The Simply Exfoliated Life

Photo courtesy of The Glitter

I was waiting for my flight to head to DC when I decided a stroll to the shop with magazines, key chains, and mountain landscape decorated mugs was in order. I hadn’t bought a magazine for what seemed like forever and was really a month. I wasn’t impressed with anyone’s January issue mostly because those magazines were maybe 100 pages if that. But we were on the precipice of February. As I picked up one magazine after another I noticed the one that highlighted how to create the perfect red lip for Valentine’s day. I was already smitten with my own, but who doesn’t like perfection?

I sat my tall soy green tea latte down on one shelf, hoping the woman managing the store wouldn’t make a fuss and picked up the magazine on the shelf below it. I scanned the table of contents for the page where the article was and viola! There it was, the tips to the perfect rouge pucker- EXFOLIATE!

“Well of course!” I thought. I mean who didn’t know that? But apparently enough people to write about it and well apparently not many of my friends did either. OKay okay, moment of truth…I didn’t always know this either. I read the article and the writer reiterated the importance of removing dead skin. There was no way to get even, smooth, satinny, kiss me now lips with dead skin heaped here and there. Get rid of the dead skin, apply a light clear alcohol free balm, then go to town with whatever shade of red your heart or your partner’s heart desires.

Photo courtesy of Camille Juco as pinned on

Before you think this post is actually about skincare and lipstick application, it’s not. I promise. When I read the article and was shocked that that was the “secret” it reminded me just how important getting any desired outcome we want in life begins. It begins by getting read of the dead and useless stuff.

I don’t know about you, but I find from time to time it is super tempting to just ignore and add. Whether it’s just getting a second job instead of sitting down and overhauling the resume and putting in legit time to apply to and get one job that is more fulfilling and reflective of what we have to offer, or just dating because stopping and assessing what we really want in a partner as opposed to piece mealing what we desire in round robin dating, or just buying bigger clothes and adding to our closets because taking a moment to see why we are stress eating feels like to  much,  we can be quite skilled at ignoring and adding.

To date, I have yet to see the real long lasting benefits of piling it on. At some point we succumb to burn out and self sabotage and lose one or both jobs. We find out that the folks we have been dating have been dating others and are actually more interested in one of the others. We don’t understand how we got from a size 8 to a size 14 in a matter of months and we don’t like who we see in the mirror. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there is something wrong or bad about weight gain. I am saying there is something concerning when it is as a result of stress and avoiding addressing that stress. That’s unhealthy and I don’t support unhealthy.

Photo courtesy of Nana-Mbra Idun as pinned

Yet, when we muster whatever we need to actually schlep away the dead and useless and start afresh, it’s beyond worth it. There is something to be said for letting go that which no longer serves us in order to make room for that which does. There is something to be said for realizing that when we do, it doesn’t destroy us, we don’t disappear, we’re not left with nothing. No one has reported not having lips post exfoliating. I have never lost my lips post exfoliating.

I am a recovering anti process person. Probably makes no sense giving y counseling background. That’s all counseling is. I know. Nonetheless I didn’t always love it, let alone like it. But with consistent practice and outcomes that always included growth and insight, I am pro process. So yes, a while back when I first read about exfoliating your lips before applying the lipstick was a must I laughed, rolled my eyes, gave it a go, and I was impressed. Some one else may be impressed to. wink. wink .

This past month, I’ve been exfoliating. Not just my lips. My life. I’ve been taking intentional incremental time to get rid of the dead and useless. Some of it’s been, pause a lot of it’s been, habits that just don’t serve me. There’s been a few relationships, not many, but a few. There’s been thought patterns that I’ve had to disrupt and deconstruct. There’s been my silence on a myriad of things pertaining to my personal and professional life that I’ve had to exfoliate and speak on and to. Followed up by some action. Yeah I have been laying on that smooth satinny action.

Photo courtesy of Teen

Here’s my hope for you this week. Find a scrub you like and exfoliate.  Find the time, person or people, book, blog, vlog, video, dvd, scripture, journal, seminar, lecture, webinar. workshop, sermon, or whatever else you need to start exfoliating the area(s) in your life that need to be relieved of the dead an useless. Embrace the process of sifting through that which no longer serves you so that that which does is what rises to the top. If this ridiculously challenging, then start by making a list of what you know on some level needs to be scrubbed and gone. Maybe it’s the drawer full of things from your ex that keeps you from really enjoying dating someone new. Maybe it’s the loathing exercise so much that you only do the minimum and you know yo could do more and want to see maximum results. Maybe it’s the closet full of clothes from undergrad that you haven’t worm for any number of reasons but that you really really REALLY won’t wear again. Maybe you keep asking yourself the same question that leads to a painful ambiguous answer and you need to figure out how to move forward even if you never get an answer or the answer you want to hear. Maybe you stop looking for a new job and you list your fears that are keeping you from striking out on your own.

I could keep the list going, but I won’t. I do however invite you to. I promise you will be amazed at what in your life needs to go. I have been weeding out my closet like no ones business. The more I have traveled the more I have noticed the same pieces I am drawn to and pieces that I don’t wear and haven’t in a long time. When I asked myself why I even had all the items I had it was a simple daunting answer, but a truth I had carried- they make me feel like I am communicating I have worth. However, I have also been made acutely aware, since my stint in Spokane, that nothing I amass or do will make people value me. I am valued whether I am sauntering in my birthday suite or strolling in my favorite gap ripped skinny boyfriend jeans. My worth is not possession or people dependent. So all the stuff I have amassed, I can exfoliate! Okay, not all, but a good bit of it is going up for grabs.

The other thing I will mention before bringing this week’s post to a close is this, after you exfoliate, you apply a little tender love and care. You apply a balm or conditioner to moisturize and then you go to town adding the final layer to pucker with a pow. So after you start to exfoliate in your life, be sure you schedule your own TLC before launching into the next big thing. You’ll be glad you did. Happy exfoliating! xxoo

Photo courtesy of  Felicia Dillard as pinned on

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