One year. Here. In a city that holds me like the sun, that makes space for all this change. Never resists. One year, here. I forgot until someone reminded me – anniversaries on linked in, my parents sending me a picture of exactly one year ago. February 18 2018. I came here. With a plan – a man – expectations.
February 18 2019. I move apartments on exactly this day. There is a full moon on exactly this day. The symbolism escapes me, I am too wrapped up in the change to see the big picture.
I feel silly now, thinking we could move here and hold on to who we were. Step in this hurricane of change and expect to stay the same. I let myself be moved and float away, let people in and let others go. I try this concept of boundaries. I see – myself. As worthy. As too kind. Too innocent. I step up my game. I let go – of him. I step up my game, I let go of stories I tell myself, of scripts I put on emotions and reactions. I feel instead of hide. Set everything free. Eat what I want to eat. Love who I want to love – a little or a lot. Follow what feels light, and true at the same time.
I feel silly now, thinking I could come here and live out a story that I had in my head. I am proud – to allow change like I did. To let it wash through my life and switch it up. I feel safe where I landed. Safe and excited. Free, yet connected to myself. Grace instead of holding on. Curiosity over judgement.
I have been here, in Barcelona for a year, and so much on the outside has changed. It is making me reflect on how much has changed on the inside too – in the way I care for my heart and my body and my breath. My self-care has shifted in the same direction; towards graceful freedom.
There is practises that I dropped, others that have come in. Most have stayed but the intention and function has shifted. The quality has become more natural.
A lot of what I was used to doing, stemmed from the idea of being the girl who feels too much, who needs to tone it down, who needs to heal. Too much of these practises were about control, about getting to an accepted level of normalcy, of feeling okay. The practises are gold, but there was away of going about them that had a sense of gripping to them, of obligation and discipline instead of play and discovery.
Yoga. Writing. Meditation.
This is what it came down to and I did all of them everyday. It had to – without it, I thought I could not swim. I would bump up to the hard realities of life. Go crazy. Leave too much space for the eating disorder to pop back up. A lot of these practises were about “staying safe”.
Yoga to make sure I moved, I had a workout everyday that allowed me to feel safe in my body, a practise that made me sensitive to every single change in my body. Meditation to stay on top of my thoughts, make it quiet. Writing to understand, to shift through emotions and analyse and overshare on the page so I did not have to lean too much on the people around me, so I understood what was happening inside before it turned into an explosion on the outside.
It seems like I was so scared then – of just letting things be. People tell me I am too intense too much that I started to believe it, and tried to tone it down, and self care was how I did that.
Being in Barcelona was a huge fuck you to all of that. It no longer felt right to be rigid in a place that is this free, to hide in when surrounded by people who let you be.
Yoga, writing, meditation. They are all still there but there is more of an organic, explorative sense to it. There is less of a need to do things every day – no check list. A sense of trust that I willl find the right tool or practise in the moment.
I do yoga every day still, but it happens on its own, it is less about getting it done but more about a tuning in. An exploration of sensation. I write when I feel the need – it is more free, more poetic, more flowy. I meditate when i feel deep juicy breaths inside – if it feels too wild inside to sit still, I go for skating, running or I dance it out instead.
And then there is everything new. So much little diamonds of care in the form of lavendar oil, palo santo and buying plants. Skipping netflix for books. Water – so much tea and ocean in my days. Mate and matcha lattes. Skating. Tarot. I even cook now.
My self-care no longer serves as an anti-dote to my intensity, but as an answer to it. It centers me when I go too far, it gives me new answers when I feel stuck. It nourishes me and replenishes me when I feel empty. It goes with me where I go and it adapts. Giving space to this intensity and having self care to channel it in the right direction makes me more calm and secure than I have ever been.
Most importantly, it is not about control anymore but about an allowing of the truth. Not about going to a normal level, but to be able to shine and express myself from whatever level I am at. It is not about feeling okay, it is about feeling alive in every direction. Knowing that the ways in which I hold space for myself do not have to be set and that they can flow and transform with me, has made me free. I am no longer afraid of change and I do not doubt the fire inside anymore: they are all that we have in the end.