My family will tell you, I have loved fashion since I was a little girl. I can still remember coming home in exhilaration at six years old because my mother allowed me to choose my Kindergarten (or “Basic School” as we say in Jamaica) graduation dress. The light blue lace number I chose came with all the frills, pomp and circumstance that my girly heart desired. I just knew I was a princess that day. Oh, the joys of childhood!
I grew up taking pride in my appearance. A lady never knows when she has a date with destiny, right? If I look good, I feel good, and the opposite is also true. Like everyone else, I have had my “blah” days, but for the most part, I aim to present myself well to the world. I enjoy the creativity and self-expression that comes with fashion and have had my fair share of personal style trials and errors.
Yet, recently I noticed that I did not feel pretty on the inside. One morning as I got ready for work and applied the last touches of my makeup, I paused and took a deep breath. In a moment of truth with myself, I admitted that for weeks I’ve been feeling stressed, slightly overwhelmed, and burned out. I operated on autopilot, moving from one task to the next, ignoring my inner cry for relaxation and rejuvenation. My spiritual foundation and emotional self-care took a back seat to the demands of life and of others. In other words, I wasn’t taking care of me.
As much as I paid attention to my outward presentation, I neglected my internal self-care. No wonder I didn’t feel pretty on the inside. Without the internal filing, buffing and tender loving care, things were out of order. Presenting our best selves to the world entails more than a pretty dress, well-manicured nails, and gorgeous shoes. We also need our best inner selves. This is only possible when we pay attention to her needs, because she too needs love and care. Whether it’s prayer, exercise, writing in our journals, spending time with friends or visiting the spa, we all need time to breathe and take time for internal self-care. Lovelies, stay pretty, both internally and externally!