Mental Health Struggles: a view from the inside out - Part I

Upcoming & Remarkable - a special series by talents on the rise

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
— Marianne Williamson
mental-health-amsterdam-women

Deep down I have always known I was special.

As I - Rachella, an art history graduate - rewrite this opening line for the fifth time, the thought of changing it has definitely crossed my mind. To be honest, I can imagine it might come across as strange, perhaps even arrogant to introduce myself this way. Yet this is the outcome of me making choices rooted in on love, instead of fear.

 

plot-twist

Even though I am only twenty-six, I can genuinely say that I have it all. Well, perhaps I do not have that ultimate dream job (yet?!), and I am definitely lacking that six-figure paycheck. As a matter of fact, the only thing that actually has six figures is my student loan debt. Nonetheless I feel calmer than ever. I can feel a sense of inner peace with every fiber of my being.

However - surprise! - I did not always feel like this. Not too long ago I was struggling with anxiety and panic attacks, heavily. I was also nearly driven to the edge of a burn-out and becoming physically ill. During this time my mind and body decided to simply shut down. Completely.

However, my spirit did not. Dealing with my darkest demons, distress and feeling like damaged goods, taught me how incredibly resilient I am. I learned that life is not about the things that happen, but rather about how you confront your happenings. And more importantly, the role of mental health in all of this.

 

disbalance

With the rise of burn-outs, more people are becoming aware of the importance of mental health. While consciousness has always played a fundamental role in indigenous cultures, and in ancient cultures, here in the West we somehow suffered from a spiritual decline. Since the Age of Enlightenment our Western world became more and more focused on ratio, reason and individualism. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, somewhere along the way we forgot how to deal with our emotions, and how to be part of a collective, something bigger than ourselves. This disbalance between our body, mind and soul caused many of you to feel rushed, pressured and often overly competitive. A dangerous cocktail which can lead to burn-out, depression and in some cases even worse.
I am honored to share my perspective on mental health in the Upcoming & Remarkable series the next few weeks. I will take you on a journey of soul-searching, self-love and shadow work. In the upcoming weeks I will share how my perfectionism and (consequently) procrastination led to anxiety, an almost-burn-out, and eventually reaching my personal Nirvana.

 

exhibition

In addition, in collaboration with CWC I will organize and curate an exhibition: ‘This Is What It Looks Like’. With this exhibition my purpose is to raise awareness around the importance of balance between our minds, bodies and souls, and to (re)discover and celebrate the beauty of falling apart. Because sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place.

For this series, I will begin every part with a quote. Not only because I am a complete sucker for the written word, but also because every quote symbolizes a particular period of my healing process.

 

fear

And as I stopped fearing my power, I finally got to meet myself. The authentic me. The special me. I am excited to share my journey with you, and to shed light in the darkness we all face in a different shape or form. We are all powerful beyond measure and incredibly special in our own way. As we lift the veil of mental health struggles and the light creeps in, we are able to see ourselves in a new light, and step into our full potential.

After all, our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

With love and light,

- Rachella


Extra: a New Moon in Pisces

One of the things that has helped me to heal and to channel my inner Goddess, is following the cycles of the Moon. You could definitely say that I am a manifesting-my- magic-with-healing-crystals-and-the-moon kinda gal. It ain’t hoarding if it’s crystals, right?

 

the new moon

On March 17th, the New Moon will be in Pisces and it will be the perfect time to set new intentions. Essentially, the New Moon Manifesting reminds us to get clear on our dreams and goals once a month — and write down or draw them. This Pisces New Moon is going to help you feel a sense of completion or wholeness with the direction of your life. The moon will also help you to start thinking about the future. You do not have to have an exact plan, but thinking about what seeds you want to plant or what emotions you want to bring into your life, is a good place to start.

 

rituals

If you are interested, I have a little ritual which can help you to set your new intentions. Ideally this ritual is to be done on the day itself, but up to three days after the New Moon is also okay.

The ritual starts with gratitude. Take a moment to breathe. What manifests happiness in your life? Write down at least 5 to 10 people or things that make you happy, and/or for which you are grateful for.

Then, start writing down your new intentions. What are your wishes? How do you want to manifest them? Focus on each intention by giving them your undivided attention.

After you are finished writing, meditate for a bit. Two, five, or perhaps even fifteen minutes. While you meditate visualize these intentions, and focus on the corresponding emotions.

Finally, try to read your intentions every day as the next New Moon comes closer. With the next New Moon, see if any or your intentions have manifested, and thank the Universe for helping you (or otherwise redirecting you to the direction of your life).

 

diy

Personally I always choose healing crystals based on my intuition, to help me manifest my inner magic by placing them next to me, or holding them during meditation. For the next Moon, the crystals Onyx and Obsidian could be extra useful since they help you get rid of old, unwanted energies. Something that can really help to really kickstart that New (Moon) Energy.

Happy New Moon Magic!

 

Photography: Shenelva Booij | Art Direction: Rachella Hooijman