This section will be dedicated to all of the people who are doing wonderful, beautiful, and courageous work in their lives -personally or professionally. I’ll regularly update this section to include some of my favorite personal blogs/inspiration and projects that you all are working on to make the world a more supportive, inclusive, and loving place. **Please reach out if you’re interested in being featured here!**
NEW BECOMINGS- by Rudy Juanita
When you seek out a new horizon, a different landscape, and step into a completely unknown culture, your former self dissolves as you are introduced to who you are becoming. It takes courage, adaptability, and flexibility to shed old layers and find new footing. There are any number of ways to make this change. I moved to Africa.
I traded high heels for bare feet. I turned in my hair dryer and curling iron for sun- kissed locks and natural waves. I left my steamy, scented morning routine for cold bucket baths and a simple bar of soap. I closed my closet doors filled with outfits for every occasion to sport a simple sack dress in a beautiful print. I took off my nail polish and embraced the crescent moons that rose from my cuticles. I skipped the make-up and concealer to reveal the freckles and lines that tell my story. I left my mirror behind and stood looking at my hands. I traced the lines of my palms, my ancestors staring back at me. I traded in every familiar thing in exchange for the unknown.
My music playlists were replaced by church hymns carried by the wind. My books and magazines gathered dust as I made room for foreign languages and I filled my mind with new verbs. Everything around me was cobbled together in broken pieces, rearranging its place in my train of thought to find new meaning.
My busy, noisy world of friends—building resumes; collecting experiences; stepping up, stepping out, and juggling late-night parties and too many bottles of wine—was replaced with spending quiet afternoons sitting under mango trees with a pod of toddlers pulling me into a hug. Life experiences became smaller moments of holding hands and hearts, all the while learning more about the deepest corners of myself. In all the new chaos I found a fresh sense of being, my most authentic skin, my heart on the line. In this new adventure I discovered what I had always known, but never fully felt: Being a woman is the greatest gift.
You do not need to move to the other side of the world to discover this new sense of being, but falling out of your normal tempo can help you discover the depths of your courage and extent of your strength. Everything you need is right there. Your voice will become the connection that keeps your breath in step with your heart. You will balance the fine dance of mind over matter, over what matters.
When you let go, no matter where you are, you will feel the breeze on your face. You will embrace the curves of your hips and peek down your dress, taking in all the hidden beauty, the folds, the lines, the bows of your physique. You are all woman. Parts of you will feel new, foreign, and original. You will stare at those legs stretched in front of you, long and lean, walking you through the day and wonder if they are really yours?
You will fill your heart to its fullest capacity, and it will affirm that you are exactly where you need to be at this moment and at this place in time. It will warn you when things get off track, when danger is looming, and when heartstrings are vulnerable, weak and breaking. The strongest muscle in your body will keep the beat, test you, protect you, and carry your past, soak in the present and nervously anticipate the future. Your heart will remind you that giving is more important than taking. That empathy and compassion and looking out for one another will get you further than you ever imagined. Your heart will remind you that being present is the most fulfilling thing of all. Your heart will be the compass for your thoughts, the minister of waunderlust, pumping every emotion through your veins. You will often whisper, “I hear you,” and follow the gut reaction that sets your course.
We should all be feminists. We should all embrace our natural beauty and discover how it feels to be becoming. We are a constant project. We should all take a moment to find our simplest forms, our messiest selves, and enjoy the journey. We should take a moment to embrace the flaws, celebrate every beauty mark, and remember that we are this humdrum of atoms that creates every beautiful cell that makes us our most unique me, our most unique you, our most unique us.
I encourage you to let your hair down. Look into yourself and draw patterns in your dreams. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Smile. You are the only you on this whole planet. What an honor. What luck. What fortune. Leave footprints for followers. Let the full moon shine against your face, the stars get tangled in your hair, the sunrise pull you into a new day. Listen to your loudest cheerleader, yourself. Shed old layers. Free yourself to the becoming. Embark not knowing and dance in the adventure that will consume you. Unfold your wings and wait for the breeze to signal flight. Feel every feeling without apology and without regret. Be inspired and hold onto this moment of new.
Note from the author: March 8th we celebrate women around the world, but in true form, women’s day is all days.
Rudy Juanita resides where the wind takes her and can be found sipping coffee, dreaming up the next adventure and soaking up the present.
One of my most favorite things about blogging is the beautiful friendships and connections I make with people in this world- Meghan being one of them. I’m always inspired by people following their passion and pursuing creative ventures in line with their life’s work- and I also believe in the importance of supporting each other in our efforts.