Self-Care Sunday Interview with Ronke Lawal

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Self-Care-Sunday-Interview-with-Ronke-Lawal-Leanne-Lindsey-image-mainIntroduce yourself – tell us a little bit about yourself:

I am a British Nigerian woman, this is very important to mention because people quite often want to define members of the diaspora by their own limited perceptions but I love being British and I love being Nigerian and I am so blessed to be able to have this multidimensional identity.

I was born in Hackney, East London and grew up in Hackney before it became trendy and fashionable.

Whilst it was London outside it was definitely Lagos inside my home.

My parents were very strict and I had to face my studies and be in the top percentile in school.

I pursued an International Business (Economics) degree graduated with Hons from The University of Lancaster, with a year in The University of Richmond, Virginia.

I am the founder of Ariatu PR, a PR agency which works with small businesses and entrepreneurs to enhance their media relationships and their public profiles.

 

How do you define self-care and what does it mean to you?:

Self-care is the ultimate act of self-love, it is taking care of this gift called life which has been bestowed upon us.

We often take our lives for granted, we take the essence of our being for granted by concerning ourselves with the “busy-ness” of life.

What good will it all do if we are not whole?

What is the point unless we can take care of ourselves without the expectation that others will do the job for us?

By seeking fulfilment and care from external forces before seeking that same fulfilment and care from ourselves we will constantly be seeking acceptance.

Self-care is putting ourselves first always in order to be the best for this world.

 

…food for me is a blessing and I appreciate the opportunity to eat food which brings me pleasure.

 

Why is self-care important, particularly for women?:

It is important because this world is too often out of sync with the very principles that could lead to unlimited joy and bliss on earth.

All the things that could bring each and every one of us the happiness that we constantly seem to be seeking could easily be resolved if we took care of ourselves and took more time to undertake self-care.

This is particularly important for women who are far too often seen as almost “super human”, women are placed upon so much pressure and yet still they are undermined, undervalued and under-appreciated.

In the midst of a society which still tries to keep it down and is constantly scrutinising how women should behaviour, live, look and feel self-care is crucial to find balance, peace and ultimately power.

 

How do you practice self-care in your daily life?:

I speak to God.

I pray.

I eat, food for me is a blessing and I appreciate the opportunity to eat food which brings me pleasure.

I listen to the music I love.

I watch my “stories” – TV can be great escapism and there are so many creative people showcasing their skills on the small screen.

I read and meditate on words.

I check in with friends and check out of any situations that do not bring me peace, that is not to say that I am ignorant or do not “fight” when I need to but I have to protect my energy and my spirit.

If my spirit feels uneasy then I step away and there are countless times throughout a day that will try to test your spirit.

I laugh…a lot because life is absolutely hilarious.

 

I have learnt discernment and not to be troubled by the judgments of others but it can be difficult at times.

 

What part of your self-care routine is most important to you? And is there one that is vital to you even when you’re having the worst day?:

Constant communication with God.

Just whispering a word of thanks or asking for guidance and patience is so important.

The solutions often come when I just remain peaceful and trust in God.

This has helped me even in my toughest times.

 

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to self-care?:

Not getting distracted by people and their judgements.

Even simple things like admitting that I watch a silly show on TV can attract judgement, which leads to doubt in terms of use of time and being seen as “professional”.

All because I spend 1 hour watching a bit of entertainment that isn’t necessarily high brow.

Small things like that lead to bigger issues, that constant concern of what people think of us and who we are. So even that can be a challenge, it’s a cycle.

I have learnt discernment and not to be troubled by the judgments of others but it can be difficult at times.

 

Everyone should seek self-care in a way that reflects the needs of their soul.

 

What do you think are some of the most common misconceptions about self-care?:

That self-care is somehow selfish or it’s narcissistic.

There is a BIG difference between narcissism and self-care.

Narcissism is the act of self-interest which ultimately has an impact on others and intentionally seeks to rule out the importance of others.

Self-care is the act of self-preservation which allows you to be the best you can be for yourself and others, ensuring that we are all valued and loved.

 

What tips, resources or advice can you share for anyone struggling with self-care?:

Be patient, be compassionate and be authentic.

Everyone should seek self-care in a way that reflects the needs of their soul.

It is not about what others think, practice it as often or as little as you want to but just practice it if you feel that you need it.

There is no pressure and no judgement, it should be peaceful and fun.

Write down what you think you need, speak to friends and read blogs like this to keep you inspired and motivated.

 

Life is not a race, so enjoy every moment and just RELAX!

 

What are your favourite self-care mantras, quotes, poems, songs, books or movies?:

There are so many but one thing that keeps me balanced is “just do the work” and by doing the work find moments of joy as and when you can.

There are so many books and poems but try Oprah Winfrey’s “What I Know for Sure“.

The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer is an amazing poem and this poem by Charlie Chaplin is great.

Also, anything by Dr Maya Angelou is brilliant.

 

What is the most important advice would you give to your younger self?:

That all things work out for your greater good. To be patient and to be kind to yourself.

Life is not a race, so enjoy every moment and just RELAX!

 

What is your hope for your future and the future of women?:

To be free, to truly be free to live lives of purpose and to fulfil our destinies freely and without judgement. That is my hope for my future and for all women.

We don’t need to prove our equality to anyone, we are amazing as we are, we just need to stand firm in our own power.

 

Connect with Ronke

self-care-sunday-interview-with-ronke-lawal-image1Website: www.ronkelawal.com

Twitter: @ronkelawal

Instagram: @ronke.lawal

 

 

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