My family, dance, music, & humanity inspire me every day – seeing and showing kindness in the world has its own joy.
I remember one time when I was a stay at home mom, I was home alone most of the time and had no help around the house. I was sitting on the sofa nursing my son and crying. It was a moment where I was feeling like a failure and feeling lost. I was so overwhelmed and sleep deprived and the tears just kept flowing. Then I decided to scroll through Facebook to distract myself from my misery and my guilt for feeling miserable while nursing my 6 month old son.
Scrolling and scrolling I stumbled upon this video of Jada Pinkett Smith – it was the first ever Red Table Talk with her mom and daughter. I started to watch the video and as I was watching, it felt like the universe placed that video just for me to see. It was about motherhood and how mothers feel so guilty when they even think about taking some time for themselves for some self care and self love, that it’s selfish somehow and how society puts us down for it. For new moms, there is no room for error. Society expects you to fulfill all your mom duties the minute your baby pops out of you. It’s an expectation that reigns over women to this day. And to hear Jada Smith say how wrong that was and how important it is to take that time for yourself to build yourself into your new role as a mother just made me cry even more but this time out of relief and a realization that I was not a failure, I’m simply a human woman. Yes, I had to learn that cause I had forgotten it. I write this only because I want to share the truth and if what I’ve said resonates or even helps one woman in a similar situation, that’s an amazing thing in itself.
Shifts in the Industry:
I think more than the industry itself, people have shifted and the industry is trying to catch up. In marketing and advertising, it’s long hours, overtime is a given – if you leave at 6 it’s a major faux pas. And I think that still reigns true for the most part where your personal life is given very little value. And it feeds into that corporate mindset of work hard now, play hard later. But people are starting to realise that that’s not what they want anymore. Having a balance is essential and a great way to live where you prioritise what matters most to you and think deeper about what you want your life to feel like rather than what you want your life to look like.
Advice to a young girl:
Trust your gut, cause it’s often right. Believe in yourself and if you’re not comfortable with something, speak up. Try not to compare your journey with others. Yes it’s easier said than done – I literally did it just a minute ago when writing this. Just focus on yourself and do what makes you happy. If you’re angry or sad, feel those feelings and let go of the idea of perfection. None of us are perfect. Dance, sing, fart out loud!
In work, they say do what you love and you don’t work a day in your life. But I think it’s a bit more complicated than that. So I’d say this, whatever job you’re in – think about what it’s teaching you and what you want it to teach you and find the joy in the small stuff – whether its scribbling ideas with crayons or rinsing your cup after having your morning coffee in the office pantry – make your work, work for you. You will find happiness in doing your work rather than sweating the small stuff.
Be comfortable in your own skin, love your body if you don’t already – if you don’t know how here’s a tip – try walking around your house naked every now and then, dance around, play whatever and check yourself out in the mirror. Look and say what you love about your body, have fun with it – I haven’t done it in years and now that I write it. I’m going to do it 🙂
And last but not least – it’s ok if you’re not ok. Let’s face it we are not happy all the time, we all have a level of anxiety and those shitty days that we just want to get through – so just be. Open up when you want and find that person or group to be your support system. Or find me lol
On Movement & Health:
Movement means nothing and everything. I see it in my dancing, I see it in my activism and community work, I see it in my thoughts and in my feelings. And at the same time, I don’t even realize it’s there.
Health is about how you feel on the inside and out. It does not matter what size you are or what diet you’re on and what exercise you do.. it’s all about being yourself and being happy with yourself. It’s healthy to be happy with yourself. You will always learn and grow and seek to better yourself in one way or another. Talk to yourself, your body, your heart and it will tell you what it needs.
I try to work on my health focusing on my mind, soul and body. I say body last because my mind and soul need to be in harmony first for my body to be my vessel in nurturing it and feel nourished.