Zoe Helene Spaleta
As most people do, I have a perception of who I am. I know what things I like, what I enjoy spending my time doing and what type of person I present to others, but I don’t think any of these versions of myself define me.
I am constantly changing, adapting and evolving as I learn new things, meet new people and grow older. I would like to think I am someone who is compassionate, loving, open minded and kind – someone who is aware that they will never know everything about themselves and the world and that’s okay.
I’m only human, and I don’t think I will ever reach a point where I stop discovering myself, perhaps that will be my perpetual journey.
I take care of myself by spending quality time with loved ones, exercising and eating well, being outdoors in nature and walking my dog. I love delving into the stories and melodies created from the imaginations of strangers and find great comfort in other people’s creativity as well as my own. Taking care of myself looks like all of these things and more – but the most important factor is ensuring I actually make enough time for myself to relax and wind down and take care of my mental and physical needs.
My daily rituals are the same as most people – my morning coffee, walking the dog, reading my book on lunch breaks, watching a film before bed with my husband. These build routine in my day to day and are all things that I love doing, even though they’re simple and mundane.
When I think of beauty I picture the way people light up when they express their love and excitement for their passions or how someone laughs or cries when they watch their favourite film. I think of the beauty of a moment when a mother hugs her child or someone sees their loved one after a long time apart.
I believe that our wellbeing begins with our minds and if we look after our thoughts and emotions and learn how to process and manage them our physical health will always benefit. It goes the other way as well, when we look after our bodies and stay attuned to our physical sensations we learn what our mind and body are trying to tell us about our mental and physical state. For me, wellbeing will always be defined by this connection of body and mind and to keep learning how best we can take care of them both individually and together.
To return to myself I do the usual things like reading a book or listening to music, napping with our dog or having a cup of tea while watching a movie. Sometimes I watch movies that I loved as a child. I find it so comforting – connecting with my younger self makes me nostalgic and nostalgia makes me reminisce with a grateful heart. Feeling grateful always grounds me because it makes me realise how lucky and privileged I am to live the life that I do. Now that I think about it, feeling any emotion grounds me… it makes me feel alive and that returns me to myself.
I feel most fulfilled when travelling, seeing new things and experiencing different cultures. Taking photos and looking at them afterwards and feeling proud. Reading a book, learning something new and feeling the weight of it. Making the people I love happy. Loving them and feeling loved in return. Feeling fulfilled isn’t something I notice every day, but when I do I acknowledge and I cherish it.