Embracing Imperfections for Self-Discovery and Self-Acceptance

Written by: Karenna Soto
The Fully Expressed Podcast
The Fully Expressed Podcast
Embracing Imperfections for Self-Discovery and Self-Acceptance

Are you ready to face your messiest parts and gain the tools to transform them into your greatest teachers?

This episode promises a journey of self-discovery and healing as I open up about my personal struggle with body image and disordered eating that started when I was merely nine. Listen to how therapeutic sessions, life coaching, and the power of affirmations, visualizations, and manifestations have guided my way to self-acceptance.

But it’s not just about me. In this episode, we’ll also delve into why it’s crucial to create space for these uncomfortable facets of ourselves. By embracing, not ignoring, these parts, we find they become less demanding and easier to manage. You’ll gain insights on building healthier relationships with these aspects of yourself and how to decide which ones deserve your attention. We’ll talk about self-care and the vital balance between expressing our struggles and taking a break. Best of all, you’ll learn about the Fully Expressed Community, a unique space for women to connect, learn, and flourish. Join us for this enlightening journey through the muck we all carry and come out the other side stronger, clearer, and fully expressed.

You can read the full podcast transcript for this episode below:

0:00:00 – Speaker 1
Welcome to The Fully Expressed podcast with Karenna. Today and always, my intention is to create this space to invite you into your fullest express self in real life, in relationships and in business. My intention for this space is really to create and add that next step in your personal evolution, and so for today’s episode, I plan on talking about how the messiest parts of you are your biggest teachers. I’ve been dying to create and speak to this and to create this episode for you, and today it feels a little bit spontaneous in the sense that I was really having conversation with a friend today. We went for a walk and we were talking about it and this topic specifically came up and in our conversation about how the messiest parts of us are our biggest teachers. And it’s just feel, if you said that today I have a lot of time before the next thing that I have to go to, so I just jumped on here and hit record and so you’re getting this real raw part of me that’s coming right off the track. So I’m super excited to dive into the messiest parts of us. I really think the messiest parts of us are our biggest teachers, and so to give you a little bit of light into our conversation today and where it started from. It really started from a place of talking about our relationship with our bodies, our relationships with our image and what that was for me and what my journey was with that and how I worked through that. Through our conversation, I shared with her that I also, too, have struggled with my body image stuff. I’ve struggled with feeling confident. I’ve struggled with negatively, basically picking apart the parts of my body and how I felt about that. And so she asked me how did you get through that? And I shared with her that I really leaned into the icky, I leaned into the messiness and the parts of me that did not feel good. Right, how I did that. So to give you a little bit of background, when it came to my body image and I’ve openly talked about this on social media, I’ve openly talked about this on the podcast already, but I think I’ve had disordered eating and an unhealthy relationship with food and my body.

Since I was nine, I want to say I honestly, probably even sooner than that I’ve been constantly comparing myself to other people, looking at what I was wearing versus what they were wearing and seeing if I was good enough or if I was skinny enough, comparing my thighs to someone else’s thighs, and it just continued on. From that, I did end up realizing that I inherited or absorbed a lot of those perceptions of my body from my mom, because she also struggled with her image and her weight and was constantly something that she battled. So I absorbed a lot of that from her and also I absorbed it just through society, through social media, through being in friendships or conversations and just things about when diet culture came up and it was just. It’s been an ongoing journey and I’ll do a deep dive episode into that, but I started a lot of my healing with that in college, because it got really, really bad in college, specifically because I was navigating, grieving my grandmother’s death as well as my parents were going through a separation. So my eating disorder transformed into if I can control this, if I can control what I eat, I can control what I look like, then I can control at least something in my life. When everything felt out of control, a lot of the emotions that I wasn’t processing fully would turn into binge eating, and if anyone gets triggered by these kinds of conversations, please, please be aware that we’re going to dive into a little bit of the details here, but it would trigger into controlling myself for managing how I ate. It would turn into binge eating or it would turn into being bulimic and actively just trying to find some kind of a release, because I wasn’t really being with my body. And so I looked into a therapist. That really helped. We did a lot of talk therapy at the time and then it kind of spiked up again.

It got better and then it spiked up again post college when, again, my life felt completely out of control and it was the only thing I could control. I didn’t have a job. I was looking for what I wanted to do and it was just a chaotic season. I was living with my parents. My friends were no longer around me, I was just navigating. Everything post college of the hell is going on, and it got really bad then too.

So then I reached out to a life coach and started that process and started really talking through it, and you know, all of those tools and those healing modalities were very, very helpful for me at the time and I share this with you because I needed those at the time. I needed a space to talk about it, because for me, talking about it or admitting the fact that I was going to this stuff was really, really difficult, just to normalize the conversation. So in those spaces I was able to normalize these conversations. I was able to feel safe in these containers to share what I was thinking, what was coming up for me, and receive an unbiased reflection or opinion or perspective or advice, whatever I ended up receiving in those sessions with the therapist or the life coach, and it did get better, right. I got very aware of where things were coming from, how things were happening. I could talk to you about it. I felt very, very aware of what was going on.

Yet I still found myself feeling like I wasn’t happy with my body or I would go in ways of feeling really good to all of a sudden waking up and feeling really bad about how I looked or how I fell in my body. And that continued on for a few years. And you know I fought it. Someone was like be positive, it’s going to be okay, like you are beautiful. I used all of the affirmations and the manifestations and visualizations and I created space to really, really dive into it, and yet it still peaked up a little bit and still peaked and I was like gosh, I’m so exhausted of this feeling right Like it got to a place where fighting this part of me that was so insecure with my body or didn’t have a good relationship with food or had, was constantly nitpicking how I looked or what I felt or what was in my body so exhausting. It got so freaking exhausting and I really was just so over it. I was like why I’m so tired of fighting, and so it really wasn’t until it was a combination.

So I ended up hiring someone to someone to support me and my body image stuff, which was super helpful. We dove deep into it. We did a lot of somatic works around what I was feeling in my body and what was coming up for me, and then I actively started to do the things that were uncomfortable. So one of the things was, you know, really changing my habits or my patterns. Instead of managing how much I ate, I gave myself the freedom to eat more of intuitive eating, which was really getting comfortable with eating as much as my body wanted to eat and starting to listen to okay, I’m full, I’m not full and really starting to create the sense of trust when it came to eating food, when it came to my relationship with food and welcoming and understanding and looking at food from a more of a nutritious space versus from a place of you know, depending on how much I eat, how I’m going to look, kind of a thing, and so I really dove into that. I did that with her and it was super, super helpful, don’t get me wrong. It was so helpful.
I feel like my time with her truly transcended so many layers for me that I was really needing and wanting at that time and we were through all the stuff that came along with it, and so I understood it a little bit more, right. And then it still kept coming up right, coming up from a space of post, that, like, am I ever going to find someone that loves me and my body If I don’t look a certain way, that I’m not going to find the person that I want to attract in my life? And I was like, gosh, here we go with the stories again and they were so true and I felt every emotion that came along with that and I also realized that they were just these things that I kept struggling with and I was just like, how can I get through this? I don’t. You know, I would judge myself in a swimsuit. Still, if there is an outfit that I wore that didn’t feel good, I just didn’t do it and then I it just kept coming up for me.

And so what really really hit home for me is when I took my healing from a place of awareness and mindset work to, from that to reframing, to affirmations, to meditations and all that stuff, to to really really diving deep into the messiest parts of me, and what that actually meant was diving into the achy. So, like every single time, let’s say, I felt insecure, feeling into that being with that, learning what that part was, and instead of managing or protecting myself from feeling those things AKA trying to create a better feeling or trying to manage how much of those feeling it or not feeling it and going through all of that like I really fricking welcomed it. And in welcoming it and really feeling the achy, I mean there came a lot of tears, a lot of emotions, a lot of uncomfortability and that didn’t feel really great. It wasn’t great, but what I’ve learned, especially through my certifications, my somatic certification, as well as experience, and through books and podcasts and really living this right, was my goal, was to no longer just find a way to replace it or fix it or change it and but really just welcome and be with it. Right, and there might be a sense of surrender in that, but it’s more of being with it so fully that it starts to get on your team.

What a lot of us end up doing when we have these really heavy parts of ourselves, especially when you are dealing with parts of you that you don’t want to feel. You kind of want to put it to the side, you want to put like the black sheep, basically on the other side of the room and you want to be like I don’t see her, I don’t feel her, I don’t know why you’re talking about. She no longer exists. I might do whatever I can to just be positive and not admit that. That’s there kind of a thing. Is this the type of energy that we do? It’s almost like we stiff army.

And something that I share that really clicked for me and that I share with my clients is that what if you actually welcomed that dark, messy part of you onto your team? Because that part of you truly why it’s coming up for you in this moment, and this can apply to anything and everything in your life, the things that keep coming up. It wants your attention, it wants something from you.

It needs something from you in that moment that it hasn’t received before. And when you start to welcome it, understand it and be with it and ask it what do you need in this moment and what’s coming up for you, you can learn how to start to give it to that, because just as much as you want to push that black sheep part of you or the darkest part of you aside, it’s more of learning to understand, to give it what it needs and what it wants, and creating space to give it that love and attention and affirmation that it’s looking for On some level.

That part of you doesn’t feel loved, seen or heard, and so it wants to feel loved, seen and heard. And so when we can create the space to give it the love and the visibility and the space for it to be loved just as it is, for what it is, for who it is, for how it is and what it wants and what it means, we can create more capacity to hold these parts of ourselves along with us instead of just completely taking us out as a part of our journey. And in doing that, you create this different relationship with this part of us. It’s no longer feels like you’re trying to avoid it or leave it or shove it aside. It feels like it’s on the same team as yours and just like you as a human being. It feels so much better when you are welcomed into a space versus getting shoved out of its space.

When you are welcome into a space with a different part, you’re like ah, this feels really good. There’s a sense of relief in that and I share that with you, because this part of you is going through that same process. It’s saying, wow, I’m welcome here. What? Really no way. Okay, I can do this. I feel a little bit more safe in this, I can build my capacity to be in this, okay. And then it starts to be like wow, I feel seen, I feel heard, I feel met. Wow, I didn’t know that could happen. That’s just as healing for that part of you and in doing that right, then it’s much easier to move through these parts of us and these emotions, these parts of us that come up when they start to be on our team, because it’s no longer fighting you or getting angry with you or saying like you don’t see me. So I’m going to get louder, because that’s what they do, right?

When we don’t give the parts of us an opportunity to fully express themselves, they will get louder and it will seem more like intensely, like see me, see me, do, help me, help me, I’m going to be louder, I’m going to make it miserable for you to feel, insecure and incompetent and like this is the worst thing ever, and so on, because it doesn’t have this space to fully express itself. And so in giving, creating that space for it to be fully expressed and being in that process with it, that’s where we get to see the messiest parts of ourselves. That’s when the messiest parts of us ourselves are our biggest teachers. They show us, they show us the way to the other side that we’re all trying to get to right, the other side of feeling that light and positive, grounded, confident, fully expressed selves. But it’s through the messiness, it’s in walking through the mud, it’s in going through the ick that we create a better, a healthier relationship with those parts of ourselves.

Because the more that we ignore them, the more that we use work, distractions, avoidance, toxic positivity to avoid these parts of ourselves, the louder they come. They might get a little quiet for a little bit, but then they come back knocking at the door even louder and by that time you’re just. You’re just over it, you’re tired and you’re exhausted. And if you’ve been doing that for a long time, right. So really fighting a lot of those parts of you really using how you work or the gym or distracting yourself and your friendships or just avoiding hard conversations, right.

The more that you do that, the more that builds up for these parts of them to express, the more they want to be seen and heard, because they haven’t been created the space to do that. And when you do that, you start to create better capacity to hold. These parts of you like to love them, see them, and you get to choose the part of you that you want to listen to, part of you that feels into that safe, grounded, peaceful, aligned, high as self. However you want to call these other parts of you that you get to choose from, the hardest part is you might have heard this, you know everyone says you always have a choice. I agree with that to an extent.

If these parts of you haven’t had the space, the safe space, to express themselves, it’s really hard to make a choice that you want to make a choice, for it can be really hard to get yourself out of scarcity and a low mindset and negative thoughts when they’ve been basically hidden for such a long time. But the minute that you do that and they become on your team, they won’t be as loud and you will feel way more resource, way more resource to choose and feel and be the parts of you. And you also get to learn how to be in duality of all these parts of yourself. You get to love these parts of you as they come up. You get to love the messiest ones, love the darkest ones, because in loving them, that’s how you can be with and move through in the direction that you want to go.

And so, to wrap it all back up for you, you know, if you find yourself truly avoiding these messy parts of you, the parts of you that give you an egg, the parts of you that you can just feel in your stomach and you’re like don’t want to feel this anymore, or the anxiety that just comes through your chest and you just want to run away from it, I totally understand the desire to want to just shove it aside and pretend that it’s not there or just like ignore it I also believe and dive into it, go deep into it, find the space to be with those parts of you, and I will also say from experience if you want to take this or not. You know, as you’re leaning into the messiest parts of yourself, give yourself grace and great specific containers to really be with that. So, while you’re doing this work around diving into the messiest parts of you, really learning and loving these parts of you and giving them what they want and their need and getting you know, bringing them on your team and really integrating the light and the darkness of yourself, those seasons could be really heavy right, they could be. There’s a lot of emotional hangovers that come along with doing these practices and diving deeper. There could be a lot of lowness or low energy that comes with it, and so, instead of this is going to come from a place of me, knowing that I’ve been someone that has forced through a lot of my processing through these things. I’ve wanted to heal things as quickly as possible and I’ve pushed my own capacity and I’ve passed my own boundaries for that, and so I say this with like take your time as you dive into these messiest parts of yourself, as you start to learn these parts of yourself and start to welcome and love it and be present with it and also choose that goddess, god energy that you want to step into, that queen, cut king energy that you want to feel, because as you go through that, make sure you have also spaces to relax, to feel joy, to feel happiness, to regulate your nervous system, to feel grounded.

So really supporting not just your life but really supporting your nervous system as you dive into the messiest parts of yourself, as you dive deeper into these parts of you, really just giving your body the love and attention as it starts to feel the icky, as you start to build capacity for the ickiness, for the messiness, for the darkness, and so what that can look like in an example for those that are listening. You know, maybe you end up hiring therapists or coach or trying to do some kind of a ceremony to dive deep into these parts of yourself that you’ve been feeling. Go for it, do it and before it, you know, really do the things that help you feel the most resource. So, whether that is taking really upping yourself here, really taking care of your nutrition and your health, really getting good at night’s sleeps, taking space from heavy conversations and just being with yourself, absorbing a lot of sunlight before and then also afterwards, creating a space for that and during the integration of those pieces, you know, finding the balance between like talking and diving deep to also taking a break and giving yourself some joy and love. So you are resource to dive in deeper, to be with that, and so, yeah, I honestly think that is a lot of what I wanted to share on this specific episode, about how the messiest parts of you are your biggest teachers. They will show you not only what they need and they want, but they will show you how to show up.

It’s in the how right, something that I’ve recently really admired from people that I look up to as an example, as an embodied example. To me, it doesn’t matter what their results are or what they have, or their successes, or their titles or what they call themselves or whatever. What I admire the most is that they have learned how to do the how, how to do life, how to be with these parts of themselves and still be in the energy that they decide to be in. And so this is why I believe the messiest parts of you are your biggest teachers, because they will not only teach you how to work through and be with these parts, but they will also teach you how to pee and move through life, through just the struggles of life, the realities of layers, the realities of these things that come with us as we continue to forever evolve and into our full six breath self, as we continue to evolve on this life, into the people that we want to become, as we continue to evolve into our most truest essence. And every new level or every new level of expansion or every new level of capacity that you step into, you get to practice these tools over and over and over again. So these messy parts of ourselves are not only again going to show you what they need and what they want in the moment, but they’re also going to show you how to do life, how to move through relationship, how to work through business. It will give you the practice and the tools and not just like. You will fully actually embody that and in the embodiment. That’s how you can tell that someone has done this right, has stepped into this, because they start to apply it from one area to the next area, to the next area of life and through that process you get to see when it’s available to you, when it’s appropriate to apply it and when it’s necessary for you to dive in.

All right, ladies, if you are listening in, this is for you. If you have a friend or family member that is female, that is looking for community, that is looking at this path of growth and wanting to evolve as a human being, please listen in. So I want to share with you the fully expressed community. If you haven’t heard about it, you need to hear about it, and you’re hearing about it today and I’d love for you to check it out. The fully expressed community is for women, supporting women. We have created a community where you can connect with other women that are also on this path of growth, that are interested and curious about what else is available to them. They want to see themselves living a life fully expressed in their lives and their relationships and their business. They want to bring their fully authentic self into all areas of their lives so they can actually attract a life and relationships and careers and business that is so aligned to them because they are living a life fully expressed In the fully expressed community.

We meet online every single second Wednesday for every single month at 5.30 pm PST, and also have access to a Slack channel where I drop resources, where we share information, we talk about the community, we create community. You also get access to not only the guest coaches that have been on this podcast, but also guest coaches that I have kept waiting to show you what they have to share with you when it comes to their teachings and their practitioners. You’re not only going to listen for me, but you’re also going to learn from these amazing human beings that are available to you out there and here to share their gifts with you so that you can live a life fully expressed. The fully expressed community is only $27 a month and if you leave a review on this podcast, I will actually give to you one month to come. Join us for free in the fully expressed community to actually experience what it means to be in this community and these women. So if you go leave a review from me, I’ll go do that.

You can also find more information in the show notes about the fully expressed community and I hope to see you there next month, the next second Wednesday that is available to you to be surrounded by other women. That just forget, get it that. Just get what you’re going through. I’ll see you there, and the more that you practice that, the better, the faster you get at recognizing that and knowing that and I love that because I think that’s also a part of this journey and, like, the faster that we can get at recognizing that. Okay, this is something. This is the next part of my journey, this is the next layer I want to be with. I say step into the next level of evolution that I’m stepping into. The more we get to through that, move through that quicker and we end up moving through that quicker as we move through life. So, all right, I think that’s all that I have to share, but obviously I am so welcoming of anything that comes up for you as you listen to this podcast.

I really want to encourage you to share this episode with a friend, share with them what came up for you and what stood out for you and what resonated with you in the podcast and how you want to apply it. If that’s what it is for you, and then feel free to follow the podcast, the fully-expected podcast. Subscribe here to listen more. Go ahead and leave me a review, and if you want to talk to me directly, the best way is to look it up on, you know, on Instagram, at the fully-expected podcast. Send me a DM or send me an email at hello at carinocotocom and let’s chat about what came up for you.

Okay, like you know, I’m in the stages right now of this podcast where I want to create deeper relationships with anyone that’s listening and anyone that’s willing to, and I do hope that, through my words and through these episodes, is that it sparked something within you and I’d love to hear what it sparked. I’d love to hear what ignited what came through the body, what would fire you felt because of listening to this episode, and through that I can also support you even more. If there’s something that you wanted more of, I will totally build off of your feedback. All right, love. Well, thanks so much for tuning in. Make sure you listen to the next one. Sending you lots of love, and thank you so much for being here and can’t wait for us to connect again soon.

Episode Timestamps:

(0:00:00) – Embracing the Messiest Parts
Exploring body image, disordered eating, and self-acceptance through therapy, coaching, and affirmations.

(0:13:39) – Embracing Messy Parts of Ourselves
Creating space for the messiest parts of ourselves, building healthier relationships, walking through mud and ick, giving grace and containers, choosing parts to listen to, and creating the capacity to hold all parts.

(0:18:58) – Embracing Messy Parts as Teachers
Self-care, creating space, talking/taking breaks, living tools, and the Fully Expressed Community are discussed for navigating life’s struggles.

Join The Fully Expressed Community, where you can be surrounded by other women who are also on the same path of personal growth, healing, and uncovering their authentic expression. Being in a community surrounded by others can truly be one of the most supporting and healing containers to support your personal invitation.


The Fully Expressed Community: https://karennasoto.com/the-fully-expressed-community/ – 
The Fully Expressed Podcast with Karenna Website: https://www.instagram.com/thefullyexpressedpodcast/
The Fully Expressed Podcast with Karenna Instagram Profile: https://karennasoto.com/podcast/
Karenna’s Personal Brand Instagram Profile: https://www.instagram.com/iamkarennasoto/
Contact Karenna: hello@karennasoto.com 

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Karenna Soto

I’m an expert in communication, creating healthy professional and personal relaitonships, and in managing and overcoming anxiety with a knack for navigating difficult conversations both in personal and professional atmospheres. I am here to invite you into your fullest authentic expression and personal evolution.

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More About Karenna

I know how debilitating it can feel to be stuck on the perpetual hamster wheel of a life that you don’t enjoy living. Sure, externally you’ve got it all together, but internally, it likely feels like you’re questioning E V E R Y T H I N G.

Can you relate?

It was when I felt disconnect with what I was doing, and with how I was showing up in my life that I realized the answers lied in how I was doing what I was doing that I decided I no longer wanted to keep living within the box of what I was told to be and decided to boldly express myself and stand for what truly mattered to me.

I have seen the power of fully expressing myself in my personal and professional life. Now I want to bring it to the masses, which is why I’ve created this podcast.

This podcast is my invitation to all people struggling to be fully expressed in life, relationships, and business. It’s for those who are wanting to feel A L I V E, connected, and in love with their life, relationships, and business.

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