#iwentfirst: A Look in the Mirror


How does one find themselves, after seasons of loss that leave them feeling “less than”?

How do you shift from devastation to celebration? Celebration that will help to launch you into a season of abundant confidence that will carry you.

What would it mean if….. What would it mean if you found yourself in front of a mirror, with less than the ideal amount of clothing (per a standard you did not set) adorning your body…. A look curated with all of your favorite things that, for a moment in time, made you stop and take notice? The kind of notice that inspired a safety inside your mind, inside your body, and inside your soul. This moment brings you to feel whole, with a fullness that gives you the fuel to move across space and time with an empowered state of freedom.

That is what happened when I showed up for myself and decided to peel back my layers of insecurity just long enough to connect with my reflection…. A reflection that for a moment allowed me to arrive at the doorstep of freedom… Freedom to joyously love every curve, for they each have a purpose and a story… a story that starts with shoulders that have carried the weight of the world as I know it, while shouldering the burdens of all I hold dear for too many years.  The simple act of giving of myself selflessly at the expense of….. Myself.-  Those same shoulders are what lead as I confidently walk into each experience is create for those I serve. I see my stomach… The stomach that is home to every bite I have taken, but that also was a safe space for my daughter for 10 full months as the miracle of her creation unfolded. The legs that have walked me in and out the seasons in which I have felt the most lost and unsure of my purpose. Yet they are the same legs that inspire me to stand tall for the things in which I am most passionate. I then look into the eyes that are the window to my soul and often give away every ounce of emotion that surges through my body….  And finally I am met by my smile… the best accessory to any look that I wear.  The most powerful tool I posses as it reminds me of the light it is in the dark corners of each day…. It is the one selfless action that can change the mood by just showing up.   This moment is forever etched in my soul as the day that woke my soul to the belief that I am more than just a “Pretty Face”. Rewriting the belief built by way of backhanded compliment. Meant to define every woman of size, by confirming her body is not enough, but her face is her saving grace in the puzzle of parts that are less esthetically pleasing to look at. 

The mirror I mentioned above is centered in a Boudior Studio many women have occupied. A step many have taken in the journey of finding their way back… A space that encourages empowering connection and is the cause of audacious confidence. The moment described is forever captured in a photo. A memory I return to in moments I need to be reminded of my worth, my value, and that I am more than the sum of my parts…. Proof of a space in this life to feel 100% aligned with the notion that I am free to dance in the reality that every inch is Beautifull.  

#iwentfirst is a gallery of photos and captions from women who stood in the power of their own contagious courage, and decided to “go first” by telling the world what it means for them to take up space. Have your own story of contagious courage?

Sarah Stevens