Since my return to the States from five months of travel in Southeast Asia, a lot has changed, one of the more noticeable changes being in my face.
In the last month of my travels, I did the most moving around in a short period of time than I had the entire trip. I traveled from the dry heat of South of India to the Northern humidity of Mumbai, even more north to Delhi, and then back to Bangalore.
A few weeks later, I was up in the air again, London-bound. A day later, I was back in Los Angeles. A week later, I was in San Diego. And a mere few days after that, I was Kentucky-bound, where I stayed for over a month. And now, I’m in Las Vegas. Next week I’ll be in San Diego, and after that, back to Los Angeles.
So far I attribute all this climate change to my current biggest insecurity: my acne.
It slowly got worse and worse. In India I would wear no makeup, and it was often that people would point saying, “What happened??” What started as a little break out in the chin area grew. Then I had a little flurry on my forehead. Now, my forehead and chin are completely covered.
My sister went through some heavy duty acne treatment, and her dermatologist says that when it’s to the point that mine is at, it takes more extreme measures to really fully clear it up again. This scares me, though. I quit birth control and all other medications with the intention of ridding my body of unnatural substances, toxins and harsh chemicals. It’s difficult (and expensive) enough as it is consume all-organic food living in the U.S., so I figure if I can make the choice to eliminate medications and other foreign crap from my body, I should try.
So then I thought: could traveling around or diet change really be the cause of all this? It has never been this bad before, and I’m sure I’ve been a lot less healthy in my life. And then I remember how fast my face cleared after leaving Bali after a month of travel, after I really felt at peace with myself and my life and my path for the first time. Is there another reason? Another cure?
I looked up spiritual reasons for acne:
Disliking or rejecting yourself. Which is negative thought turned inward towards your self. That energy then collects in the body and is not released. Both of these thought patterns are what causes the body (especially the filter organs and the skin is the largest filter organ) to become clogged. The collected, suppressed and therefore clogged negative thoughts and emotions manifest as physical clogs that are a perfect vibrational match to the physical manifestation of a localized infection (which is what we call a pimple.) (Ask Teal – The Spiritual Catalyst)
This brought to my attention another change that has taken place over the past few months, one that I am realizing I have definitely been dwelling on: weight gain.
Eating well and enjoying myself in Asia has added led to gaining about ten pounds. Because I tend to gain weight in my face first, it’s something that I have been upset about. Obsessively. I talk about it too much, because I feel like everyone else sees the same thing. I want to beat them to the thought, let them know I fully acknowledge that my face is fuller, my cheek bones less prominent. I would look back at the days I worked in LA and wish I was that thin again, wish my face had the shape it once had.
And now, not only is my face rounder, but it is completely covered in bumps. Makeup hides it a bit, but it’s still very much noticeable, and putting tea tree oil (my attempt at a natural solution) dries it out, so it flakes and makes my face look like a shedding reptile. I have definitely had my moments of melt downs as of late, looking at the girl staring back at me in the mirror.
But then I realize… how f*cking ridiculous I’m being.
I realize that I am my own problem. I am likely aggravating it with all this internal BS. And I realize that I am my own solution.
When I start to get upset I remember that there are people in the world who have a lot of reasons more legitimate than I to be upset. Not stupid, materialistic, external shit. But real shit. And you know what? They choose to smile. They choose to be happy. And I’m over crying about what my face looks like, or a couple pounds put on? Essentially all revolving around my ego?
No. I’m not going to be this way.
I remind myself of all this, but I also remind myself that today, I am strong.
A year ago, in LA I was really, really thin. It’s true. But you know what? I was weak and incredibly unhealthy. I wasn’t active at all, I was to busy to eat. I had no muscle. I was skin and bones. And I didn’t feel good about myself still. Because what was going on on the inside – stress, insecurity, bullshit – wasn’t keeping me from it.
Today, I am stronger. I am more flexible. When I am in my yoga practice, with every full inhale and deep exhale, I feel my body. I feel me. I witness my strength. I witness my improvement. I witness my growth. I am strong, and it is exuded physically as I hold myself up with each asana.
Not as skinny as I was before? Who f*cking cares. That’s not what I do this for. I like feeling strong. I like how I feel about my body when I am in my yoga practice, when I am within me. And I have to keep reminding myself that.
If there is an external, physical cause: traveling, changing climate, changing diet, quitting birth control, etc., I am realizing there are definitely internal changes, thought patterns, I can make which may not only contribute to the solution, but is healthier for me in general. I think I might be in need of a metaphysical detox over a physical (though I’m sure a combination of the two would be the most effective).
One of my most important intentions this month was patience. Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience. I have to be patient with myself.
And love myself more, beyond this external vessel that I happen to currently inhabit.