On Oprah’s Where Are They Now plus-size supermodel Emme Aronson says, “I always said I want to show off the shape that I have because it’s my shape and I workout hard. I swim. I do boxing. I kickbox. I do yoga. I love hiking and swimming and I love being active so this is what I’ve got. This is what I have. I’m not going to try to be something else.” Here she brilliantly promotes a positive body image. But loving what you got and being comfortable in your own skin is something that can be applied to how you feel about your insides as well. In fact, love often grows from the inside out.

Loving who you are, big or small, ill or healthy, neurotic, clumsy, or awkward, is one of the paths toward greater happiness. It’s not an easy road, but one that’ll lead you to all the things you truly want in life.

This week our bloggers are bringing us back to basics with posts on building self-esteem, practicing mindfulness, lowering your expectations, becoming more self-aware and understanding your past’s influence on your present. They’re all building blocks on the road toward greater self-acceptance, love and happiness.

{Etsy photo by PhotographiebyEmilie}

{Etsy photo by PhotographiebyEmilie}

How to Build Self-Esteem
(Mental Health Awareness) – Feeling good about yourself isn’t easy especially when you’re vulnerable to the judgments and criticisms of others. But the key isn’t to wait until you’re perfect or lovable, but to work on loving all of you now. To get you started, here are thirteen self-esteem raising activities.

The Cover of Time and The Reality of Mindfulness
(Mindful Parenting) – If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what is Time magazine really saying about mindfulness? This post shares important thoughts on what mindfulness is and what it is not.

Raising Happiness by Lowering Expectations
(Bonding Time) – When reality doesn’t match up to your expectations, you’re on the road to disappointment. Leave disappointment behind with these 5 steps to happiness.

Self Awareness: What it is and What it Isn’t
(The Impact of Sex Addiction) – To heal, grow and sustain long-lasting change requires a deeper understanding of one’s self. The first step is understanding what self-awareness truly is. Surprisingly it has nothing to do with mindfulness or being egotistical and everything to do with being both actively and passively part of the process.

The Value of Therapy: Opening the Past…to Create Change and Happiness in the Present
(Relationships in Balance) – The greatest obstacle getting in the way of your happiness is your past. Rediscovering who you are and how your experiences shapes your current reality can help you create more positive, healthy and happier moments in your life.