Have you ever sat in silence and listened to what it had to say?
Our relationship with silence says a lot about the state of our mental health.
When I had the vision for my skincare brand, East 29th, it wasn't just one particular moment that inspired its creation. It was more in waves, lessons in motion. That soft sand made up of a million little ideas, moments, curiosities, the crisp slap of its peak flow, followed by that cool hug around your ankles as the ocean returns calmly home. I knew I had something of value when it came to the product, but I equally knew the importance of creating a brand so dimensionally diverse that it was empathy-forward and driven by purpose. I found myself asking what was out of balance in the world? And how do we find alignment?
When you enter parenthood before adulthood, you view the world through a unique lens. You have the weight of the world on your shoulders being in charge of someone else's safety, well-being, and helping them grow while in the midst of your personal development. You don't have the foundation of self yet, which prompted me to dive into vividly exploring every single detail of every single second. When you walk around with such precision and conscious thought, your initial setback of not being fully grown allows you to mature and enter adulthood with a backbone laced with experience/knowledge/& understanding. There is no quiet space for you to pause and think, so how do you establish that vital relationship? It's about being in the chaos and creating your own calm. I can't take care of others if I'm not taking care of myself. This simple understanding started my journey into understanding the depth of self-care and how I would later celebrate our duality of being softer inside and out.
In this fast-paced world, we aren't taught to think about the individual weight of every letter strung together, word for word. Most of us are caught up in the emotional satisfaction of winning, having, owning, or doing, which leads to burning ourselves out and trying to mask how we feel rather than understand it. And if I've come to understand anything in life, it's you can't find solutions for anything if you only acknowledge the reaction instead of finding the action that caused it. Its roots.
So when we view self-care as a form of modern luxury by thinking that getting our nails or lashes done equates to self-care, we're wrong. Take a walk with the words, get to know them. Where does it take us?
Self: the union of elements such as body, emotions, thoughts, and sensations that constitute the individuality and identity of a person.
Care: the act of maintaining; Support; to endure bravely or quietly; Assist to be present as a spectator. Present; at or during this time. Now; constantly aware of what is new.
Definitions have meanings themselves, and all of a sudden, these simple eight letters hold so much more wight than anticipated. They hold a story of their own.
I've never looked at self-care as an escape in the form of pampering; self-care is the ability to feel every inch of every emotion and understand it's weight, and provide the ability to be present. I full-heartedly believe that maintaining
ourselves is a worthy aspect of what self-care can look like, but that does not define it. If we maintain our exterior but don't work on ourselves inside, can we truly consider it self-care? We need to support ourselves through whatever we endure, remain present/in constant communication within ourselves when these things arise to bring in the 'care' aspect. I think it's fair to say we deserve that.
It might also look like forging human connections, processing, and validating our feelings through mutual relationships and creating a real community with those around us. Increasing our individual well-being allows us to tackle the real work long term: collectively making the world better—for everyone.
Our connection with ‘self’ is the ability to understand the importance of how mental health should not be confused with mental illness. But instead, working on the general condition of one's mental and emotional state, creating the ability to meet the demands of our daily lives, individually, yet felt cohesive if we all focus on ourselves, together.
This journey resulted in East 29th being a skincare brand well-versed in self-care depths to establish a conscious dialogue that connects both the physical and mental health awareness behind the clean beauty movement while embodying a mindful transition to being softer inside, & out.
You can find me talking about the self-care portion of East 29th on our Empathy Everywhere Podcast. Because beyond skin, we care.
Founder of East 29th
Host of Empathy Everywhere Podcast