Welcome to #RitualInBloom. A space where our community shares wellness rituals that help us connect with our bodies—because many of us here at Superbloom can’t “self-care” away our chronic conditions.
We chatted with Brianna Vazquez about her self-love and wellness journey, moving from the all-too-familiar negative self-talk to appreciating what the body is capable of. Keep reading for how she finds herself looking to nature as her grounding voice and ultimate inspiration.
Where do you live and how do you describe yourself to others—not just what you are doing but who you are working on “being”?
I live a few blocks from the sea in a coastal Virginia town! I am an empath who feels things deeply, happiest with the simplest of things, and working on loving myself more each day.
How do you connect to your body?
I like to connect to my body by doing gentle stretches when I wake up and checking in with how I feel. I’m a big fan of restorative and yin yoga because I find it helps me really get in tune with my body and instantly calms my mind.
What’s your favorite mode of expression?
I love capturing images of things that inspire me, whether that be my husband, my shadow, our cats, the waves, or the way the sunlight peeks through our home in the afternoon.
I also believe that our homes can have a profound impact on our mind and energy. With so many people working from home nowadays, loads of us are spending more time inside than ever before. Because of this, keeping a clean home that’s free of clutter, decorating and redecorating as my mood changes, and curating our space so it brings calm, is another mode of expression that’s very important to me.
What are your wellness rituals? We noticed you like spending time in nature – is there a particular place you go to re-center and find a moment of calm?
I often say I’m not a beach person, because I’m not in the traditional sense—I don’t like to go lay on the sand in the heat of the summer as I dread being hot and sticky, and I grew up with the mountains—but I absolutely love the ocean. If I need clarity, answers, calm, I will head to the beach (in the morning or in the evening), sit on the sand close to the surf, and watch the waves. To me, nature is a higher power. The ocean is like a god. I know I will always leave feeling centered and whole after spending time with the sea.
How has your experience to your health and your body changed over the years?
In my late teens and early twenties, I was extremely insecure. I didn’t have much respect for my body and all that it does for me, and I treated myself poorly overall. I had a constant voice in my head casting doubt, weighing me down 24/7. I’ve struggled with my mental health since I was young, and it reached a peak my senior year of college, when I would struggle with anxiety attacks and relied on medication to feel normal. It wasn’t until I branched out on my own and moved to a new city by myself, that I learned how to take care of myself, because I had no choice. You grow so much when you step outside of your comfort zone, and that move changed me in so many ways, including teaching me self-love.
What’s one wellness issue you’ve struggled with that could help liberate other womxn going through a similar experience?
I battled an aggressive case of perioral dermatitis (basically just inflammation around the mouth with no known cause and in my case, no clear cure) for about a year, and it sent me into the darkest mental space I’d been in in a very long time. I hated myself. I hated what I saw in the mirror. I refused to go out or meet up with friends. My husband was deployed overseas and I was ashamed to FaceTime him. It consumed me. I tried everything. I saw multiple doctors and took all the advice I could find, but nothing helped.
I eventually came to the realisation that everyone’s skin is different, and just because mine was red and bumpy, doesn’t make me less deserving of love and joy than someone whose skin is clear, dewy, and glowing. Skin is our largest organ and if it’s inflamed, it’s likely trying to communicate something to us. I began seeing the ways in which everything in the body is connected and learning ways to nourish myself rather than punish myself.
While I don’t know what caused this to happen and I don’t know exactly what fixed it, I have a newfound respect for skin—especially real, raw, blemished skin—and I thank it every day for doing its best and holding me together.
What rituals have you learned to help support you in navigating that challenge?
The biggest ritual for me was working to change the voice inside my head that was telling me I was worthless. I started to replace each negative thought I had about myself with a kind one. I would envision myself as a young girl, and ask myself if I would speak to her the way I was speaking to myself in that moment. Talking to a younger you is an incredible way to learn to be gentler with yourself. Journaling my thoughts also helped me significantly.
If you had to choose one wellness ritual that has changed your life, what would it be?
Yoga, 100%. While I’m not as consistent as I’d like to be, yoga got me through one of the roughest times of my life after going through an ugly break up, and I’ll always credit the practice for changing my life.
You clearly have an artistic eye when it comes to creating content. What are you inspired by?
The sea, the sun, the earth. There is so much natural beauty around us if we just take the time to see it.
What’s the wellness advice you would give your younger self?
Your mind and your body are in perfect harmony, trust them.