We are heading out on a road trip today. It’s been a crazy, amazing time leading up to this moment and I’ve been so present in what I have been doing that I gave very little time to thinking about this trip – more about all of that in another post.
As we make our way down to Florida and back over a couple of months I want to connect with women who would like to have a private photo session either just for themselves or to be part of my book coming up – Raw, Naked and Beautiful.
I am looking for women who want to be part of the Conscious Feminine to share their stories of their journey of coming back to more of themselves, more love, more self love and are body proud!!!
I have been receiving messages from the women who I have been doing nude photography sessions with on how much it has furthered their journey, empowered them, healed them and more.
The more love and self love we can bring back and embody is powerful!!
It’s time to take back our power!
Are there other ways? Of course, but this is one powerful way too, it may not speak to you but the women who have gone down the path of an eating disorder or similar, have had body issues, self esteem issues and who have bought into the lies by the advertising, media and more that we aren’t enough, nor good enough or again similar will get this!!
Please pass this on and or reach out to me as I would love to connect with you if this is resonating with you!!
I don’t know when it really started for me but I remember at the age of 13 years old being in my grandparents kitchen and my mom had me measure my thighs and she did the same, then kind of laughed at me saying her thighs were thinner.
Little did I know at the time my mom had strong anorexic tendencies then. That was the ‘70’s before internet or anyone really knowing about such things, and it contributed to me heading down a path of disordered eating and having body issues.
What also took me years to realize is that no two bodies are alike! My mom had nice breasts, carried her weight (if she had any) in her stomach area, had a flat bum and thin legs. I on the other hand have very small breasts, small waist, a bubble butt and heavier thighs. So very different.
Since that time I struggled with anorexia then bulimia for many years. If I wasn’t binging, I was exercising tons. It seemed like I was in a constant battle with my body, always hating the heavier, more athletic thighs, bubble butt, small chest that I had and being 5’2” on top of that. I felt child like many times.
I thought because I didn’t have a good size chest or cleavage, or because I wasn’t tall enough (and so on) that I wasn’t or couldn’t be sensual or womanly.
Yet nothing could be further from the truth!
In the past while I really started reflecting on what is shown to us as women from an early age from magazines, to advertisements to tv to clothing and realized how messed up it truly is. Usually leaving me feeling not good enough and / or not liking my body………..can you relate?
Where is it in our society that looks and fashion come before anything else and that one needs the perfect body? What is the perfect body and who decided what beauty is?? We’ve been programmed to believe that most if not all men love 5’10” blonde bombshells yet is it true?
We have been programmed to believe that without a label we are second class, or as the media may allude us to believe we are not good enough the way we are. Now please don’t get me wrong, I love to feel and look good. I take my health seriously by eating well. I dress for comfort and what I enjoy wearing, regardless of my age or what the fashion states as being in. And maybe that is just it – it’s my age. I’ve learned not to care what others think now.
Turning 50 last year has lead me to be able to sit and reflect on things in my life, the good and the bad, what I’ve done, not done, choices I’ve made and wasted energy in my life. I spent way too much time hating myself or my body, exercising as punishment for eating the wrong foods, or hoping to thin out my thighs instead of for the sheer enjoyment of exercising and allowing my body to move and express. I wasted too much time worrying over foods I ate that I shouldn’t have or better yet buying into any of that media hype whether on tv or in a magazine that lead me to think I just wasn’t good enough!!
Too much wasted time!
We have to stop buying into the bs programming and we have to start asking better questions and we have to start loving ourselves and bodies more, that is my opinion. We need the feminine to re-emerge fully in ourselves.
After all, if we don’t have the best relationship with ourselves how can we truly have an awesome relationship with another, based on truth and love.
Little did I know how much of a Healing Kind of Therapy this project would become!!
Even though this has been on my mind to do for several years, fear of sorts has kept it away and excuses – that one day I would do it. Yet I kept talking about it, I knew my struggles with an eating disorder for many years, with body image issues and feelings of not good enough I thought were just me, that almost everyone else was doing great – just me had issues – that I was somehow special (yet in a dysfunctional way lol).
As I started talking about this project and hearing women come forth, I realized it wasn’t just me. When one day about 2 months agoI was looking for a radio station and an interview caught my attention on eating disorders and I decided to listen in only to learn that 40% of 9 year old girls have been or were on a diet I knew I couldn’t just keep thinking about doing this or talking about one day – I just had to start it.
A dear friend created a Facebook event on Wreck Beach in Vancouver as women were interested in partaking in it for different reasons.
All I know is I am hearing how freeing it is, how a session has helped them in several ways, how they are becoming more aware of more self love and more……….that to be is music to my ears because I so can relate.
It is a kind of healing therapy, one I believe that is truly experiential and can’t be described through words.
So far everyone has said YES to being part of my book which I can’t wait to produce as women everywhere especially in North America will be able to use it, see themselves and hopefully heal parts of themselves as well from this messed up dieting, body image thing we have going on. And that nudity is a sex thing…………..
I’ve also been getting messages from both females and males saying thank you, this is needed, beautiful work which to me is a sign of being in the right place and in the flow.
I can’t tell you how honoured I am to be with these beautiful women and able to capture a moment in time, true beauty and the essence of them – you can see it over the course of the photos – the first may be a little tight, uncomfortable or tense but not by the end. Maybe it helps that I’ve been shooting them mostly in the nude too so we are on equal playing fields – it’s incredible when the clothes are off, the walls come down and the conversations become more real.
It’s not a sex thing.
It’s a real life, living, self love thing.
I am so proud to be part of this movement.
Please feel free to find out more about the Raw, Naked and Beautiful Project here or on Facebook AND if you like this or know someone it could help – PLEASE SHARE.
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Have been on the Sunshine most lately and this past week I had no internet, a great time and way to decompress (well sort of, helped a friend move), connect with nature (found an Eagle feather – always a great sign), hang with my dog and really think about the project that I have been talking about for way too long and not doing much about it – until recently and now it is becoming my focus.
Raw, Naked and Beautiful (read more about it here) the project!!
Raw, Naked and Beautiful
In the past couple of weeks I have been able to connect with and start photographing some beautiful and amazing women and am looking to do many more.
Since overcoming my eating disorder AND my body image this has become such a powerful force for me to help as many other women as possible be free too!!
These are just a couple of the photos I took being playful, being comfortable in their bodies, being bold, being beautiful and showing up as themselves and truly embracing being that – body and all!!
Raw, Naked and Beautiful
That is what this is ALL about.
Advertising, Media, Fashion and more has created such judgment of self and others, competition, exercise but not for health of it or the joy of doing it but to manipulate the body or punishment of eating something we shouldn’t.
The craziness and insanity has to stop.
There are no two bodies alike and we need to all embrace our beauty and our uniqueness.
I look forward to bringing many more photos, thoughts and insights on this!!
Raw, Naked and Beautiful
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I got to have the chance this past weekend to not only attend the Squamish Goddess Festival but to shoot some of it!!
Met some amazing ladies, had some great pampering time, bought some cool things, got immersed in the feminine and with females and oh smooch more!
It was located on a piece of beautiful property outside of Squamish, BC and even thought the days before were raining and raining hard, it cleared up to be an incredible weekend weather wise!!
Tammra Broughton is the creator of this special weekend, who with the help of many hands has started making her dream a reality.
Even though I was running around catching sneak peaks aka photos of workshops, singers, vendors and women connecting, I also got the chance to participate in a few and make some wonderful connections and new friendships.
What I love about these events is the gathering of women in a nurturing, inspiring and loving atmosphere where we can leave the everyday grind, competition and judging aside.
We can to reconnect with ourselves and nature – two very powerful things!!
We brought in traditional teachings that have been lost along the way – beautiful Grandmother Kaarlina – had a very powerful group session Saturday evening where the support of women was huge – so needed in our society today!!
There were many workshops to choose from all empowering the self and the feminine, including dance, yoga and great music.
I think in our society today the word Goddess is misunderstood and so needed to bring back balance in this very unbalanced world.
Movement of the body and quieting the mind, expressing, releasing and loving – one can’t put into words what really happens to one at festivals like this – you just have to go yourself and experience it!!
It helps to connect the masculine and feminine inside of us – we ALL have both but unfortunately many of us in todays’ world are running way more of the masculine, live in cities where concrete is everywhere and with technology have disconnected from self, nature and each other. We have become somewhat lost, losing our traditions, intuition and love.
And there are no age limits!!
If you are around Squamish – Vancouver area next June – I highly recommend attending it is well worth it!!
Have a fantastic day!
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I was going to call it Summer of Self Love but thought no, it needs to be longer and even Season of Self Love is too short,it really should be seasons!!
As many of you know that have followed me or my blog food and healthy food, / eating has been a big part of my life, food has also been one of my biggest challenges in my life – from not eating to binging to in my earlier years body obsessed to strict eating guidelines (raw foods only) to letting go of any and all rules and names (vegan,raw, foodie etc) to coming to pretty much a neutral place.
I even gave up trying to convince others they shouldn’t eat this or that or telling them what they should eat. I feel so much lighter. I also gave up trying to be perfect – that was a big one for me.
We are all so different when it comes to body shapes, body sizes, our genes (to a certain degree) and our likes and dislikes.
The base for me still resides in as close to nature as possible – clean and organic but I also have really allowed myself to be human and know I’m not perfect and stop being so hard on myself.
Believe it or not how and what we eat, really does say much about how we love ourselves.
Now I totally understand some people never have an issue with food, their bodies or self love, but I’m not talking to those people.
I want to connect and share my thoughts, messages and journey with the ones that have and are struggling with food issues, body issues, low self esteem issues.
I think back over my life and all the time I wasted on working out trying to get my thighs thinner – now please don’t misinterrupt what I am saying here, there is a difference between an obsession, loathing your self or your body and being healthy happy and free of that and still wanting to be, feel and look healthy.
What is the difference and fine line?
I turned 50 in December and right around the same time I put o an extra 10 lbs. First time in my life where my eight has been heavier and not coming off. Yes I’m in menopause, and I have readers (wth where did the time go!!??) It actually brought up the last of my body issues that I hadn’t fully embraced.
Could I still love myself enough even with some extra weight,some cellulite? I was eating healthy, getting some exercise – ok not like I used too when I was younger, working out daily, waitressing (so running around) and then 2 young children – busy young children (more running around). I did work at my computer more, read more, and took life a little slower after being so busy for years.
I also wasn’t having really any other side effects other than the odd little night sweat, so quite frankly I could live with a few extra pounds – but I still had some demons – not feeling good, enough or sexy. My clothes were tighter, I could see my body shifting.
Perfect – what better time then now to really let go of that bs yes bullshit and belief systems on my body defines who I am.
I love taking care of it, I love feeling good,healthy, radiant, alive but it’s not who I am.
It’s the place that my soul calls home.
And just like the house we live in, we do need to take care of it so it looks nice (or not), and make it our home so we are comfy in it,surrounding ourselves with things we like.
Would we spend much time in a place we didn’t like? Maybe temporarily to save for your ‘dream’ home or one that better suits you, unless money is a major factor for where and how we live, we can still decorate the inside of it to be our temple.
What are the ways to take care of you that maybe you have forgotten or left behind?
For me I am and have started to love me just for me – I’m here, alive, unique and instead of trying to fit in, focusing on my gifts, joy, love and more fun. Each day is difference but I do something daily that uplifts my spirits, that nurtures me, that feeds my soul – how do I know? It just feels good.
I might go for a walk in the rain forest here or shoot a sunset – one I’ve shot many times but it always brings me joy, connect with an old friend, take an afternoon cat nap, learn a new tool in Photography, have my toes painted – love having colourful toes in the summer, send a love note to my honey, yoga for the sake of connecting and feeling my body not for exercise. That one alone feels so good and different.
Just like the sunsets and sunrises that I love to catch – they are never the same. To some people they may be, but not to me. Each moment, each day is new, so are they and so am I – I get to choose – why not choose beauty and love.
Maybe it’s my age that I’ve come more into me and some moments I almost wish I could go back in time and take my wisdom, self love and knowledge back to my earlier years so that I wouldn’t waste all that energy on fighting my body, hating it or abusing it.
I look forward to posting more on these topics and more especially for women as it’s totally out of control now.
Seeing the younger generation with food, body issues and dieting really saddens me – it’s incredible what marketing and advertising can do to us. Yet it’s not just them, it’s women in general.
Start adding in sprinkles of self love and self nurturing no matter how busy you are, cause if you don’t you may be forced to at some point in your life and trust me that way is not always fun!!
Have an amazing day and create some more self love for YOU!!!
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I posted on my FB wall today the saying “Love is the absence of judgment“.
Take a few minutes today to just reflect on that. We usually first think of it when we are walking down the street and see someone who could be homeless, or dressed weird or has multiple tattoos and thoughts pop into our heads – we are aware those judgments.
Yet, what about for yourself – your body?
Just pay attention to the thoughts and feeling that come up for you! If it’s not total acceptance and love then it’s judgement and you deserve better!!
Self-love is important to living and eating well. Self love influences many areas of our lives. Please don’t get it confused with a big ego or some arrogance, self love is none of that.
Part of self love is truly knowing yourself and your values, its putting your self and needs first (not saying to not give concern to anyone else and I know that’s easier said when you have small kids), but there are many ways one can do this even though they may seem small.
Strong self love is being able to creativity express you – yourself. I know for me when I was younger I didn’t have the confidence to truly be me, I was trying to please everyone around me and also, here’s the biggie – trying to do it right – perfect – be perfect – how exhausting!!
Self love allows nurturing of self, whether it be hot bath, a form of exercise, eating healthy, a creative outlet, honoring who you really are by your values, likes and dislikes and living by them.
Self love is not verbally or mentally beating one self up, over exercising, over eating, eating a lot of processed high fat foods, denying yourself who you are, not having a creative outlet (that could be in the kitchen, painting, writing, gardening, dancing, dressing etc) or being in any type of abusive relationship (not just romantic, but work, friendship etc)
How do you talk to yourself? Would you talk to a good friend that way?
When you eat do you just eat? In other words are you watching tv, on the computer etc?
Do you know what you like to do or be in your life but are constantly denying yourself it or finding excuses?
Do you let fear or confusion rule?
Do you reward yourself for things well done with a high fat, over processed treat?
Do you ever feel like it’s no use or nothing will change?
How often do you over eat or eat out of boredom?
A couple of things that I found to be helpful for me for self love and letting go of emotional or binge eating was getting clear on what I didn’t want in my life and what I did want. I bought a journal, made lists then starting asking myself some questions…
– What change would I need make to do, be, or have for me to be that person? (Who do I want to be, what is my personal choice) ?
– How would I have to feel?
– How did I want to live?
– How do I want to feel in my body?
– What things do I enjoy doing?
– Why am I not doing them?
– What is it I truly want?
– Why is it I want that?
What is my dominate energy in my life? (ie anger, sadness, happy etc)
– What would it be like to be______?
– What kind of person have I been?
– What kind of person do I represent to the world?
– Is there a feeling I struggle with over and over again or have every day?
– What thing (even if it seems small) could I do today to start me moving in the direction I would prefer?
What I like to do in the morning several times a week is get up and sit down on my laptop or journal and just write – I got this from the book many years ago ‘ The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron. I just would write, I don’t censor, think about it or heck most times I don’t even read it. I never worry about punctuation – I just let er rip. Anything and everything that comes up and I let it go. Then I may ask myself some of those questions. I am looking for blocks that have kept me stuck in habits or thinking that may not be supportive to myself.
It got me releasing some mental chatter, negative emotions and well some plain crap. It made me realize what I focused on, how I was thinking and honestly admitting to myself where I was. I did not then beat myself up, I started dreaming – which got me feeling better and believing in myself and liking myself. Eating healthy became easier too as I wanted to nourish myself and my body more than beat it up anymore.
Everything is energy – when we have lower emotions especially towards ourselves, they have a lower vibration. The more you can let them go, the easier it will be to start shifting over to a place of self love.
Remember this – Self love is truly self expression in the highest form No need to explain justify hide or feel bad about it or how you want to express you We are all different and unique and when we can each embrace that within ourselves – life can become amazing Part of self love is our relationship to ourselves, our bodies and food – why not make it great!!
You don’t need any reason to have love or self love, you are here, alive and really just perfect the way you are – see it, feel it, believe it and know it.
You so deserve it!!!
Would love any feedback
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I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks as I had to fly home to Ontario for a little while and since then I have been left pondering a few things.
My family suffered a loss of someone very dear and quite young, actually the same age as my daughter, they were 2 months apart. My sister and I were pregnant at the same time.
It was his decision which is always the hardest and the saddest.
So many questions are left unanswered and I keep thinking what is there to our lives? What is the purpose? Why do some of us come and go quickly and others stay for a really long time? Why are we here? How can I make a difference in someones life…..even for a moment as we pass one another on the street and I give them a big smile, could that make a difference in their day? Probably, maybe, who knows but why not do it anyways.
I have the pleasure of each week tuning into Hans Christain King’s Modern Day Mysticism show and I always leave feeling so peaceful inside. Learning each week that we really are indeed spiritual beings having a human experience no matter what we are going through. The first time I heard his calming, soothing non-judgmental voice, it was an inner knowingness of some sort, like finding an old friend after a long absent.
I have gotten off the spiritual path and am now back embracing it. It helps to remind us when our days are full of stress, or things just aren’t going the way we had hoped or planned on, there is more to this thing called life.
I started this blog to help people eat healthier, try new different, healthier recipes and to talk about my journey with food. I kept feeling like I didn’t know what to share or how to say it and that something has been missing,……..now I know what to share and talk about, as I do have a story. I also learned while being back home that the recovery rate for people, especially women with an eating disorder is less than 30%……WTF??!!……I couldn’t believe it, that’s it?? That sucks!!!!
So, if my sharing my story, what I did and didn’t do that worked or didn’t work, reaches even just one person, then I will have made a difference…….it’s more than just about food. I feel so grateful that I am in that low percentage, but it’s time to raise it much higher.
It is now changing to Food to Nourish the Body, Mind and Soul – as they are all interconnected as we are. It’s still about food but oh so much more!!
Thank you for reading and being here and please feel free to share this with anyone who could benefit.
Have a wonderful day and share a piece of your smile with someone today!!
When you look in the mirror at yourself do you look for and see your beauty, your greatness what you love most or that you are perfect just the way you are?
Do you look in the mirror at yourself and see what you don’t like, what needs fixing, improving or you criticize and find fault?
Look in the mirror and really see the beauty in you, because I do……..you are beautiful!!!
Once upon a time I couldn’t even look in the mirror………Life is too short to be your best enemy……..start today…….by loving yourself a little more!!!
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