The Austin Woman staff share their journey to full acceptance of self.
Director of Events and Branding Strategy
My self-love journey has been a life-long pursuit. Many early-life adverse experiences had seeded in my heart an internal shame, a feeling that somehow the challenges and pain I felt were a reflection of who I was, and not the people and circumstances surrounding me. When I was 19, I began to learn more about the social and historical disparities and traumas that had shaped me and my life. Learning this larger story allowed me to see my unique manifestation in this world as bold, beautiful and full of love. It’s an ongoing practice in seeking knowledge that allows me to know what is mine and to leave the rest. Once I was able to cut out others’ projected pain, I was able to embrace and love myself more and more unconditionally.
I’m definitely still in the process of my self-love journey. As a queer woman there were definitely times where I felt I needed to hide certain parts of myself or my personality, but I have made a ton of progress in accepting and celebrating those parts of myself now. I would say the most important thing I’ve learned over the years is that you need to surround yourself with people who not only love the person you are, but also help you become the person you want to be. Unless I’m three glasses of wine in and decide I want to be the kind of person that can do a cartwheel…No one should encourage me to do that.
I’m turning 40 this month, and while reflecting on this question, I have realized that self-love looks a lot different to me now than it used to. I’m at a place where I need 30 to 60 minutes a day to do something just for me. That could be a run, treating myself to a glass of my favorite wine in the backyard or enjoying coffee and breakfast at one of many local favorite spots. Self-love is a journey and about making sure that you’re checking in with yourself and allowing yourself the grace that you need to grow no matter what stage of life you are in.
Self-love begins and ends with music for me. Much like most women, I’m still on the journey to find the perfect way to really love the “self.” However, I find immense peace and calm in my spirit from music. And yoga. Yeah, I know. But it helps to physically stretch me beyond my limits and get myself truly centered. In fact, when the world weighs too much, the breathing that is yoga’s foundation lifts the burden off me like you wouldn’t believe. A good 30 minutes of yoga, breathing meditation and the sounds of Blue Six’s Aquarian Angel…The feeling of absolute calm and clarity is divine.