the subtraction of self-care

“Your body knows, like the river flows, and she will see you through to the other side”

"Soul Sister" by MaMuse

I love you enough to tell you, "slow it down." Do less. I remember hearing the phrase “less is more,” often in childhood. I can vividly remember my mom telling me this subtle phrase as I caked Clinique foundation on my perfectly smooth adolescent face, and as I added frosty white lip gloss to my lips, and smeared on black eye liner, far too thick. "Less is more" was not sticking. Later, I incorporated this mantra into minute areas of my life - maybe when trying to get a point across in a college essay, or explaining myself in a heated debate. Yet, outside of those few glimmers of my life, I have continuously piled on more and more and more. More expectation. More things. More people, places, things.

Listen, this is NOT a blog suggesting you go all minimalist on me… keep your drawers messy, I don’t give a shit. What I do care about, is the “do more” mentality we are all slapping each other in the face with during this pandemic. Friend, you do not need to make jam, clean out all your closets, and teach your first grader algebra. Honestly, I don’t personally know what you need. BUT this is the fun part, you get to figure it out. You get to dig around for your intuition of what you want, need, and crave. Right now, this very second! Remember intuition? That little voice that calls to you, gently nudging you to make a choice; yet so often we say back to her, “Yeah, got it, but this other bright and shiny thing is better.” Now is the time to start asking ourselves, “What do I need in this moment?” Food? Water? A shower? A hug? Make the jam? Pet the dog? A good solid cry? Some time outside? Online shopping? There is no "right" here, and there is certainly no wrong.

So, what happens to our gut instinct? Trauma. I know, such a buzz word. We have started using that delicate word when we just describe a day at the office, “Work was traumatizing today.” But, today I am using it as it was intended to be used. Trauma is an event that changes how we respond to the world around us. And guess what, we are ALL mid-trauma right now. Yes, you. You are experiencing trauma. As we experience situations that are less than ideal, we begin to have a more activated fight, flight, freeze response. Which isn’t super handy, when we want to make dinner, or go for a walk in peace. Trauma takes away our ability to have a gut instinct, but it is not permanent if we do the work. (Doing the work = therapy. Like real therapy, not following someone on Instagram that’s motivating). You can do some things today to start your work. You can slow down. You can shift negative self-talk into positive affirmations. You can become curious. As curious as a little child…

Practice asking yourself:

  • What does my body feel like right now?

  • What does it feel like to be me right now?

  • Can I allow myself to be in this space?

  • What would feel nurturing?

  • Is anything actually urgent?

  • What feels truly important? How do I know important from anxious?

In closing, here is my love letter to you today. Soak it in. If you have the space, I encourage you to write your own, and carry it around.

Dear One,

You are exactly where you are meant to be. You have all the answers within you. Please find someone to share your thoughts and feelings with today. You are meant to be seen and heard. You were never meant to be perfect, you were meant to be you.

Find something that brings you joy, even if it is sitting on the couch. When we find joy, we find peace.

And let’s all hope that frosty white lipgloss never comes back into the fashion scene.

With all my love,


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