Today I want to present our Wellness section on the site. I want to tell you what it means to me, and why I’m finally ready to share this super personal journey with you.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been trying to feel better.
I told you about my first visits to psychologists, and everything therapy helped me with. But there were tons of other things too. Books – from the stupidest to the most inspiring. Appointments with healers, sometimes, recommended by friends. Incredible moments of truth, and moments of bursting out laughing too.
A constant quest, never complete. With no clear goal in sight.
I never once said to myself: One day, it’ll all be better.
I wasn’t bad. I’ve always been joyful, positive, free. I wasn’t too bad, but there was always something pushing me. I’d finish with therapy, take a break, then start up again with something else. Whether it was yoga, a new therapist, a shaman, there was always something in my file seeking more introspection.
There were always tons of books in my life, from the more obscure to the pretty mainstream. And until the iPad came out, my self-development book life was complicated. First I had to buy the books, and I couldn’t help but feel my cheeks turn red when I went up to the cash register with my books about LIFE. As for leaving them lying around in my apartment, NO WAY!!! I hid them behind other more acceptable books.
My iPad allowed me to buy them AND anonymously archive that mountain of good words.
Moving to the US helped too, because personal development isn’t something to be ashamed of in the least here. Woohoo! Come to me, all you [completely nutty personal development books] Americans!
I had no idea why all this was so important to me. People around me seem to be doing fine without it. But it was instinctual, I wanted to heal my soul, even though I didn’t know what I was trying to heal it from.
I grew up without religion, completely cut off from spirituality. In my family, Lacan is god, basically. My mother is a psychologist, so she directed me toward psychologists from a very young age, and psychological jargon was as familiar in my family as Gucci moccasins on NET-A-PORTER.
My grandmother prayed (to Allah) and I liked to see her on her prayer mat, I liked the soothing sound of the words I didn’t understand. It was beautiful. I knew that my father was still connected to his catholic upbringing in some way. He went to see his mother at the cemetery, which was completely mystical to me as a child. Why go visit dead people? They’re dead, right? What’s the point?
Sometimes, jokingly, my mother would tell me she’d had prophetic dreams. And even though we both where very rational, despite everything, something told me it was true.
Deep down, I had a kind of dormant spirituality in me, but I didn’t have the right medium to express it.
I’ve always completely separated the body from the mind. I grew up like that, and even when we would talk about somatization (you know, totally normal topic of conversation over coffee), it was to emphasize the power the mind had over the body.
Which is a way of separating the two.
I never really learned to listen to my body. It would have seemed strange, even. Listen to what? You’re sick, here are some antibiotics. You feel like your clothes are too tight, go on a diet. You’re stressed? Go for a run. You’re having panic attacks? Go see a therapist, or here, take these pills.
Obviously, that logical thinking works. I always subscribed to it.
But as I went through various therapies, and gained life experience, a new map of my body and mind started to appear. Little by little, I became more open to different, less binary ways of seeing the world—more connected, more spiritual. It was rocky at first, and it definitely conflicted with my very down-to-earth beliefs, and there were a few people I met who turned me off to it.
Like this one fortune teller in Australia (well, she called herself a color therapist, and was recommended by a model friend whose balance and well-being were enviable) with black hair and a scary look in her eye, who made me buy vials of every color, promising it would get rid of the blues. Ridiculous.
Or the barefooted shaman sitting pretty in his comfortable Uptown apartment, asking exorbitant prices and only accepting cash (he was the shaman for all the girls who work in fashion) and he just said exactly what I wanted to hear until one day I burst out laughing and decided to be my own shaman by taking a walk in Central Park, which was right outside his place. The walk was much more empowering and way less expensive.
Or the Kundalini Yoga class (a very popular type of yoga right now where you…well, I need to just write you a post to explain) where I had to look a stranger in the eyes for fifteen minutes without laughing or falling apart. Try it, it’s not easy.
There have been tons of moments like that.
But there have also been moments of profound awakening. Like with my yoga practice, which has completely revolutionized the way I see the world. Like with this other shaman who freed me from a strange weight I’d always been carrying. Like with the hypnotherapy that changed my life, helping me to finally understand how much my body was speaking to me – and how I’d never really listened to it.
Little by little, I’ve let go of my very “psy” view of things.
I’m in the habit of telling you about my life here, and even so, I’ve never really shared that. I always wanted to keep my mystical-personal-development side to myself, especially since I didn’t understand it fully myself. I had never really owned it.
But it’s true that over time, I’ve learned to open up more, and with the wellness revolution happening right now, I feel less alone.
I’d even go so far as to say, I’m the one freaking out a little.
When my friends talk to me about crystals like it’s going to change my life, when they ask me to go with them on yoga retreats, or to sound baths. When they cite Tony Robbins when we talk about our problems, or when they suggest plant-based remedies as readily as you’d give someone the name of your hair stylist. When Gwyneth tells me about the healing properties of her perfume, or tells me what she looks for in people is alignment, and I know exactly what she’s talking about.
Huh? But I speak that language fluently! Well, not the plant-based remedy language, but give me a long weekend and I’ll get on it!
So that’s how little by little, I’ve made my wellness coming out.
I love this journey, I think there are lots of treasures to be found in it…among mountains and mountains of nonsense. I love therapies of all kinds and I’m addicted to massages, but I also saw myself to the door after fifteen minutes of “tickle massage” (seriously, what in the world, and the massage therapist said: Actually it stresses your body so much that afterward, you feel relaxed!”)
So I thought it would be cool to share all of this with you, not as a guru, because I would have a liiiittle bit of work to do to get to that point, but just as a girl who’s reasonably woo woo and has two or three hilarious experiences to tell you about, as well as a few revelations and a few book recommendations you might like.
The wellness world is kind of like fashion, actually. There’s an enormous amount of material, every single day. If you take it all as a whole, it can be almost overpowering. But if you look at the details and take care to keep an open mind, it can really change your life.
So tell me, does this kind of thing interest you at all? What is your journey?
Translated by Andrea Perdue