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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Process Art

When I was young I used to create art to escape from my reality. A difficult reality filled with anger, volatility and unpredictable situations. I was always so afraid and anxious about what was in store for me when I got home or woke up. Art, writing and music helped me feel free and even joyful. I felt that I could breathe and move and most importantly express myself using these tools.

Now as a 40+ woman, I am still healing from some of the things that I experienced as a child, youth, and young adult. I find myself once again using art to help me to process what is coming to the surface. In my last blog post I spoke about this liminal space that I find myself in often. It is in this space that I want to heal so that I can clearly see what lays ahead and which path to take in any given area of my life.

Yesterday, I went outside and took some deep breaths and looked for natural items to make tools with. I touched leaves and snipped at branches and picked out stones and wood. I found dried flowers from the summer before and realised that new buds were appearing all around me. I found thrown away objects that could create interesting shapes. I cut and made paint brushes from fluffly pom poms and twine. Using what I already had, what I made, and Mother Earth’s natural tools, I was ready to create!

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Next step for me was to go inward. What am I feeling, where is my heart and spirit sitting. Part of me feels scattered, multi-tasking, busy, and overwhelmed. Too many pots on the stove. So, I thought of splatter art. Using paint brushes to have fun with colour and make a mess! Art should be fun, free, and unstructured to be able to really let loose and be expressive. I created Splatter Garden cards in honour of Spring. Where the chaos of the splatter meets beautiful blooms. I know that in my messy mind there in lies beautiful thoughts filled with love and light.

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Now I was warmed up and my creative juices were flowing. I used the mark maker tools that I created along traditional paint brushes, water colour and ink to create a Fantasy Garden. I was still feeling the Spring theme, where so much is born and new again. Where life is happening as I type! A space for me to explore, imagine, and play with colour, layering, mark makers, nature’s tools, let go and have fun. Where I could work out some of the business inside of me to create a garden of all the emotions I am feeling.

Creating my Fantasy Garden helped me to release and surrender to process. To breathe through some pain and sadness. To let go and be free for a few hours from responsibility and obligations and be with myself allowing what is inside to appear before me. Creating art creates presence. My spirit is at work when I create.

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So, yeah, this is a glimpse into how I processed my emotions this week using art and even in writing this blog. It is important for me to document what I do, how I feel before and after an arts process, and identifying the benefits and drawbacks. Then I can actually see the process in it’s entirety and do it again!

If you like what you see and are interested in this particular journey, please contact me. I would be honoured to support you.

Happy Spring!

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