Johanna joined one of my workshops at De Bewustzijn School. She came back a second time and she told me how enthusiastic she is about Take Care of Your Selfie. She also asked if she could join the team?! We had a coffee and both got really enthusiastic about working together. I got to know her a little better in working with her but we also became friends. Johanna has an incredible big heart, is smart, funny and creative. I feel incredibly lucky to have her in my team. Of course we talk a lot about self-care, this time written on paper. Read her story, rituals and tips in this interview!
Was there a specific moment in your life when you felt self-care is very important?
“It started beginning of this year when I began to feel on the edge of a burn-out: an inner built-up of immense unhealed pain and trauma wounds, that I’ve carried since my childhood. Returning cycles of darkness in form of depression and anxiety were regular visitors since, I believe, forever. I was used to fight, to fix, to try to brighten or find my way through that by continuing to disregard all signs of my body and inner state for another eight months. Hiding behind a mask – that “I am okay” with a smile- while deep inside I felt a part of was slowly dying. Eventually, I got physically sick and everything collapsed, inside and outside. That was an invitation to learn to love the broken parts and an immense gift. Only when everything collapses - all that doesn't serve any longer, the old painful programming, hurtful self-sabotaging beliefs - something new and wonderful grows and is created with love.”
What does taking care of yourself mean to you?
“Self-love became my foundation and carrying me through my challenging time. I am currently recovering with witnessing all the deep downs and shadow parts that come along with it. Acknowledging where I am in my own process with loving awareness is a daily practice. That also comes with accepting my own tempo and not being judgmental or hard on myself. It is not about getting it right immediately, but to keep on going based on what resonates with my inner truth and being.”
“Setting boundaries and speaking my inner truth is also part of self-love. Recently I expressed my love when I was holding it back out of fear and removed the mask towards my father. I shared openly about my depression which I never did before. A very liberating step and I created more space for love within myself.”
What do you do when you feel the need to take care of yourself?
“It is about finding the right balance of slowing down and being active, of being in solitude and socializing with people I trust and feel connected to. From practicing yoga, mediating to ecstatic dance. Simply doing nothing and moving from doing to being. Which is challenging at times when a lot of emotions are coming up. But they want to be felt and seen.”
“Also, throughout the year I did a lot of inner child work. A part of self-care is for me connecting with the beautiful qualities of her that are playfulness, curiosity, joy and being creative. So, I find activities where I can embrace them such as painting. I started to express my inner journey visually. It gives my emotions and feelings a voice and I honor them by allowing them to be. It is always a big surprise in what form, shape or color it will come out. I was painting a flower field aquarelle and I slightly “fucked” up one corner. Well, actually my adult thought I fucked up while my inner child was like: “Hey, let’s make a monkey out of it.”
What is your TCOYS tip to other people?
“When the dark comes trust that it is necessary. Darkness is a rich part of the natural cycle of growth. Take your time for your well-being otherwise you are not in ease with yourself. With one conscious step at a time, create a life you are fully in love with. That is what I want for myself and everybody out there. Love has the power to heal and transform, self-love is the foundation. When we are in a state of love we feel not just happy but also healthy.”