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  • Writer's pictureHelen Gardiner-Parks

31 December 2022: Let’s talk about looking bad


I don’t want to write about looking good and people pleasing. I want to write about not looking “bad,” not looking stupid, not looking ridiculous, not making a fool of myself, although that does boil down to a concern with looking good, doesn’t it?

I haven’t sent out a blog in beyond ages and it’s been creating a self-fulfilling prophecy keeping me silent; only I haven’t been silent, just not sharing with you, which is hardly fair, so I am reappearing to embrace the perfect imperfections of being human and to breakthrough this fear of looking bad.

I am loosing my hold on looking good! Will you join me?

I realized recently that I have spent an inordinate amount of my life trying to avoid looking bad. I have spent an inordinate amount of my one stab at life trying to make you think I’m “acceptable” so you don’t kick me off the island.

Can you relate?

What a waste of my one “wild and precious” life (with a nod to Mary Oliver). I experience sadness as I reflect on it and, at the same time, I experience compassion. I am where I am; I’ve lived the perfect life for me this go-around. I can embrace myself and walk courageously forward, or I can shun myself and slither back into avoiding looking bad.

It remains a familiar fallback position for me. It’s there, like a stinky diaper, always ready for me to slide back into. Familiar, yes, but no longer comfortable. Familiar, but no longer welcome. Familiarity breeds contempt?


I have become aware of how I have been unconsciously using a big ole beat-up stick to keep myself in line. I am dismayed by that, truly saddened, awakened, and done. Done. No más.

No más, es hora de vivir.

I have come out of my stupor of pleasing others at my own expense. I get to heed my own dreams. I am emerging from the muck and mire of manipulation to live in the here and now, the real experience of what is possible and having it happen.

Wow, what an inspiring statement; is it true?

In this moment, yes, yes, it is. And this moment is all there is, isn’t it? The beat-up stick may still be on premises, but it is no longer undercover.

My desire is to use all the tools at my disposal to keep myself above the muck and mire, to keep the beat-up stick in check. I invite you to use them with me. What do you do to sabotage yourself? Where are you stuck in your life? What do you want support with? Where could you do with adding joy?

I have a recipe, an extraordinarily flexible and forgiving recipe which involves breathing, coaching, and nutritional therapy. Its goal is to create joy and the awareness of our essential wholeness. Joy as a state of being, not as a momentary, flash-in-the-pan experience. Joy as fundamentally who we are, rather than as an episode of happiness between rollercoaster valleys of despair.

I’m not going to play my looking good card and pretend I always feel joy, that I always access love, that I’m always feelin’ my light shining; that would be against the whole authenticity vibe here. I’m not always there. I will say, though, that I am always aware that it’s an option; it’s a choice. Sometimes I may curse that choice, but I know it’s there.

I am aware fundamentally that, at my core, in my heart of hearts, I am joy; I am love; I am light. And I believe you are, too; I believe we all are and that there is nothing we can do about it.

So we may as well embrace it, right?

There may be times we choose not to access joy; there may be times when we decide to be an angry grumpy-pants; there may be times when our struggles with mental health take us down and all choice seems to dissipate, but that golden nugget of eternal joy, love, light, still remains. It is always there.

And I believe we cannot see it alone; we need community, we need support. We are social beings made of love and light and joy and we get to join together in order to keep our lights on and spirits shining.

Won’t you join me on this path?

I want to spread this message far and wide. I want to call-out those beat-up sticks and avoiding looking bad conversations to bring them into the light.

I am committed to supporting you in breaking free of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual blocks so you can soar in your one wild and precious life.

I founded Creative Wellness to combine my love of nutritional therapy, breathwork, writing and collage, as well as good ole positivity, to meet you where you’re at at on your journey to self-love.

How can I support you? I’m offering complimentary sessions of breathwork. I have room for a couple more clients for life coaching. Soon I’ll be offering RESTART sugar detox classes. Soon I’ll be starting a new Positive Intelligence series.

How can I support you?

Which ingredients will make up your recipe for soaring into love, light, and joy?

Let’s talk! Please drop me an email at or text me at 704.451.3900.

With so much fondness for all of us as we navigate the rollercoasters together,


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