Woodlot Women // Kale

Woodlot Women was developed to feature the amazing women we know and love. To celebrate the journey - both the highs and the lows, the successes and the failures.To bring to light to the many issues we face, in beauty and in life - because it's okay not to be okay. We want to honor exactly where you are right now, while igniting a conversation that inspires fierce and loyal self-care. Writer, artist, daughter, sister and devoted coffee drinker - today, meet Kale. 

I don’t like to say, “I’m depressed." Not because I feel any shame around
the word, or because I feel embarrassed or weak for experiencing depression. But because for me, depression is just that. A thing that I experience. Not something that I am.

“I may be depressed, but depressed is not me.”

Depressed is not the first word that comes to mind when I think about who I
am in the world.

I am a writer, an artist, a daughter, a sister and a friend. I’m a talker, a reader, and a devoted coffee drinker. I’m a diver, a surfer, and a lover of the sea, and yes, I am someone who periodically experiences depression.

But I am not depressed. I do not identify as someone who is depressed. And
I certainly do not define myself, as depressed.

Something that defines me, perhaps, is how I choose to experience
depression. How I choose to speak to myself or about myself, both out loud, to
other people, and also, quietly, in my own mind. And how I choose to speak about depression itself, and how much ownership I choose to take over it.

Depression is not my failure. Depression is not my weakness. Depression is
not my flaw, or my downfall.

To me, depression is an opportunity, to check in with myself, and my body, and ask, How can I treat you better? What is it, that you need?

Depression is my intuition, telling me that something isn’t right in my body,
and that I need to pay closer attention to how I am nourishing myself, whether or
not I am getting enough sleep, or spending enough time with my loved ones, how I am speaking to myself, and whether or not I am taking time for myself, to do the
things that I enjoy.

Depression is a signal, a sign, and perhaps even the part of me that loves
myself the most.

Depression is survival.

These are the words I choose to associate with this thing that I feel, because
these are the words that empower me, and disempower it.

And perhaps, even more important than how we speak about depression, is
how we listen to it speaking to us...

What is it really saying?
Slow down.
Love yourself a little more...
Believe in yourself a little bit more...
Perhaps it’s time to listen.

Our favourite way to listen, to reconnect and to understand what it really is we need in this moment is through ritual. Whether it's breath work, movement or lighting a stick of palo santo, small daily rituals force us to slow down, to carve out time and to check in with our heart's true needs. If you need a little inspiration, read our favourite ways to invite in self-love with ritual here.

If you are struggling, know that you are not alone and there are a number of free resources available to help. If you are currently experiencing a mental health crisis, go to the nearest hospital, call 911 or a crisis line. Don't wait until it's too late.

Woodlot xo