As you know I've been traveling on a wonderful journey with my daughter over this past year. It's our very own self-image awareness journey (more here). When we first started this project it really was all about helping her to realize every wonderful thing about who she is and what she deserves in this life. I quickly learned that it was a journey that would be better tackled as a duo rather than cheering her on from the sidelines. I realized this when I would encourage her to see things in herself that she couldn't, and then turn around and criticize myself. Eventually she started calling me on it. I'm grateful that she did. I needed to learn to practice what I was preaching. I needed to begin seeing things in myself that I loved, and so the journey switched from one set of feet on the path to two. It's been so good for us to do this together. I know from experience that it's easier to meet your goals and to work hard when you have a partner to push you and make you better while standing right by your side. We have not reached the end of our path, and honestly I'm not certain that we ever really will. The self-image journey is continuous. It's one that we constantly need to work on, but it does get easier. With each step that we've taken, I've learned that I am powerful. I have the opportunity to make choices each day. I have learned to pray constantly for help to think before I act and speak. The things that I say and do effect those around me, and often times the effects can be long lasting if I allow my tongue to unleash words that are better left unsaid. My focus has been on seeking kindness and trying to give it because I have learned how much power there is behind a single kind word. It moves me to hear kind words and softens my heart more each time I hear them, and that is powerful. I have realized that if I want my daughter to think about herself as the magnificent being that she is, then I need to start seeing magnificent things in myself. I need to treat myself kinder. I need to harness my tongue, and stop criticizing myself. If I want her to see all of the beautiful gifts and talents, and magic that I see in her then I need to do the same with myself. My influence over her is powerful. Much more so than I think I realized, and that is a big responsibility that should not be taken lightly. The first step for me in acting on this duty was to step on the path next to her and gently take her by the hand because she is not alone in her need to do this. We will find our way together, and we will share ideas, happiness, and hopefully a few laughs along the way. I will do this by her side because I Am Powerful.