Mouth Open

So, we recently visited Cotopaxi National Park. Wowzer! It was stunning!

It turns out a friend and mega talented photographer (Joshua Brown) came with us. Pics and video will be coming soon. 🙂

And while the three of us were sitting by the fire, drinking tea after a travel day, Joshua took this photo of me as the firelight and sunlight were just right.

When I looked at it, I loved it. And I also cringed slightly from a memory.

Because my mouth was open. 

You see, there was once a man in my life that told me that my mouth was open regularly while we were relaxing and he didn’t like it. He would remind me from time to time to close my mouth when he saw me doing it.

I was so self-conscious of this, I can’t even tell you.

This was before I rebuilt my self-worth from scratch. So stuff like this would really make me feel insecure and humiliated. I wanted so much to be loved and approved of by him, so you bet I tried hard to keep that mouth closed.

But then life moved on and that man was no longer in my life.

And luckily I haven’t thought about my mouth in that way in…a decade+?? Surely I must not do it anymore. I mean, if it was so atrocious, I can only imagine Danny would have said something. haha. I mean, anything to stop that unsightly mouth from being open! 😉 But no. He never said a word. Not a single word.

And here I am, years and years later, sitting at 12,000 feet by the fire after hosting a sold-out/full-house retreat for 7-Days where I taught women about self-worth. And this photographer captures me in that moment. And he shows the photo to me, clearly not minding at all that my mouth is open. No, he did not delete this one, but showed it to me proudly.

How I love this photo.

I will cherish this one.

And I will continue to open my mouth whenever I damn well please.

Cheers to healing.

Cheers to being comfortable in our bodies.

Cheers to not being a victim to others’ criticism of our bodies. Blah.

Love always!!

Mara

P.S. Have you experienced some type of body criticism like this, too? Hoping for healing for all. XOXO

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19 Comments

  1. Ashleigh Son October 27, 2016 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    It's a cute picture Mara! Modelicious I might even say.

    • mara October 28, 2016 at 1:17 am - Reply

      modelicious – oh la la. 🙂 That's a new word for me. Thanks for the smile.

  2. Katy DeBardelaben October 27, 2016 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    I think it's such a powerful analogy….keep your mouth shut equals be silent, be small. Misogyny weaved in to everyday life. I'm glad that man is no longer trying to silence you because obviously you have so many powerful things to say. And you're beautiful, inside/outside, mouth open/mouth closed.

    • mara October 28, 2016 at 1:21 am - Reply

      I know, right? It is such a fitting analogy considering all the silencing and mistreatment of women taking place in massive ways. Makes me so sad. But also cheering on so many powerful women (& men) who are working to change that.

  3. Anonymous October 27, 2016 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    There are memories like that. That spark out of nowhere. And it's so nice to have them when the present is so much better than the days when those memories were actually occurring. Such a great freedom is what I feel!

    • mara October 28, 2016 at 1:21 am - Reply

      Loved your words. Beautiful.

  4. emma October 27, 2016 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    You are wonderful.
    And that photo is amazing.
    Keep on being you and thankyou as always for the inspiration!

    • mara October 28, 2016 at 1:28 am - Reply

      You're so welcome. It's such a good feeling to write a post that people enjoy. So thank you.

  5. Anonymous October 27, 2016 at 8:11 pm - Reply

    Like someone else said above, I think it's a powerful metaphor for the act of speaking up, which is what you do. And what makes you so influential to so many people. Thanks for opening your mouth, literally and figuratively.

    • mara October 28, 2016 at 1:29 am - Reply

      You are so welcome – and I hope it inspires other women to share their voices, too. XO

  6. Janika October 27, 2016 at 10:43 pm - Reply

    That is a beautiful photo! Kind of reminds me of one of my favorite John Singer Sargent paintings of Isabella Stewart Gardner. Her mouth is open a bit too! http://www.jssgallery.org/paintings/Isabella_Stewart_Gardner.htm

    • mara October 28, 2016 at 1:31 am - Reply

      That photo! It seems she might be doing something daring (for that day) with her mouth poised like that – like she's very bold and self-assured. I love it!

    • mara October 28, 2016 at 1:31 am - Reply

      Oops, I mean – "painting" not "photo"

  7. Maria Petrova October 27, 2016 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    Oh darling.

  8. Mimi October 28, 2016 at 12:36 am - Reply

    Woohoo love this! More power to you sister! 🙂

  9. Angela Kintscher October 28, 2016 at 2:52 am - Reply

    This post struck a chord with me. When I was in junior high a boy told me that I looked like a witch when I laughed or smiled. For the next 20 years or so, I always covered my mouth when I laughed and would never smile and show my teeth. I don't remember what sparked it in me to change that but I did and now I get so many compliments on my beaming smile. Words can be so powerful but it is great to have the wisdom to not let them control you.

  10. Mairi October 28, 2016 at 3:57 am - Reply

    This post gave me such a big smile! I know what you're saying and I have felt this so many times. For me, it was love that changed everything. First, the love I decided to give to myself and than the love of my husband. There was a moment in my life, when I was just so tired of trying to be perfect and do everything right, and I just rebelled against everything/everyone who tried to make me smaller than I am. I have always felt the need to be seen for who I really am inside, to be loved for it. I realized that I needed to stop being scared of who I am. It is a daily struggle. (Also, love yous leggings. Where are they from?)

  11. Eugenia Pintado October 28, 2016 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    Love your post..I made me think we tend to do things to be accepted or love by someone else..so thanks for remind me that I have to do things for myself and not for ohters.

  12. SarahN @ livetolist November 2, 2016 at 8:58 am - Reply

    I've been a longtime reader, and this was a well timed post. After many posts, and thinking over the past four years about my partner, I've finally broken up with him. A number of weeks have passed now, so it's less raw. But I realise these shadows people cast on you – their opinions that shape you. And their opinions are FAR from universal. It can be so hard that the people you are most open and vunerable and impressionable to, can have such a profound impact.

    I actually look forward to being single again – for however long it will be. To be OK to do and be what I want. It makes me sound selfish, and that's probably what he'd have said. But… it is my life.

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