Keeping It Real

This post was inspired by a refreshing article by Lauren Fleshman.

honesty, keeping it real

My brother and I, #keepingitreal

Her story talks about how she posted a picture looking her best after months of training, specifically to do a modeling photo shoot. She looked great, but then she realized that was perpetuating the myth of perfection that our culture and media constantly portray as the way for us all to be.

After much deliberation, she decided to post a picture that was much less flattering, but more of the truth of how her body really looks. Lauren touched a chord with many people, opening the space for people to be honest, and find more compassion and acceptance for our shared human imperfections. When we look deeper, our imperfections can even become our points of interest and beauty. But sadly, they are typically what we judge, hide and often hold negative feelings about.

Lauren has issued the following challenge to us all. Will we use social media to redefine beauty, specifically by posting an unflattering picture of ourselves, along with the hashtag #keepingitreal.

She makes a powerful case for keeping it real with social media and our lives.

I share similar concerns with the personal development community. Do you notice how everyone from gurus to teachers and regular bloggers like me portray the idealism of what we aspire to be and do in our lives. I aspire to happiness, joy and living my best self. I do not live in those ideal states all that often, not even the majority of the time. The bigger picture is that I often struggle with depression, inertia and overwhelm.

This is part of the reason that I don’t write as much about personal growth anymore. It’s also because it hasn’t really worked for me. I’m much more self aware, but not much different in how I live and act. Self improvement and perfectionism are a dangerous combo for me. And yes, I understand and have loosened my need to be perfect. But somehow, working on myself has become an endless, tedious way to spend my time. A diversion from actually taking action and living my life. I’m ready to simply live the best I can, day to day, moment to moment.

Maybe one day, I’ll become enlightened. Meanwhile, back to the dishes and garden! 

 

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22 thoughts on “Keeping It Real

  1. Perhaps you don’t need “self improvement” but instead to accept what you are? You don’t need improving–just learn to celebrate/appreciate the real you. Or something like that.

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  2. Love this for so many reasons. I was going to train with a friend for bodybuilding competitions, but I realized early on that this would not end well for me–I would spiral down in the ugly chase of perfection, and then maintaining that perfection.
    I must say I do blog about the ideals and values I aspire for, because it keeps me honest. And I think (hope) I spill the beans on my flaws too, and how I fall short oftentimes.
    I think it’s great you are living life 🙂 You live it beautifully!

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    • Yes Bonnie. One of the reasons I enjoy your blog is that you share the whole picture, not just the perfect ideals that we aspire to. And you share in a fun, honest way that invites acceptance. As Angela suggested, acceptance is helpful. 🙂 Lots of room for improvement in my life and thanks for the encouragement.

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      • Thank you for the feedback–this means a lot to me!! I am going to be more aware from now on also to take great care not to sound sanctimonious. I, for one, have dirty dishes in the sink right now and the garden is a mess 🙂

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  3. Bonnie, I didn’t think you sounded sanctimonious at all in your comment or your blog. I was simply mentioning that my life is not where I would like it to be, which of course means I’m still judging myself as not good enough. Or maybe you understood and were playing? I can be too literal/ serious at times.Thanks for caring. I”m still working on self-acceptance. XD

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  4. Brad, when I think about all the good you do for both your readers and the people/initiatives you write about – I’m just glad to have found your blog. You have a generous soul. Thanks for being you.

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    • Thank you Cynthia, I felt the relief of blessings flowing through me as I read your comments. I’ve been in a dark place again the last few days as I struggle with no job, greatly diminished savings and few social connections. Thankfully, I have the blog and readers like you who touch my heart. Thank you for caring. ❤

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  5. Hi Brad. Love this post for its truth and vulnerability. Yes…I think the “idea” of perfection can kill many dreams…as it feels like a failure when it can’t be achieved. I have kicked the “perfectionism” that plagued my life…but I’m not perfect (haha) as there are times it creeps back in. This journey I am on just seems ripe with possibilities that I follow and have fun along the way. I believe you have had much personal growth along the way…maybe it didn’t reach the level of perfection you had imagined…but you are where you are supposed to be. Have a super weekend…Blessitude…Lorrie

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  6. Thank you Lorrie, Maybe it’s time to be more open and vulnerable, which is easy in person, but not sure if it’s what I want from this blog. It’s hard to not judge that my life could and should have been better/ different… I wish I had the faith to believe that I’m where I’m supposed to be. Faith is a big frog for me. Thanks for the blessings,

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  7. I really liked this piece, Brad. I can sense the underlying difficulty in your post and your responses, and just want to say how much I enjoy your blog and the amazing things you uncover, support and share. I’ve certainly wandered in and out of a moment or two that Creation seems to have forgotten. I do so on a weekly basis I think. We get better at laughing them off! Regardless of how you may feel, what you offer here is not the outpouring of a being about whom any doubt is reasonable.

    Michael

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  8. Thanks Michael. I appreciate your kind and thoughtful reply. You have a unique voice and perspective that always stretches me. Yes, we brothers need to laugh more and get out of our own way to allow spirit and being to play. XD

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  9. This is such a refreshing post! It’s funny how even the “simplify your life” or “find peace now” bloggers can fall into the same traps of perfection and misrepresentation as fashion or design blogs. Sometimes I find myself overwhelmed by wellness tips and the “10 Things I Need to Be Happy” posts. Amen to #keepingitreal

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