This is a reminder that the external care does not equate or replace internal care.
Recently, I had one of the most difficult weeks I had ever experienced. Filled with deadlines, skipping meals just to hustle forward, lack of sleep, unconscious jaw clenching, and isolation. The extent of my unwinding included a glass of wine and conversations with my boyfriend about how I felt I was whirling. It subsided my anxiety a bit but it didn’t dispel it.
Once the weekend came I found some spark of joy in a new eye shadow palette, treated myself to a fancy non dairy cappuccino, painted my nails because I had some social plans lined up. Because, as I said to myself, “I deserve it.”
There was also brushing off the stressful build up from the week and continuing to move forward. We like to believe that we can out of sight, out of mind. Then the thoughts may creep up of you might find yourself over analyzing a situation, anticipation an outcome, etc.
February echoes all things love. However, I’m going to focus on self love with this guide. Sometimes our days (or weeks are filled with challenges and setbacks. Or we try overcompensate productivity to complete an idealized goal for the validation of feeling accomplished. This goes back to refilling our cup before we start to run on empty. We can’t neglect the most important part of our life: our self.
In my opinion self love is something we should integrate everyday. It doesn’t have to be extravagant nor should you feel like it must be a time consuming or romanticized vision that seems unattainable. The way someone cultivates self love may not be the same as mine or yours and that okay. So whether you decide to take a day in February to buy yourself some chocolates and wine, creating a gratitude list, or having a good cry to feel + release those emotions, remember that it truly does matter.
Lately I have been revisiting the genre of poetry. While I wasn’t always drawn to poetry books, I would often write my own & held a few verses close to my heart. The captured meaning held between short verses, the ability to convey so much emotion in the web of words always moved me.
February has been a month of transition. There’s been heartbreak, there’s been growth, buds that have been blossoming, and changes afoot. Unsteady seas have made me stronger. However, it would not have been possible without the love and presence of friends. I’ve allowed myself to go through the feels, whether it was crying my heart out at 2 in the morning or journaling brief prose.
I don’t like summer, and that’s why I am letting go of this doctrine. It serves me nothing to clash heads with a season of abundance and birth: the sun is at it’s strongest peak and it’s our final season before the ascent of Fall.
I am someone who thrives in action, movement, creativity. Quite honestly I am still attempting to nail this ‘living seasonally” concept down. One thing I realize is that you must find the time to be conscious of it, which is difficult when you have work, a social life, and other aspects of your life that require your attention. Still, being aware of your surroundings can serve as a means to adapt. I felt like I woke up and summer sprang out of nowhere and yet here we are.
Summer isn’t my jive. I find myself slower to start and a bit more tired. However, I know I can work with the season, not against it. Learning to look at the blossoming flowers or cracks of sunlight at the coming of dusk. Learning to change my rhythm and expectations with this season.
I am practicing thankfulness and calming my inner child who so desperately longs for autumn and the magic that comes with it, however I am nipping my anticipation in the bud and silencing my pace to consider and reflect what I should be investing my time in, what will further my growth? We can be so easily distracted and I ask myself: how many times have I chosen in dwell in doubt instead of seeking inspiration instead? So here is my list for Summer:
✖sketching + drawing
✖normal sleep hours
✖frolicking with nature
✖writing it all down
✖tune in • stress less
✖revel in hazy days with reckless abandon (sort of)
✖Love yourself first. I believe we can be our first and perhaps worst critic. We think we must constantly be on the move, on the go, we set so many expectations on ourselves that hinder our ability to thrive. We believe that our lives must be a specific way or pattern and that others must also align with our expectations.
Whether you wish to put the pen to paper, or search for new adventures through the camera lens, or build roots + stability beneath your soles and peace of mind, you must trust in yourself first, and then invest in yourself, and then build upon yourself. Schedule your happiness in. Dance to the beat of your heart. Cook yourself a nourishing meal. Run through the nearest green grass you can find. Savor in life. Understand that life is not perfect, perhaps it was never meant consistently be so, therefore you must make everyday count. Imbue it with hope, joy, laughter, whatever you wish to integrate in your life.
Remember: Don’t focus on the curated lifestyle of others’. Instead, chose to curate your life + bliss.