Photo credit: Beulah Davina

My body communicates with me in subtleties. It starts with a small pounding, above the right eye. Or heavy breaths after a few steps. Or a slight faintness in the still images ahead of me. Despite growing signs of distress, I continue pursuing and enduring whatever it is that I am currently engaged in. I push harder, until the pounding ripples into a full-blown migraine, the heavy breaths increase in frequency and the faintness develops into an internal earthquake. Until I am left to do the thing I dreaded most and fought hard to avoid: which is to stop.

Once I stepped out I found it excruciatingly difficult to step back in. 

There is a fear in stopping. A fear in missing out. A fear in succumbing to failure. A fear that you’ve realised what you feared most – that you are not good enough. Starting this blog was to challenge my consistency and this fear of putting myself out there until I realised, amid all the exciting projects and jobs I am involved in, that I needed to realistically measure what I could do against what I needed to do. To decipher the difference between the two. In my forecast planning, I decided to stop all online social activities for a month, which was to be an intense period during my career, but that month dragged into six. Once I stepped out I found it excruciatingly difficult to step back in.

Then came the inquisition, the purpose behind starting this blog in the first place. The constant reassuring, self-doubt battery and momentary lapses into incensed insecurities played a vital role in my choosing to stand back up. Because ultimately, in all of this, I believe in myself and in the power of self. Sometimes the thought of how powerful I am and have the potential to be frightens me. Yet I choose to love this part of who I am because there is no alternative.

Learning to love who I am has been the greatest and most educational gift I have given myself, including to love my mind and my body indiscriminately and without judgement. Being a person of passion and creativity, I pour my every being into whatever I find myself in – which is both my strength and a weakness when not consciously managed. I have chosen to see myself for who I am and that choice comes with understanding and knowing your limits against your expectations. Now this doesn’t mean I limit my expectations, but that I am learning to walk them together, hand-in-hand. Recognising that my pace and my space is mine to dictate as well as to learn from. Understanding that this is an interdependent relationship and one that I can only thrive in if I take myself seriously.

There is no shame in taking the time to be with yourself, your insecurities, doubts and fears. There is no shame in nursing yourself back to health. 

Though this pause was meant to be for one month, and cheekily turned into six, I understood its importance and consequently place a higher value on my mental health, my emotional intelligence and physical fitness. I am my best and only resource, and can only function to the best of my ability when I listen what my body is telling me, which is to pause, for as long as necessary. There is no shame in taking the time to be with yourself, your insecurities, doubts and fears. There is no shame in nursing yourself back to health. There is no shame in being a fully-functioning human being with needs and concerns which don’t adhere to the external pressures of life. There is no shame.

I hope that as you take in the remaining days of 2017, that you reflect on who you are and where you are with kindness and that if you need to pause, that you do so with loving grace and acceptance.

– with love + light, Mx