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Emelina Minero Hosts 31 Day Self-Love Diet Writing Challenge

Friday Jan 9, 2015

By Emelina Minero

What you consume and what you surround yourself with impacts your energy, your thoughts, your mood, your emotions and therefore how you act and carry yourself in life. Out lesbian Emelina Minero decided that she wanted to be a part of creating a counterculture to the negative messages that bombard society daily. With that in mind, she co-founded the Love Warrior Community (LWC) with her mom, Michelle Minero, a therapist who specializes in eating disorder recovery.

"The Love Warrior Community is more than just a depository of positive media," said Minero. "It's a safe space for people to delve into personal work and to explore their self-love journey, both the light and shadow aspects of it."

The LWC is an online community that uses creative expression to foster healing, self-acceptance, body acceptance and self-love. People can go to the website to see positive media, they can submit their favorite song or video to be published on the LWC or they can create their own writing, art or other media to be added to the LWC.

Each January, the LWC hosts the 31-Day Self-Love Diet Writing Challenge, and this year marks the Fifth Annual challenge. The Minero's share a Self-Love Diet writing prompt every day throughout January and people share their writing on the Love Warrior Community, the Facebook event page or write in their own journal.

"Creating a safe space, in whatever I do, is really important to me," said Minero. "It's those feelings of safety and trust that encourage people to share their stories from a place of vulnerability and emotional honesty, and those kind of stories are powerful. When we share those stories, we don't only foster healing within ourselves, but we're fostering healing for the world."

In contrast to the negative media we bombarded with, below are seven excerpts of self-love writing that people have submitted this year to the 31-Day Self-Love Diet Writing Challenge:


"It's Not Selfish!" By Kathryn Hulbert
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I grew up believing that feeling good about myself was selfish. I grew up in an unhealthy environment and my social contact was mostly limited to a fundamentalist religious group.

While for some people this little church song could be experienced in a healthy way, for me it was damaging. It goes like this: "J-O-Y, J-O-Y, This is what it means! Jesus first, Yourself last, and Others in Between!"

Yourself last. That part was the easiest. I didn't think I was valuable. Even now, at this very moment, I am trying to process the idea of loving me. Loving me isn't selfish. It is survival. I am working to dance past that. Survival may be where I am at today, but I am giving myself permission to thrive.

I don't owe anyone an explanation for taking care of my mind and body. It is my mind and body.

I am walking towards healthy spirituality. Spirituality that is life-giving, not damaging.

"More than a Soul-Cover" by Michaela Margida
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Dear Body,

You're more than just the covering for my soul. But you're also not as big as I have made you.

Keeping you healthy and happy is important to me, but if you were aesthetically perfect, would my life actually be any better?

I've realized that now is the happiest and most at peace I have felt with you, possibly ever, even though I am technically overweight. I weighed 40 pounds less in college and I used to dissect you with my mind, cruelly starve you, and look at you with disgust.

Now I look at the pooch of my belly and I shrug my shoulders. I see the curve of my thighs and feel a sort of begrudging admiration. I look at my face and feel resigned but content.

I'm not sure how other people feel about you. It's not about that for me, not anymore. I spent way too long obsessing over how you looked to those around me, to strangers, even.

It's not how you look, it's how you feel and what you can do.

"Good Morning Emelina. I Love You." By Emelina Minero
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This moment is a great moment. Anything is possible in this moment. Our Self-Love Diet intentions are to live life present in each moment, and to fill each moment with love. That is it, and that is enough. Not only is it enough, but also it's powerful, and living in this way will transform each moment in your life.

I want you to know that I love you. I love you unconditionally, every aspect of you. Know that every aspect of you is beautiful and just as it should be. You are perfect just as you are. Embrace your beauty, embrace your strength, embrace all of you. The more you embrace you -- the stronger your love will flow into this world.

"An Apology and an Ode: A Body Love Letter" by Stacey Lantz
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I am deeply sorry for the amount of harm that I have put you through. I apologize for the self-harm behaviors through my adolescent years. For the marks that temporarily scarred wrists in the hopes that people would demand answers. I apologize for the poor eating behaviors that deprived it of nutrition and drastically needed calories. I apologize to my body for hiding it behind excuses, clothing, doors and a myriad of other things. I apologize for degrading it and being ashamed of it. I apologize for criticizing it and wrapping up so much of my self-esteem and self-worth in how it looked. I apologize for depriving my body of the love and light that it deserved for many years. I apologize for not recognizing the many strengths and beauty that it possessed all along

I have love for my body because of the many physical triumphs and feats we have done together over the years... I have learned to listen to my body and know when it is okay to push and when I need to let up. I am strong both because of the physical endurance I have but also because of my willingness to try and, quite possibly, to fail. My body allows for both and doesn't judge me either way.

"Self-Love Post Day 3: Mirror Work" by Lindsey Wert
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I look into my eyes and I see fear. I see fear of the disease that I am battling and the exhaustion of all of the treatment. I see this reflected back in my eyes through the color and reflection of light that shines within me. I remind myself that this is a moment in time. There will be times when I am ill and struggle to see the light reflected back in my eyes, and there will be times when I feel free and am able to move in the manner in which I desire. I looked into my eyes and told myself that I am more loving, capable and powerful than anything that comes my way. I surrender to the pain that I see in my eyes and my body. I pray for healing and life force in this moment. I am reminded that I have a purpose on this planet. I am reminded that the struggle will lead me to more understanding, wisdom and ways to help heal the earth. Though sometimes I struggle, and whether I want to grow at times, I know that this is my soul's truth. I open up to the passion, light and other things I know are reflected in my eyes and to others.

"I Am Wise" by Ilce Perot
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We are used to criticism. Criticism from: traditional family, the patriarchy, society and our minds. Yet, I am intelligent, beautiful, wise and created in God's image.

Traditional family: Some of my most loving family members come from a culture where it is acceptable to point out imperfections. One of my traditional family members might say, don't eat that -- you are looking too fat. When I dialogue with such family members, it is clear that they do not attach a mean-spirited connotation with their statement, but are convinced that they are being helpful and protecting me from not realizing what is hurting me.

I too often took their statements personally, but now I know that when they say that I mentally say: I am intelligent, beautiful, wise and created in God's image. They are concerned for me, and I choose to take their words as their own method of love and refuse to let them hurt me. I pray for those family members. I pray for an increase in compassion, politeness and courteousness.

After years of dialogue attempting to explain how their ways hurt others, I now know to love myself despite their ways. I choose to not let their words hurt me, but use it as a moment to love myself.

"Strong Girl" by Kathryn Hulbert
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In the music of my life my body is an instrument.
My hands sing a loving lullaby as I pet my dog. My nose sings a lullaby as I smell the scent of roses. My chest sings a lullaby as it allows air to flow deeply in and out. My feet sing a lullaby as they sway comfortably in my pew.
My shoulders are a drum circle that allow me to sit up tall. My legs are a drum circle that stand in equality with all other humans. My heart is a drum circle that validates the truth that life can be both painful and beautiful.

My body is a power ballad that defies the idea that she is anyone else's to judge. My body is a power ballad that affirms that I am more than enough.

"The 31-Day Self-Love Diet Writing Challenge is an avenue for people to share their stories, to be heard and to heal. It's a transforming experience even for people who aren't working through anything heavy. Even the most confident person can benefit from adding more self-love into their life," said Minero.


To find out more about the event, join the Facebook event page or visit http://www.lovewarriorcommunity.com/31-day-self-love-diet-writing-challenge-2015/

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