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"gee Miss ----- you are squuushy, soft and warm, like my favorite blankie." ~ quote from a 5 year old


Self Acceptance and Society/Fat Acceptance

Self acceptance is loving and appreciating yourself even if there are things you'd eventually like to change. Fat acceptance or society acceptance is getting society as a whole to accept that we have the same rights as everyone else and to reduce prejudice within the community.
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Self-acceptance means unconditional appreciation and support for who you are now, including all the elements that you want to change.

Things you can do every day to boost your body image:

The Gift of Wonderment: Happy Holidays

I have to admit I am a winter girl. While others are fretting and complaining of the bitter cold and winter weather advisory forecasts, I'm all about getting outdoors, seeing my breath rise up in a cloud of mist before my eyes and the sight of fresh fallen snow all around me. It's the same for the holidays. It's all about seeing the world with new and appreciative eyes.

This time of year always takes me back to my childhood and I suspect that's why I love it so much. When I think of winters "way back then," our snowfall measures were greater than they are now (thank you, global warming) and shoveling through snowdrifts more than three feet high week after week was not uncommon. Today, people fret over the thought of mere inches of snow and a foot of snowfall in a day is considered cause for shutting down everything from grocery stores to roads.

But oh how we loved the snow when we were kids, didn't we? We'd bundle up so thick and warm that we could stay outside for hours until our nose hairs were frozen and we became desperate for hot chocolate to warm us from the inside out. We'd build snow forts and make snow angels, have snowball fights and tunnel through the snow to other lands. It was simply our glorious childhood in action.

The same can be said for the holidays. After our Thanksgiving Day stupor had worn off and our bellies had returned to a somewhat respectable size, we were all about counting down the days until Christmas. Somewhere in suburbia, the four kids that comprised our household nearly drove our parents to an early rum-spiked eggnog grave with questions like, "how many more days until Christmas?" and "can I get this for Christmas too?".

When I was a kid, there was this divine catalog called the Montgomery Ward Wish Book. It was a catalog of thousands of items and there was no greater joy than the arrival of this two-inch thick seat-booster into our home. We would fight over who got to skip past clothing and furniture first to that treasured section in the back we all pined for the toy section.

Hours would be spent ooohing and ahhhing over toys we had never seen before and likely could never afford-from the educational to the bizarre-and it was truly just one of the many things that made the holidays a time of complete wonder and awe for us.

As adults we may have become desensitized a bit to those magical feelings of childhood between daily jobs and chores around the house, family, friends and relationships, not to mention the fact that everything is so easy for us now. You want to buy a gift? You don't even have to give it much time or thought. A gift card purchased online with a code sent to the recipient's email will do in a quick pinch.

To get back to the wonder, we have to stop for a minute and make time to allow ourselves to return to that part of ourselves that loved catching falling snowflakes on our tongue and staring up at a sky full of stars on a clear and cold winter night. We did that because we stopped what we were doing long enough to take it in and to take part.

Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa or just the season of winter, our challenge during this time is not to rush through and get everything done swiftly and perfectly, but rather to take a moment to accept that it is both liberating and magnificent to allow ourselves to take part and experience the beauty of the season even if just for a moment.

If you can't physically get out on a toboggan and sleigh ride down a hill or build a snow fort, connect with someone who can-your kids, grand kids or a friend's kids-and watch with delight. Soak in the sights, smells and feelings this holiday season. And oh, when they are done, don't forget the hot cocoa!

Wishing you all peace, love, joy and the experience of wonderment this holiday season.

Written by: T.E.Bush

"Still ours the dance, the feast, the glorious Psalm,
The mystic lights of emblem, and the Word."
~Emma Lazarus, "The Feast of Lights"
"He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree."
~Roy L. Smith

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