Saturday, May 26, 2018

Self-Love Poetry & Portraits at Outdoor Voices

In honor of National Poetry Month in April, I led a self-love focused poetry workshop at Outdoor Voices, in collaboration with Praise of ComePlum who took portraits of the ladies who attended.


This event was so special to me, because of the fact that I went full circle from where I was last year...


Imma be real for a sec...a year ago, I hated myself.

I was in a very dark place. My depression was the worst it had ever been, and most of the time, I didn't even have *hope* that things would get better.

A year ago, I would've never thought I'd be hosting a poetry workshop about self-love! It was such an honor to be able to come out stronger and to share my self-love story and to help other women express their love for themselves over written word.


Fun Fact: Praise and I actually met in a Lyft-line last year!

Leading up to the event:

The 2-3 weeks leading up to the event, I had anxiety and self-doubt about preparation (ironic, right?).  I was reading on how to teach poetry (I actually have a book on it, lol) and I kept hearing that "you can't do this, you're not good enough" voice. Of course, the more I'd entertain that voice, the worse I'd feel.
But, after praying about it, I felt this peaceful energy rush over me...and I felt like God said to me, "You don't need a guide or a book. You already know how to do this, and you will do it well. Just rest in Me, and be yourself."

The event:

The event was a dream!

One of my favorite things about Outdoor Voices is that they are all about body positivity, inclusivity, and #DoingThings, which is different for everyone. For me #DoingThings in this season in my life means using my voice to love myself instead of hurting myself, even if that's what feels most natural to me at the moment...#DoingThings means progress, learning, climbing, and literally training myself to love myself.

Guests were welcomed in by the sweet OV Team with bubbly and 20% off all OV purchases––so generous! We also got to enjoy delicious grain-free granola from Purely Elizabeth (purely delish)! It was extra special to me that SF based Chronicle Books was a sponsor and raffled The Wing Reader: An Illustrated Poem for three lucky winners!



 Before the poetry workshop, ladies had the chance to get professional portraits taken by Praise and Zoe. They also got to take photos with Prynt––the first ever instant photo-printing case for your smartphone!



My favorite part was hearing women share their words. It was incredibly inspiring to hear their self-love poetry and thoughts out loud.



Here is a poem I shared at the event and ended up posting on Instagram:
Feel free to share it and tag me if you do, @yourstrulyani

What now? Would love to hear your thoughts:

I received some great feedback after the event. One of the lovely ladies, and a dear friend of mine, who attended the workshop told me that she began free-writing every single day after my event! I can't begin to tell you how happy that made me....If you're reading this and you were there, let me know what you thought––I love constructive criticism, too!

I'm definitely going to be doing more poetry workshops, especially self-love workshops.
Would you be interested reading more of my poetry and hearing more about my writing process?
Do you want me to share my experience with depression health / wellness in general?


Thanks so much for stopping by, my loves!


yours truly,
Ani

special thank you to sponsors:
Purely Elizabeth, Chronicle Books, Pyrnt, and of course, Outdoor Voices––you rock!
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