A few weeks ago, I was in Isla Mujeres for International Women’s Day, attending the conference called “We Move Forward.” Eighty amazing women from all over the globe gathered for three days of inspiration. Other than to be with fabulous women, I had no goals for this conference. I didn’t want to be Helen Reddy. I was woman, but there would be no roaring. I didn’t want to change or vision or be motivated. I had improved enough. I wanted to enjoy the beauty of Mexican beaches and my delightful hotel.

But when you start to relax, you find one thing is true: Your mind has a mind of its own. As soon as I commit to enjoying myself, I start to hear a radio show playing in my head: “CK-R-U kidding me?”

“CK-R-U kidding me?” is like a talk show with callers chiming in from my childhood, all blabbing about how I shouldn’t be this size, this age, this pasty. I should be someone else. Who? I don’t know. I know it’s a female trait to put all our anxiety on the body. We could have a day where we popped out a kid in a field, put out fires, rescued cats and spayed them, but at the end of the day we always bemoan the fact we’re fat. Or think we are. I think it’s because if we had to own how powerful we really are, we’d be afraid we’d start blowing up buildings with our excess energy.

But as the conference went on, and one woman after another inspired the group with stories of courage and determination, I thought, I am so sick of this “CK-R-U kidding me?” playing in my head. It was like elevator music.

Frankly I have made the self-help industry thousands of dollars. I really don’t care why “CK-R-U kidding me?” is on my satellite dish. I don’t want to subscribe anymore. So for the next few days, every time I started to hear some negative mind fart, I purposely nipped it in the butt. I mean bud.

I walked, danced, moved my booty, ate, laughed and cried till it hurt. I even attempted snorkeling. And although I ingested a fair bit of saltwater, I started to feel good. Me! Someone with psoriasis and age spots and cellulite — in other words human — finally felt like I fit in my body. This body was okay. I was okay. But the universe would want to make sure I had learned this lesson….

One delightful afternoon, I came back to the hotel where I was staying and a Norwegian couple I had befriended was splashing around in the pool. They yelled,“Hey, Deborah, come on in. You look hot!”

I did? Wow! This affirmation crap was working!

See, those beautiful young people didn’t care I was walking around with 54-year-old hips and a size 14 bathing suit. Petra and Jarold thought I looked hot. Sweaty even!

So I went to my room and shut the curtains (my room overlooked the pool) and as I slipped into my swimwear, I did my chant: “You are good. You are fine. You are lovely.”

When I came out of the room, I got into the pool and the young Norwegians laughed at everything I said. I was tickling the Norwegians’ funnybones BIG TIME!

Then I looked down and saw what they found so hilarious. I had put my bathing suit on inside out! I looked at the Norwegians. They smiled. I looked at the bra cups bobbing on top of the water. I looked back at the Norwegians. They waited for my response.

“See, this is how we roll in Canada. It’s a fashion thing.”

Then I dove in and flipped them my bum. To hell with it. I wasn’t going back to the room to change. That’s what I wanted from this vacation: No change!! No more turning myself inside out. As I did my self-love victory laps, I wondered how many mojitos it would take before the Norwegians would pass out and I could finally go back to my room.

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