easing into the new year with kayla of a place for audre
The past year has been a strain on us individually and collectively. The most important lesson I’ve learned?: Handle you and your space with ease and care. I don’t have to begin with reviewing what 2020 has been for us. We all have intimately felt and have been impacted by the actions and inactions of others. Personally, I lost my job and wasn’t too sure what was going to happen next. After some reflecting and brainstorming, I decided to finally start my business: A Place for Audre. It combines my passions of accountability coaching and home styling. I believe your internal growth should be reflected externally in your space. With the clients that I have worked with so far, the biggest barriers they have dealt with were extending grace for themselves and their home. Our over-culture is extremely focused on productivity and that productivity being directly tied to your worth. Adding the layers of patriarchy and white supremacy, this combined over-culture pressure is felt even harder on Black women. Black women have also been socialized to believe that other people and their needs matter more than ours. That engaging in martyrdom is the ultimate good and noble thing to do. But what if we spent all the energy we spend trying to take care of other people towards taking care of ourselves? What if we honored and listened to our body and took a break? If we slowed down to meet our own needs, then became more resourced to help other people meet their own needs, imagine what kind of structures we could build together! Audre Lorde said it best: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” I want that energy to also carry into your home. Your home is the container where all your life and growing occurs, and usually the relationship we have with our home is connected to our sense of self. Disarray we feel in our lives can manifest in the house via piles that keep stacking up, home tasks that get started but never get finished, items that take up space that we can’t seem to let go…and then the guilt and pressure we apply to ourselves we also apply to our home. Similar to the collective pressure/guilt my clients have felt and I also have experienced that things should still be moving “normally” and that since we have “more time on our hands” we should be able to accomplish all these tasks. But the best thing we can do for ourselves to take the time to slow down and acknowledge how far we’ve come, and then ease into whatever will be coming our way. Honoring ourselves, and taking the time to figure out what need and how we can fill that need is the key to getting through this with peace of mind. Convinced that low and slow is the way to go? Great! Let’s start off with some reflection questions to help us ease into 2021. Reflection Questions There are so many things we can do to add ease to your life and your home. The first step is information gathering! Ask yourself the following questions and journal/reflect on what the best answers are for you: What did younger you need to feel safe in a space? This question can certainly bring up a lot, sometimes it brings up the times when we were younger and unsafe in our space, that’s also information about what we currently need. When you’re experiencing stress, where do you go in your space? Do you have a dedicated room, corner, set of behaviors you do in your home to soothe your nervous system? If not, could creating something add ease to you and your home? If you had no barriers to creating a space that supports your growth what would you do? Even if this isn’t physically/financially possible, you still get to dream! And those dreams can eventually translate into tangible and accessible changes in your home. What’s one thing you can do to shift your space? These shifts don’t have to be elaborate, and they don’t even have to be multiple shifts! Even moving a table or rearranging a room can make a world of a difference. How do you incorporate your senses into a space? Your space should make all your senses happy! How it looks, feels, smells are all important factors. What textures make you happy? What smells instantly calm you down? Make sure those things are in your home. I hope these questions are a great start to you easing into the new year. If you want to explore more I’d love to connect! A Place for Audre combines Accountability Coaching and Home Styling, working on the belief that work done internally should be reflected externally in your space. Kayla, the creator behind A Place for Audre, has a background in Black feminism, anti-oppression work and years as a Social Worker working with marginalized communities. Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, she is now currently based in Berkeley, CA. For more information about Kayla and A Place for Audre, visit aplaceforaudre.com.