Daina Tate; a perpetual work in progress, who is newly committed to sharing her journey of self-love and acceptance, living in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

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What does self-care mean to you? It means self-preservation, selflessness, it also correlates with mental health. 

-What spurred you to get involved in self-care? Over the course of the past couple of years I felt an unhappiness. I was in the mind frame of getting a good job and just having impressive credentials. For 2 years I worked for this big company and always made sure I was available to them, and it seemed like the more money I made the more broke I was. I just wasn’t putting any time into myself. After two years I decided that I needed some clarity and I felt like I was becoming an angry person, and I didn’t know who to blame. I had also met someone in the relationship I was very codependent, and their goals became my goals and I lost focus. So between the career thing and relationship not working out, fear kicked in and I was forced to turn to myself. I started having honest conversations with myself about how I needed to take accountability for my actions, and I came up with the term “with all this love”. I was doing things with the wrong intentions, for money etc. I was really broke after leaving the job for a year and I really had nothing to offer except what I had internally, thus I began to do the internal work of having every action be done in love.

What were some of your struggles in sticking to self care practices? Being disciplined. I have to actively take time to meditate and be in silence. I panic more, I overthink and go to worse case scenario when I don’t. It’s like exercise. It’s my form of exercise, and it took some months to get there. Like I’ll do it for 10 days straight and then fall off. It’s hard to stay consistent and it’s tough to drop bad habits. I have times when I want to be defensive because of past experiences, but I can’t do that if I really want to be open. And the ego for sure is the number one enemy.

How do you work to share self care with others? I’d been writing letters to myself every year for my birthday, and I one day I got the notion to post these self conversations - sometimes heavy sometimes playful. I have a Wordpress blog, it’s not so much for people to see and is more for me to push myself out of my comfort zone. I started this in June and I’ve gotten positive feedback from people I know and people I don’t know. It’s nice to know that I am connecting with people. Sharing my struggle has been helpful to people, but I haven’t solved anything.