redefining wanderlust

a life blog by Bekka

Posts for WELLNESS Category

Friday Favorites : New Age Edition | WK 3 2017

After having filmed my video and reflecting on the concept of new age, consciously knowing that many of the new age concepts are really just remixed adaptations of eastern cultures and philosophies, I still decided to name this Friday Favorites a new age edition because it sets a tone for what I’m talking about and hopefully inspires independent research. New Age is scoffed at, but honestly, some of the principles that have been adopted into this western movement from eastern thought are very powerful and are needed during this time of turmoil. I’m all about that higher consciousness while having a little fun. Let’s not forget about FUN!! Check out a few more of my favorite things that are all about a cleaner, happier, wellness or “new age-y” lifestyle.

Friday Favorites Week 3 Yoga Good Vibes

 

A few of the links below are affiliate links. this means that if you make a purchase through the link I get a small commission, it’s like a friendly finders fee. Affiliate links are marked with an *.

Good Vibe Earrings: These adorable earrings from Ban.do are too perfect because I’m all about putting out good vibes. The price is a little shocking ($70), but they are super unique and if you have the funds – treat yo’ self.

Green Juice Tote by Simply Sweet Vegan: When I saw this tote I immediately thought of my sister and I’m equally in love with humor. ($18)

Artist Alex Grey: more details in video

Hindustani Music: more details in video

*Jade Yoga Mat: I was lucky enough to receive this mat for free at a fitness convention, but I am genuinely obsessed with it. If you want to take your yoga life to the next level of comfort, invest in this amazing mat.

*Aura Cacia Awakening Yoga Mist: It’s made for your yoga mat, body, and room. And I seriously spray this stuff EVERYWHERE! Especially, in the morning when I walk into my home office. I love to spray the room to awaken my mind and senses.

Yoga with Adriene: If you are looking for awesome at home yoga videos, Yoga with Adriene is my favorite. She’s incredibly relatable, welcoming, and all about finding what feels good for you. She encourages you to create your own space on the mat and her current yoga revolution challenge is becoming a daily (almost) practice.

 

 

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WORD OF THE YEAR: WHOLENESS

If wellness is a state of good health, then wholeness is the state of a good life.

Wow! I feel like I have been kicked in the gut. I just wrote out a 556-word article on my philosophical idea of wholeness and it didn’t save. I had been working on it for an hour, and then my Word froze up, didn’t auto-save it and I am looking at a blank page with the wind ripped from my sails. But I’m going to approach this again because I really wanted to get this post up today –Sunday, January 15th.

At the end of 2016, I was reflecting on the year and thinking about the year ahead, and this concept of Wholeness came to mind. Wholeness is one part physics and one part new age philosophy. A remixed idea of Newton’s third law; For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction and The Conservation of Energy: Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can be altered from one form to another. What if in all my actions and the energy I used was vibrant, full of love, positivity, beauty, and light? In every choice I make whether it’s what to eat, where to go, who I talk to, and what I fill my mind; I choose what will lead to more positive energy, beauty, light, and love. Then based on physics, shouldn’t what revolves around me be more vibrant, beautiful, positive energy. It’s a philosophical hypothesis.

Now, I know there are many negative things outside of my control. But like every self-help book states, my reaction to negative influences are within my control. This year I’ve decided to fiercely apply the idea of wholeness into all my actions. I created a WELLNESS category on the blog to expand on wholeness as a part of wellness. Wellness is the state of good health, and to me, good health is when the mind, body, and spirit are all in a state of positive vibration. Wholeness is when wellness it put into action throughout your whole life. It’s the one decision that leads to the next. Sometimes I draw a symbol of a circle on my wrist, just as a reminder that everything is connected. And as a person that is constantly afraid of making the wrong choice, I’m deciding not to be afraid, but to ask myself does this choice bring more love and light into the world and my life or does it stifle my life’s full potential.

Thank you for reading my musings on philosophy and physics. I’m not sure if I explained myself as well as I did the first time. But I wasn’t going to let the frustration of a glitchy auto-save stop me because this principle is the seed from which everything else in my life will grow. It’s important to me that my Blanket Fort family knows about WHOLENESS too.

What is your word for the year?

 

Love & Light

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I Love To Stay Home on New Year’s Eve

I love to stay home on New Year’s Eve and here is why!

It’s 6:00 pm on New Year’s Eve and I’m in yoga clothes getting ready to go to Whole Foods to pick up ingredients for a delicious dinner for Dan and me. The only alcohol I will be drinking tonight is from the classic kombucha Dan purchased me a few days ago, and I’ll be falling asleep by 10:00 pm with Star Wars playing in the background.

I love to stay home on New Year’s Eve because for the last 2 years Dan and I have woken up before the sun and head out on an early hike. We chase the sunrise up mountain trails and breathe in the new day, the new year. My favorite NYE before being with Dan was cleaning out my closet while watching John Water’s films. It was that year (2012), I decided I would no longer chase the New Year’s Eve dragon. Since I’ve been with Dan, he’s been on board about avoiding the NYE expectation monster. Instead, we have found our own way to celebrate the ending of a year, and have finally come to create a real tradition.

Dan and Bekka Rose Parade

Rose Parade Dr. Seuss

Rose Parade 2013

Our first NYE together (2013), we stayed at home and then woke up early for the rose parade. I grew up watching the parade on television and it was time us SoCal kids sat in the cold grandstands to watch the parade in real life. It’s basically a SoCal bucket list item.  The following year (2014), I locked myself in my office all New Year’s Eve until 10:00pm when I finally finished the manuscript for a young adult novel I wrote with my sister. Dan was ready to stay in, but since the night was still young we went out to an event our friend was DJing at. Although we had a great night at the club, we also decided that it just wasn’t a scene we wanted to be a part of. So when it came to the start of 2015, we turned to our love of hiking.

Crystal Cove 2015
Crystal Cove 2015

A few months earlier we traveled the country, hiking amazing trails in Utah, and never felt more alive than when we connected outside and in nature. Since we had rediscovered this love and made it a resolution to hike more, we started our year hiking in Newport Beach with coastal views. Then in 2016, we headed to Malibu. Now this year, we’re headed back to Pasadena to explore the foothills. I love our hiking tradition and now look forward to New Year’s Eve. In the past, the New Year’s Eve Expectation Monster haunted me and I sort of dreaded the night. Except, I did have one other great New Year’s Eve in San Diego ringing in 2010, but later that year my heart was ripped out of my chest by my new year’s kiss. So, I’m happy to hike and be asleep at midnight next to the real love of my life.

2016 Hiking

Crystal Cove 2016

Charmlee Wilderness Park 2016

I hope you all have a wonderful new year’s eve and day, whatever you end up doing.

May 2017 bring more love, laughter, and light into all of our lives.

 

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Little Things Videos – Revival

At the beginning of this year, I started a series on my YouTube channel called ‘Little Things‘. It was supposed to help me focus on the little things that make life great every day and it did for a while. But ‘Little Things’ got derailed in the spring and never had a full reboot until now. I’ve done two ‘Little Things’ videos in the past two weeks and intend on continuing the weekly upload. Instead of one thing a day, which can be daunting when work chains me to the desk, it can just be a mixture of small moments that a brought a smile to my face throughout the week. When times are tough it’s easy to see the whole sum of days as a series of unfortunate events, but the truth is that life is filled with beautiful sparkling micro-moments and if you don’t stop to appreciate those, they will be soaked up by darkness instead.  So I hope you enjoy my “Little Things” and reflect on your own mico-moments of happiness throughout the week.

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel too!

little-things-banner-2

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10 DAYS AFTER ABSTINENCE AUGUST

It’s been 10 days since Abstinence August ended and I never reported on how the entire month went. Also,  since I’m a glutton for self-improvement, you might wonder what other crazy motivational life hacks I’ve activated in its place.  Well, I didn’t have a total transformation like I had hoped, but I did learn a few things about myself, most of which I reported on in my mid-month update. So here is what I’ve come to learn and accept in the last ten days.

Once September 1st rolled around I was jonesing for a hot bowl of ramen and a cold Sapporo. Dan and I went to Little Tokyo for these indulgences and the dinner exceeded all expectations. Distance truly makes the heart grow fonder. Later, we grabbed whiskey drinks not vodka drinks at a cool bar that turned down the music when we started to dance – how rude. Anyways, the next day I was feeling the not so savory aspects of drinking alcohol and was off my A game. Then the next night I went out with a gal pal and had more cocktails. By Saturday, my mind and body was all wonky. It took me 3 whole days to recover. This past Friday, I enjoyed one beer (Delirium abv 8.5%) and the next morning woke up with a headache and some slight nausea. Basically, I’m coming to realize that as wondrous as a drink would be to take off the edge, it ends up cutting into too much of my time to be awesome. So, not that I’m cutting drinking out of my life, but I am going to be hyper aware of when I do and do not drink.

 

Also, I’m bad at grocery shopping and meal prep. When I meal prep, I don’t eat the meals. When I grocery shop, I have a hard time planning for the future. I’ve decided to stop fighting myself and just commit to having a food budget I work within. If that means I get a drive-thru salad at Panera or pick up what I want to eat same day at the grocery store, then so be it. I still have issues with regulating my blood sugar, but I’m getting better at making smart choices. Now I just need to eliminate all food waste. I really hate food waste and people saying fish isn’t meat. Fish is meat, don’t delude yourself, they having feelings.

 

So what am I doing next? I’ve started a new 100 days of focus to help me manage my time better, stay motivated towards getting the book published, and make myself an overall healthier person – mind, body, and spirit. I’ve done a lot of self-reflection this year, really narrowing in on my weaknesses and figuring out ways to overcome them. It’s been a harder year for me, actually, scratch that…it’s been a lobster year. I’m going to start refocusing my feelings on this year and instead of feeling negatively towards it, I’m just going to call it a lobster year.  This year the lobster is my spirit animal! If I am making no sense to you right now, watch the video below.

 ONE LAST THING!!

I set up a newsletter for all you awesome readers. Since I don’t have a regular posting schedule, I thought it might be helpful to send out a newsletter highlighting the different videos and blog posts that have been recently published. I’ve named this newsletter group, Adventure Updates. I have a second newsletter group called Fun Seekers that will be sending out fun scavenger hunts/missions and exclusive content. I don’t have an official launch date for the Fun Seekers newsletter, but I think it will start in December or star of 2017. So make sure to add yourself to both lists now and don’t miss out!!

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Abstinence August : Half Way Update

It’s been two weeks since I began my Abstinence August life change and I felt it would be only appropriate to give you updates with supporting Buffy The Vampire Slayer gifs.

NETFLIX:

Buffy Hulu

I feel your judging eyes, but I’ve given myself a loophole. A Hulu loophole. Why? Because sometimes I have no motivation to work, no motivation to get in front of my computer – because sometimes I deal with depression. And at the beginning of this month, I was/been slipping in and out of a depression. So I used Buffy, my favorite television show of all time as motivation to get in front of my computer and get to work! I treat myself to an episode while checking emails and then I go on with my day. It’s my little loophole of happiness. It doesn’t hurt anyone, can be easily managed, and puts a little pep in my digital step.

DINING OUT:

Dining Out

One thing I’ve noticed these past two weeks  is that I’m really bad a grocery shopping. I’m used to buying a few groceries and dining out for at least half of my weekly meals. The first week I visited the grocery store, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; purchasing frozen pizza, frozen single serving meals, and an occasional produce item. Eventually, I upgraded to a full shopping cart but all the pieces were haphazardly thrown together. I purchased an Acorn squash to stuff with a chickpea curry, yeah – I have yet to make that. But, I’ve stuck to not dining out. I have not purchased fast food or take out with my own money. I have been treated to a wonderful meal in Santa Barbara by Dan and a few meals by my Mom, cause she’s awesome, but the only place I have purchased food is the grocery store.

ALCOHOL:

Alcohol

I have not had any alcohol. Yay! And I’ve had my moments of temptation. After an amazing day hiking in Santa Barbara with Dan, we went out to dinner in SB and all I wanted was a cold beer. We even waited in a bar before our table was ready, but I stuck to my guns and just reminded myself of how it would sour a perfectly good day to let myself down. Then this past weekend while we went to see DIIV play in Long Beach, there were many hours to kill beforehand and lots of beer around us. Once again, it would have been nice to unwind with a cocktail at a bar nearby, a glass of wine with dinner, or a beer during the opening act – but abstinence August kept me on the straight and narrow.

Buffy Self Examination

MID-MONTH THOUGHTS: 

Well, it’s been fun to have this little life-change filter put on my everyday. Taking away my normal comforts has forced me to confront my feelings more immediately. It’s been uncomfortable, but in the last week I’ve been laughing more at things that would  normally frustrate me. I’ve been cooking for Dan and being able to serve him a warm meal at the end of the day does fill my heart.  Since giving up Netflix as a normal escape I finished a book, and that gave me a wild sense of fulfillment. (sometimes it doesn’t take much to make me happy) And yes, I am looking forward to a whiskey cocktail or glass of wine, but I will be playing the whole picture of my day and week ahead before indulging. So half-way through and feeling strong. Oh, I’ve even made plans with a friend – although we’ve yet to agree on a time. Better make it a coffee date!

 

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Abstinence August!

This month, August, I am going to be practicing abstinence from a series of pleasures. The definition of abstinence is “the practice of restraining oneself from indulging in something” and I have over indulged in Netflix, Alcohol, and Dining Out a little too much lately. Apart from the fact I love alliterations, ‘Abstinence August’ has such a great ring to it – I’m ready for a lifestyle shift.  I need to create habits that allow myself to feel more in control when the world around me is in chaos. I want to strip myself of my normal comforts that are no longer serving me. I believe by practicing abstinence, I’ll in turn strengthen my creativity, productivity, and come closer to my ideal self by September.

So why am I choosing to abstain from Netflix, Alcohol, and Dining Out specifically? Well, let me explain…

 

NetFlix

Netflix:

I love Netflix! They create amazing television to binge and are an endless source of documentaries that fill my mind with new information. But it’s also incredibly addictive and suddenly when all I wanted to do was turn off my brain for thirty minutes, I’ve allowed an entire night to pass me by filled with stories. Instead of working on my own story and creating my own success, I have fallen into the celebration of other people’s dreams. Netflix is filled with great content to absorb, but I need to abstain from it as a form of mindless entertainment.

I’ve been wanting to draw, paint, and itch that creative scratch but never seem to find the time. Instead of watching Netflix, in August I plan to break out my markers and colored pencils. I will turn off my analytical brain, by turning on my creative inner child. I’ll just start playing more and allow the part of my brain which has been dormant to be stimulated again.

Also, the unfortunate thing about Netflix is it’s a two sensory media. A person needs to watch and listen to it. Unlike podcasts and music that only occupy your hearing. In August, I’ll dive deeper into my love for music and listen to classic storytelling in order to multi-task more, focusing my visual attention on different tasks.

Abstinence August Alcohol_Blanket Fort Adventures

Alcohol:

I’m not a heavy drinker. At most, I drink three nights a week while hanging out with friends or celebrating the end to a long week, and it’s usually one (maybe two, rarely three) whiskey cocktail or a glass of wine. But I want to say goodbye to alcohol. First, I want to save money. Alcohol is such a stupid waste of money. One drink at a bar usually runs $10 dollars and even a descent bottle of wine to drink at home is $13 dollars. At the end of the month, I could spend anywhere between $30 -$120 dollars just on alcohol. I want to stop drinking money, and put those dollars towards a more renewable sense of joy, like a pretty dress or less credit card debt.

Also, I’ve noticed alcohol effects my mental state more adversely than I’d like. Lately, I find I’m more sensitive to alcohol than I have been in the past. The sensitivity I’m talking about isn’t when I’m actually drinking, but what happens the next day or following days. All of a sudden a switch will be flipped in my brain and I’m significantly more negative than I was just seconds before. It happens late at night, and it’s almost like my general tiredness triggers a massive depressive episode. I think I’d like to abstain from this, for at least a month. The cocktails aren’t worth it.

I’m planning on painting my nails or doing an at home facial to unwind instead of a glass of wine. Read a book or journal with some La Croix water to celebrate the end of a long week. As for hanging out with friends, I’m pushing myself to not use dinging out and drinks for social interactions.

Dining Out Abstinence August _ Blanket Fort Adventures

Dining Out:

I’m a lazy, particular, eater. I don’t like eating the same thing over and over again. I also don’t like cooking at the end of the day when I’m tired. Because of my eating and appetite quirks, I tend to dine out a lot. I also eat a lot of cheeseburgers and french fries. My bank account is really taxed over my bad eating habits, and I’m sort of over it. I also use food as a way to cope when stressed out or depressed.

July was a really hard month, and I stuffed my feelings with rich food and alcohol. Even in the midst of eating my feelings I knew it was bad, but I didn’t care. So I need abstinence August to help me hold myself accountable for coping with life’s stressors in a different way. When I want to throw my hands up in the air and say “f*ck it, I’m getting In and Out” – I’m going to go…”No, you are in the middle of abstinence August, go to the store and make yourself your own burger if you really want it or buy food to make food.”

I feel that forcing myself to go to the grocery store in itself will guide me to make better food choices overall. In the moments between going to the grocery store and cooking at home, I can cope with whatever is bringing me down. Plus. I’m thinking I will add on a 80/20 rule to eating this month, 80% plant based diet and 20% omnivore diet. We will see how that goes.

Also, I want to abstain from dining out because I feel it’s this default setting for spending time with friends and I want to get more creative. I want to plan picnics or grab coffee* and visit an art gallery. Make excursions with friends during the day that involve exploring a part of our city, and connect with them in a new environment. I know we can be more creative than dinner at a hip restaurant.

*Loopholes //

The best way to succeed at any habit or lifestyle change is to know yourself in order to set yourself up for success. I know myself pretty damn well and I don’t want to fail, so that means I have set up a few loopholes.

Netflix:

I can still rent DVD’s and watch movies. But watching something old school requires a bit of planning. You don’t get lost behind an endless supply of content like one does while streaming Netflix. There is something very finite about a DVD, and it helps control the start and the end of my movie watching time.

Alcohol:

No loopholes – wait till September.

Dining Out:

If someone else wants to treat me to a meal out, then that is perfectly fine. My aim is to shake up how I normally operate and to make more meals at home. Along with stopping myself from using dining out as a way to escape the world and ignore my feelings. I love food, and I want to make cooking a more meditative and loving experience in my home. I also I think coffee or tea is a low expense way of meeting up with people, so I’m letting that in the loophole.

 

Like I shared, July was sort of sucky month, and really 2016 has not been the easiest year. But I can’t let external events influence my happiness and wellbeing. My ability to put out love and light into the world comes from inside. I want to be a stronger, more creative and productive person. I want to make my dreams come true and cultivate the life I desire. I know it might sound silly, but I truly feel Netflix, alcohol, and dining out are holding me back from my best life. Abstinence August will give me the time I need to redirect my energy in different ways, so my default settings are not Netflix, alcohol, and dining out; instead it can be painting, sparkling water, and field trips.

Want to join me?

Comment something you can abstain from in August that will help you get closer to your ideal self!

PIN IT FOR LATER :

Abstinence August Pinnable _ Blanket Fort Adventures

 

 

 

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“One Day to Wallow” Rule

In my early twenties, after my best friend and I had been lamenting to each other about some frustrating or heartbreaking issue, we came up with the “One Day To Wallow” rule. We had decided to allow ourselves 24 hours of pure wallowing. We could drink to oblivion, emotionally eat, cry our eyes out or curse the heavens and basically feel sorry for ourselves in any way we felt fit.  Then the next day, we had to let it go. That thing that was eating away at us and taking away our happiness, we had to let it go. Every time the issue presented itself to us, we had to be strong – we had our day to wallow now it was time to carry on.

I’ve kept this one day to wallow rule to this day, even when I don’t realize I’m phoning it in. Yesterday was a wallow day. I’m putting my dog of 16 years, who is 17+ to sleep this week. Her health has significantly deteriorated over the last 2 weeks to the point that my fiancé and I are now certain this is her time. As he put it, “we 90% know it’s her time, that 10% will drive you crazy and only make her suffer.” It’s time to let her go with dignity. I won’t go into her health, because the internet has a lot of opinions and animal lovers have even more opinions. Just know we have worked with our vet on managing her wellbeing and have followed his advice on knowing when it is time.

Letting go of my baby Mystie is not easy, but it’s a part of owning a pet. It’s a part of inviting any loving person or creature into your life.  Love is a bright beautiful light, and when it’s taken away it’s like we’re lost in the dark. My one day of wallowing is a way to remind myself to not get lost in that darkness, whatever it may be caused by, and look up to see the other bright lights of love surrounding me. Yesterday, I emotionally ate and drank until my belly hurt. I let myself swirl in the darkness till it brought me no comfort.  This morning I woke up and took Mystie outside and we sat in the sun for an hour until I had to go to work.  For the past few days I’ve traded my workout hour, for fun in the sun time with Mystie. I looked up at the sun and clouds asking for peace, for acceptance. Today I don’t have any desire to abuse or feel sorry for myself due to my lack of control over the natural cycle of life.

Instead, I’m sharing my one day to wallow rule. In case anyone else needs permission to wallow, but tomorrow you HAVE to keep going and surround yourself with light until the darkness fades away.

One Day To Wallow Rule

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Self-Love Sunday

In February, I learned how precious my Sundays’ are after handing them over to help friends and family. Not that I resent the time I spent helping others, but I noticed how grumpy and stressed I was throughout the week because I hadn’t reserved any time for myself to recharge. Now I treat my Sundays’ like precious jewels and really ponder if I want to hand it over to someone else.

This morning I was the laziest of sloths, in my pajamas till noon and barely changing into a comfy chambray shirt and bicycle shorts because I wanted to feel slightly more put together. My hair is wild and a pile of laundry is at the edge of my bed waiting to be folded. I’ve put on a rose mask from Fresh (a free birthday treat from Sephora) and filled my room with the delicious scent of a Voluspa Goji Tarocco Orange candle. And to really set the mood, the soothing folky voices of First Aid Kit is the soundtrack to my very lazy self-love Sunday.

As Bowerbird headed off to work he remarked how relaxed I looked and I really am relaxed. Trust that my to-do list is sitting in my office with unchecked boxes and my inbox with unanswered email. But I’m giving myself permission to take today just for myself. I’m headed to Coachella for two weekends where I won’t have my blessed self-love Sundays. I will be cramming in clients between festival days and prepping all next week to make sure the record store inventory is at least 90% in – progress not perfection. And if you saw the order sheets you’d understand why I have to comfort myself with that mantra. So today is just for me, drinking Stress Ease tea and munching on chocolate eggs that my fella surprised me with.

self love treatments

For a while, I’ve been toying with the idea of posting more inspirational, spiritual, or self-love type of posts on Sundays. My own version of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. As I recharge physically and mentally preparing for the week ahead, it could be a way of sharing the lessons I’ve learned that week or even just interesting articles I’ve discovered. I’m currently on a 100-day challenge where I have several goals I’m focusing on every day for the next 100 days. Today is day 13! I’ve also been Periscoping every day of this challenge and have been having some really great discussion there.

Earlier this week when I really didn’t want to Periscope, I was blessed to have two people on the scope who were really engaged in the conversation and we discussed burn-out, showing up for yourself, and the sacredness of our “me time.” I had no idea that my bleh Periscope was going to be so transformative, but those two women changed my night and mindset. So in-line with that particular scope, I am owning the sacredness of this me time.

So, who knows what post I’ll have for you next Sunday but right now I’m going to hit publish and get back to reading my Darling Magazine. Eventually, I’ll get around to my laundry and cleaning the house – but right now, right now I’m going to be totally content with some self-indulgent self-LOVE.

in bed relaxing

*The hyperlinked products in this post are for the readers convenience and are not attached to affiliate links. 

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I AM A WOMAN : GLOBAL SISTERHOOD

one of my favorite statues at hearst castle in san simeon

My beautiful friend Lauren reached out to me and asked if I’d write a piece for a powerful movement and event she is helping to coordinate with Unify for International Women’s Day.  I was nervous to write something and before sitting down at my laptop I took a moment to pray. I asked for the words to flow from me, to have my thoughts be clear and honest. This is what I wrote.

I AM A WOMAN

I am a woman who celebrates the success of my brothers and sisters. I am a woman to be wed to a soul that seems to be weaved from the same tapestry as I, who knows my heart and accepts my flaws. I am a woman who strives to live in an authentic place, open to saying sorry when I decided to listen to my ego. I am a woman about to leave her twenties, but I was not a woman as I left my teens.

At 18 I hid behind beautiful friends, afraid to be seen and hungry for approval. I found myself vehemently rejecting the women I wanted to be like, judging them for their kind hearts and friendly demeanor. I was angry that they seemed to have answers to feeling comfortable in their skin, while I felt trapped inside mine. The mirror was my enemy and self-hatred comforted me like a blanket made of fiberglass. A girl waiting to grow.

I learned to survive and thrive in society by using media as my mentor, television shows and movies taught me to find the prettiest girl and be friends with her. While watching my back as someone will inevitably try to tear me down. It taught me either you were having fun at the top of the social food chain or lonely at the bottom. By High School I had strategically found myself feeling incredibly lonely and lost while being nominated for Homecoming Princess. I had done what the movies told me too and yet I was sad. The only person tearing me down was the demon in my head. I hadn’t found connections in deeper interest and trusting friendships, I had figured out how to play popularity politics. A girl waiting to grow.

Then like parting clouds, one day when I was 19 a voice in my head said, “try something different, say hello, don’t reject – start accepting.” I accepted a friendship into my life who taught me about love and acting from a place of love. A seed of love was planted in my pain and the girl began her journey into growing into a woman.

I no longer hid behind beautiful people, but searched out beautiful souls. I listened to my heart when developing female friendships. It would take me a little bit longer to find my worth in male relationships, but I eventually did. In the meantime I was starting to grow real friendships, a sisterhood. I was starting to recognize a person beneath insecurity, pain, and loneliness. I was not an armored heart nor a raw nerve, but aware and cautious of who I decided to let into my circle and be vulnerable. People did not need to prove themselves to me, but I would no longer hold on to them if I felt they were not there to be a nourishing presence.

An amazing new narrative is being taught to a fresh generation of young minds, and women in media are presented within our full potential. Women hold places of power based on intellect and not sensuality. Women support each other and lean on each other, instead of seeking out a male partner. Women have strong voices without apologizing. Women have full and caring hearts without being weak. Women are moving into positions where we were previously absent. Together we are effectively tearing down the expectations and limitations placed upon us and creating a new normal.

In the age of communication, where connection is at the touch of a button, it is so vitally important that as women we empower young women to act from a place of love and authenticity.  To pass on stories of support and strength, not fear and competition. Express that nourishing your heart and soul, is how you unlock your dreams and where you begin to create the life you desire. That focusing on your own feet doesn’t mean you’re alone, it means you won’t trip.  That your sisters will be by your side to help you through the rough patches and can hold you up when you’re too tired to go on. Your sisters will nourish you back to health. Your sisters will hold up a mirror till you’re ready to see your own beauty.

We invite you to get together with your own sisters or if you’re feeling brave walk into a new circle. Either way, know you will be welcomed with open arms on International Women’s Day. We are all writers creating our own story and collectively we can write the story of the world filled with powerful and positive heroines that are shifting minds and changing perceptions.

Thank you for reading my piece and to find a circle visit women.unify.org

 

 

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