I Woke UP Like This... DIQUE.
All my curly haired girls know that a good hair day is a good selfie day... Am I right?! Wash day rituals complete on one Saturday afternoon, and my rizos (curls) decided they wanted to behave which is a cause for celebration in and of itself. Upon finding the best source of natural light in my Washington Heights apartment, the usual selfie process was underway. Several tries later (because you never take JUST ONE), I chose my favorite and uploaded it on Instagram.
Optimal lighting and rizos in sight, a good friend of mine commented on my selfie and said, “Happy looks good on you”. My social work brain often thinks through things in a methodical way, and so this comment immediately led me through a rabbit hole of my journey to happiness. Yes, I am truly happier than I have ever been in my entire life, but how did I get here? I wanted to reply to that comment and say, “Girl, if you only knew”.
That selfie was a direct result of two things: 1) The amazing lighting coming through my bedroom window and 2) the several years I took to manifest my newly found “glow”. My very long self-love journey hit a turning point on my 23rd birthday, when I made a conscious decision to invest in myself a little more. Life was changing drastically as I was transitioning into single motherhood, and aside from the traditional, "cut your hair change your life move", I wanted to feel as beautiful on the inside as I was starting to feel on the outside.
I suspect that many women undergo this kind of change every day, and I can also speculate that this kind of realization becomes harder to accept, when we as a culture have glorified the “Glow Up”. The perfect highlight reels on social media make it so that we perceive others lives to be just that – Perfect. Social media doesn’t show us the treacherous journey – it only shows us the end result. In an attempt to demystify the idea of “flawless”, it’s important to analyze what we now know as the “Glow Up”.
The anatomy of the glow up (IMO) is as follows:
1. There is some sort of struggle or obstacle(s).
2. Followed by a realization of worth.
3. Resulting in actions that feed into the realization of that worth so that the individual can continue to manifest in their “glow”.
One could easily confuse the realization of worth for a number of likes. Consequently, “the glow” that we glorify so much is never truly present. Unfortunately, numbers of likes do not equate to concrete action steps that further manifest our inner glow. Instead, we perpetuate the idea that worth = likes, and in the event that we don’t get enough likes, it immediately means we aren’t “good enough”. Advancements in science have made it increasingly easy to change our appearance if we aren’t happy about it without doing the necessary pre-work to change how we feel on the inside, and a true glow comes from how we feel on the inside.
There is no amount of master contour/highlighter that will replace a natural glow from your inner self.
When I think about other people’s comments about how happy I look these days, I know that they are truly talking about the glow I’ve cultivated in the past few years through doing more things I love, avoiding more things I hate, feeding my soul, putting on my dance shoes, blasting that bachata, and opening my heart to love. Here are a few ways that I am consciously nurturing my glow:
Reflecting. I recently purchased the “Style Your Mind” workbook by Cara Alwill Leyba and it has been LIFE CHANGING! The workbook is literally like having a life coach next to you as you reflect on pre-selected questions. Designate a time to write out your desires, not only to have them on paper, but to start devising a plan of action to make those dreams come true.
Feeding my soul: I love to dance. My muse is bachata, and my body will move, involuntarily, at the sound of Anthony Santos. What excites you beyond comprehension? DO MORE of it!! We get so caught up in the daily routine that we forget self-love is the best love.
Routines: They aren’t only for babies and rowdy three year olds. The most successful people in the world live off daily routines that drive them towards success. Read this article for more info! Where do you want to be in 10 years? What are the people that are already there right now doing with their time? I’ve adapted the habit of reading every night for 30 minutes before bed. Ironically, in building that habit, I’m reading “The Power of Habit” which I highly recommend if you are trying to create “Success Routines” for your life.
Let’s be REAL, even Beyoncé didn’t “wake up like this”, and we can all agree that life has given her a fair share of lemons with which she made AMAZING Lemonade. Your glow is completely contingent on your ability to make your dreams come true, and live a life that YOU love. Inspire yourself, become entirely your own muse, and it will shine through. So yes, happiness in fact does look good on me. I’ve worked relentlessly to protect and nurture that happiness, and have opened up to allow others to also give me happiness. What are you doing for your glow today?