Hello Beautiful Souls,
I hope everyone is having a great start to their week. I wanted to start off this week talking about something that is very important to me; authenticity. The ability to completely and totally be yourself, in any situation, in any circumstance, is a value that I will never look away from. I think though, to be truly authentic, you have to look deep down inside yourself, know your values…the ones you hold true to your core. The ones that you believe define who you ‘are’. The person you hope other people perceive you to ‘be’. I have always felt like I was very connected to nature. As a young girl, I loved to play and be outdoors early in the morning going on walks in my neighborhood wit my mom..playing fairytales outside with friends, or baseball with my Dad in the backyard. I am blessed to have a whole family that loves to be outside, my sister loves hiking and I went with her on many occasions. As I’ve gotten older, my interests wavered to and fro with the change of age, stress from school and life, my social circles, music I listened to..and more. I became someone different over time due to all of these things as everyone does. Change is an inevitable part of growing up..but now that I’m in my mid twenties, I feel like I really know who I am. I think for a while I attempted a facade. What I thought others wanted to see, I wanted to be. In the age of social media, I think it can feel very pressuring to look a certain way, like certain things, or be a ‘certain type of person’. However, as I am on a journey of self exploration and spiritual exploration I am realizing a lot about how I view the world. My love for nature came back, and I have always had a strong love for animals and a passion toward creating a better world for them. But…people also need a better world too. Especially right now, I think the political conflict in the US has caused many people to feel uneasy, afraid of speaking their mind; divided. I think that a very important thing people forget to do daily is to look inside themselves. To look in their heart for just a few minutes; to hear it speak and to listen to what it has to say. I think if we all took that time, that little bit of time for ourselves every single day, the world might start to change. Because if you are conscious of your own thoughts and feelings, you will start to think of others too. How other people think and feel. How their lives are complicated, frustrating, complex..just like yours. I have a journal that I try to write in every day. Some days a lot comes out, other days..not much at all. But I am learning about myself every day. Getting in touch with me; with my authentic self.
This little bog is right behind my neighborhood in NoDa, and I found it the other day when I was walking my dog, Gumbo. I knew this would become a perfect picture place for me, a place to feel like me. To hear the bullfrogs croak, insects buzz, and see the beautiful balance of life and decay in nature. I love the cattails too, and I intend to incorporate them into one of the paintings I’ve been working on. This place feels innately like the South. It’s a little muggy, full of bugs, and after a few minutes there you feel a little sweaty. I like that. It’s authentic. The bog knows it’s not conventionally beautiful, but it’s teeming with life, and it is perfect in my mind. I had just found this tank top, skirt and headband at Doll Boutique here in Charlotte and I knew this would be a perfect look for this place. These days, I’m wearing what I want to wear. I have always loved this sort of ecclectic, artsy, free style that I’ve been exploring lately, and I am really happy I’m making it my own. Too many times in my life I dressed in the way I thought people wanted to see me…now.. I’m dressing for me. I’m wearing what I want. I love this top from Spiritual Gangster because the Hamsa symbol is very important to me. It’s a universal sign of protection that has been seen across cultures since ancient Mesopotamia. It often is believed to ward against evil; inside yourself and outside. To ward off negative energies and thoughts. Each finger on the hand symbolizes one of the chakra centers in the body. Different people have different opinions on which finger starts what chakra, but this is from the Spiritual Gangster website:
Thumb- Fire element, solar plexus chakra.
Forefinger- Air element, heart chakra.
Middle Finger- Ethereal elements, throat chakra.
Ring Finger- Earth element, root chakra.
Pinky Finger- Water element, sacral chakra.
The hamsa, in the practice of Yoga is seen very similarly. In the Sanskrit language, there is a word associated with the Hamsa symbol ‘Soham’. Soham means ‘I am that I am’. You can say this to yourself as a mantra when you are practicing Yoga, meditating, or just walking through life. It is the idea that you are posing a question to yourself of Who Am I? and you answer yourself with: I Am That. I am me. I am my authentic self. This is something I am trying to practice daily. Loving yourself is step one on the quest for a better world. In the words of RuPaul
“If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love someone else?” — True.
The shoes I’m wearing are from a brand called Fantasy Sandals. They’re fairly new, out of Greece and I got them at B.E. Shoes in Winston-Salem when I was visiting my parents recently. Unfortunately, I don’t see anywhere that sells them online in the USA yet, but if you’re in Australia, I will link an online shop at the bottom for you. I wanted a sandal with a Birkenstock feel but less wide (I have narrow feet) and with a little more glitter. I love these, they’re pretty comfortable and perfect for those dressy casual days. I really hope this brand starts online retail soon so I can get more of these shoes! My bracelet/necklace/anklet is by the brand Me to We; and it is the Rafiki style. Rafiki is Swahili for friend, and this bracelet provides women in Kenya with fair wages and profits go to access to education for children. Spiritual Gangster is actually a pretty awesome brand too. Beyond making cool tank tops like this one and tons of other things, they donate a portion of proceeds to great organizations like Feeding America and Make A Wish Foundation. Money well spent, for sure.
This little bog to me is like a place where dreams come true. It’s a place where bullfrogs croak and fairies sleep. I’m so inspired by it. I can’t wait to keep coming back as its hiding just beyond my house. See how those branches make a perfect archway? That is magic in nature happening right before your eyes. Maybe a portal to another world? Who knows. Stop, look, and listen to nature sometime. Dance in the grass around the swamp and breathe the hot sticky air and the beauty of it all. It will tell you something. Something important.
I hope you all take something from this post. If you take anything, try to spend just a few minutes a day with yourself. With your heart and your thoughts. See what comes out. Write it down on paper. See how you truly view yourself, the world around you, and what you want to make of it. What kind of person you truly want to be. Then, become that person. It’s easy…just be yourself.
Top: Spiritual Gangster, get it here (they also have a bunch of other Hamsa designs on their website here)
Shoes: Fantasy Sandals, if you’re in Australia, get them here
Skirt and Headband: Amuse Society, get it here
Bracelet: Me to We, get it here
Tell me what you think about Chakras…have you studied them much? I’m just getting started, but I can’t wait to learn more. What tools have you used? Tell me in the comments below!