As a woman, it's typical to feel a range of emotions during any given moment. From happiness to sadness to heartache to redemption, it's easy to get caught in a whirlwind of emotions and lose control.
While these myriad of feelings and emotions are healthy, they can create a false sense of reality, which can lead to a whole host of issues and concerns. Because of the damage these lingering, unattended feelings can cause, I decided to address them head on by making daily affirmations of my greatness. My friend Ayana Iman, servant leader, motivational speaker, and brand strategist, is a huge proponent of self-awareness and love. Her messages are always filled of positivity and reflection and this challenge would do exactly that. I saw a problem and posed a solution for myself, and other women around the world, by affirming my worth by calling myself beautiful everyday for my monthly challenge—every month, I challenge myself to accomplish something instead of relying on the typical New Year's resolution that's eventually abandoned weeks into the new year.
For the entire month of May, my challenge was to call myself a different variation of the word beautiful on a daily basis. This may seem mundane, or even tedious, however the psychological method behind the madness made me not only accept my new challenge but also say it and mean it.
It's known that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. Looking at the former, making a commitment for three weeks, nonetheless a month, can be mentally intimidating and a form of commitment we're not looking to take on. Aside from work, school, romantic relationships, and friendships, adding an additional commitment that requires our time may seem as a burden especially when it comes to our own health and wellness. This seemingly selfless act of not adding too much to our plate to keep balance elsewhere in our lives does more harm than help. We’ve become brainwashed and inundated with prescribed ideals of success and life goals that we’ve lost track of tending to what matters the most: our sense of self. When it comes to caring for ourselves, it always comes across as a burden opposed to a necessity. Postponed doctors visits and rescheduled hair appointments because of a tight schedule are just a few of the self necessities that are always put on the backburner.
31 Days a Woman is what I decided to call this challenge: 31 days of claiming my greatness whether I felt the part or not. A new day, a new word. From words that I’ve heard a million times to words not a part of my daily vernacular, 31 Days a Woman would be my reintroduction to the world after facing months and months of stress including multiple hospital visits, the lost of friendships, a bad breakup, and quitting a job. Although my year started off rocky, I knew 31 Days a Woman would help me get back on track and stay focus of what’s important: my love of self.
For every day, I sat and wrote out each word by hand. I could’ve easily typed and printed these words to guarantee legitimacy or perfection with a clean typeface, I knew the essence and soul of this challenge was to write these words down and mean it. Regardless of how I felt or even if I felt distant from the actual word I was "claiming" to be, I forced myself to write these words and take a photo with them. Sometimes written in cursive to showcase my sophistication or print with some words too close or too far apart showing the world the imperfections and insecurities through my penmanship, I engulfed myself in the words and the words in me.
While 31 days cannot undo or erase years and years of insecurities or vulnerabilities, it can, and it has, changed the way I see them and see myself.
Take a look at my full journey during 31 Days a Woman.