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Over the last year, I’ve talked openly about my mental health. When shit hit the fan I felt that it was important for me to do so.
Then something funny happened. The posts where I opened up seemed to get more likes, more attention, more feedback - which is okay! It’s normal to feel more connected when someone is being honest. But attention can also become weirdly addictive, as we all know very well. It took me a second to understand what was going on.
One day, one of my friends whose IG talks a lot about her mental illness told me that all her audience wanted were her crazy, teary, activated moments. And that, well, she felt kind of trapped into that persona.
The thing is, I have never identified with my depression. It was a moment in time. I am healed. I am good! So, when I started feeling better, I had to learn to let go of the kind of attention you get when you’re... In pain.
The quest for attention is endless. It can be making a disease into a schtick, getting addicted to posting sexy photos, feeling like we have to spend our life traveling to make it interesting... It can escalate quite fast.
At the point when I understood I was healed, talked about it because I think it is a message as important as talking about the fact that anyone can go through a depression. I let go of that sort of attention - and went back to a life with its usual highs, and lows.
By doing that, making sure I wasn’t glamorizing depression just for likes.
The @newyorkermag recently wrote about this, citing the story I posted a little less than a year ago, calling it an “early sign of the times” and calling this the “getting real” post - you should read - it’s good. I’ll put the link in my bio. .
Today is #mentalhealthawareness day and I thought it was good day to talk about all this. As we’re all becoming mini “brands” it’s easy to stay stuck in the version of ourselves that seems to get the most attention. .
But behind the screens, here we are. Ever changing, fascinating, boring, happy, aching. It’s important to let ourselves be open and vulnerable to change and growth... and healing. And not derive our sense of self from the outside. Our mental health depends on it.
Is it actually paradise to grow up in paradise?
I’m spending a few days in Corsica. It’s stunning, it’s home. My family lives here. It’s small, slow, beautiful. Corsicans are proud and warm. Food is delicious. I LOVE coming back, taking it in, reminiscing & romanticizing my childhood. Some of you have been asking me - why not move back?
The truth is, all I wanted when I was a kid was to leave. I had a love-hate relationship with my island. .
One part of me loved being the queen of my natural kingdom. We would fish, hike, swim, our village was a giant playground. The place was so small we were free to do whatever we wanted as long as we came back for meals. As I grew up I had my first kisses, hangovers and jobs here. .
I was a dreamer and nature & freedom were a perfect background for my imagination.
There was this, and then there was the other part of me, who wanted nothing more than to discover the world. As I grew up summers weren’t paradise anymore, with all the family hard at work at our restaurant. I saw limited options for my future. I wanted to meet the fascinating people I saw in The Face. OMG get out!!! Something in me didn’t fit in. I needed more spaciousness to let my heart grow. “Who I was” was too clearly defined here. I needed to touch and feel other cultures & possibilities. .
I started traveling on my own at 14. At 16 I did my first solo trip to LA. I remember thinking Venice was SO COOL. Ah! No idea I would live there one day. .
I’ll never know what pushed me to go settle on the other side of the world - but it was in me since I was a child. .
Today I still have a profound connection to nature, a deep bond with my island, and I am proud, warm and a liiiiittle bit slow like a true Corsican - but I also love my American lifestyle and my friends from all over the world.
Paradise means living the fullest expression of ourselves, even if worlds away from home.
Its knowing the secret to loving well is to love at the right distance.
Paradise is in our hearts!
📷 taken on the heights of Girolata, the circular stone field is an “aire à blé”, where the ancients would work the grains. Looks like a sacred place, no? Prbly is!!! 😋
When I left Paris yesterday to fly home to Corsica, there was a funny sense of irony in the air.
Fashion Week had just started.
It wasn’t planned like that. I just hadn’t thought about it, because I don’t really anymore. At the @hotellutetia where I was staying, I could see giant bags of @chloe being delivered. A team photographing a girl going up & down & up & down the stairs, tirelessly. A whole world was getting amped up. I was leaving. .
I left FW slowly, withdrawing my presence as I felt it was not needed anymore - causing me more stress & pain than feeding my creative spirit.
It was hard, because I had status.
Status I had earned working tirelessly. .
To some, this bubbly, beautiful & cruel world is a neon dream come true. To others it’s a maze of anxiety. I’m part of the second group, though it took me a while to admit it to myself. .
The panic attacks started hitting stronger. I had to listen.
The world of fashion itself was shifting. Hoards of influencers where making fashion something new. They didn’t need anyone to take their photos, they were doing it themselves. The same images were repeated everywhere. My mission had shifted from telling stories about a fascinating world to sitting pretty on the front row in order to perpetuate & grow my status, my “brand”.
As my body painfully reminded me, it’s just not me.
Our truth is non-negotiable. Trust me, I tried. .
So I left. The positive effects of listening to your soul are immediate. I never regretted it. On the contrary, each time I hear that fashion week is going on somewhere, I sigh with relief. I am so happy I gave my spot to someone that appreciates it.
I still love fashion & beautiful images. Just differently. I still talk to a lot of insiders, because they come to me & ask for my point of view - and I have many points of views 😋
So today I am writing you from peaceful Corsica, my heart grateful for the courage to let go of things we should be loving but just don’t, or don’t anymore. To life changes & allowing our passions to flow. To reinventing ourselves as many times as needed. And loving life exactly where we are, whatever else is going on in the world.
Being a beauty ambassador for @lamer is... Actually pretty major. I mean they do stand for nothing else but GREAT skin. It’s extra mega flattering, but also it shows how much things have changed on the subject of aging. It’s TIME! I’m 44 and happy to talk about it - and I swear I don’t feel any different than when I was younger. .
Maybe just wiser and more relaxed. .
The only thing I would say is that taking care of my skin has always been a thing for me, and today I can see the benefits of it. I never wear a lot of make up, but I do love good skin ritual. .
The @lamer Regenerating Serum is just awesome, like an invisible everyday ally. Simple, straight to the point - it plumps and tightens and I feel fresh. .
So yay to more years and beauty and adventures to come. Growing is awesome, living is awesome. Let’s do this!!!
I am quite super extra proud to announce that I am a @lamer ambassador! I am so honored about this partnership. .
It’s so timely because I’ve actually never really felt as good in my skin - not in a superficial way but more deeply. .
I have a new mantra in life and it applies to my idea on beauty : light hold. .
Take care of yourself, but hold on lightly to who you think you are - so you can let yourself grow, change and evolve. Beauty in our twenties is different than beauty in our forties, and that’s what’s good!!!
I love the Regenerating Serum for the plump, fresh effect it has on my skin. I also love applying it. It smells and feels delicious. I’ve always been more about having a naturally radiant skin than applying a ton of make up - and this really, really helps!!! #LoveLaMer .
Director @catherine.orchard 💛
Dp @htatlinhtut 🙌🏻
Make up @hollygowers 👌🏼
Hair @kennalandny ✌🏼
Thank you, amazing @lamer team
Silence 2/2 - I don’t know at which moment I started creating “me” and stopped being just a kid living the moment. Slowly, probably, I made the persona you know. I learned how to be loved, protect myself, to survive in society. Layers of me. I remember moments, like the day I decided to stop being shy because I realized everybody is insecure - & became outgoing pretty much overnight. I was 18.
When I entered silence, it was in my yoga pants. Sitting for long hours requires soft clothes. People do not look at you anyway. For 6 days, no one, except maybe your teachers, sees you. .
I talk to people. I interact, I smile, I joke around. Connection is the salt of my life.
There, only silence. .
I starting missing my “self”. Who I am when I am nothing to others? When I can’t be seen? It felt excruciating, humbling, to look at that “self” from the distance. I had love & compassion for her, but also for the 1st time, I saw how much of it was a creation. I missed my envelope, real bad.
My games & resistance were just a way to keep her close. —
When we broke silence a week later, we did talking groups. We had to listen to what people were saying, without interrupting (lol if you’ve seen my latest video you know I can have a liiiiitle problem with that)(not always, just when I’m excited). .
A woman in my group told us how shy she is. And how not being seen was the most comfortable she had felt in her life. She could move freely for the 1st time.
So, I told her how agonizing it was for me, made her laugh. I was back 🤷🏻♀️ .
I could tell you so much more... I left saying I would NEVER do that crazy thing again, but now I’m like oh shit I learned so much. Maybe I need more of it. .
This retreat was just a part of the work I’ve been doing on myself for years but it has been a great moment of discovery. It’s definitely “life changing”, this elusive concept which is a journey - not a destination.
PS The teachers & dharma talks where phenomenal. I have to add a line about the beauty of 100+ people meditating together. The peace. The love. The eternity of a moment. The purity. .
@spirit_rock #matthewbrensilver #vinnyferraro @joannahardy65 🙏
Hey, I never told you about my silent retreat! I think that I needed to process it.
Let me plant the decor. I was having the funnest summer. Parties, people, tequila, all the light & happy things. @em_note and I had booked the retreat months earlier & I was looking at it coming at me like a car crash. I actually told myself that I might cancel. Yep, that seemed like a great idea. .
But something pushed me to jump in my car and go. My curiosity more than my spirituality. .
I had planned on driving there. I love to drive, it soothes me. I listened to Pema Chodron & tried to get back into some semblance of mindfulness. I picked up Em in SF and we were off. .
We shared a room. This is not a 5 star stay. Nobody cleans your room. No AC. You have tasks everyday (I was cleaning the kitchen. I liked it!). We entered silence. You surrender your phone. You don’t : talk. Read. Write. Look at people in the eyes. You meditate for hours. HOURS. .
I knew Em was going to be committed to the practice. She’s good like that. There would be no secret talking.
Me? I was a total fraud. .
The 1st day I was like wtf am doing here. I missed all the walking meditations because i couldn’t cope with a 100 people walking zombie like, deeply entrenched in their silence. I would go hide in our room, sweating on the bed and entertaining myself with MY THOUGHTS 😂 Yep. 1st lesson. Thoughts = entertainment. And wow, are they repetitive. I realized I had 4 thoughts... Basically the whole 6 days : dreaming about a guy or 2, planing career moves, thinking of my schedule & if could I sneak a tea in my room. The 4th thought was : should I just leave. .
Meals where the funniest. Everyone was so focused, head down, sometimes eyes closed, eating veeeery slowly as you’re supposed to. Me? I was looking at them. (Isn’t it what I always do anyway? Observe?) I had found a GREAT game : match feet with person. At the end of the week I could tell you who was who just by looking at their feet. .
Can you tell by now how much resistance I was dealing with?
But. The most difficult thing to me? Dropping “me”. Mmmm. I’ll have to come back for another installment to tell you about it. Tomorrow?