Why I’m Going Back To Costa Rica

August 18, 2016

Last night, I walked over to my altar, which happens to be an end table, and picked up an empty journal one of my best friends recently gifted me. On the cover, it says Be Pretty Brave.

I crawled in bed and started to write, instead of reading through the pages of a book from the tall pile that’s growing on my nightstand. I needed to write in the same way that I need to tell someone the truth when it eats at me.

When I have my breast explant, it will be the first time ever that I’ll have seen my real, healthy body–what God gave me–as a woman. Before my augmentation, I was a teenager, and then a young woman in her early 20’s. I started to struggle with eating disorders and body dysmorphia before I got my period. Before I was even able to grow into my woman’s body, I hated my Earth Suit. And this disgust lasted for a very long time. Well beyond the years of getting a breast augmentation. And finally, this self-loathing and fear of my body came to a halt three years ago, when I was twenty-seven.

I finally feel healthy in my body (and mind, and spirit). I’m not starving or hungry, I’m not overfed or fearful that I’m not enough. I’m simply, me, with the exception of 1.75 pounds sitting under my chest; a decision I made for someone else, that I carry around with me like something heavy that’s gotten lost at the bottom of my purse. When I get my implants removed, I will have the chance to fully appreciate me. Beautiful, wonderful, me. Just as I am. And this excites me.

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The Second Big Change I’ve Made Because of #BePrettyBrave

August 9, 2016

There’s an obesity epidemic, and I’m part of it.

I walked into the Hematologist’s office and the first thing the nurse did was weigh me. Weigh me! I had an appointment that day to ask my Hematologist questions about my Factor V Leiden blood disorder and I wanted to get the doctor’s approval—or disapproval—for my breast explant I’m planning to have. I did not think a blood doctor would weigh me, especially right after a big lunch.

I stepped on the scale and she said, “Okaaay, so one seventy-eight,” and I thought, well, that sucks. The nurse didn’t seem to mind my weight as she carried on with other duties, getting the room set up for the doctor while I stood on the scale, a little bummed about my number, especially considering how active I am. The fact that my nurse avoided mentioning I was overweight made me feel unhealthy. I wanted her to invest several minutes and say there was a right way to get back to a normal weight, but I was too ashamed of my number to ask. And that was the crux of it, when the medical nurse avoided addressing a health concern–and how my health could be enhanced–that should have been addressed.

We are in an obesity epidemic and we are destroying our miraculous Earth Suits because we do not know how to lose weight and keep it off forever. This has been my problem. I have known how to juice cleanse my weight off, starve myself, and binge eat, but I have never known long-term weight-loss. The second big decision I’ve made because of #beprettybrave is to get back to my normal, healthy body–a thinner one–without a diet, and to keep the weight off, forever.

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Three Big Changes I’ve Made Because of #BePrettyBrave

August 2, 2016

I’ve made several big decisions this year, each of which I pray last a lifetime. The first of which I’ve been afraid to talk about until I was cleared by a doctor, the second decision I made was because a doctor didn’t say anything to me, and the third decision I’ve made is because an intuitive told me it was the only way–my gut also tells me she’s right.

Self-love has meant many things for me, and at many times; only last year, it meant radical self-acceptance, which meant completely accepting myself, my body, and my truths for what they were–not trying to change my divine nature. Full on surrender. This year, self-love has taken on a new meaning, one which is more aware of my physical body–my Earth Suit–and giving it exactly what it needs to feel as close to myself as possible.

At twenty-two, a very impressionable age in my life, I had a breast augmentation; I wanted to please a guy I was dating who had told me, “You’re not a real woman until you get breasts,” which I didn’t understand until he gestured a much larger size with his hands. When I changed my body for him, not only did I risk my life in a dangerous operation (I have a blood clotting disorder called Factor V Leiden), I also had to carry that decision I made for him around with me, everywhere I went, even after we went separate ways.

To this day–it’s been eight years–I wear that decision on my chest. What was once exciting and joyous, even after we split up, is now a sad story of disempowerment tucked too close to my heart, aching for release. As many times as I’ve shared my story in word and in speech, I could never physically release my implants–unless I scheduled the surgery–so I learned to practice radical self-acceptance and got really good at it, fully accepting the decision I made many years ago. Until now, doctors had suggested it was always too dangerous to go under the knife again. Recently, I met with a hematologist who gave me the go ahead, to pursue the breast explant. I want all of me to belong to all of me again, so I have chosen to reverse a decision I made when I was younger and reclaim my entire self. I’m taking back me, my purity, and my highest self.

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Going Topless

May 24, 2016

I watched the powerful documentary, Thin, and found it sickly disturbing, familiar, and brutally honest. It made me think about several very important things. Most profoundly, how dangerous our cultural messaging is. We will risk death, life controlling addictions, and strict diets just to try and be thin.

Our culture believes that being dangerously thin and deprived is what makes us worthy. For two decades of my life, I believed that, too.

To think God gave us this miracle suit, our Earth Suit, to struggle the entire time we’re in it, to destroy it and deprive it, does not add up. Don’t you think? We are the world’s greatest magic trick! We have a body that heals itself, moves, breathes, sweats, can feel emotion, smells the roses, can witness incredible visions. Undeniably, we are all miracles.

If we can choose joy, we should, as often as possible. We waste our time drinking the Haterade, wanting to feel thin more than any other feeling. Be Pretty Brave and choose joy as often as possible. The only person in control of your happiness is you. And you have to choose it. Get out of that sucky hamster wheel that keeps repeating you’re not ______ enough. Do you have a body? You’re a miracle!

The second thought I noted was how important it is to keep sending out positive messaging and reinforcement as often as possible. So here are a couple videos I’ve included for your inspiration–and entertainment. 🙂

My purpose in life is to find my own voice, to get so close to my Hum within that everything I do just feels so Me. So, I take my shirt off and enjoy the sun on my skin without feeling judgement or shame. I love to feel the cool breeze on my back and belly when I’m sweating. I love to breathe without constriction. I don’t care if my belly jiggles or my thighs rub. I don’t care if I’m a size 12, or 8, or 10…

This is my life, and I’m going to spend my time being happy and having fun as often as possible.

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Life’s Too Short

May 18, 2016

On my 30th birthday, I’d like to share this gift with you. The gift is choosing to #beprettybrave. Or, you can send yourself into a spiral of doubt, the later of which is never, ever fun, or light, or joyful. You see, life is so short, so precious, that I can’t imagine why we don’t all choose joy in every moment. Why do we do these awful things to ourselves, like seeking outside validation, when at the end of life, I’m certain we’d feel incredibly cheated of our experience.

Why do we care so deeply about what someone else thinks about the way we look? The path we choose? The decisions we want to make? What if we were brave enough to tune out the noise and do only what feels exactly right for each of us? What if we were not to judge someone else’s decision, but to accept it as their Pretty Brave choice, the choice that’s exactly right for them, even if it doesn’t mirror what we believe to be true for us. How can our Divine Hums within be wrong? If we pay close attention to the voice within us–the Hum–we know, there is nothing that could be more true, more right, for each of us.

I want us all to choose joy in every moment. Zoom way out and see the big picture; our Earth Suit is just a vehicle for experience and we get to choose what that experience is like. We have the choice: We can live in perpetual self-doubt, continuing this wasteful and vicious cycle our modern western culture is so sucked into, or, we can choose to be Pretty Brave. That is, listen only to the Hum within each of us. What is absolutely and irrefutably true for you in this very moment?

In this video, I explain that I had the choice to feel fat. What I realized in my thought process, and as I was digging for my own tools in my confidence toolkit, was that even the hour of contemplation it took for me to decide to be Pretty Brave was a huge waste of time. I never want to give anything so negative that much time of my life, ever again.

When we zoom out, we’re able to see that these tiny things our culture obsesses about are so pointless and meaningless. Being Pretty Brave is my favorite tool for tuning out the outside noise to listen in to the Hum within. This choice is absolutely our highest and best intention.

Choose joy. Be Pretty Brave.

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Topless ™ by Emily
Reviews and Giveaways

Reviews + Giveaways

Praise For Emily

“Emily is an absolute joy to collaborate with. She brings the real conversation to the forefront about body image in such an authentic way. Our community left her Topless event feeling empowered & full of possibility!”

- Alison Utne, lululemon athletica

“Working with Emily is always so much fun (so much so that we’ve done it twice!). We love how she connects with her audience and exhibits true love for the companies she showcases, offering her own in-depth and authentic thoughts.”

- Madeline Alcott, Petit Vour

“Working with Emily is a no-brainer. Her writing is brave but vulnerable, sassy but self-aware, and kind but tough. It’s a joy to share her pieces with our community because so many readers tell us that they feel inspired and empowered by her choices.”

- Mind Body Green

“Emily provided great insights and tips as she reflected on the value of seizing the moment in a wide variety of her experiences. In short, she “rocked!”

- Stephen C. Harper, Ph.D.

“Emily was a pleasure to work with on our Rescue Chocolate giveaway. She has built up an active community in a short period. I would do a giveaway or any project with her again in a heartbeat.“

- Sarah Gross, rescue chocolate

“Emily is as sweet as she is smart. She is a true beauty with a body that is powerful, loved, and strong. Doing a giveaway on My Kind of Life was so much fun, her community is filled with wonderful women just like her!”

- Leanne Maily Hilgart, Vaute Couture

“Topless provides not only an opportunity but a call to action for each of us in service of radical honesty and acceptance of ourselves exactly as we are, to show up authentically not just for each other but for ourselves and THAT is magic.”

- Claire Santos, E-RYT

“In a way like very few can, Emily teaches us the importance of embracing our vulnerabilities in order to maximize our full potential. Topless Yoga is not your ordinary yoga class, but rather a movement and a state of mind!”

Tina Pate, KIND Snacks

“Each person involved brought their full heart into the event, creating a space of love, compassion, and clarity like I hadn’t experienced before. If you are so blessed to have Emily and her team visit your city, drop everything and go experience the magic for yourself.”  

- Nikki Novo, Author

Emily Nolan, you just stole my heart. Thank you for this.

- Elena Brower,
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