Self-care in a Box

skincare products

Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. ~ Oprah

I need no reminding how short life is, as the quote above states. Hence, lately I’ve been relearning to be more compassionate to others and also to myself.

When you’re going through something (in my case, grief and uncertainty the war nearby brings), it’s easy to notice people who are not showing up for you, especially if those people are in your front row seat. It’s easy to feel anger towards people who act in questionable ways, dismissing and diminishing your pain, whether they do it intentionally or not. 

But I’ve come to a point where I’m letting go of all that hurt, disappointment, and expectations I impose on others. Because you know what, we are all going through something! Whoever is saying otherwise is smoking something. Seriously, I think the collective grief from the pandemic alone has worn all of us out. No-one is bringing anyone “casserole” anymore, we have to cook our own.

So, I’ve been tidying up my mental space this spring, and choosing compassion over judgement. That means self-care to me. Apparently, true self-care is self-compassion. I like this thought a lot.

As usual, I’d love to hear your thoughts. First, in what ways are you cutting people some slack? Second, how are you taking care of yourself, nowadays? Please do share, we could all learn from each other!

Note: By the way, self-care did literally come packed in a box; my prize (pictured above) from the Body-Positivity Contest. I’ve been wrapping myself in all this goodness. Many thanks to the contest sponsors Akanni Beauty for catering to grown women’s skincare needs, Koelevate for inspiring my own physical exercise routine as I whip myself back into shape 🙂 and all other sponsors I might not have mentioned.

To learn more about what both these brands stand for, check them out and also connect with them on Instagram, if you’re there. It’s Workers’ Day, after all. We could show some appreciation for the amazing work individuals behind these meaningful businesses do.

Happy May Day, Everyone!

The Passage Migrant Returns

bird fieldfare

it’s April—
the passage migrant returns
to remind us we are never alone;
Mother Nature gives in abundance

giih, kräk-ksäk-ksäk
Mr Fieldfare grumpily preaches
invest in our planet!

backstory: To state the obvious, it is indeed April. I know this because the fieldfare is back, and I’m grateful for the chatter in my backyard. In the mornings, I listen to bird song homophonics and try to transcribe what I think I’ve heard. This past Friday, I think the thrush was saying “invest in our planet!” Perhaps, because it was Earth Day. 🙂

And, on my favourite poetry podcasts, The Poetry Magazine Podcast has been my staple ever since it started. Badilisha Poetry X-Change; an online collective of African poets is more than a poetry radio but a movement… And I’m also loving The Slowdown. Hope this is enough poetry to brighten your days.

Enjoy the season!

A Stranger Gave Me A Poem

whinchat bird

A stranger gave me a poem

[ ]

That poem gave me solace
and it was all I needed
to know I was not alone
despite the silence, for grief
is very personal yet universal.

backstory: Sherry Marr is certainly no stranger to me. She is one of the supportive members of my poetry community; a poet whose love for the natural world makes me want to become an ecopoet, when I grow up.

When I was staggering down the street, holding my bleeding hand, Sherry pointed me to Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer’s poetry. And what I found among her writings was a podcast, Emerging Form, she hosts with her friend Christie Aschwanden.

Though this is a creative process podcast rather than for poetry, Rosemerry reads some of her moving poems from time to time. These poems have managed to capture some of the feelings I cannot put in words. If you’re presently processing grief, you’ll find solace from some of the conversations on this podcast. Do check it out!

Many thanks Sherry for the gift of poetry, the sun starts to shine and birds can’t stop singing.

Happy Easter Sunday to all who celebrate it!