Thursday, February 3, 2011

Loving Your Self Better!

Never stop dancin'!
By Imani Evans

February is the LOVE month! & what better way to celebrate it than to begin to Love Your Self Better!?! This month at the BBB Blog we will be featuring stories from women about how they have learned to love their Selves better two-fold: in a more gentle & graceful way & in a way that moves them towards better health!

This first account is from a very dear friend of mine, Imani Evans; a counselor, speaker, teacher, healer, & activist!  Imani is the Founder & CEO of Women Healing Women, Inc-- a nonprofit organization serving survivors of sexual & domestic violence. When I asked her to recount, in her own words, what she shared with me in my driveway one night---she did not hesitate...knowing her story would help another woman...she writes:

Herstory: When I first learned that the excruciating pain shooting down the backs of my knees was stage-three osteoarthritis, I was most certainly in denial. I was convinced that it was a pulled muscle and that my Sports Medicine Doctor, with 25 years in the field, was surely mistaken despite the two x-rays to confirm otherwise. By the third visit and after a very direct tongue-lashing from the doctor, I could no longer pretend not to know that I had to face this degenerative condition. Soon after the diagnosis, I began taking a series of anti-inflammatory pain medications that simply ceased working after short periods of use. My primary care physician reminded me that I was overweight (as if it was big secret that I was keeping from her) and that the excess pounds were exacerbating the pain in my knees. With the threat of a double knee replacement on my horizon and days of pain that never seem to dissipate, I have decided to fight for my mobility. The way forward and out of daily pain begins with my new found mission to TAKE BACK MY BODY! This begins with acknowledging the fact that I do not deserve to suffer and that chronic pain is not my punishment for being overweight. I have a divine right to live pain-free. My body is the tool by which I fulfill my life’s purpose, and I do not serve a God who desires my suffering. Armed with this belief, I am researching and exploring natural remedies for arthritis and pain relief. Many have been successful and others have not. However, I keep moving at all cost. I hold tight to a vision of my life wherein my body, mind, and soul are aligned for my highest good and in service to my life’s calling.

Imani's Tips 4 Loving Your Self Better!
  •  Take time to embrace the truth of your being. We can do this by getting in touch with our unique calling to this beautiful life. Ask yourself, what is it that I am called to do and how can I be more present with that truth?
  • Find ways to turn the barriers into bridges. What are the experiences, which show up as barriers, trying to tell you? For me, arthritis is calling me to pay closer attention to my body and my stability. It is an opportunity to slow down and realign my body, mind, and spirit.
  • Make every action an intentional movement. Another gift of arthritis is how intentional it makes my movement choices. To that end, I only do what is truly purposeful for me and my Spirit.
We would love to interact & hear from you! Please join the BBB as a follower! Share this posting in your social network, &/or post a comment below! & Remember to continue to...Live BIG!


  1. I can relate to this on many levels. February is the month of my birth and the month for me to start loving myself. I have suffered with Rheumatoid Arthritis for many years and more recently Osteoarthritis in both knees. I resisted when the doctor suggested losing weight because I was tired of 'weight' taking the rap for every illness. My eye-opener came after both knee replacements a year apart and still not having the full range of motion another year later. So I made the decision to start LOVING myself and doing right by my body. Thanks for sharing this story.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story too! I know what you mean about weight taking the rap for if the only people with ANY condition are full-figured or overweight people. It is garbage and a manifestation of our society's belief about size. That doesn't mean that weight doesn't exacerbate some does--just like smoking, or drinking, or being too thin, or whatever. Working out is a fantastic way to love our bodies, but it can't just be about losing weight. That isn't sustainable and it suggests that thin equals healthy...and it does not.

    I applaud you for taking charge of your body and maintaining your self-worth and self-love. Peace! Imani Evans

  3. Saludos, Imani Evans!

    Estoy muy orgulloso de ti! I am so proud of you. Thank you for writing this article, which reminds me to live taller, stronger, brighter, undaunted, no matter what shows up on my horizon.

    You have expressed what, I am certain, is a most painful phenom, but you are a shining star, a becon of light to us all---regardless of what form my reminder has taken!

    Eres el sol....

    Paz, amor y bendiciones,

  4. Muchisimas gracias, Siren! You always have a kind and encouraging word. Your energy is infectious, Reina!

  5. English! English Ladies! I agree, this is a much needed story! More women need to share about the challenges they face physically so that others do not feel ashamed!