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The Lady on the Winchester Veranda

To me, finding peace of mind and rest in a world that's plagued with hustle culture and the need to please is really difficult. Time and peace, the two things I long for the most, are sometimes the hardest to find. Let's talk about it.

woman holding a book, next to a coffee mug

I have always said this because I think it is so vitally important when speaking about body love. You cannot love yourself if you don't know yourself. And part of getting to know yourself is becoming self-aware and giving yourself time and space, becoming gracious with your being as it moulds and grows.

You cannot love yourself if you don't know yourself.

So what does that look like? For me, becoming gracious with your being is firstly allowing yourself to experience life and its offerings without judgement of self of insecurity of others judging you. It's about becoming radically present in things that bring you joy. And most of all, giving space and time to the things that bring you joy.

The Lady on the Winchester Veranda

This is a story about a lady that truly reawakened the importance of this concept for me. I had just finished shooting for Hectic Nine-9 and my mind was busy. I was questioning my answers and I needed to get away and just breath for a little bit. To celebrate my mom treated me to a meal on the Veranda at the Winchester hotel. It was beautiful and a core memory that I will not soon forget. But as the meals slowly started to come out of the kitchen and as the sun began set on the sea, this lady sitting diagonally from me caught my eye. She was there when we arrived and I assumed she was waiting for someone. An icy G&T arrived at her table and immediate joy and gratitude fulled her face. She got up, took off her wide brimmed hat and switched sides for a better view of the sunset. With a smile on her face she slowly sipped the G&T. Not once did she pick up her phone or a book or any distraction for that matter. She just sat and watched and sipped and smiled. The gratitude for life radiated off of her. A few long moments later her meal arrived. She thanked the waiter and then just looked at it for a while with a large smile on her face. Each mouthful was a moment for her. I thought to myself, "wow she would make an amazing ad for this place, because she is making me have orders regret even with the best meal in front of me." With every bite she would close her eyes, knock her chin back and just savour the moment. She bought tears to my eyes as I asked the question, when last did I just sit and experience joy with space and gratitude and a presentness that grounded me deeply?

Choosing joy and gratitude is an act of self love:

“Sometimes you need to sit lonely on the floor in a quiet room in order to hear your own voice and not let it drown in the noise of others.” ― Charlotte Eriksson

Finding the silent moments and becoming present is essential to better understand your core truth.

To me this looks like meditation. It looks like finding the quiet moments where I can be truly present in my mind and body. It looks like prayer. It also looks like gratitude. Becoming radically grateful for the little things in your life that bring you joy. It can also look like doing things alone that you've always wanted to do, with or without someone, and finding the value in alone time. The truth is, it comes in many forms, and some will work for you and some won't, but the importance of it stays the same. Finding peace, creating space, becoming present, experiencing joy, all essential in your walk to self discovery.

Let go of the fear and judgement that comes with looking like you're alone. You do not need to whip out your phone and pretend to scroll instagram because you think people will think you're strange for standing, sitting or existing alone. Find peace in being alone. Find time and space to become present. And once you do, let that presentness and self-awareness guide you forward in your journey to knowing yourself so that you can better love yourself.


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