#SWW Interview: Mishea'la Russell

#SelfWorthWednesday has been an ongoing trend within the community. Expressing our desires to improve our own appreciations of ourselves, as well as sharing how we work to boost others on their self love journeys, is something that we, as a community of dreamers, doers, and lovers, practice endlessly. Long time follower and passionate heart, Mishy, or @mishy_127 on Twitter, has a spirit that shines so bright everywhere she goes, and unsurprisingly, has an honorable plan for diving into self worth and improvement. 

What possibilities do you hope to find within the new year?

I hope that more possibilities for writing will present themselves to me, be it finding the time to blog more, guest writing, etc. I definitely want to push past the fear I have, and take advantage of any open mic opportunities in my city and surrouding cities so I can share my spoken word poetry with people. I also hope that there will be more travel opportunities to see family and friends, and to explore new places!

How do you plan on making this year one filled with light and growth?

I hope to be able to fully learn how to properly take care of myself physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. I feel like there have been times in my life in which I knew what the best things to do for myself were, but I was too afraid or maybe even too lazy to implement the changes. This year, I'm exploring all the possibilities to become and take care of myself to become my best me. 

Something that a lot of people include in their resolutions is the idea of self care. What are some of your personal tricks that help you appreciate yourself?

I've noticed that I spend WAY too much time on my phone, especially right before I go to bed, and not enough time reading books or writing. So, two hours before I go to bed, I make some tea, turn on my essential oils diffuser, turn off my phone completely, and I read or write until it's time to go to bed. I feel like that time helps me process my day, my life,and my thoughts, and gets me into a better mindset instead of me simply scrolling through other peoples' lives on my social media feeds.

At the beginning of this year, I also made some dietary changes, and have done more consistent workouts than I have in my adult life (which hasn't been very long, but still!). I am currently doing the Blogilates 28-day reset challenge with my sister (you eat/drink things that have no dairy, no gluten, no added sugars, and aren't processed), and have been attending Zumba classes and doing Pilates at home. My body has felt amazing, and even though I may dip back into some of the foods I used to eat/drink (I really miss pizza and some sweetened creamer for my coffee, to be honest!), I plan on being more aware of what I put into my body, and making some permanent switches to the foods I intake as well.

Life can take us by storm and leave us in utter exhaustion sometimes. When you're left feeling mentally checked out, what do you do to refresh and get ready to embark the next adventure?

If I start to feel overwhelmed or checked out, I have to have a good amount of time by myself, preferably in my bedroom, to process things, to dig into my Bible, to just have some good quiet time to rejuvenate my mind and body before I can tackle the next task. There was one time in the spring of last year that I just scheduled so many things on so many consecutive days, that my body started shutting down completely, and I didn't feel like I was in my right mind. I ended up cancelling all the plans I'd originally made because I wasn't capable of handling it all. I learned the hard way that if I'm physically and mentally exhausted, and continue to push myself anyway, I'm unable to accomplish things in the best way that I can.

It's not the easiest thing to do, but think back to a time that you thought that you were at an ultimate low. What do you wish you could've told yourself about life beyond that moment?

I heard and saw this everywhere when I was enduring a really rough time in 2016, and finishing it out in 2017, but that hard and hurtful things truly do get better eventually - that even though it seems like you'll never get out of the funk you're in, as long as you focus on the Lord, and ask Him to just help you take a step towards healing each day, He's faithful in helping you get over whatever you're going through. It doesn't mean that the situation will change, but your perspective and attitude about the situation totally can, and it makes a world of a difference!

Have you adopted any new mantras for 2018? If not, what's one that you're carrying through?

Oh YES! Two come to my mind right now...

The first one: "Fix your eyes." I've got this posted on a paint chip at eye-level on my bedroom door so that before I step foot outside of my little bubble, I'll remember to check where my focus is for the day, which should be on Christ.

The second: "You can't steal my joy." I find that it's so easy to complain and whine about the negative things that happen in life, but it's inevitable that those things are going to happen. It's up to us to truly dwell in the joy of the Lord, and determinedly declare that, whatever didn't go our way, whatever hard thing is headed our way, we will not allow it to rule over us and steal our joy.

2017 was a year of plenty of ups and down for most of us. What do you feel like was the most valuable thing you learnt from everything you powered through last year?

I feel like I'm still learning this, but you can still demand respect for yourself from yourself and others, and still be soft and sympathetic towards others. Last year, I mentally beat myself up a lot, saying, "Mishy, you're way too sweet and forgiving, people are going to step all over you if you don't stand up for yourself, and cut these people off, or let them have it!" I found the balance of guarding my heart, and still understanding the struggles of others truly difficult to understand.

Although I feel like I've personally taken some huge steps in the right direction of learning how this works for me, I still feel like I need to learn more in this area this year!

Are there any projects in particular that you're excited about jumping into this year? They can be personal journeys of growth, achievements that peers are nearing to complete, online community celebrations, or anything of the like.

Yes! I'm really excited to be working on the releases of the last two parts of my poetry project The Butterfly that I started late last year, and also officially outlining the poetry book I've wanted to write for about a year now! I'm also currently working on creating a team, and rebooting my online writing community #JustStartWriting! Praying that the Lord would lead me in these endeavors as I take the necessary steps towards these goals, and that I wouldn't feel rushed, but will take my time to put out my best work!

Chelsea Triano