Every time I travel, I return feeling different. Almost new, almost like I am about to transition or take my life to another stage. Maybe it’s the plane ride, or the chance to step away from my regular cycle that brings it on. I’ve never been able to figure it out. Whatever it is, I am learning to lean in and not resist what follows it.
Recently I returned from a work trip with a sense of urgency to edit my life. This trip not only provided me the opportunity to represent a client and support a friend, it also gave me a chance to reconnect with my Trini roots, spend time with one of my dearest friends, and connect with my uncles and cousin. My father’s brothers are strong, opinionated men. They got that from my grandma. They stand back and watch you live your life, but at the opportune occasion, they never hesitate to connect you with people they feel can bring you closer to your goals, and they never ever run from a chance to dispel wisdom and sage advice.
When a black women who knows herself and her worth walks into a room, everyone notices – Uncle Andy
For the last three years my uncle has been keen to share his wisdom with me at every opportune moment. Sometimes I jokingly roll my eyes at him, but there are a few things he has shared with me that has inspired me to sit, pause, meditate on and embrace. At the time I did not make much of his latest saying, until my friend started quoting it. I allowed his words to soak into me and pondered their implications. The more I pondered it, the more I noticed how often I sold myself short, did not show up with integrity, failed to honor myself and did not embrace the opportunity to walk in my worth and have others notice.
Since my return I have been slowing down, focusing on self-care and dealing with the inner me. I want to live a life where I am the highest, best and truest Carlana I can be. I don’t simply want to talk this talk of authenticity, intentional living and wholeheartedness. I want it to inform the way I live and show up in the world. Slowly, yet deliberately, I am editing my life, simplifying even further, and releasing things, habits and relationships that do not honor me or tarnish my spark. I need to tend to my temple and let it inform the way I live and lead.
As women, we owe it to ourselves to tend to our temple by focusing on our mind, body, emotions and spirit. And we owe it to ourselves to let this care manifest in the way we show up, the way we shine. Too often we dim our brightness so we do no intimidate others, be considered ‘too much’ or draw spotlight on ourselves. The reality is that light attracts. And the more we grow our confidence and become happy on the inside, it will reflect same on the outside. Like my uncle also say, there’s nothing as beautiful as a confident woman (he has many thoughts on women, le sigh).
This post is an introduction to the launch of my new series on self-care and wellness for black women, Tending the Temple. It starts on 15 May and will run to the 15 of June. I’ll be posting every seven days and will be sharing articles and video interviews with amazing babes who operate in the space of wellness and self-care, such as Tash Mitch and Mellany of Mellany Motivates. Bookmark the site or grab the RSS feed so you are notified each time a new post lands on the blog. You won’t want to miss out!
Carlana Charles is the visionary and editor-in-chief of FemmePowered. She is a womanist, writer, speaker, story midwife and facilitator of meaningful and engaging conversations. When she is not working in or on FemmePowered, she can be found resting, baking, reading or scribbling furiously in her journal whilst sipping wine or coffee, sometimes both at the same time. She is currently working on her first book and hopes to release it in September 2018.