, we have to realize that we are perfect as is and we have to meet our self with love and appreciation. Only then can we truly grow…or maybe we will realize that actually isn’t required at all! Great picture! Take care and enjoy today with your family! Jodi
.-= Jodi at Joy Discovered´s Last Fabulous Post ..Happy Thanksgiving! =-.

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mamaV November 27, 2009 at 11:53 am

Dude! You are the best. MizFit told me how hard it was to convince a guy to “expose” themselves in this fashion. I think your post goes a long way for women (including myself) who tend to think that men don’t ever deal with body image issues.

I am adding you to our list of “Exposed Trailblazers!”

Nice to meet you!
Heather
aka mamaV from WATRD

PS Awesome quotes! I may have to steal them 😉
.-= mamaV´s Last Fabulous Post ..I Had a Dream =-.

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Carla November 27, 2009 at 12:12 pm

This is a great reminder for me. It too easy for me to look at myself and go into what isn’t working right or what doesn’t look right/good/pretty, etc. Thank you for this post!
.-= Carla´s Last Fabulous Post ..Three Things I’m Thankful For =-.

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Jannie Funster November 27, 2009 at 12:12 pm

This brought tears to my eyes that you all mess up too.

Blessings, Lance!!
.-= Jannie Funster´s Last Fabulous Post ..Soul Impressions Of Dr. Liara M. Covert’s “Self Disclosure — Changes From Within” =-.

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Liara Covert November 27, 2009 at 12:48 pm

This is a very heart-warming series of reflections. Thanks for sharing. As a person realizes his own inner perfection, this is not arrogance. Rather, this is a process of moving into unconditional slef-love and acceptance. As you gently encourage everyone to be more accepting of all they are, you are also in the process of feeling what this is in your own awareness. This is a process of self-disclosure or the re-discovery of what self-honesty truly is. You are a blessing. Thanks for being a loving mirror for everyone.
.-= Liara Covert´s Last Fabulous Post ..Be happy as you are =-.

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Patricia November 27, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Such good words and assist the blessings to flow….Thank you for sharing and I hope you had a great Thanksgiving celebration.

I will have to come back and click through on links….I am about to get on the train to head home as the UNICEF ebook is now complete and posted…for that I am grateful indeed.

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Natalia Burleson November 27, 2009 at 7:37 pm

Love this post Lance! So important for us all to realize we are so much more than our outer shell. We are thoughts, feelings, emotions and love. All of that comes from the inside! 🙂 I’ve been working on loving myself for who I am the way I am right now. 🙂

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Daphne @ Joyful Days November 27, 2009 at 11:11 pm

Oooh, sexy! No wonder all the babes keep flocking to your blog! 😉

You continue to amaze me by what you’re willing to do and how much you’re willing to give of yourself to help others. Thanks for this reminder – I will celebrate my body too (though not on my blog, yet. Ha ha).
.-= Daphne @ Joyful Days´s Last Fabulous Post ..Can You Pack Your Life Into Two Suitcases? =-.

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Lance November 28, 2009 at 6:03 am

@Jeanne – Thank you Jeanne, and Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

@Nadia – Hi Nadia. Exactly! We ARE all amazing and beautiful – and that really starts from the inside and shines out. Thanks so much for being here, and wonderful Thanksgiving blessing to you too…

@Jodi – Hi Jodi. Self love is so important here. When we can love ourselves, just as we are, we ground ourselves in a message that true. And then, when we go forth to make changes, we are doing that also from a place of love, and that’s a beautiful place to work from. Thank you, Jodi, for all your kind words! Happy Thanksgiving…

@MamaV – Hi Heather! It’s great to have you here!! Yes, when MizFit and I spoke about this, I was very hesitant to post. Having done it, now, I’m so glad I did. Being exposed can feel like we are opening ourselves up. And that’s one thing to do it in the backyard at home while cutting the grass, and another altogether to share it with the world. So, know that I’m honored to be included among the “Exposed Trailblazers” and am so impressed with everyone who has done this. You are awesome!! (and steal away with the quotes!).

@Carla – It’s all too easy for most of us, I think, to do this – to see what is “wrong” with us. Really, though, we ARE perfect, we are amazing – all of us… YOU. Carla, you are filled with so much awesomeness…remember that, always…

@Jannie – And I’m the biggest “messed up” person of them all!! It’s great having you here, Jannie. And…YOU are shiny and amazing always!

@Liara – Yes, this idea of unconditional self-love is what brings us to more deeply seeing our own perfection. And that’s such a great place to be at, where we are accepting of who we are. And in turn, accepting of our world around us. Thanks so much, Liara, for you kind words…

@Patricia – Thank you, Patricia. And a happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

@Natalia – Hi Natalia. You have said it so well – we are our complete person – and that is so much more that just what we see on the outside. It’s so good to have you here Natalia…thank you!

@Daphne – Ha!! (and shucks…because I’m here stating that I love “me”…thank YOU!!!) We are all amazing and life-filled beings. So, today I celebrate YOU, Daphne! You are an amazing person, and filled with so much goodness! Thank you for being here!

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Mark Salinas November 28, 2009 at 4:35 pm

You always have so much to share with a positive message. Very good! Thank you!
.-= Mark Salinas´s Last Fabulous Post ..Milk =-.

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Robin Easton November 28, 2009 at 9:36 pm

Oh Lance this is just beautiful and so so human. I think my favorite part is when you describe all the things we tend to call negative and then explain that they too are part of our wonderful humanity. My husband has this phrase (maybe I’ve told you) but when something happens that we “could” put in negative context, he just says, “…and we can embrace this too. It’s ALL life.” I find that so so soothing and it just allows us to let go of everything and allow for a bigger picture of what it means to be human.

We often walk around thinking that if we aren’t perfect every second of every day that we are less than, that we have failed to get it right. That is not true. Yes, we can always learn from our mistakes but our humanity is not something to be got rid of. My husband and I have found that the more we embrace it the less power those “supposed” negative things have. They just blow past and don’t take hold.

Lance I so admire your BEAUTIFUL spirit. You are so so so willing to be vulnerable and earnest and deeply human. I just love that about you. It makes you shine in a very special and unique way. There is an intact innocence in you that is often missing in many adults. Thank you for sharing something this personal. It lets us all be a bit more human.

With love,
Robin

PS I bet you had a wonderful TGDay with family and all. Lots of laughter and hugging and warmth. Can’t imagine you with anything less. 🙂
.-= Robin Easton´s Last Fabulous Post ..Lifting the Lid on Age and Death =-.

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Lisa's Chaos November 28, 2009 at 10:19 pm

Very true! You’re always thinking so deeply! 🙂
.-= Lisa’s Chaos´s Last Fabulous Post ..You can’t see me =-.

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J.D. Meier November 29, 2009 at 3:15 am

What … no tattoos?

I like your juxtaposition of perfect and imperfect. It is all relative.

Your point on being alive, human, and on Earth, reminds me of a story of a guy who had a simple bar to be happy … every day above ground was a good day.
.-= J.D. Meier´s Last Fabulous Post ..What 16 Movies Can Teach Us About Life and Leadership =-.

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Lance November 29, 2009 at 6:01 am

@Mark Salinas – Hey Mark! Thanks for stopping by!

@Robin Easton – Robin, it is always so wonderful to see you here! Yes, it is about embracing it all – the positive and the negative. And how we look at all of that can really make a difference in how we live our lives. Your words always touch me deeply, and that is really your spirit shining through. I really don’t think I’m doing anything special of different, and yet you have a beautiful way of making me feel like what I do deeply matters. This is a gift you have, Robin, and I am so blessed to have crossed paths with you. Sending big love and hugs your way, my sweet and caring friend…

@Lisa’s Chaos – Thanks much Lisa!

@J.D. Meier – Well…no tattoos…yet… If we are alive here on earth, that is indeed a great day! And a great message to share – thanks!

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Robin Easton November 29, 2009 at 8:35 am

OMG, dear soul, what you do makes a HUGE HUGE difference. It always has because your heart is true and you are one of the most movingly earnest people I’ve ever met. You know, my own dear husband is like that, sooo earnest and to see that in you, although we have never met in person, literally makes the world feel safer for me. That is NOT a platitude, I REALLY mean it Lance. To underestimate your power, Lance, would be like cutting down all the beautiful trees in the forest. Who you are is THAT powerful and filled with goodness…and makes THAT much of a difference. You really do radiate such hope and a genuine striving for the very goodness that you ARE. Something would go out of my life and I’m sure MANY other lives if you were not in the world Lance. That’s how much you change the world for sooooo many. Never doubt it. Hugging you, Robin
.-= Robin Easton´s Last Fabulous Post ..Lifting the Lid on Age and Death =-.

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Angel Stone November 29, 2009 at 10:28 am

Lance! I’m mad I’m so late seeing this. I think you look great! You look like a surfer guy. Why are you so tan?
I also love what you wrote on this post. The line about, ‘we are too emotional, we are not emotional enough’ really resonated with me. I was nodded my head in agreement. You are always on point. So insightful!
Angel

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Lance November 29, 2009 at 12:02 pm

@Robin Easton – Your sweet words continue to touch me deeply. I am so honored to call you friend, to travel along this journey I am on, knowing you are out there, too. Robin, you are love and light shining outward. And it’s so much because you have that same love and light shining from within you…from your soul. Thank you. Very deeply and with much honor…thank you for being in my life…
With love,
Lance

@Angel – Angel!! Hey, it’s great to see you! A new site! Woohoo – I’ll be over to check it out! Surfer guy? Well…if you say I have the looks, I’ll take that – but don’t put me on a surf board unless you are looking for hysterical laughter on your part! The tan? It’s from raking leaves shirtless, here in Wisconsin! (…he tries to say with a straight face…) Hint: The picture wasn’t taken in the fall (I’m bad, aren’t I???). We are so much more than just our surface, just our outer appearance. In the face of all we are presented with today (tv, magazines, billboards, etc) that is not always easy to remember. So…crazy runner girl…I wonder what you are training for now??? And THANK YOU!!

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Tabitha~ichoosebliss November 29, 2009 at 2:51 pm

You are right my friend. It is not skin deep, but soul deep.
This made me smile and admire you even more!
.-= Tabitha~ichoosebliss´s Last Fabulous Post ..Sunday’s Life Lesson =-.

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Audra Krell November 29, 2009 at 5:15 pm

I’ve always been told by the culture and by my family, that I’m too emotional, too out of shape, too this and way too that. After years of it, I didn’t know which end was up, just that whatever end I chose would probably be too much. I decided to reject the culture and negativity in it and to follow the one true God. He is all I need and He never thinks I’m “too” anything. He made all of us perfect.
Way to go, you are so brave. Changing lives all the time….keep it up my friend.
.-= Audra Krell´s Last Fabulous Post ..A Novel Idea =-.

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Annabel Candy November 29, 2009 at 5:56 pm

What a brave man! You look as if you’re slimmer than the man in the van on the about page:) My body’s a marvel too. Probably past it’s peak but keeping me on the move daily.

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Lance November 29, 2009 at 8:12 pm

@Tabitha – We are us, to our core – and that outer appearance is really just one small portion of who we are – what really matters, what is really true beauty is what is much deeper within..at our soul. Thank you for being here, your words brighten my day!

@Audra – Never perfect, right? Yet, we are – especially when we think of ourselves as children of God – we are perfect! You are perfect, Audra! No matter what anyone says, always keep believing… Audra, your thoughts on this really take this all to a different level for me, something much more spiritual, and that is a good place to be…and to connect more deeply with. So, know that what you share, and what you bring to my life only add to it…in some wonderful ways…

@Annabel – Hey thanks! Hmmm….well, that man in the van IS me. I was leaving a party…perhaps I ate way too well that day! (that’s entirely possible!). I’ll work on that, though…my van shots! Keep on loving your body and everything that makes you “you”!

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Cynthia (It All Changes) November 30, 2009 at 9:44 am

Thanks for posting this. It has been awesome to see this spread and see people love themselves.

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Lance November 30, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Cynthia,
It really has been awesome to see everyone who has joined in on this. And that’s YOU too! Very cool!!

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Colleen December 1, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Looks like a picture for a ‘before’ shot on starting an exercise program. 🙂
.-= Colleen´s Last Fabulous Post ..Kennewick Real Estate =-.

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Lance December 2, 2009 at 8:21 am

Colleen – So…I’m taking a hint here! (I shouldn’t forget to exercise, right!) And I did today! I had a nice run in the dark this morning. Great fun and I felt super afterward…

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Brenda (betaphi) December 2, 2009 at 6:21 pm

I am amazed at how perfectly balanced this piece is. Lance, you are expressing perfect balance in your life, and the symmetry of your body reflects that perfect balance. Geez, I’ve typed the same phrase three times. 🙂

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Lance December 2, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Brenda – I DO *try* to balance things out…and sometimes that happens…and sometimes it doesn’t. And you are right! You have typed “perfect balance” three times! I’m so glad you see the balance in this piece, though – that it’s not just one facet of “us” that makes us “us”…

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Farnoosh October 23, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Fantastic photo of you and great tan too! I am loving my body lately thanks to the extra hard work and I try to help anyone else see the same love and appreciation in theirs…..! Thank you for sharing Lance, you are officially an Athlete now, I hope you know that :)!
Farnoosh´s Last Fabulous Post ..Blogworld Series- The Splendor of CommunityMy Profile

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Lance October 24, 2010 at 6:28 am

Farnoosh,
Thanks!!! (that tan has now faded!)

YOU…are getting to savor the fruits of your labors (I know very much how you treat your body in such very healthy ways…and that is so awesome to know!)

Let’s rock the athlete boat!!

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