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Physical Space as Self-Expression

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

Taken from Soul Stories Patreon! For weekly videos, content, and free access to in-person events, sign up at

We are back with a new video and....! This week we listened to an episode of Brene Brown’s podcast “Unlocking Us” where she interviewed designer Justina Blakeney. It’s a beautiful episode in which Justina tells her story of growing up as a Black and Jewish American who spent a lot of time in different countries. She shares her journey of finding belonging and learning how to smash the boxes that others put her in.

In this video, Shelsea and I talk about the importance of physical space and the journeys we underwent to smash the boxes that we felt trapped in.

Link to the episode:

A quote from Brene Brown talking about truth

Tips for Self-Acceptance and Reflection from Soul Stories:

I often feel like self-acceptance is pitched as a mental framework where you say to yourself “I love myself” and that’s end of story, but there’s more to it than that.

Here are my top 3 tips. Feel free to share what yours are.

  • Go to therapy: Therapy fills a different role than close friends in my life. It’s a space where I can say the darkest things in my mind and have time to really feel through different emotions in my body. It’s a space where therapists have mirrored my internal realities and I have had the chance to learn how those realities have developed. No matter how hard I tried on my own, it hasn’t fully worked. Our minds create very STRONG defenses that often keep us from getting to the core of our pain. A quality therapist can help you break these walls down and let go of things that cause us mental anguish.

  • Ask for feedback: Whether it’s with family, friends or at work, often my greatest lessons have come from the people around me. They can see things that I can’t. They often can see my shortcomings and bad habits before I want to see them. It is very scary to get feedback on yourself (not a project). Feedback can feel like a personal attack and a threat to ourselves. However, I truly don’t think we can fully learn about ourselves without this process. As you practice, it is one of the most liberating exercises and often leads to deeper relationships and connections.

  • Push your comfort zone: In our comfort zones, it is perfectly acceptable to operate as we have always operated. Outside of it, we have to go through the uncomfortable process of learning new skills and behaviors. We have to fail. In failure, we can see ourselves in a new light. It tests our character and ability to persevere. It shows us what areas of ourselves need attention and nurturing. Outside of our comfort zones we feel fully awake, embodied and alive. At first, it doesn’t feel good and can be easy to resist. As you continue to do it, it becomes an addictive and exciting practice.

Self-acceptance is an active process that requires us to work through our emotional pain points, engage in difficult conversations and try out new things. It is a humbling process that does not come from online articles or chat rooms. When we let go of the idea that we fully know ourselves, we can begin to fully love our incomplete and messy selves.


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