Mind-Body-Spirit, Pregnancy, Self Love

5 Practices That Will Help You LOVE Your Postpartum Body

Body shame is a master at sliding in after baby slides out, potentially increasing your chances for postpartum blues or depression. This body shame is often a product of the early postpartum body appearing to be 4-5 months pregnant for many weeks or even months after baby is born.

This “in-between body,” a body that is no longer bearing a child but is far from resembling its pre-pregnancy physique, can be challenging to feel love for. 
But, doesn’t that heroic body that just accomplished an epic feat deserve to be looked at with awe, and lived in with appreciation? Yes, you and your beautiful body deserve to be loved and honored. And yes, it’s possible to get yourself into that sweet space of body-lovin’.
Here are five steps to help you begin integrating with your transformed body, learning how to love all of it in the process – maybe even more than you loved your pre-pregnancy body.
1. Find New Role Models For It

Instead of flipping through magazines featuring celebrities who “Lost All the Baby Weight in Six Weeks!” seek out role models for your body that are exemplars of health versus external beauty.

Find examples of mothers who learned to work with and adore their new body by offering it nourishing food, moving it in ways that felt good, and learning to touch it and look at it with pleasure and appreciation, even if it was bigger or softer in some areas. Seek out real women who became champions for their postpartum anatomy.
2. Honor It

Your body conceived, grew, and birthed a new human! Holy moly! What a miracle.

Your body is a miracle. Mull on that for a moment – really settle into a knowing of how amazing your body is.

When you shift your focus from what your body looks like, to what it can do,  your love for it will expand exponentially.

Your body is a master craftswoman of humans!
3. Move It

One of the best ways you can show love to your body, and then feel that love, is by moving it – get your blood pumping, endorphins flowing, pores opening, sweat releasing, lungs expanding, muscles working, and mind clearing.
There’s no need to subscribe to a new extreme fitness regime, but walking down the street, taking the stairs, going to a yoga class, or engaging in any other type of movement that feels good to you can shift the way you experience your body and infuse a fresh dose of respect into your relationship with it.
4. Touch It

I avoided all contact with my stomach and nether regions for the first six months after my son was born – I would wash as quickly as possible, skip my belly when applying lotion, and put clothes on ASAP. I felt completely disconnected from a significant piece of my Self.
Even if it’s difficult at first, and your ego repeatedly cringes, make yourself gently feel your new body – all the nooks, crannies, soft edges, ripples, bumps and swollen bits. Find a private space, get naked, and explore the new landscape of your body.
5. Look At It

Now that you’ve allowed your sense of touch to become familiar with your body, introduce it to your sense of sight.

Much like the last exercise, it’s best to get naked for this experience. Stand in front of a large mirror, look into it and smile at yourself. Gaze into the depths of your eyes then slowly scan down from there, pausing on each section of your body until you feel appreciation for it.

Avoid the temptation to skip over aspects of your form you think of as “a work in progress” or “unappealing.” Every inch of your body has beauty and value because it is all a piece of the Miracle of You.
These integration practices will help you find peace with the current reality of your body, which often creates the motivation for you to continue taking healthy steps to get it back into its optimal shape (a shape that is different for everyone!)
You’ll also be pleased to discover that by loving your body as is, and releasing your resistance to that belly pooch or tapestry of stretch marks, fresh pockets of time open up in your day that can be filled with enjoying the precious product of your body’s hard work. 

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Childbirth, Pregnancy, Self Love

Serena Williams’ Photo Backlash Is A Sad Reminder That Pregnancy Body Shaming Still Exists

Fact: Pregnancy is related to sex and the naked female body. So, why are women being shamed for connecting to their innate sexiness and showing off their bare bellies?

Serena Williams recently appeared pregnant and nearly nude on the cover of Vanity Fair. Her beautiful image made me proud to be a woman, causing words like empowerment, courage, and goddess to float through my mind. But for others, words like “disgusting” and “trashy” floated from their minds and onto the internet, contributing to a disappointing trend of body-shaming pregnant woman who publicly display their pregnant form.

It’s not just celebrities who are being told to put their bare bellies away. When I was eight months pregnant, I went to the beach in a two-piece, trying to survive the triple digit temperature of the day. As soon as I plunked down into a beach chair, a woman rolled up to me and said, “Ma’am, please cover your belly. There are children at this beach.” I didn’t cover my belly.

I also recently received a tearful call from a pregnant girlfriend who had received negative comments from her in-law’s friends telling her the exposed-belly photos she had been posting on Facebook were “shameful.” She took them down.

Read more on Babble

Childbirth, Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Self Love, Uncategorized

Why I Celebrate My Honest Postpartum Body

IMG_1436Tell her she’s beautiful. Tell her she’s perfect. Tell her she deserves to feel at home in her body.

Remember the ditty “Do Your Ears Hang Low”? Well… Do your boobs sag down, do they jiggle to and fro? Do they swing to the right and then reach down to the floor?  Mine do. At least, I think they’re mine.

The postpartum boob transformation occurred quicker than the flick of a baby finger. My old breasts were small, perky, and fluid-free. These new things attached to my chest are droopy bags, albeit fabulous droopy bags. They fill with and distribute milk, but they’re just so different and devoid of perkiness.

And “my” stomach — where did that come from? It’s flattish, wide, and different. It’s so different from the stomach I came to know so well. Come to think of it, the only parts of my naked postpartum body I recognize are my knee caps. They’re not saggy … yet.

Read more at YourTango!

Mind-Body-Spirit, Self Love, Uncategorized

What Would Happen If We Dipped Into a New Creative Medium?

Hot off the Feng Shui Mommy Newsletter press.
Adult coloring books are all the rage right now. While I usually shy away from trends, purely because they’re trendy, I’m all over this fad. Actually, I was all over this before it was even a “thing.” I was that mom in the restaurant trying to keep my son from scribbling over my color-in-the-lines masterpiece. Now I just bring my own coloring book.

Initially, I thought I could only partake in this extracurricular indulgence on the weekends, or the rare moments when all my “important” work was complete- coloring seemed frivolous. 

“Shouldn’t I be writing? That’s my thing– my soul’s work.”

What I noticed after a week of partaking in this delicious frivolity every day, was my writing got better! And, I got better at that whole “living in the moment” trend. Interesting.

Stepping out of my creative bubble, made it burst, and let in some pretty juicy newness.

What’s your creative medium of choice? The activity that feeds your soul and injects a hearty dose of purpose into your day?

What would it be like if you tried something outside your creative wheelhouse? Something that you’re not a pro at, and would be exploring just for the sake of dipping into something different.

This newness may stir up latent insecurities, fear of change, and guilt that you’re not doing something you’re “supposed” to do. How fabulous.

Dipping into those seemingly negative areas of your being is the only way to release them. It also produces fabulous material for your primary creative work.

When I realized I wasn’t so great at coloring within the lines (and should really be washing those piles of dishes and clothes instead of sitting at my son’s mini-table with colored pencils and a coloring book) I felt really insecure, and questioned myself. 

Then, I sat down to write that evening and had so much fresh material. I had gently loosened pieces of myself I didn’t like to look at, but were so interesting when I allowed them to come out and play.


On the days I pull out the colors, and then transition into writing, I end the day feeling emotionally free, mentally clear, and spiritually accomplished- it’s pretty cool. All this from flipping back the cover of a 5 by 7-inch coloring book.

You don’t need to jump on the coloring bandwagon, but consider the places some of the other creative bandwagons may take you. Likely, somewhere fresh and exhilarating.

Sending you love and encouragement for investing in something new, just for you.


Mind-Body-Spirit, Self Love, Uncategorized

How Do We Step Into Our Intentions?

The intentions set for a new year have a bad reputation for only lasting through January. But what if we change the conversation? What if we shift those dismal expectations?

What if we decided the beautiful hopes and commitments we set for another trip around the sun will make a lasting and profound change in our life, persisting as long as we want it/them to.

What if.

One way I propose we do this is by living each day like a mini life.

When we hold the mind set that each day is one small lifetime, we dive deeper in, dedicating ourselves to relishing the moments, and how our (new) positive intentions paint those moments.

It also takes the pressure off. When we know tomorrow is a new lifetime, we release the need to take any perceived failures or disappoints from this life into the next. Recommit to your intentions at the beginning of each mini lifetime and celebrate their manifestations like major “lifetime” achievements.

How lovely that we can decide to be reborn every day. We can start every day afresh and light.

This mindset also serves to dissolve the monotony that can suck the zest out of life, and infuses fresh excitement into our favorable changes that require daily devotion.

Even if we engage in similar activities each day, we can bring new layers of perception to our intentions and motivations in each mini life.

This freshens up familiar activities, allowing us to mine new insights, ways of doing, and solutions from the old.

At the end of each mini lifetime, let’s honor it as we would the closing of a full life. It doesn’t need to hold sadness, because after each lifetime comes another. A fresh chance to start anew.

A new shade of enthusiasm and joy will color our lives when each day is honored as sacred.

For my readers who are parents, or soon-to-be parents, let’s marinate on these ideas to see how we can translate them into inspiring teachings for our children.

Each and every one of us deserves the deep satisfaction that comes with seeing our resolutions, intentions, plans, promises, (or whatever we feel like calling them!) come to fruition and fill our life with ever-expanding joy.

Sending you glowing love and gratitude! 

And in other news…

Feel free to email me at BaileyGaddis@yahoo.com to explore this topic further.

As a yummy bonus, here is a short and sweet relaxation recording for you. 

This is straight outta a newsletter I plan to send out weekly- exploring the challenges, beauty, and questions living in the mind-body-spirit continuum, conscious parenting, blissful birthing, and many other layers of this wonderful journey we call life.

If you’re connecting to these words, you can subscribe here, Feng Shui Mommy Newsletter

For more relaxation recordings go here- Your Serene Life

For daily (short) thoughts and inspirations, go here- Feng Shui Mommy Facebook page

And, if you’re pregnant, please oh please check this out 🙂 Feng Shui Mommy Online Childbirth Course

Self Love, Uncategorized

How I Stopped Failing at Femininity

Bailey 2cropI used to be shackled by distorted notions of the meaning of my vagina.

I thought it required I be docile, unconditionally pleasant, agreeable, subservient, visually appealing and shiny—but not too shiny—I wouldn’t want too much attention.

I didn’t know how to do any of that. I thought I was failing at femininity. But really, I was failing to grasp what true femininity was.

These were private fears. A secret shame in my feminine nature. My mother was, and is, a feminist who kept her last name when she married my father, worked passionately for Planned Parenthood and refused to be shoved into a box of archaic social expectations.

Read more on elephant journal!