Self-lovery: Loving Yourself Back

Words and Photography by Siâ Irv and Emily NardiniBeing in your 20’s and plus…we are all on the journey of self fucking discovery. With our self esteem, views, beliefs, interests – overall ourselves. We work. If that’s 9-5, creatively and free or both. In all that mist, we get caught up. So caught up, we can lose nourishing our minds, bodies and souls a little with late productive nights and overthinking. When we do have those moments which we should make more frequently to self care, what truly soothes you? The smaller things in life can make our hearts beat too…face masks, reading, writing, photography, documentaries, crystals, art, exercise, music, bubble baths, exfoliating, meditation with candles and the list goes on. We must remember that the world does move on without you in regards to creativity if you sleep on yourself, but equally we must take care of ourselves so we feel like our inner Beyoncé again at full bloom. We should not be ashamed of having a balance. Relax and vibrate – you’re are the only one of your kind. – Emily“You might start to doubt whether ration is truthful. But life is sweet when your passion is fruitful.” – George the PoetOur body is our life long home. Our mind is what builds us, and gives us access to our full potential. Our body is where we exist. Our mind is what makes us who we are, giving us passion, energy and individuality. These are inevitabilities! And for this reason, it makes sense for us to invest in time for ourselves. We are taught by society to sacrifice care of ourselves for care for others. But how can we truly build others up if we are running on empty ourselves?Recognise, and break bad habits. I used to get myself into an unconscious routine where, after a stressful day, I found myself coming home, making food and taking it straight upstairs to bed. In the shallow mind of instant gratification, the bed was my comfort zone- somewhere I went to relax. But this habit was unhealthy. It meant that the energy in my bedroom was transforming from a genuinely serene and relaxing atmosphere where I would rest and recharge, to somewhere where I would offload all the negativity from the day and wallow in it. Lying in bed emotionally exhausted and doing nothing about it until I fell asleep meant that I would internalise that energy and carry it into the next day. The instant comfort I got from my bed caused longer term exhaustion because I was ignoring it rather than lifting myself away from it.This seems like such a simple thing, but small changes make such a huge difference. Rather than making speed food and carrying it to my bed so as not to go to sleep hungry (another old habit that took a long time to break – even in doing so, accidentally tripping into a new bad habit), I would take my time in the kitchen, transferring my energy to make a meal that would in turn become something restorative to myself. I would eat and enjoy it in my lounge – a room which I often neglect when slipping into these bad habits. This is my creative hub. The ‘living’ room – quite literally, the space where I live. Where my creativity flows. Where I paint, read, throw the back door open and sit on my balcony, enveloped by evening sun and cool air.Take time for yourself. Find what nourishes your soul and spirit, and throw your whole self into it. For me, this is art. Again, something which has evolved with me as a person, and helped me grow. I paint, I take photos, I create wearable pieces. This is my passion. I am lucky enough to endorse my creativity in my day job as an Art Teacher, where I talk and share knowledge about my passion daily. I love it to the ends of the earth, but as with any job, it doesn’t come without its stresses. It is important to recognise that, and be responsible for taking the steps to ensure that it doesn’t bring you down. My passion is in my day job as well, so I would hate to associate it in any way with stress or sadness.I find comfort and peace in my creativity. My art pieces are the result of my creative energy flowing from within me into something physical, and this shows in the end results. My painting, photographs, writing and jewellery are all things that I am incredibly proud of, and in turn push me to be a better version of myself, a more creative entity. But, unless I ensure that I have taken care of myself first, these art pieces would not exist. The creation cannot exist without the creator.Unless you make sure that your mind is healthy and happy, you will never reach your full potential. How can you do your best if you are only half full within yourself? You cannot achieve your goals unless you are looking after yourself first. Self-care sometimes looks like face masks, a glass of wine, a bubble bath. Sometimes it looks like crystals, meditation, and spirituality. Sometimes, it is recognising the need to be alone, and sometimes it is recognising that purposeful isolation is feeding negativity. Sometimes it is recognising your support network and understanding that spending time with them to raise your vibration is not a weakness. Sometimes it is as simple as taking yourself outside and getting some fresh air.What it never looks like, is complacency. Rest is necessary, restorative and important, but to find yourself in a pattern or a habit of staying still, is not good for the mind, body or soul. As the old saying goes, a rolling stone gathers no moss. Find time each day to consider how to drive yourself forward- whatever that may look like. The key is to invest in yourself. -Siâ

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