Wonder Wander is a monthly feature on things that I’m loving, feeling, musing and exploring.
I moved! Just upstairs in my house. A new space for my studio as the season changes. I’ve also been experiencing some heady internal shifts, letting go of old patterns and layering cozy textures in my new workspace/reading area. The intense retrograde season has left me needing some serious r&r. I’m feeling parched from the summer heat and ready to dip into the cool autumn nights.
I was confronted with some old relationship patterns as an empath. It’s called codependent fuckery. I saw the relationship dynamic clearly like I was pedaling uphill through old patterns with a heightened awareness. It was not pretty.
Codependent fuckery can warp your vitality, flow, and capacity for pleasure. Not feeling seen and valued when you have to care for other people’s wellbeing is so exhausting and isolating as a deeply sensitive person.
I read a quote today: “Pain travels through families until someone is ready to feel it.” -Stephi Wagner (via April Cheri). I’m letting go of multigenerational patterns of martyrdom, sacrifice, deprivation, and codependency that was rearing its head in my relationships and work habits.
Since then, I’ve been in a deep inquiry about what I need to thrive, not just hit goals to fulfill a certain expectation. I’m redefining a new relationship to self-care as I take up more space – metaphorically and literally.
Feelers + deep sea divers, your empathy, your emotional reserve is your greatest asset. Self-care is like hydration. It’s necessary and practical. Self-care is essential to your wellbeing and fulfillment. Energy is a finite resource.
I realized that I haven’t felt at home since my childhood. I was caught up in flight or fight mode. I limited myself, and overgiving-overdoing-overextending have been the norm. Running away or chasing the next destination became an escape. I belittled and judged my desires since I had more pressing matters, where I placed other people’s needs before my own. My self slowly diminished over time. Deprivation became a way of being. I felt invisible. I wanted to stop hiding, but I didn’t understand how to show up fully. I felt miserable and resentful even if I was accomplishing goals.
I realized that I never really asked myself what I needed to feel emotionally nourished; what kind of environment and relationships I needed, not just aesthetically or functionally but energetically as a personal ecosystem.
Each time I’m confronted with this pattern, I see it in a new angle. There are so many layers and nuances to our core lessons, so if you are doing the inner work, and you feel like it’s never going to end, don’t be too discouraged. You are deepening into a relationship with yourself. DO prioritize taking care of yourself and setting healthy boundaries. Be gentle and keep giving yourself permission. It’s not going to happen overnight. Implementing changes take time. It’s complicated (because it usually involves the other). As I witness myself deeply, I am able to hold space for the other without invalidating their needs. There’s room for all of us.
- What kind of conditions/structures/environment do I need to thrive?
- What do I desire? What do I want? (I wrote a whole page of “I want… with each desire.)
- How do I want to take up space? How do I want to show up every day?
- How can I recommit to my desires? How can I consistently show up for the things that make me feel alive?
- How can I be with my desire in my current situation? How can I anchor my desires in the present moment? Without having to run away, or be in a new situation to access my desires.
- How can I nurture my needs? How can I reparent myself so I can allow my expression to breathe?
- What is your ideal day in the present circumstances? What is your ideal day in your dream life?
- How do I want to feel while I work? How do I want to feel making money?
- What is self-care to you?
After I’ve written a few pages, I like to go back and highlight the keywords and themes that stand out to me. I hold these words like mantras and guiding posts to steer my life in the ideal direction.
I get to decorate my studio as my first self-care project! I’ve also been moodboarding to extract the themes of my life visually. I’ve been drawn to pink in earthy, warm, muted shades. Like a soft, tender place to land after all of the emotional clearing. I’m calling it my womb space. Self-care looks like a renewed relationship with my sensuality, where I am embodying my desires and surrounding myself in colors, textures, scents, sounds, flavors and art that reflect this new way of being. Self-care enlivens and energizes my body and my connection to life.
Autumn is after all the season for velvet and wool. After much frustration at the lack of eco or ethical options in the desired aesthetic for throw pillows, I decided to DIY my own cushions. I was so delighted to discover the perfect earthy shade of pink can be produced by using avocado pits to dye fabric. Acting on my desires took me down a rabbit hole, where I discovered new possibilities in alignment with my values. It also affirmed latent desires, like my longing to have a tactile process with my hands.
When you’re consumed with the other, it’s hard to hear your own soul whispers. When you are drawn to something that shatters your preconception, suspend your judgment and lean in. What you’re drawn to is bringing out different aspects of you, bringing you closer to your authentic self. Honor your desires, no matter how small it may seem. Sometimes, you need a nod, a hug, an affirmation, a sumptuous velvet pillow to know that you are alive, pulsating with desire, a miraculous being of creation.
Self-care is taking your pleasure seriously. Self-care is an act of co-creation with life.
I gathered helpful information on ethical textiles, home brands, and DIY tutorials, so you can decorate mindfully for the cooler seasons. Image credit (clockwise from the top on the moodboard).
- Pampas Monte Pom Pom Cushion made by Monte Weavers in Argentina (top left). Pampas is an Australian fair trade company who partners with artisans around the world.
- Pantone Pale Dogwood (image via Pinterest)
- Interior image via Pinterest
- Rebecca Desnos’s tutorial on avocado dye and top tips for pink (bottom right)
- Interested in experimenting with natural dyes? Read this post by A Beautiful Mess with an overview of color, fibers, colors, tools, instructions, and resources.
- Citizenry’s Diamanta Throw in Blush (bottom left). A small batch home goods company who works with master artisans.
- Man Repeller’s article on sustainable fashion fabrics that are also widely used for home goods.
- Material Guide: How Sustainable is Velvet? An article on the history of velvet, how it’s made and the ethics of silk velvet.
- How Ethical is Commercial Silk vs. Peace Silk Really?
- Have You Herd? Cruelty-Free Wool Is the Latest Trend in Sustainable Fashion.
- The Best Sustainable and Ethical Knitting Yarn For Your Next Project