I have been SWAMPED like you all must be. I have been busy with my non-profit work, thinking about Halloween costumes, figuring out what I’m going to watch after I finish Luke Cage and planning the rest of my life. It is very stressful as you can image and well I experience waves of anxiety. Usually they crash at 3:30am, I’ll wake powerless by the darkness of night and blinded by the light of my phone as I scroll and scroll and scroll. I’d like to believe I am a go-getting, kickass, Leslie Knope kinda lady but with all this ambition comes self-doubt and anxiety. So, I’ve spent the last week evaluating and modifying my selfcare routine.
My routine incorporates cleaning. On my hands and knees I scrubbed away built up stress, wiped down the nooks and crannies of my anxious heart and purged books, magazines and receipts of buyers remorse. It felt euphoric. I carved out some time for morning yoga on my lanai (balcony) which is really just advanced stretching for the body and soul. Yoga works for me when I need to focus on my breath and resolve my anxiety. I started eating breakfast again ie. smoothie bowls or scrambled eggs, never together. And the creative bug has bit me! I’ve been writing, drawing, painting and scheming. I also talked to my partner about our life together and what we want out of it. It is apparent the new year will bring an exciting adventure our way and now I’ve just got to prepare for it. After my week long “selfcare routine” the feeling of anxiety I thought I was experiencing has identified itself as a mix of island fever and excitement. I am ready for my next step, move, job and experience. But first I must reflect on my time on this island so far.
Here, in Hawaii, there is this thing called Aloha. It means much more than hello and goodbye. It’s the ability to breathe into or share life with another person. To be fully present in their interaction with you and wish them well. I am slowly learning how to incorporate Aloha in all that I do, read, see, hear, and share but I’m not great at it. You know who is?! The little old man who lives next door to me, Arthur. Every morning he’s up tending his mango tree. He’ll see my car approach and in the most genuine and deliberate way he’ll smile, wave and wish me a good morning – sometimes accompanied by mangoes.
I have to bring Arthur with me and the generous spirit of Aloha he embodies whenever and whereever I go. Being kinder, softer, more patient and overall more grateful has been a new addition to my selfcare. I am a New Yorker, born and bred in a whirlwind of sights, sounds and agenda. My norm has always been determination and resiliency but I’ll be focusing this last leg of my Hawaiian adventure on being more mindful and Aloha such as reminding myself to appreciate that winter is not coming, I don’t need a yoga teacher to move my body and breathe and that interactions with people are what I’m really after. I won’t be leaving the island anytime soon but I definitely won’t be here forever. While I’m here I’d like to share some Aloha with you.
How do you spread Aloha?
Any remedies for anxiety?
What’s your selfcare routine?
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P.S. I decided to be Frida Kahlo for Halloween. She perfectly accompanied my creative kick and didn’t cost me a dime! Can you tell how excited I am about being a smiling Frida and the future?!
Soul sister: Million Reasons by Lady Gaga