Self Care is feminism, self care is activism, self care is political change.
When Horticulture For Healing speaks of self care we do not mean going to get a massage or a facial nor do we mean healing on your own without the help of others. We promote self care as essential and vital, uniting women, becoming a feminist, while learning to love oneself and connecting to one’s own feminine energy, and the earth. Self care to me, as a woman and the founder of this organization, is coming to understand that I can reach into the soul through these connections and begin to gain confidence while claiming my power and strength.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Audre Lorde the self-described “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet”, explores how self-care can become a technique of governance: the duty to care for oneself often written as a duty to care for one’s own happiness, flourishing, and well-being.Written in Audre Lorde’s epilogue to A Burst of Light
Self care not only helps the body physically while healing emotionally, it can also be used as a tool to help people often belittled by society due to life circumstances, recognize our voice and claim the space that is so rightfully ours, in the same society that tells us that we are not worthy of power, pleasure, and a happy, joyous, and free life. Feminist writer Sharanya Sekaram explains in The Politics of Self Care and Feminism that people from oppressed racial groups, LGBTQ, and women, whose bodies, lives and pleasure have been denied to them, the act of reclaiming and doing what gives them pleasure is deeply political.
Our Plant Care Is Self Care Kits are intended to spread powerful feminist ideals while encouraging individuals who identify with the feminine spirit to experience and claim self care, love, and pleasure as a right. Our Kits are intended to empower, inspire, and be a source of support (along with professional help including therapy and other life wellness programs) for women and girls who are going through major emotional, physical , mental, and spiritual growth. When I was in early recovery from substance use I did not recognize the words: self and care, let alone comprehend that self and care combined was something that was my human right. I felt shame even at the thought of experiencing some form of self care and what that would look like. All that I had been through in my past history up to that point caused me to feel unworthy of such a vital life-force. During that time I felt disgusted with my body, my mind, and my personality. I had no idea who I was or what I liked. I thought self care was for wealthy privileged individuals who got lucky in life, defiantly not for a woman like me who was unhoused, believed she was broken, and newly sober. I truly believed I was not worthy of self care.
Over time with practice, growth, and working with other women who empowered me to become self sustaining and honour my feminine power. I now proudly claim my right to self care and understand that it is something necessary for my sobriety, my feminism, activism, my relationships, and my life.
Taking care of myself is now a crucial part of my functionality in daily life. Without self care today I wouldn’t be able to maintain a healthy life, stay sober, while being present for myself and others.
In her same powerful article Sharanya Sakaram illustrates that self care is a deeply feminist idea because through learning that self care is a right and beginning to practice this women can experience the power of choice, autonomy, gain self confidence, value, and strength.
Self Care is for everyone, however in this current time it is critical that women and girls receive resources to discover the fire behind self care in order for the feminine to come into power, and lead humanity in an earth honouring direction. Self care is a quiet but strong call to action, a political force to move past oppression and uncertainty.
Through Horticulture For Healing I want women to gain access to the power that comes from combining self care, feminism, and connecting to the earth and come to understand this as a vital life force in which they can give themselves permission to find the time and space needed to heal.
Disclaimer: I understand that everyone’s self care is different. This blog post is based off of my own feminist and self care ideals, other feminist writers, and women who have influenced me on my recovery journey. Thank you for taking your time to read my post.
Feminist art: Bodil Jane