“Home is not a place.”
Sometimes I forget this and get lost in my search for a home.
That is why this picture means so much to me – because this right here is my only true home, and I love her.
photo credit: Christa Meola
In April 2013 I was meditating one morning and felt an undeniable nudge that it was time to share something I’d been holding onto for over two years. An image from an unexpected photo shoot that captured me in a way I’d never seen myself before and invited me for the first time in my life to actually connect with my body.
I decided to post it in a group of women I knew I could trust on Facebook.
Here’s what I wrote in that post:
“In Feb 2011 on the first retreat for Marie Forleo’s Adventure Mastermind our surprise adventure was a boudoir photo shoot with Christa Meola. This was NOT something most of us were comfortable with which was exactly why it was SO magical. When we got our photos, there was one that I loved so much, I couldn’t really express why at the time, but now I know it’s because it was the visual embodiment of my core desires to feel wildly feminine, free, and connected. I wanted to blog about the experience but I *knew* my mom would flip out if I posted a half naked photo of myself on the internet without giving her a heads up. The conversation turned into a battle that lasted a few days and I gave in. I never posted the picture. The way that made me feel reminds me of that quote about being folded that I know I’ve read somewhere in The Fire Starter Sessions. This morning during a little meditation, the image came up and the words, “Never ask permission to express your soul’s desire.” So! while I’m not exactly ready yet to post it super publicly, this felt like the perfect place to sneak a peek. Thank you for the space. Commence unfolding…”
The full quote I was thinking of is this, “I want to unfold. I don’t want to stay folded anywhere, because where I am folded, there I am a lie.” -Ranier Maria Rilke
Hits you in the guts, doesn’t it?
When I hit send on that post I had no expectation or attachment to what the response would be. My only intention was a selfish one – to completely honor myself.
And holy shit, when I tell you this was one of the BEST decisions I ever made, I am not exaggerating because what happened next was magical.
A complete outpouring of LOVE.
Here are a few comments that not only that moved me to tears but reflected back to me the power and responsibility I have as a woman and a leader to inspire action through my openness:
-Everything about this is exquisite and so achingly raw and authentic. Love, love, love, mad respect, and a boatload of gratitude to you, Liz DiAlto for sharing!!
-As you step forward into your own authenticity, actively shedding the shame skins of so many thousands of women and their lineage you truly give so many more women permission to be themselves to be transformed.
-Congratulations Liz DiAlto and Thank you for sharing your story. The photo is stunning because it translates your message and desires beautifully, but it also speaks to the deeper issues most women face embracing their feminine and loving who they are, no matter what shape or size. It must be so liberating to share this…Major Applause!
-I am grateful you had the courage to share this image! It instantly surfaced a groundswell of energy and desire in me. And I immediately wrote 2 important letters to share the image with 2 important women whom I feel need to receive the flame in their chests as much as I.
-Liz! I LOVE, LOVE your post! I am one of your followers. I was introduced to you by one of our mutual friends. I’ve read your book. Point is that your followers would resonate with this post so much. After all, my body issues (real and made up) have lots to do with those voices of others (notably my mother’s). Thank you for sharing your beautiful photo with us, as well as your poignant message!!!
Fuck me. I thought my little heart might explode.
I’ve been unfolding ever since with lots and lots of help. The journey of being a woman, falling in love with our bodies and owning our power is not something that can be done solo.
When left to our own devices a lot of us punish, blame and deny our bodies under the guise of some moral code of modesty or a delusional claim that we are taking care of ourselves.
We cover up, we hide, we shrink to make other people feel comfortable.
We diet, we force ourselves to workouts we hate and all other kinds of things we don’t enjoy in pursuit of happiness. (Silly.)
Fill in the blank (you know your own story), “When I __________, I’ll be happy.”
Lose 10 lbs.
Meet the man of my dreams.
The list of things that don’t actually matter goes on and on. What matters is how you feel. What matters is knowing who you really are and allowing yourself to be that woman.
And that is why I’m here. To lead you on the journey of your lifetime. The journey home.
Click here to read Getting Naked and Falling In Love