Work & Wellness

I’ve been on a wellness journey for awhile now and understand more and more that if I am not consistently taking care of my physical ,mental, emotional and spiritual health, then I am not showing up fully as who I am to everything that I do. How could I possibly serve with a cup that is only half full or even empty, especially as a mother to my children, a wife, an artist, an entrepreneur, a facilitator, a friend and a community builder. I learned about Spiritual Activism when I did my Sacred Leadership Training with Sacred Women International back in 2017. In seeing how burnout can be such a reality for some of us, it’s important more so now then ever before to take care of self. I see self love as a revolutionary act and the biggest form of activism today!

Growing up, I was always the one that friends would turn to and come to for advice and to lean on for support. As far back as I can remember, I was always a shoulder for my mom to cry on. I got really good at holding space for others. I got really good at putting others’ needs first before my own and often lived in disappointment, resentment, anger, and loneliness. I would ask myself why doesn’t anyone ever check for me, look out for me, and hold space for me?! What I did not see then that I see now is that my value was so closely attached to what I give rather than just being me and not having to do!

When I turned 40, something within me clicked. Not only was I giving form an empty cup, but I was allowing people to take what little I had in my reserve bank. Like enough was enough. It was time to put myself first and take care of me. It was very shortly after my Dad passed away that I wanted to really live my life and to do that meant showing up for me. This new way of being Jothi has been emerging slowly. Every step of the way getting to know who I am again at 40 because I had spent most of my life coasting, roaming, in a fog, pleasing others, being there for everyone else but myself. It was my time.

I am still learning different ways to honour myself and take care of me. I see myself as a beautiful garden that needs to be nurtured and fostered. I have done some deep healing and with that I have seen my value and self worth emerge and who I really am under all the trauma and triumph. My spirit is so much more than the sum of all my parts. I am powerful and with that power comes responsibility. My mentor, teacher, and mama, Reverend Aina-Nia of Sacred Women International recently reminded me that I have a responsibility to lead myself first so that I am able to lead others.

So, I am really taking a closer look at what my emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual health looks like. I am taking inventory and what better month than Spring to do that. How do I show up for myself in these areas? Where can I improve or shift and what is working so far. How am I supported? I know for sure that there are going to be days that are tougher than others and so what tools do I have in my toolbox to help me get through these tough days. Who can I call upon to hold space for me to process what I am feeling or thinking? How being still and listening is key in my wellness journey. I have come such a long way in getting better at asking for help especially from other women. Breaking old patterns of internalizing my pain, not taking care of myself, and putting myself last when helping others, is my priority. It’s all so cyclical! When I take care of my body, mind, and soul on a daily, I am able to express, process and move through challenges, come from a place of gratitude and strength, serve my family, clients, friends, and community in a real way, and have deeper more meaningful connection to myself and others which feeds my soul. The impact on my whole self and others around me when I take care of myself, is huge! My light radiates this energy everywhere I go.

We are destined for greatness and have gifts to share but we must first give to ourselves, heal, and fill our cup. I don’t know about you, but I refuse to switch up hats and masks with every role that I play in this life. I am JOTHI and I want to show up fully as me to everyone and everything that I do. That means really knowing who I am. That means taking care of myself so that I can show up fully as who I am. It’s not always easy and I know that life can get the best of me at times but I am aware and that is a great start.

So if ever you are feeling that you do not have the work life balance that you want, ask yourself where your personal wellness practice sits on that line. Because, I bet if you were to put more time and energy into your own personal wellness, you would be more aware of what you want and deserve with work and life!

Take care of yourself and ensure that you have great wellness tools in place and people supporting your journey!

Look out for HER Space coming this Fall 2019!

A space for women to put their self care first for a couple of hours a week over the course of a month.

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Subscribe to my newsletter to receive updates on HER Space, future events, workshops, exhibits, and talks around ways that we can fully show up as who we are using ART, SPIRITUALITY, and MINDFULNESS tools!

Namaste!

Finding my Tribe

I have always been an introvert. As a child, youth, and young adult, I would roam around alone for hours, and hang out by myself all the time. I would get lost in my own thoughts and quite often get into trouble with my teachers and mom for daydreaming in school and at dinner. At times my thoughts would turn into negative self talk and then the loneliness would set in. The loneliness was so deep especially when I was a teen, that I wondered what I was even doing here on this earth. Like would anyone really miss me if I were gone? Those were some dark and sad days and I still feel lonely at times, but I know better now that that is my queue to be by myself and value my own company. I know more now that it is okay to be by myself and that this treasured time alone is so good for me! Since those dark, sad, and lonely days of my youth, I have gotten to know myself better and now enjoy and even love my own company.

I have yearned for sisterhood. I have my own sisters and women in my family as well as my bff, but I wanted and needed more, I wanted a TRIBE! Low and behold, Spirit led me to Sacred Women International. In 2017, I began a year long process called Sacred Leadership Training. Believe me when I tell you, I did not even come close to understanding what I was getting myself into! 2017 was the year my life changed! I was given space to do some deep soul searching work and the love that I had for my own company led me to further discover my very own essence, place of joy, peace, and light that exists within me. I connected with a sisterhood like never before. A deeper understanding and knowing of self led me to deeply valuing Sacred Sisterhood in ways that I have never ever experienced before. I am my sister’s keeper turned into I AM MY SISTER! I am so grateful to Sacred Women International for this new way of leading self to lead others. SO powerful!

I come from a very large family of mostly women and yet even though we are family, I feel like I want more meaningful connections with them, and that it is okay to wish for more. Perhaps with family and our history, we can always pick up where we left off and there is an unspoken understanding that we will always have each other’s backs. I am exploring this and know that like tending to a garden, I feel that trust in relationships are fostered and grown. So, when I asked Spirit for more sisterhood, I feel that I got to choose Sacred Sisterhood. When these beautiful Sisters came into my life, other women showed up in my life and more deep and meaningful connection came to me. I know that Spirit was at work. I know that my Ancestors led me to my Sacred Sisters.

I continue to work on uncovering my essence, stand in my power, and use my voice to express my boundaries with love, patience, and empathy. I am not always successful, but I am aware and that is a great first step! I am unlearning and unpacking some past patterns that do not serve me and I am learning to courageously open my heart for love from women who honour my spirit. It is an amazing journey and at almost 48, I am finding my tribe. I am so grateful for this time in my life to see in others what they see in me.

Next up, I will be opening up my heart to writing a personal essay for Kaur Space on how I navigate inter-generational trauma as a 40+ daughter and mother. These traumas are very much a part of my dark and lonely spaces and where my mom may have not been given the platforms or safety to face it, I have this beautiful opportunity to face them, move through them, heal and move on! Facing the traumas of generations of women in my family who have come before me, as well as my own, does not feel so daunting when I have been given Sacred tools, I have Sacred Sisterhood, I have family and my own magical essence and power, Spirit and Ancestral Wisdom enveloping me. This time is such a gift from Spirit to heal, shed light on the darkness, rebuild, reconnect with self, and break the cycles for my daughter and son. I am eternally grateful for these gifts!


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The Liminal Space

Liminal is the Latin word for “threshold”.  A time between the ‘what was’ and the ‘what’s next’. It is a place of transition, waiting, not knowing.  That moment right before you are about to take the plunge, next step, and make a decision ‘yes’ or ‘no’. It’s an important space filled with choice and great power!

The liminal space or in-between space can be so full of polarizing emotions. I imagine it as this beautiful clearing in the woods where pathways that I have walked lay behind me and fresh new pathways emerge in front of me. A space where there is power to choose the meaningful ways that I can and want to connect to my past. Receiving the wisdom of my Ancestors and learning from my experiences that encompass both successes and failures. I also get to look ahead and choose what my next step is going to be. In one fowl swoop I can catch my breath, move, and ultimately make a decision that may change my life forever and have a great impact on those around me, my community, and even the world!

Photo Taken By Joan Jothi Saldanha Fall 2017

Photo Taken By Joan Jothi Saldanha Fall 2017

I see the liminal space as such a powerful opportunity to be still, reflect, give thanks, breathe, process, and just be in my feelings. We are in a very fast paced world where at the click of a button voila, you have what you want or at times what you don’t want. There has been many times where I wished that I had not pressed ‘send’ and if I had only taken a little more time and thought, I would have done things differently. The liminal space allows for this time and thought.

Sometimes when I am here in this in-between space, I feel overwhelmed by so many different emotions. I feel like this space can hold regret, grief, sadness, resentment, frustration, and anger especially when I look back to some of the not-so favourable paths that I chose to walk along. I know that all of my decisions good or bad have led me to this place, but this does not negate the feelings that arise from some of those experiences. I can come out of an unhealthy relationship, job, or even moment and find myself in this liminal space.  After I’ve had a good scream into my pillow, punched it a few times, and had a good cry, I can hold space, forgive myself, receive the lessons, express my gratitude, breathe, and heal. This space allows me to take pause and reflect on how I got to this very moment in time. I can take these moments, days, weeks, however long I need to sit in it, but I will not get stuck here.

With healing comes release and now this space has even more space for hope, imagination, and exploration. This is now a space where I can feel free and light and know that I have choice with my next move, my next breath. Now in this pause I can ask myself what is it that I really want and what am I capable of doing next?  Again, stillness, breath, reflection, gratitude, process, and activation can be present. To be still and use my body to sit with spirit, connect and listen to Ancestors, to just be with self for some time, is so powerful especially with everything around me being so fast. The liminal space becomes a soft, safe, and supported space for me to be. A space where I surrender to Spirit and trust that I am where I’m supposed to be. A space of magic, abundance, and possibilities!

For me, the liminal space is where I process, heal, rest, gain strength, dream, plan, and then move on. Now I feel ready to take the next step and make a choice as to what path to take.   I can take the next step knowing that I am enough and have everything that I need.

 

“Liminal space is where all transformation takes place, if we were to wait and let it form us.”

-www.liminalspace.org

 

Now that you know that this space exists for you, will you use it to your advantage and spend some time there?  It’s yours to take up!

If you are interested in exploring the liminal space and would like support, please reach out to me.  I am in this space every single day and know it well.

I will be speaking about what this liminal space means to me and will be visually showcasing what it looks like through my art at The Wild Nellies Celebration of Women. Hope to see you there!

Let’s connect!