Let me begin this by saying that I have not yet watched The Social Dilemma. I may in the near future, but at this moment, all of this decision is coming solely from my own lived experience.
I am saying goodbye to social media, for now.
I am a teacher of tools for emotional well-being. I utilize the movement of yoga and human expression, the stillness and inquiry of meditation and the aromatherapy of essential oils. My main area of focus is in supporting as many women as possible find emotional wellness in their physical bodies and emotional minds. I believe that Radical Self-Love is the pathway to changing the systems of oppression and patriarchal narratives we have all lived with for centuries.
Inherent in that work there always comes a conversation of self-worth. For a long time, I did not value myself and my own opinions, instead placing my worth in how I looked and what others thought about me. I sought out praise and validation from anyone who would give it and defended and shied away from any feedback that left me feeling wounded. This is the number one reason that I sought a career as an actor and singer and also the number one reason I left that career.
Along the way I discovered a tool and pathway that has led to some incredible healing, Yoga. For the past decade I have spent my time and efforts studying and making a career teaching the ideologies that have helped me rise out of body and self abuse through an eating disorder. I have fallen in love with teaching and speaking to the tools and efforting that has helped me personally, by supporting others in putting these tools to work for themselves.
The last two years, I have felt an expansion begin to settle in. I knew it was time to take my work beyond the mat and out into the world in new ways. These last six months during COVID have very much catalyzed that calling. But even with that knowing, there has been a major block standing in my way: Social Media.
Healing happens over time and in layers. I have healed so much of myself these last ten years. But I have known for quite some time that there has been something keeping me from fully opening. The irony is that my brain has also told the exact opposite story as well. Social Media has been, up to now, the tool that was going to help me grow my business into the vision I have always had for myself. I needed it and needed to spend more and more time there in order to get myself and my work out there. I needed it to stay inspired and connected to the world. I also told the story that you can utilize it with great intention. I have set boundaries for myself, put time limits on my phone, and tried to automate post after post. It always worked for a bit.
But eventually I would find myself back in the cycle of daily use that went way beyond any business “need”. The daily tokes I would take of Instagram and Facebook would lead to mindless scrolling and uncontrolled time and attention loss. Then there would be the constant obsession of checking likes and comments and DM’s to “see” how my words landed. I know that what I have to say affects people. I deeply and genuinely desire to use my words and writing to create change in this world. But even so, my motives for posting on social media, I can honestly say in this moment, weren’t always unselfish.
The truth is, I have been using social media as a means to feed the unhealed part of my seeking of validation and approval from others. It has been feeding the story of “not enough” that I have so often written about. I do see the side of the argument that social media can do some good. My own father-in-law’s life was saved because of it. But in the reality of my life right now, my dreams and aspirations for what I am looking to create, social media has now crossed the line of being a new way to abuse myself. It’s subtle and certainly not as physically unhealthy as binging and purging once was, but all the same, my emotional well-being is at stake, and that is way too precious a resource.
So, my plan is to leave for the foreseeable future. I was going to say for the month of October and that is certainly the first benchmark, but I am also not limiting myself to just that. I am invested in creating real change, and always have been. I understand that this means there are seasons to things and so I am choosing to enter into a new season with myself. One that is about moving into my own expansion in a much more sustainable and healthy way, yet again.
It does feel a bit like I may be cutting my business off at the knees right now and truthfully I am not sure what the consequences will be. But, I also believe that any feeling of connection that comes from social media in its current state, is not completely real connection. Yes, there have been people I have come into contact with, but always stemming from an hustling action on my part. In order for us to be seen on social media, there is an active hustle that is required. It is both time and energy consuming and in the long run, my suspicion is that it doesn’t actually pay off and pay out the same way that organic connection and growth does. And in these tumultuous times genuine and potent connection is what I believe will help everything thrive. Ourselves, our businesses and each other.
So here are the ways that during this season, you and I can remain or even create connection:
3. Call Me or Email Me. This may be old fashioned, but I am in a space now where I think part of changing the future is remembering some of the things we have lost from the past. Reaching out to one another off of social media seems somewhat retro right now, but I am completely here for it. If you don’t have my number, send me a quick email and I will give it to you.
This choice is most certainly a personal one, but I would be lying if I didn’t say it isn’t a form of activism as well. I see where we are right now and my hope is that each one of us may now do the work of untethering ourselves from anything that is not supporting our emotional health and well-being. Life is way too precious and important to be anything but present for what is happening right now. It doesn’t mean we don’t continue to check in with the world around us, I am wholeheartedly a yes for that. But I do believe we have to first do the work of checking in with ourselves in a way that is loving, kind and compassionate and empathetic so that what we do put out into the world is a reflection of that.
A few months ago, I wrote a poem called Untethered. I had no idea at the time how perfectly true it would ring for this very moment. May we all bravely Untether ourselves from the stories that have perpetuated harm for too long. May we Untether ourselves from the ideas and notions that keep us stuck in our “not enough-ness” and prohibit our expansion into this beautiful body and life we have been given. May we make the bold choice to not have to have a story at all, but simply let what is, be so that we may move forward in our lives honestly and authentically.
May we be well, may we be free and may we know the radical power of our own self-love.
I Love You and I will see you and hear you, here now.
Move your body because you can. Move because it feels good and nourishing. Move because you love yourself, not because you are punishing yourself for what you ate.
I created eMOTION because I wanted a space where we could move our bodies without the need to look a certain way afterwards. eMOTION is moving for the expression of self-love and deep care, not for the purpose of burning calories and finding a certain aesthetic.
Join me this October for eMOTION.
Every Thursday at 9:30am we move for 30 minutes and wake ourselves up.
Let's Move Towards Love, Together!
This photo was taken in an alleyway in my hometown of Elmira, New York. In truth, I haven’t always thought or spoken kindly of the place where I grew up. There are many reasons behind that, but a main reason was that I never felt comfortable living there and was always looking to be somewhere else.
The reality is, it wasn’t my hometown that had me feeling that way. It was all within myself. I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin, in who I was, so I was constantly looking for that “other” place to be. That place that would make me feel happy, and like I belonged.
I have now traveled a lot in my life, visited many other places and I have come to realize, when you aren’t comfortable in your own skin, it doesn’t matter the town or the city that surrounds you.
A prominent human trait is that when we aren’t strongly connected to our emotional self, we are constantly looking outside of ourselves for comfort or validation. It has taken some time, but I now understand that no matter where I am moving to in this life, if I am comfortable in me, I can be comfortable anywhere. Movement is always going to stir up what we haven’t yet healed, but it also is the answer to our own healing. And as we move forward in our lives, as we get present, we have the chance to honor and care for our former self with love.
This photo is now the first one on my website. It’s me, the name of my hometown and the words “Moving Forward”. I believe that when we heal ourselves, we move forward with healing both generations past and future.
I honor my past and my future by taking care of myself in the present. I invite you to do the same.
It takes a lot of strength to get still with yourself. It takes a lot of courage to say “I’m gonna really do the work of knowing myself”. And it takes a lot of bravery to stop moving for a bit of time each day and stop hiding from our vulnerability. Choosing to take on meditation is as strong as any practice or exercise you could ever do. I dare you to dare yourself.
You are strong enough, courageous enough, brave enough.
is a Mama, Wife, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Coach, Writer and Activist. You can read more about her here.