Self- care brings images of yoga, nature, solitude… But what if the act of getting dressed could be a self- care ritual? A ritual that we integrate into our every day.
Clothing has so much power and meaning for me that it puts me in the frame of mind and emotional state that I want to be in. In the morning when I’m getting dressed, I’m deciding how I want to feel that day, not how I want to look..
How do my clothes support and nurture me?
In the morning I wake up, and the first thing I do is throw on my morning wake up comfort clothes. They are baggy and soft, and in tones of purple and blue. I'm more spiritually connected to myself in the morning, and those colours help emphasise that. Working from home and not leaving the house on a cold day? I’ll wear jogging pants and a cashmere sweater all day, and feel protected and safe. In need of a mood boost? I’ll always turn to my bright pink and red pants, because they make me feel happy. Going to an art gallery? I’ll wear my brightest coloured Narmada jacket with baggy jeans, because I want to feel creative and cool.
I didn’t always think this way. A few years ago I read the Marie Kondo Book, The Life- Changing Magic of Tidying Up ( Like many of you, I’m guessing). I donated eight garbage bags of clothing and accessories, and immediately felt lighter. The process of connecting to my intuition to see if something “sparked joy” or not, was a revelation. It seems obvious now, but I'd never seen how powerful our clothing is. I realised that if my clothing can carry negative emotions that drag me down, it can also hold positive energy to lift me up. I started making sure I only wore clothes with positive associations.
So how do I create positive energy and meaning around my clothing? When I first take a new item of clothing home, I’ll wear it a few times, and observe my emotions when I’m wearing it. For example I recently got a big oversized t- shirt at a market, hand dyed with soft pinks and greens. Upon wearing it a few times I realised it was very comforting to me, and I felt feminine and safe when I wore it. When I made a trip to a retreat centre a few weeks later, to learn Reiki, I bought the T-shirt. Having it with me on this important and memorable trip imbued the t-shirt with more positive memories. Now whenever I look at it I’m reminded of the reiki course, and I also feel the emotions of protection and femininity. It's become a powerful object that I can use to elicit these emotions. And it's "just" a t-shirt!
It goes without saying that all of my Namai jackets are the same. My Narmada Jacket, the first one I ever kept, is bright purple and pale yellow, and I feel so cool, artsy and creative when I wear it. I've worn it to countless exhibitions and art galleries, and also to Mexico City, and the home of Frida Kahlo. Now it’s imbued with those memories and emotions, like a magical cape that I can put on whenever I want to feel that way. I could go on and on… Because the same process of self care extends to shoes, sunglasses, bags... Everything that adorns my body.
Recently I’ve been thinking… Since clothing can be such a powerful tool for self care and self expression, what if I designed for those needs? Made sure that there are pieces in the collection that provide comfort, spirituality, ease, joy, self reflection? I’m still at the very beginning of exploring what Namai can and will be. Thank you for being on this journey with me!