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Self Love Advocate  A journey of self-healing and facilitating holistic healing spaces for others 🌙 meditation • compassion • arts • energy • alchemy @lovingbotanica 🌿

Today I begin my journey with @pusssywitch and the Pleasure Witch Academy by setting my intentions for the course. Setting my intentions with some free flow writing - "I want to heal all of the wounds created by men who stole my power and made my body feel like a tool for their personal gratification only. I want to offer my teen self the comfort and support she needed then".
The path to healing is a lifes work. But with every step, I become lighter, as I let go of pain, resentment, anger and grief. With each trigger, I explore to find myself in a more empowered state of being ♡

Artwork by Erté
Our sexuality and sensuality is deeply connected with our sacral chakra. Issues relating to sexual trauma and negative cultural views can harm the flow and cause a ripple effect throughout our lives. Problems with menstruation, procreation and sexual relationships will often stem from this chakra being out of alignment. But this chakra governs more than our sexuality, it is also responsible for our creativity, desire, inspiration and lust for life. It opens for joy, beauty and pleasure of all kinds.
Healing this intimate part of the self can lead to sexual empowerment, better communication in intimate relationships and ignite passion.
Which is why I have set my intentions on travelling down this path of healing with the @pusssywitch academy. Thank you Luna for offering this support to the many 🔥

Many moons ago, I cofounded @lovingbotanica apothecary with my dear Mum. But long before that we were soap making, essential oil blending and doing crystal work. I can recall my mum doing yoga upside down against a wall when I was a wee toddler 🌼🙏
My first memory of seeing an energy therapist was when I was only 5 years old. Her name was Gwyn and she introduced me to all of the crystals I love dear. The next divine Goddess introduced me to tarot and smudging. Her name was Sage and she taught me to cherish the seasons. We would visit her in her forest teepee where she grew her herbs and lived off the land with no power or running water. In my teens, I met Jane who showed me the value of meditation, astrology and numerology. She offered me supportive tools for healing and encouraged my journey and growth.
I am grateful for all of the strong women who have cared for me, taught me and helped to empower me throughout my life. Especially to my mum, who sought alternative therapies long long ago, which lead to this passion I have now ♡♡♡

I work from bed more days than I actually leave the house. I don't brush my hair or wear make up because I can't be bothered. I wear the same outfit with slight variations almost every day, not due to a lack of inspiration but due to a lack of energy and a distaste for discomfort. The longer I have mentally battled with my chronic fatigue, the more I have refined where to place my energy. Above all else, my intentions lie with health - healthy body, healthy mind and a healthy relationship to self. With the numerous directions I have steered, I have never felt the sense of peace I do now. Accepting chronic fatigue as part of my lifestyle has taken fine tuning of every aspect of life. It has been a blessing in disguise, a gift that keeps on giving and teaching me to grow. Continually reaffirming the value in connecting with myself ♡

Sometimes I'm not sure what to do with my heavy heart. I can access moments of pain from long ago and feel them as raw as they were now. I want to let go and release the hurt. And sometimes I do ♡
For me, there has been no pain comparable to that of a friendship breakdown. I have lost loved ones to death and found those easier to grieve. I have lost relationships with lovers I felt an eternal affinity with. But those were easier to predict as they came with a warning "this may not last". Nothing has struck me as hard as the sudden loss of kinship from those I loved unconditionally. Those I chose as my family, my soul sisters and brothers.
The thing about loving unconditionally, is that not many have mastered the art. You may see them with their strengths and weaknesses, and vow to love them through it all, accept them exactly as they are and as they evolve. But that does not mean you can rely on the same unconditional love in return.
This is my weakness. But it is also my strength. I open my heart to compassion, I see beneath the surface layers and find the truth behind the words, the actions and thoughts. I see the light in everyone and I meet them with this tender heart. With empathy, I let them in.
My past may prove that I have assumed the same of others. I thought they could see me, feel me, hear me, understand me. I thought they could trust me as I trusted them. The pain of learning this is not so is a burden.
My journey on this Earth is to continue meeting all beings with this open heart. To avoid closing off and becoming hard. To become accustomed to the ebb and flow. To learn how to love from afar and to not feel weighed down by the grief of another. It is to protect myself from their projected views and to trust in myself unconditionally. I owe myself that unconditional love and space, at the least. For I am the longest and most intimate friendship I will ever have ♡

@yogitea for extra cycle support. Do you use any herbs or rituals to support your cycle? I actively track the moon to predict when I should start wearing darker undies haha and I begin to eat more nuts, seeds and avocado for the healthy fats and proteins that give me energy during a week which can be quite physically draining for me. Although I cycle with the full moon - traditionally a time for fullness of energy and manifestions coming to be - I find that I need a lot of downtime for self care and rejuvenation. Taking this time eases the pain of my cramping and all over muscle pain. What have you noticed about your own cycles? Do you become more emotionally sensitive like me? And do you have any killer tips for self care and furthering your connection to self?

Let's talk about sex! *trigger warning for sexual assault and rape
At the end of last year, when the #metoo movement was brought into the spotlight, a lot of my own internal baggage was triggered. It became difficult to process so many suppressed emotions at once. I was overwhelmed by pain, sadness for the younger me who was without support, and rage for the power that was taken from me. My daily meditation practice became a daily session of reliving that pain and offering myself the support I needed then. As I was processing the pain of a decade past, I found it difficult to place my focus on anything else. I was drained emotionally and physically. Allowing my partner to touch me became difficult too, which lead me to questioning when I've allowed my body to be mine. In past relationships, I carried with me the trauma my body endured. I considered how many times I gave an enthusiastic yes for consent, and they were rare. That initial sexual relationship set up an unhealthy pattern of me saying yes simply to avoid emotional blackmail and abusive behaviour. I'm 27 years old, and after a decade of sexual relationships, I am now finally with a partner who won't accept anything less than my absolute enthusiastic consent. It is unfamiliar to me, and sometimes I feel less desirable despite knowing otherwise. I grew accustomed to the nagging and protests, to the assault, the emotional abuse and to giving my power away to another. Like many women, I became a talented actress, faking it to finish things faster. I was used to viewing sex as a chore. My sex life was uninspired and it wasn't mine. It took me a really long time to realise that so much of what did happen to me was assault and rape. Although I always felt violated, I also felt like I didn't have a voice. I felt the pressure from society and partners to feel more sexual or want it more often. And I also felt the shame it casts onto women for expressing their own needs and desires. At many points I hated sex so much I even considered if I were asexual. Until I realised that I didn't hate sex at all... continue reading in comments ⬇️⬇️⬇️

10 minutes ago, I was on the brink of having a panic attack. When I was a teenager I would feel them coming as my emotions began to overwhelm me and my thoughts circled. My instinct was to flee, run away as far as possible, and I often did. I would run until I wasn't sure of where I was anymore, find a park and hide. I hid to be alone, find peace and get back to me. Sometimes I would call a friend in tears and they'd remind me to breathe. Sometimes they would try to rationalize with me but that didn't always work. See, once we feel fear, whether it be instinctive or rooted in our minds, the sensation permeates our entire body. It isn't easy to overcome that kind of overbearing energy. As I grew older, I found mindfulness and found it easier to talk myself down, remind myself to do breathing exercises and guide myself into calmer reactions. Though the reactions appeared calmer, the energy was still present and sometimes still overwhelming. Instead of crying and yelling hysterically or running away and hiding, instead of thinking the worst, I began to faint. It would seem there were no nerves or symptoms up until the few seconds before it happened. My eyes would become blurred and though I'd appear to be awake, I would momentarily lose consciousness. It would seem that talking my nerves down was more likely suppressing them until the point of losing control. I haven't fainted in a while, but I do occasionally become overwhelmed by my emotions. Instead of suppressing them, I have learned to express them in more positive and useful ways. Sometimes I just need to dance the energy away. Sometimes I journal and give myself permission to cry. And other times I'm fortunate enough to be reminded of artistic expression. Today was one of those days. And despite paper not being big enough for the explosive energy I harboured, this packing box made for a fulfilling canvas. As I scribbled, I broke 3 pastels and released much of the unwanted tension in my hands. My breath returned to normal and I can think clearly again. I'm reminded of how far I have come along the journey of self expression and grateful for all of the people and tools I have found along the way ♡

This is me right now. The first photograph is selfie no. 27 because I didn't enjoy my reflection in the first 26 photographs. They are unedited with poor quality lighting. I realised after a year of expressing myself openly on this account, that most of my photographs are from when I'm having a 'pretty' day. When I've recently dyed my eyebrows and I'm feeling 'less ugly'. I don't think of myself as ugly, until I look into the mirror and begin to focus on my flaws. My blackheads, my swollen eyes, fair eyebrows and lashes. Looking into the mirror is a reminder of why I feel inadequate. I tell myself that I have the face of a child with wrinkles. I often blame this youthful face for why so many people don't take me seriously or trust my inner wisdom. I tell myself that I'm not ugly when... when I have my eyebrows on, after the puffiness goes away, after this and that, if I catch the right light and hide my swollen glands from eating wheat last week, if my hair looks full instead of lifeless... After years of positive mantras and reconditioning to feel beautiful in my natural skin, I'm still surrounded by negative self-talk. The road to feeling worthy, feeling whole, feeling beautiful, is long, windy and bumpy. I can remember praying to god at 6, asking to stay blonde and thin, as though that was the only way our culture would find me beautiful. A lot has changed since then, but I still expect myself to grow luscious Bridget Bardot style hair and stay under a certain weight range. I criticize myself for eating 'too much' or the 'wrong things'. I binge to fill the hole, and then criticize myself for seeking what it is I need from an unhealthy place. I criticize myself for not looking after my skin enough, for not drinking more water or getting more facials. For not doing more sit ups or going to the gym more. I'm aware that my expectations are unrealistic, so few of us can 'have it all'; the relationships, the careers, the family, the perfect body and all that we're told to strive for. And yet we keep on striving and using self-criticism as our motivator. But what if we could use positive reinforcement for inspiration?
Continued in comments

Are you feeling the power of this full moon? 🌝 Falling in the Earth sign of Capricorn, represented by the mountain goat who climbs upwards whilst remaining grounded, stable and in balance. To harness this energy, momentarily reflect on the journey you've travelled over the past 5 months, and allow yourself to release any stagnant energy which is ready to transform. This moon will bring closure and healing, as you move into the manifesting phase with a focus on your ambitions and goals. ✨ Though this cosmic energy has been strong - I've been in bed for days now - it has also been positive! I've made new business relationships, acquired critical equipment to empower me as a business owner, and finally settled into a new chapter with our fresh studio space. This energy has inspired me to focus on @lovingbotanica with love, joy and optimism

Sometimes, when my experience feels invalidated by the words of another, I tend to ruminate on what I should have or should say to feel heard. In many circumstances, we don't have the opportunity to share our story or when we do, we may not feel heard at all. And when I feel this way, I find myself retelling my story to myself over and over again, to validate my emotions or to find a solution that helps me to feel heard. My self love journey has taken me down many different roads, and one very important one is learning to seek validation and self worth from myself instead of others. Admitting that I do care about what some people think of me and reminding myself that that is also okay, is another huge step. Afterall, we are human beings with an intrinsic need to feel unconditional love and acceptance. So when we are fooled into believing that is what we are receiving from another and eventually wake to a cold reality, it makes sense that it can take time to digest. Sometimes that time drags on for years. And even when it doesn't make sense, it is also okay. Everything we do, everything thought we have is to fulfill a need 💖 When I notice myself ruminating, I remind myself of the opportunity being presented to continue learning, and the ways which I can grow to love and trust in myself moreso. Instead of dismissing unwanted thoughts, I allow them to play out in my head as though I am telling my story to another person. I allow them to feel heard. And then I validate myself with kindness and compassion. My journey is important and I am loved unconditionally by myself, the universe and those who value me. I have a voice and I am heard 🙏 Allowing myself to feel heard - instead of criticising myself to stop having useless thoughts or other horrible self talk - immediately brings a feeling of ease and a noticeable rise in my mood and vibration. This mantra assists me in letting go piece by piece, to trust in myself more and offer myself the validation I require

Clean eating isn't always easy, nor is it cheap. Which is why I love the simplicity of Mexican food. It's fresh, packed full of nutrients, delicious and hearty 💖 For some people, food equals love. Especially if you come from a family where most love and joy was shared at the dinner table. As humans, we need love and connection to survive. However connected we may think we are, some of us aren't meeting those needs. In times when I'm feeling the least connected, when I'm feeling highly emotional or lacking in self worth, I look to food for comfort. And then I mentally beat myself up over my choices. This love hate relationship has lasted my entire life. Every year I heal a little more and the journey becomes a little easier. The key is finding balance. Balance between your needs and values. Balancing the thoughts in your head and compassion in your heart. I'm always trying to get that balance right. Balancing which foods will meet the needs of my body and which one's will bring joy to my heart. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to food. So tailor your own plan for you and keep revising it as you heal and grow 🌱🌿 For years now I have challenged myself to live wheat, meat, dairy and sugar free. I've cut out nightshades and gmo, and a lot more. I've done raw diets and more juice cleanses than I can count. Sometimes for the purpose of assisting my CFS and others for weight loss. But no matter my goal, I did them all with shame and self ridicule. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what you are feeding yourself when you're adding a side of criticism and self loathing. If you're always focusing on what you're doing "wrong" then you'll always be feeding yourself a huge slice of negativity. And no body prospers from low frequency thought patterns. So be kind to yourself and look to the positives. Sometimes it is going to be good for you to eat that cake. Simply remind yourself of the reasons why. Show yourself the endless kindness and compassion you deserve and leave that judgement at the door 🍰

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