At some point I made myself believe that my deepest passions were unworthy. For me this training happened early on, too young to know better. While every adult around me seemed to be shutting out creativity, I yearned to make a home of it.
I was curious, as all children are, to understand more. This seeking was a way for me to deal with all the bullying, name calling, and pain that I experienced as a young woman of color. I began to take refuge in melancholy for the way it amplified loneliness, staving off unwanted attention. I resolved to be alone, kept and quite.
Eventually the years of excess thought and sadness caught up, a combination potent enough to liquefy the bone. I felt as if my spine might fail me, and I would collapse under the weight of motionless emotions. In my resolve to remain unseen I had become stagnant, unable to wade with the waves. I had no choice but to reflect on the sea around me, How had I floated so far out?
I was stiff as a board, sinews taught. I had tightened so close that muscle met marrow. Sometimes there is no choice, but to soften. To return to the animal of your body and revel in its skin. All the guarding of self had served me to a point. It had allowed me the space to feel safe and away. Yet, it also exiled me for a time. And now that I am at the shore of letting go, I am also returning to the things that were set down. I pick up my passions, feeling their worth in my heart, and get to know the character of each.
Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you’re passionate about something, then you’re more willing to take risks. —Yo-Yo Ma
Sustaining self-love is a healers journey. I’ve found great support along the way not only from family and friends, but from a community a folks doing similar work. Their paths toward wholeness have greatly inspired mine. I hope you find inspiration in their gracious sharing.
R E S O U R C E • L I S T
- All the Many Layers is a space for writers created by GG Renee Hill, author, speaker and advocate for self-discovery through writing. The site features books, courses, and workshops dedicated to the art of storytelling.
- Brown Kids are Roe and Erin, a fly as hell couple out of California on a unique journey toward minimalism with a mission to live unapologetic lives full of joy.
- Comestible Journal is a sustainability focused quarterly print about food, the places it comes from, and the people who grow it.
- New Moon in Gemini Affirmation Horoscopes created by Chani Nicholas provides sincere and honest details about this week’s astrology.
- The Afro Minimalist is a blog written by author CP Patrick centered on a minimalist life influenced by the African diaspora.
- The amazing world that scientists are uncovering beneath the Earth’s crust, is a stellar piece written by Hailey Reissman for Ideas, the blog from TED. In this piece, Reissman talks with leading scientists about new research in seismology and Earth Science.
- Women’s Environment and Development Organization is a global ecofeminist women’s advocacy organization for a just world that promotes and protects human rights, gender equality and the integrity of the environment.
G E N T L E • R E M I N D E R : The 2017 Community Survey is out! This is a 10-question survey focused on wellness and self-care. As a ‘Thank you’ for filling it out, I’ll send you a desktop download of one of my photographs. The survey is open until Saturday June 10th 11:59 PM CST. The survey is linked here. I look forward to reading your responses!
I hope this essay + list of resources finds you well and thriving.