Having a community where you can be yourself and feel accepted for all that you are is crucial. We all want people in our lives that we can count on, and we all want to be loved unconditionally.
From day one, we are pressured to fit into a box (especially women). We are told we must look a certain way, act a certain way, and, most importantly, reject anything that doesn't fit into this carefully curated box. This same conditioning has caused us to become disconnected from who we are as individuals, and a crucial part of finding our community; our tribe; is by radiating our real, authentic vibes. You have to be yourself to find the people who simply get you and support you.
Some people say that due to cell phones and social media, we are more connected than ever. However, people are still feeling lonely and disconnected from one another.
“30% of millennials say they feel alone, and 22 percent of millennials say they have zero friends (yougov.com).”
This sense of loneliness is a real issue considering how closely correlated relationships and health are. Having close relationships is highly correlated with our level of physical and psychological well being. Our close relationships pose an equal or sometimes higher health risk factor compared to the health risk factors of smoking, body mass index, and physical activity (Holt-Lunstad, Smith, & Layton, 2010).
I don't know about you, but I'm thankful that the COVID-19 Pandemic has allowed time and space for countless humans to think about our societal structures and just how toxic they have been for years. Most importantly, COVID-19 has left us with a lot of time to brainstorm ways to create the world we want to see for generations to come.
Q: How do we begin to create communities where we feel loved, accepted, and celebrated for who we are?
A: By connecting with our authentic selves, creating safe spaces for others to express themselves, and by celebrating our individuality!
Connecting with your authentic self...
You have probably heard the saying, "your vibe attracts your tribe," I find this statement to be 100% true. Like attracts like and if we are constantly wearing a mask that hides our true unique selves, our tribe will never find us. I think that masking our true selves ultimately leads to more loneliness and isolation; the more we pretend to be someone we aren't, the more we forget who we are.
Ways to connect to your authentic self:
- Ask yourself "what lights you up?" What are the things that truly bring your heart and soul joy? Make a list of all the things (big and small) that light that inner flame of yours...
- Spend more time just simply being you. This will require that you're conscious around others. When you go out around others, make it a point to be yourself. Say what you want to say, wear what you want to wear, act how you want to act, etc. It'll be challenging at first, but it gets easier with time.
- Express yourself! Spend time every day expressing your true authentic self. This can be done through journaling, dancing, painting, or anything that makes you feel creative.
- Meditate. This will allow your pure vibration to radiate outward and allow those pesky little voices that tell you that you aren't good enough to quiet down, so you can hear your authentic voice.
- Love yourself! I'm sure we all heard multiple rants about the importance of self-love, but self-love truly is your foundation, because you can not give to another what you don't deliver to yourself. Give yourself time, acceptance, and patience, so that you may provide it to others within your community.
Creating safe spaces for others to express themselves
Once you've connected with your true authentic self and you're radiating your pure vibration, you will more than likely start attracting like-minded individuals into your field.
Ways to create safe spaces for others:
- Allow others to show up just as they are. Often we have expectations that people can't always live up to, creating a safe place for others to express themselves will require us to set our egos aside, and allow others to express themselves in a way that feels comfortable for them.
- Don't judge, we are all human, and that means we all have human tendencies. Regardless if someone is going through good times or bad times, opening your doors to others through all their phases in life is key to building a strong community.
- Listen. This one is simple, but it is often overlooked. Listen to others, even if you don't have the right word to say to someone, giving someone that time and that space can mean so much.
- Show up! Simply being present and showing up for others when you say you are is imperative to building trust within your communities. Like the statistic stated previously, 22 percent of millennials feel like they don't have friends, and I think a big part of that can be blamed on how our society is structured. Most of our time is spent working and hustling, and we rarely have time to chill and nourish our relationships or find new ones that fit who we are. When given a chance to be there for one another, we should jump all over it, and show up with love and an open mind.
Let's celebrate our individuality, celebrate your own and that of others. There are many ways to show up in this world as individuals, and they all deserve to be celebrated. Let's celebrate different bodies, skin colors, ethnicities, and styles because they are all beautiful and worthy of love.
How to celebrate individuality:
- Have an open mind. You can do this by actively listening and acknowledging diverse realities. Just because someone looks different, or has different views, doesn't mean that you guys don't have anything in common, and it surely does not mean that there's nothing to learn from them. Keeping an open mind will allow you to grow, and hearing different viewpoints will expand your mind and knowledge.
- Notice and appreciate your gifts and that of others. We are all born with innate gifts - they just come naturally. Some people are great artists, some people are good with words, and some are funny and know how to brighten everyone's day. Make it a point to recognize and celebrate the gifts of others. It's nice to know that someone sees your light and honors it.
“Your individuality is your superpower!”
- Devona Devine
This is why Boob-eez is so amazing, it's not just a company, It's a community; one that continues to grow daily.
Boob-eez celebrates women of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and backgrounds, and it's beautiful. Boob-eez cultivates a space for all women to express themselves and tell their stories. There are so many ways to be a woman and so many ways to express one's femininity, and Boob-eez really highlights the fact that your individuality is your superpower. It deserves to be seen and celebrated. There are so many lovely women that are a part of the Boob-eez community. These women are all so unique, and it's exhilarating to see them come together and celebrate each other. Although they are all so different, one thing that they have in common is being a woman. Being a woman is an extraordinary experience, but it has its challenges; challenges that are better faced with a community by your side! I love that Boob-eez continues to promote self-love and aid in creating a sense of community, and I'm very excited to be a part of it and see it grow.
Written by Devona Devine April 22, 2021
Devona Devine is a beacon of light to all who know her. She is an artist, a student, a writer, a model and Founder/CEO of @groovy_club: A mindful shopping experience that stands for all things peace, love, unity, and consciousness. Check out her brand and her story at groovyclub.net.
Pietromonaco, Paula R, and Nancy L Collins. “Interpersonal mechanisms linking close relationships to health.” The American psychologist vol. 72,6 (2017): 531-542. doi:10.1037/amp0000129