With every passing year I become increasingly more aware that contemplation is a necessary tool for personal growth. Various adventures in life will teach that with age comes experience, and whether or not you gain wisdom alongside that experience depends on if you take time to reflect. To consciously move forward, you must slow down and allow yourself time to process.
As we move forward into 2023, I’m apprehensive at best. The past few years have wrecked havoc in my personal life, my family, and my health. Every good intention was equally met with a mountain twice it’s size to climb. My mental and physical health have been in shambles and I live to exist solely a state of survival for myself and my family. The person I was in 2019 no longer exists. I could not continue in the same capacity as before. Time to reflect and learn from my experiences is only just now something I am able to begin to do.
If there is anything that I have learned over the last few years, it’s that there is an extraordinary shift that happens when your livelihood of you or your loved ones is threatened. A major compulsory shift in priorities left me largely unavailable to focus on work, both physically and mentally. It was a very forced lesson in being able to slow down in every aspect of my life. I hated it. Work was my escape, a break from the day-to-day monotony. Slowing down was not on my list of things to do, and to do so unwillingly only added insult to injury.
So where do I, where do we, go from here?
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses”
– Oscar Wilde
To answer this question, I feel compelled to share where I’ve been. There has been a lot of self-care talk in the online space for the last few years and often times it barely skims the surface. I used to love taking long, hot baths as time for myself and as time to help my muscles recover from intense workouts. In all honesty, they are still wonderful. The lessons I’ve been able to soak up recently have been of a deeper variety.
I’ve always felt that I try my best for my mental health. I live with PCOS (Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) and with it comes bouts of anxiety and depression. I work out daily and eat as healthy as I can. Despite my greatest efforts, the unavoidable stress in my life has contributed to a decline in my physical and mental health. I find that in addition to the physical manifestations of stress in my body, my mind is scattered. Unfortunately medication is not an option so I have had to double down on all that is great for mental health. This involves therapy, getting outdoors, exercising every day, eating healthy, setting boundaries, making myself a priority, meditation, and learning to accept life as it comes. If this sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. Every day is a struggle but as things become my new norm, I look forward to the days becoming lighter and easier to carry. To move forward I must also offer myself the same grace I give others every day.
Recently in my gratitude journal, I read that if you take care of the minutes, the years will take care of themselves. The quote is labeled as an ancient Tibetan proverb, and it certainly makes sense. For years now I’ve felt a shift in the way that I do things online. I became more aware of the practices of brands I’d partner with and the items I’d share, and eventually began to post less about fashion as even in my most minimal eye, it adds to consumerism. It wasn’t necessarily that I wanted to become more true to myself, but that my actual self has shifted. My habits now are more conscious than they have ever been, and I want this space to be a strong reflection of that.
Moving forward, I plan to continue to share inspiration and ideas in tandem with my personal life. I am also very excited that after years of longing to make a shift, I plan to offer more personalized ways I am able to help you live a more conscious and intentional lifestyle, especially when it comes to your wardrobe.
Please don’t hesitate to comment or reach out with any suggestions, questions, or if you just need someone to talk to. I’m always here. The lessons I’m learning I will continue to take with me, with grace.