Write Yourself a Better Story
Lisa is a Noonday Ambassador, mom of two future world-changers, and wife to one tattooed accountant. Like many women, Lisa has struggled with body image and negative self-talk. Today on Flourish, she shares how she learned to recognize the negative story she was telling about herself–and how a surprise trip to Austin helped her discover a beautiful new story.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! With happy meetings, friends come to call…there’ll be parties for hosting…hearts will be glowing, loved ones are near!
Nope, I’m not talking about Christmas! I’m talking about Shine, the annual Noonday Collection Ambassador conference. Just as Ambassadors are wrapping up holiday sales, we have our sights set on Shine, coming up in January. It’s a time of learning, encouragement, fellowship and celebration. Last year, it was also the time I got real vulnerable and spoke about being vulnerable to some 400 Ambassadors!
Noonday Collection has afforded me some amazing opportunities. I’ve traveled to Ecuador and Peru, visiting Artisan Partners there. I’ve helped fundraise for adoptions. I’ve been proud to support Artisans through three years of sales. I’ve made lots of new friends—both within the Ambassador community and at my Trunk Shows! But probably one of the more awesome and surprising things Noonday has done is help me heal inside.
Meeting the families of our Artisan Partners in Ecuador was an incredible experience!
Noonday Founder Jessica Honegger has talked openly and often about how, as women especially, we need to really stop and listen to the story we are telling ourselves…because so often we are telling ourselves a story that is not true. At Shine last year, I was honored to be a part of the opening session by relating my own struggle with this and how Noonday Collection has helped me write a better story. Here is what I shared with my fellow Ambassadors, those incredibly women who inspire me to be brave. I hope it encourages you to stop and listen to the story you may be telling yourself—and to discover a truer story along the way.
For years, I have struggled with believing a story that I told myself over and over again: “You aren’t pretty. You aren’t thin. You don’t fit in. All people notice about you is your weight.” I dabbled in eating disorders and self-harm. Depression. Over and over: You are not good enough.
At Shine in 2015, the story welled up and spilled over: You’re not a top seller. You’re not an adoptive mom. You aren’t well-traveled. You don’t have a lot of ethically-sourced clothes. You aren’t thin enough to ever be considered fashionable. Nice Target shoes. You’re not enough. You’re not enough. You’re not enough. I got on the elevator intending to go the dance party on the last day of Shine and felt so much shame and embarrassment of who I was, I refused to get in the group selfie being taken on the elevator—and when it stopped, miraculously on my floor, I rushed out.
A few months after Shine, I found out that the Noonday Home Office team had chosen me to fly out to Austin and be a part of a photo shoot for the new Spring Collection. I was terrified and still reeling from the flood of insecurity that had risen to the surface at Shine.
Forcing myself to get ready for my close-up with Noonday Founder Jessica Honegger during the shoot!
But I can not explain the complete love and acceptance I felt once gathered together with the Noonday tribe. I felt beautiful. And that was *before* the styling and the makeup and the clothes and the photoshoot. It was in a group conversation with other Ambassadors that I very clearly heard what my new story should be: that my story, my measure of success was to be based on loving people well.
With my incredible tribe of Ambassador sisters at the Fall launch shoot in Austin.
The more I reflected on “loving people well” the more I realized that THIS was my purpose. And—great news—you don’t have to be skinny to love people well. You don’t have to be a successful businesswoman. You don’t have to be well-known. You can wear target shoes. People everywhere, all around us, need to be loved. To be looked at in the eye. To be asked their story. To be told that we are grateful they are here.
Connecting with one of Noonday’s beautiful Artisan Partners on an Ambassador trip in Ayacucho, Peru.
There is no better way to practice loving others well than at a Noonday Trunk Show. I look at each interaction with a Hostess or customer as a way to love that person. That I might be the only person that day that looks them in the eye and makes them feel valuable. The great part about Noonday Collection is that it brings people into my life and gives me an opportunity to care about them. If they are there, at a Noonday Collection Trunk Show, they ARE valuable. I’m not faking it. They are needed. They matter.
With Noonday Collection I have discovered a newfound confidence. It’s not because I’m suddenly more fashionable; though my Artisan-crafted accessories do bump up my style points. It’s not because I suddenly adopted siblings from Ethiopia, though my personal involvement in raising over $10,000 to help adoptive parents does connect me to those sweet, cherished children. It’s not because I’m thinner than when I started: those Trunk Show appetizers and drinks are a little too well-enjoyed sometimes. It’s because I finally found my purpose and I finally found a way to live out this calling. I’m writing a new story—and the working title is, “She loved well.”
What better reminder—at Christmastime, or SHINE time—that we can be our authentic, truest selves. We just need to rewrite our story to allow us to be fully ourselves—because it’s not about us after all. We have been placed here to love others.
“Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother,
And in His name all oppression shall cease.”
-O Holy Night
Meet Lisa Thomson
Lisa is a mom of two future world-changers and wife to one tattooed accountant. Back in college she began as a fashion merchandising major, switched to journalism and might have had a music major at one point. When writing for a fashion magazine didn't pan out, Lisa found herself in marketing for nonprofits. As a Noonday Ambassador since 2014, Lisa loves that Noonday has become an outlet for her combined love of fashion and merchandising as well as nonprofit experience. She hasn't started singing at Trunk Shows YET, but the music major could still come in handy!