"As a woman, you must stand in your convictions, despite the contrary demands of everyone else around you – including loved ones. This has been my struggle, but also a blessing as well. While the world continues to shake you down with it’s own expectations of who/what you are, you somehow begin to find your own balance, with practice of course."| Chatel*Describe your a-ha moment.Late last year I became incredibly ill & within the span of two months, was shuffled from one specialist to the next, though never seemed any closer to finding an answer as to what was causing my body to suddenly fail. At a certain point, I could no longer physically meet the demands of my day-to-day job, was forced to take a medical leave and begin the process of healing. The fact that I had been forced into healing what ailed the many parts of my body, saddend me then, and still saddens me today. I’d failed at nurturing and taking care of both my body & spirit. During this time I called on my Mum to shield others out, cook me food and basically breathe life back into me.
The a-ha moment came when my Mum prepared a meal that as a child, I’d eaten countless times growing up, but as an adult sitting in my apartment & staring out the window, could not even stomach to smell, let alone eat. During my illness I had several moments where I cried over the helplessness of my situation, but for the first time, cried because I now understood part of what was making me ill was the one thing that had once brought me so much joy. After realizing I had the power to change my health habits, what I ate etc., I no longer felt helpless, tired or drained. I soon regained enough strength to make the choices that mattered most to my overall well being. I hadn’t realized that I’d never fully developed into a woman who understood how to fully nurture her body.
*What’s your best piece of woman-to-woman advice?
Take care of your body. Know your body. Explore your body. Find your rhythm. If you know all this and stand firm in your beliefs, you can’t for one minute be ashamed of how you were created & your purpose.
*What has been your favorite mistake?
Back in college, switching from a school that I understood would make my parents incredibly happy & proud, to a university that would inevitably challenge me, nurture my talents & gifts, all while allowing me the space to make the life choices (& mistakes!) I needed to make as a young woman. The day I decided to leave that school was also the last time I ever set foot on its campus. I left, without looking back - & forged ahead because I really did understand that there was so much more ahead for me to explore. For the first time, I realized that I was in control of my life & sought to explore all avenues that would enable me to grow. Looking back, it couldn’t have been the worst school to start my college experience, but in hindsight I still wouldn’t change a thing. Finding the journey to what it was that I wanted, led me to uncover some of the most remarkable souls who shared with me the most amazing stories and triumphs of their passages in life. I felt blessed to have listened and learned so early on.
*So far, what has been the most challenging aspect of being a woman?
Blocking out the noise. As I get older, I’m laughing more & more at the idea of what it means to be an adult & how the noise filters never get replaced, they simply get worn down. As a woman, you must stand in your convictions, despite the contrary demands of everyone else around you – including loved ones. This has been my struggle, but also a blessing as well. While the world continues to shake you down with it’s own expectations of who/what you are, you somehow begin to find your own balance, with practice of course. :)
*What do you not want us to know?
I have a secret love for RV’s and would LOVE for the chance to live & travel in a tricked out (I’m talking circa Pimp My Ride style) RV or treehouse. I think they are so lovely; cute nooks of all kinds!
*When do you feel most creative? What inspires you?
Lately I get giddy when I’m wrapped up in a cool breeze, eyes closed, toes curled…by the water sitting on a bed of rocks and being still. I feel inexplicably content yet powerful. Nature inspires me because it’s the most intimate connection I have to my spirit
*What does it mean to you to be a soulful beauty?
Soulful beauties live their joy. Their joie de vivre exists beyond all barriers and their simple desire is to be heard, seen and loved. Soulful beauties exist to create meaning in all our lives; both in the simplest and complex of ways. I truly believe that a soul’s beauty is often underexposed, yet remarkably beautiful in its stillness – their purpose to me is just to be it’s most unique and authentic self.
*What is your favorite quote, scripture or affirmation?
“Life will break you, Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with it’s yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” – Louis Erdrich, The Painted Drum
Chatel (nickname Chai), 31
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