In my last article “The Experience of Being Alone” I shared a bit of my story…how within the last decade, I made the conscious choice to step out of abuse and chaos (part of that was to physically step away from an abusive relationship).
People often ask me, “what has been the most painful experience I have had?” I truly cannot say–because I live fully present I release the feel of the experience as I move through it (the feel as in “wonderful” as well as “painful” and all in between). I would say as far as life changing and requiring deep inner work, one event was that I lost my virginity to stranger rape when I was 19. After this event, my self-esteem, belief in spirit and God, overall feeling of safety as I moved through World, sense of empowerment, gratitude for my pretty face and my smile, spiraled downward and stayed there for a quite a few years. My physical wounds healed, although a scar at the small of my back (my energetic core) still remains, but my energetic wounds were deep and are probably still unlayering today.
So, when I discovered Kimberly Riggins message, it resonated strongly. I *love* her straightforward manner, spunk, verve, and complimentary weekly Naked Ass Dares. (Because if you are familiar with me in life, or have read my about page, you know I have verve, spunk, and love nakedness and dares!).
It is a wonderful gift, then, to share energetic space with Kimberly and to share her message with you.
Kimberly’s bio is quite rich: Kimberly Riggins is a body image & self-love expert. She is CEO of Kimberly Riggins International, the author of the inspirational book, Love Your Naked Ass and the creator of the upcoming program, The Ravishing Renegade where she helps women slash through the jungle to DISCOVER self-love. She is also currently working on a philanthropy mission called “The Watch Her Thrive Project“, where she will publish a collaborative book and hold a wine + chocolate soiree in honor of Women for Women International. If you are in need of a self-love boost, take The Love Your Naked Ass Dare…it’s free!
J: Thank you, Kimberly for sharing energetic space today! May you share with us a bit about your vision of your site; the feel and the message?
K: Visually, my site is always evolving. The images you see there now were taken as a way to celebrate loving my whole being. I really wanted to show a person that it is completely possible to truly “love your naked ass.”
I would love people to leave my site feeling good. To be inspired.
My message is bold. But I think it has to be. Self-love is no easy feat in today’s society. But I am here to say that it is 100% possible if you do the work and you realize you deserve it. Because honey, YOU deserve it all.
J: You so clearly state your purpose. May you share with us a bit about how you came to experience such clarity around your purpose and did you step right into it?
K: Hmm. My clarity came from my own experience with hating my body and myself. I used to think I was too fat, not good enough, pretty enough, or smart enough…
I waged a war on myself after being raped and ended up under-eating and over-exercising until I could barely function. I dropped out of college, found myself in the hospital, and had to endure year’s worth of therapy.
I would never wish that on anyone…not even my worst enemy. I knew after I overcame all of my problems that I could be of service to women who suffered from body image, self-esteem and self-worth issues.
I had no idea exactly how that would look but I am so thankful that I never gave up because helping women learn to smile back at who they see when they look into a mirror is the best feeling in the world.
J: I had a very similar experience. This is why your message and style resonate so strongly with me. Thank you for all that you share!
You are a body image and self-love expert. May you share with us how do you nourish your self, do you have a favorite ritual or “indulgence”? And, may you share with us, what type of services/resources do you offer?
K: I love this question. I nourish myself in so many ways.
But some of my favorites…taking long, hot, steamy showers with essential oils and salt scrubs (I have to admit, I have some of my best ideas while bathing); savoring and indulging daily on dark chocolate (yes, I eat 2-4 oz of dark chocolate every single day); enjoying a glass of red wine with family or friends (I believe that everything should be enjoyed in moderation); my daily workouts (it always changes but it usually consists of yoga, Pilates, weight training or a combination of all three); listening to music (I am in love with mellow alternative jams—it is so soothing to my soul but I’ll admit, I am a huge Maroon 5 fan…um, hello who doesn’t love Adam Levine); reading, dare I say, erotica novellas (yes, I love nonfiction, self-help and good ole-fashioned fiction but nothing gets you into your body more than a sensual novel).
The services I offer:
- The Knockout Round (A FREEE 15 minute laser coaching session)
- The Ravishing Renegade, A 30 day adventure where you learn to slash through your jungle (i.e. all of your insecurities, hang-ups and negative thoughts) to discover what self-love looks like for you.
- Private One on One Coaching
- And I am currently working on a new offering which includes you, me, dark chocolate, your favorite beverage of choice and creating your ultimate self-care plan.
J: When I teach the gift of presence, I teach the entire class as a reference to self-love first…it is my experience that when we love and care for self first, we then share with others and world from a centered space of gratitude, joy, and abundance. Presence is a pleasure, instead of an obligation or commitment. May you share with us a bit about your message as it relates to the topic of self-love.
K: When I think about the word “love,” an immediate smile spreads across my face. To love someone, is to honor them, to respect them, and to value them. Self-love is no different, except that instead of giving it to someone else, you give it to yourself.
When you can love yourself completely and wholeheartedly, you have the ability to truly be yourself. You will feel nurtured, are able to take risks without feeling you will be rejected, and can show vulnerability.
When you love yourself, you will be able to have open, honest, and amazing relationships with others. But most of all you will be truly happy with who you are and how you show up in the world, regardless of what is going in your life.
J: If I may ask, may you share a bit with us about what would you consider is the source of your power?
K: I would have to say my power comes from my unwillingness to give up. People have said I have boundless strength. I would consider myself a “fighter.” I’m not sure where it comes from but I have the mentality, that if something or someone knocks you down, you get back up, dust yourself off and continue moving forward with your head held high. I don’t believe in failing…falling yes. The only way I believe I will fail is if I give up trying. And that, I can say with 100% confidence, will never happen. I may make a wrong turn or step down the wrong path, but I believe that just gets me one step closer to where I am supposed to go. Life is full of unexpected surprises, both good and bad, and I have the pleasure of seeing where it takes me.
J: When you are creating and doubt surface (does doubt surface?), what resources do you rely upon as you continue to create?
K: OMG! Doubt surfaces all the time. But I am human.
What has helped me tremendously with coping with doubt and any ups and downs for that matter is creating a solid support network that I can turn to. I am constantly doing self-development work, I always have some sort of mentor or coach and I have strategically aligned myself with women I am honored to call my friends who I can call on whenever my “inner critical bitch” gets too loud.
J: You have written a book “Love Your Naked Ass: 80 Gentle Ways to Transform Your Life, Restore Your Serenity, and Rediscover Happiness”. I find the message fascinating, so much of our story parallels— as I mentioned above, I was raised in chaos and abuse, when I was 19 I lost my virginity to a stranger rape, yet I have always been the light in the room, found the joy in life so I took these experiences and did the inner work to amplify that light, deepen that joy, and share with others.
What appeals to me about your book (and your message) is that you so openly share your story as a reflection, and then you live the message of transformation. You took an experience that could have shut you down and transformed it to amplify your purpose. May you share a bit about that?
K: Believe me, it wasn’t always that way. At first, I was angry. Felt alone. Wanted to die. But after seeking help for my eating disorder and getting therapy around the rape, I realized I had a choice to make. I could let it define who I am or I could use it as a stepping-stone to define who I wanted to be. I chose the latter. And decided that I would rise above my experience and I would use it as a way to let other women know they are not alone.
J: May you speak a little about this book..the message and the process of incorporating these concepts into our lives?
K: The message I truly wanted to convey is that loving yourself has nothing to do with your size, weight, or height. I know this might sound cliché but it really is about what’s on the inside that counts. It’s who you are at the depth of your soul.
Happiness is not something you find…it’s something you create from the inside out. And only YOU have the power to create happiness because you determine how you show up in the world and who you are going to be in the world each and every day.
My process is simple…in order to love yourself, you must take ACTION. Action initiates change. And small steps taken over and over again create the biggest impact.
J: May you share with us, as you receive feedback from the book, is there anything that “surprises” you about the messages...a resonance or depth that you might not have expected?
K: Actually, yes. I had a few women tell me that my book truly saved them in their darkest moments. Honestly, the responses have been quite overwhelming…I knew people who read my book would feel inspired but I had no idea to what extent. It makes my heart sing with joy!
J: May I ask, when a woman cannot see her beauty because her vision is obscured by her pain, what is the first piece of advice you might give her to invite her to look into the mirror? How can a woman take that ‘first step’?
K: Look past your physical attributes and see your body as a miraculous machine that gives to you in the most amazing ways each and every day. You are a living, breathing miracle, which deserves to be adorned.
The first step, honestly, is to stand in front of a mirror comfortably. Most women, believe it or not, have a very difficult time with this. And if you can stand in front of a mirror, the key is to not berate yourself but to look at yourself through a different lens. For example, instead of dwelling on your “crow’s feet,” see those lines as signs of how much you have lived and laughed. Rather than despise your forehead lines, view them as symbols of your expressive self. Instead of only seeing the cellulite on your thighs, admire their strength and for giving you the ability to walk, or to pick up your child in a warm embrace.
J: I love that you share “gentle” ways. In a world full of “pushing through”, “smashing molds” breaking barriers, gently is preferable to me. I gently stretch into expansion, allowing the process to be comfortable and even fun for me. May you share with us a bit about these tips, your vision for sharing them, perhaps one that you use as you consider expansion in your life?
K: These tips, ideas and suggestions are the same ones I personally used to overcome my body image and self-esteem issues. I wanted to share them to show women that loving yourself can be done. You do not have to take heroic measures to get there. Just implementing these ideas will infuse you with the momentum necessary to take your personal power back.
I love them all actually so picking one is quite hard. But the one I am being called to share is titled:
Do Not Compromise Your Values.
“He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away”.~ Raymond Hull
Everyone has a set of values they live by. Unfortunately, when you are trying to make someone else happy by being someone you’re not, your values become blurred, almost unrecognizable.
If you continue down this path of conforming yourself to meet another’s needs, you will never be happy and never experience inner peace.
You have to make up your own set of rules. Be clear on your values and live in harmony with them.
The first step is to identify what your values are. Grab your journal and write down your most precious values in life. Circle your top three. Are they love, connection to family and passion? Or are they happiness, security and adventure?
Ask yourself if you have been living in line with your values or if you have been conforming to someone else’s.
Regardless of where you are, make a commitment to yourself today to make a small change in your life that will keep your values in sync.
J: Many of my readers are male. What do you share with men when they ask about your services and programs?
K: My services and programs do not really attract men because I am very clear that I work with only women. But when I do talk to a man about what I do, they often express their wish for their wife or girlfriend to have more self-esteem and confidence.
I actually have had many men purchase my programs for their girlfriends/wives as gifts…and the results have been phenomenal. For starters, when a woman truly loves herself, and can appreciate her body, sex is forever changed. Of course, men seem to love that but so do the women.
J: Thank you so much for sharing! In closing, is there anything you would like us to know about you, your vision, your voice?
K: Honestly…the first thing that comes to mind that I would love for you to know is that I am, and forever will be, a work in progress. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I’m not afraid to share my own trials and tribulations with you because that’s how we grow.
And you should never stop growing. Always find opportunities to push yourself past your own comfort zone. Let your intuition guide you and remember that life is an amazing gift. Don’t take a second of it for granted.
Kimberly so generously gifted this site a Kindle (or PDF) version of her book “Love Your Naked Ass!”. To win this copy, please answer the following question in the comment section. The winner of the raffle will be chosen from the names of those who comment. The drawing ends December 1,2012 9p (PST). The winner will be chosen then, and contacted through email.
** Katy is the winner of the raffle! Thank you to all who participated…and you may still join in the conversation in the comments below.**
Question for you, dear reader: Kimberly shared quite a lot with us today. And she would like to know “in what ways will you show yourself love as we wrap up 2012 and prepare for 2013?
Thank you, Kimberly! Thank you, dear reader! *Excellent*, indeed!
Much peace and abundant love,
Reminder: Experiment. Explore. Experience.