Posts tagged self care
She is You

I love a woman who loves herself. A woman who knows she's not perfect and embraces that. A woman that not only loves herself, but FALLS in love with herself every single day. She knows that she doesn't always say the correct thing, but she is kind, humble, and oh so selfless. She understands that the world isn't always beautiful, but she does her best to add her own beauty to her life and to the ones closest to her heart. She hesitates when making decisions for her family, because she fears not making the right ones. There is fear in her heart, but you’d never know, because she is peace — the binding factor of why her world holds together, even if it’s not even close to perfect.

She has insecurities, like every other human being. But she isn't like everyone else. She makes a difference — even more than she could ever imagine. To her children especially — when they grow up and think of the person they want to be most like in their lives, it will always be her. The way she can whip up a dessert and have it taste like heaven, the way she drops everything without a blink to help someone in need, the way she seems to have all the answers when you don’t know where to turn. When she looks in the mirror, she only sees the wrinkles and the creases of her eyes and her mouth, and the growing grey intertwined in her blonde hair. But the world sees her contagious smile, her laughter and silliness that brightens up the darkest room, the joy they wish to see in every aspect of their own hearts and lives, and the patience she has for values not like her own. How is it that she helps others see who they truly are, more than their own souls do? She sees the curves of her body, more weight than she had years ago, and stripes on her tummy from when she once carried her own babies.

She doesn’t see herself as beautiful because society doesn’t deem her as so — she isn’t young or olive colored skin, or perfectly perky breasts, and her house isn’t clean and doesn’t look like an article right out of the magazines she loves to read. She doesn’t yet realize that beauty isn’t everything. She doesn’t see the power she possesses, because if she did, she would know that she can literally move mountains to create the life she dreams of. She is real in an increasingly false world. She flourishes in her existence, like a flower pushing through concrete. Her real self shows in every breath she takes. Her strength isn't always stronger than her softness, as much as she tries to make this so.

My sweet friend, she is you. Your greatest gift is the power you hold inside yourself, and being the truest soul you can ever imagine. Don’t you dare even deny it — the Earth thrives with you in it. Let us create beauty and love, my love.

JOURNALIST: Bethany Bourgoin

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Blooming: one part crying, one part acknowledgement, two parts battle, and one part spreading your roots.

I am a firm believer in crying, full blown down on my knees silent sobbing in the shower, letting my tears blend with the scorching water, tricking me into thinking the day was fine and dandy. Then the saltiness of the last 24 hours hits my taste buds, cutting into the steam like the sharp ringing of an unwanted alarm.

My gift to myself is to cry. The release balances me, and allows me to center myself once again.

Part of the blooming process is acknowledgement. Acceptance of each experience, each battle waged. When I got divorced, many people around me questioned my resilience. As though they wanted me to break down. Expose my wounds to feed the curiosity of others. They couldn't hear me crying, though. My pain was raw, unrefined, and harsh enough to leave a weight on a listener’s heart. I didn't want to leave a trail of misery, so I did my best to tuck it back like a loose strand of hair that constantly falls in your face. The problem is it always manages to stray back in your way, waging a battle against your inner peace.

Whether you have traveled a similar path or not, you will wake up one day and realize you have everything you need, it's all just waiting to be unleashed.

When my nightmares poured over into daylight hours, the sacred hours reserved for loving my children, and I felt a shift in my soul, I needed to crush that lingering ugliness. His presence haunted my being; akin to Freddie Krueger, he gained strength from my weakness. I made the decision not to let him write my story anymore.

In the depth of Winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible Summer.
— Albert Camus

You have to lay the foundation for the future you wish to see. There's no chronological timeline to blooming. It happens over time, each phase integrated into another. Just as a flower blossoms out of a simple bud turning towards the sun’s rays, so is it with the growth of a woman.

We grow with hardship and learn to find our joy. I remember the freedom I felt from being able to pick out my own outfits. No dictator left standing to bark instructions to cover my curves to mask his own insecurities. And writing! Oh, the joys of letting my words touch paper instead of locking them safely away from criticism.

Once I allowed my joy to come to fruition, everything else slowly started to fall in place. A flower looks best surrounded by many more. You have to learn to take care of yourself before you can take care of someone else.

I firmly believe women hold a special capacity to withstand life’s difficulties and grow out of whatever place they find themselves. There will be days where you are scrolling through Instagram and you feel your self doubt rise because every woman you come across is so perfectly put together. You have to stop and remember it's not the full truth; they too are painting a picture that masks the struggles they may be facing. It's what we do.

It's so important to be your own number one fan. Pat yourself on the back when you accomplish a goal. Utter words of wisdom to yourself in those dark moments. Believe in yourself!

As a single mum, I can’t allow myself to be complacent. I'm constantly striving to feed my passion so I can radiate joy for my children to mirror. Every action I take is setting an example for them. An example for other women who may one day find themselves cemented in a situation they only know of through news casts and blog posts. To those women I say: you are not stuck, you are invincible and worthy of everything you dream of. Even as a flower needs a gardener to tend to it, so does each of us need a friend to reach out to.

I do not know how to sit and be still, to watch a movie without brainstorming my next move. I am ever moving, stretching my branches out, and reaching for new soils. Just as a plant outgrows its pot and needs to be replanted into a spacious area, so does the woman bloom.

In the Spring of 2015 I learnt to walk with my head up. In the Summer of 2016 I began to shake the naysayers off like dust on an old winter coat, and by the Fall of 2016, I am beginning to put Me first.

Presently, I am ever blooming.


JOURNALIST: Natasha Badkoubei