Note this post is full of photos…of me! Total overload but….hey, that’s the result of a recent photo shoot!For a while now I’ve been ‘stuck’.In the past. In my head.post’. You have to move on. Write new stories. Someone said ‘You have to stop being afraid of people seeing you. Take new photos.All pretty scary stuff for me. So I’m here, with a new song in my mouth. Once again. A story of self-acceptance and self-love. Of new beginnings.I’m amazed all the things that happen when we give up worrying, trying to ‘fix, fix, fix’.Like ‘fix’ weight loss.Would you believe that I’ve lost weight………..with NO conscious effort. I’m heading to a new high – the weight I was when I had my first child ten long years ago.Don’t you even dare ask what that is. I’m sooooooooooooo not saying but it feels pretty damn good! I’m amazed by all the things that happen when we find courage, in 10 seconds or more to ‘try and see what happens’.That could bring new friends.Like Zina.Of the Egusi devilled eggs fame. And the wonderful photographer behind these photos.This shameless display of me. Which I’m not totally comfortable with……………. Just so you know…. But which I love for letting me accept who I am and how I look.Zina caused me to wear red, on my lips and around my neck for this photoshoot.I felt like a model. For an hour. These photos are very me.They reflect the things that are uppermost in my mind. My natural hair for one. Discovering my natural curl pattern and loving it to pieces. For me, there has been and continues to be some primal, visceral feeling in having my natural hair. I can’t stop touching it. Its like discovering a part of me, a whole new side of me that’s been hidden for ages.There’s my love and pride in where I’m from. Doesn’t for a minute mean that it is all sweetness and light but I love that I am who I am, where I am and at this time.I learnt to ‘hang my neck on a clothes line’ – pushing my head forward and ‘hooking’ it on some imaginary clothes line. I look weird.I learnt to stare at the camera. Uncomfortable long stares. To laugh genuinely. To jump even.What I’m saying again is – I’m re-learning to re-teach my thing, me, my loveliness. I’d forgotten.But they won’t let me.Because they care.Love. Matters. To. Me.It means the world to me.I am humbled, amazed that God loves me above all else. I’m learning to feel worthy of His love. Accepting of the perfection He’s crafted in me.I am afraid that I might get arrogant but the converse is scary – that I might not appreciate the wonder that I am and that’s not an option I want to consider.The love and adoration with which my children sometimes look at me shakes me up completely. They forget my angry moments. Especially early mornings when we’re pushing to leave home early. The things they say to me rock my world. My 8 year old says that 5 or 6 people in her class want to be chefs when they grow up – they love my food and my cooking.My son will look at me with his glorious lashes and say ‘Mama, you’re beautiful. But you have a big tummy. And bum.’My 10 year old never passes up an opportunity to draw and sketch something for me, like her ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ drawing which sits proudly on my desk.My friends? Boy. I won’t start with the wonderful friends that surround me.Who never let up on me. Who take every opportunity to tell me the truth, kindly most times.Who push me. Inspire me. Encourage me. I’m not afraid to say I love you. That it means the world to me.I’ll ditch the crutches, the thoughts that keep me bound.So, again on another day of ‘Love’, there’s cause for celebration. Of newness. Of confronting oneself. Of friendships.I hope you find love whatever it means to you, in the cracks and crevices of life, in all the glorious places that surround us.I hope not only that we have the best friends but that we are and continue to be the best friends ever.Like Charlotte was to Wilbur in ‘Charlotte’s Web’. Friends to the very end.Peace & Love XXXIn the past.In my head.Someone said ‘You have to stop living in a
——♥♥♥♥♥——Check out Zina’s work and art on her website.All photos but two (2) by Zina.