You Truly Are Beautiful

Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli

I’m hot.

(yes, I would imagine… you’ve been running around inside with your coat on)

No… I’m hot.

I’m pretty…..   I’m attractive.



This was a conversation between me and my 8-year old son recently; my only contribution the part in parentheses.  

He cracked himself up with his clever play on words, and his flawless delivery of it (given, I might add, while fully bundled in his winter coat, holding a baseball mitt, and tossing a ball against the wall) cracked me and his sister up.

November is a month of gratitude, and one thing I am most heartily grateful for is this one-of-a-kind bundle of light and joy and love that is my son. AND, in this exchange, I am also reminded of the importance of gratitude for ourselves… an honoring of just how “hot” we truly are.

Because we too often neglect this. Actually, worse—we too often actively practice ingratitude, thoroughly convincing ourselves just how terrible we most obviously are.

But we’re not terrible. We’re beautiful.

“But I don’t think I’m terrible!” you might be thinking.

Sure, okay.

But how many times in a day do you judge yourself against someone-anyone!- else, in-person or on-line, in order to decide how you measure up?

How many times do you look in the mirror with the eye of an appraiser of rare jewels, intolerant of imperfection?

How many times do you curse yourself for doing or saying something “stupid”?

How many times do you say “Sorry!” before asking a question or speaking a thought or trying to get around somebody blocking your path or ordering a meal or handing someone your money at the checkout line-- which is, you know, essentially apologizing for simply existing?

How many times do you get stuck in a loop of past regrets that you can’t let go or future longings that you just *know* you’ll never realize?

How many times does the voice in your head nag, critique, criticize? If it were a tiny person, would that voice be sitting back with one eyebrow cocked, arms crossed, shaking its head and sucking its teeth and clucking its tongue at you?

But you’re not terrible.

You’re beautiful.

So it’s time to kick that no-good voice to the curb and get yourself a NEW voice. A better voice. One that loves you with the unending ferocity of a puppy and that thinks you’re as magical as an iridescent unicorn showering the earth with flecks of glittery gold.

You need a voice that says “DAMMNNNNNN!!!!” every time you open your mouth. And when it does suck its teeth and cluck its tongue at you, it will be doing so because it is rendered speechless by your remarkable, radiant, one-of-a-kind magnificence.

 How can you bask in the glow that is YOU today, believing that the earth is literally squinting at that bright light of your magnificence?


November is gratitude month. A good place to start is with a simple gratitude list—writing down everything you can think of that makes you smile or warms your heart.  Today, start with a list of gratitude for YOU. Feeling extra magnificent? Post your words online with the hashtag #GratitudeForMe.

If you’re having trouble, start here:  Fill in the blank:  “Dammmnnn! I am __________________”

(kind, strong, fast, gorgeous, creative, brilliant, effervescent, shimmery, deep, wise, generous, magical, mythical, daring, mystical, energetic, marvelous, bold, funny, stunning, hilarious, outrageous, wild, wondrous, playful, earth-shattering, unforgettable, unique, agile, outstanding, electric, romantic, unstoppable, irresistible, loved)

Now, go get ‘em you iridescent, glittery-gold-showering unicorn. Show up as yourself, for yourself. And when you do glance in the mirror, give yourself an appreciative nod of recognition, and with a wink meant just for you remember this: You truly are beautiful.




Erika Petrelli

By Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.