We sat down with six women to discuss the stories and wisdom they've learnt thus far on their journey of self-love and self-exploration. Without knowing our whole selves, fears, and flaws, we cannot truly love ourselves. Self-love and self-knowledge are inextricably linked. Self-knowledge flows from self-exploration. Self-exploration is self-care. Meet the beautifully soft and wise, Jacinta.


Q: What were three insecurities that you had when you were younger? How did you overcome them?

‘I’m not smart enough’ - this was a big one for me, I still notice myself getting triggered by it. I think growing up in a schooling environment that really highlighted my learning difficulties (but also catered to them) made me develop a strong insecurity towards my own worth and made me deeply question my intelligence. When I was outside of that environment I felt like I could explore the things that I was good at (and interested in) and talk to like-minded people who challenged me in a positive way. This raised my confidence. Over time I came to realise where my strengths were and learnt what true intelligence is. There are different types of ‘smart’ and everyone learns differently. It took me a while to learn that.

‘I’m not pretty enough’ - yeah, puberty’s a weird time. I don’t think I liked the way I looked for the most part of growing up. Everyone at school seemed to have the same ideal of how they should aspire to look and it was pretty limiting. Having a fairly underdeveloped body at the time did make me feel like I was at a disadvantage, so the ideology of a ‘beautiful woman’ seemed a bit unreachable. I didn’t understand true beauty, there was too much else going on for me to pay attention to myself and give myself the time to grow into who I was. I was easily influenced by outside noise, until my final years of senior school when I really started to do me. Things like my uncomfortability towards make-up or mainstream fashion began to phase me less and I actually started to appreciate those things about myself. Instead of ‘different’ they were unique to me - and I liked that. I still like that.

‘I’m not feminine enough’ - from a young age I was a classic tom-boy, probably up until age ten. I’m not sure where it stemmed from but I was just never comfortable with the idea of being classically female. I think I had just been conditioned to think of femininity and masculinity in a very traditional and limited way, and I didn’t feel like I was feminine. The culture I was consuming told me to be feminine was to have fully developed breasts, wear copious amounts of make-up and not participate in any sports - I really hated that. I didn’t realise at the time that being a woman meant so much more than surface level, and that there are so many expressions of that. My rebellion against femininity set me a bit apart from the norm and I always felt a little unaccepted because of it. Over time I shed the phase and insecurity, I came into my own and realised there were plenty of other women on the same page as me, who were undeniably feminine. I still struggle even today to define what that actually is, it’s such a loaded word. I’m okay with it though.


Q: What are you like in a conflict?

I’ve always been a confrontational person, who’s comfortable in conflict. It actually makes me really uncomfortable to avoid confrontation and I sometimes have a hard time gaging when it’s called for. I care a lot though and have a strong tendency to overthink which can sometimes be to my detriment when it’s not equally reciprocated. I feel like conflicts are lessons every time though and there’s always something to be taken away from them. I owe my strong resilience to the conflicts I’ve encountered and I’m grateful.

Q: What makes you nervous?

Speaking in public, being vulnerable in a space that doesn’t feel safe, heights.


Q: How would you describe yourself in three words? Please explain why you have chosen each word.

Caring, empathetic, passionate..
Every encounter, action and decision I’ve made have always been done with care, empathy and passion. It’s never really been in me to do otherwise and I pride myself one that. Caring because I care deeply for the world around me and the people in it, small actions = huge impact and I want to cause change. Empathy because I’ve been there and I can’t stand to see people su
ffer. Passion from my mum because she’s a kween and empowers me.

Q: What is your relationship to sex?

At the moment very healthy. I’ve never had a sexual experience where I was at risk or didn’t feel safe so I consider myself very fortunate. I think who we are as sexual beings says a lot about us psychologically, similar to the yogic ‘who you are on the mat is who you are off it’ mentality - and it’s important to explore that. It’s a very grey area and that’s really become adamant to me over the past year or so. To me sex is the ultimate expression of love and passion, but is not limited to this. It is a space to be open and connect to yourself and others and that’s beautiful.

Q. What are five things that make you really difficult to live with?

/ Obsessive compulsive tendencies.
/ Expensive vegan cheeses that I’ll never finish on my own.
/ I like having the heater on always.
/ I hate excessive noise and constantly demand silence in the house.
/ When I don’t like the way something’s been done at home I find it hard to just accept it and live with it for other people’s sake.

Q. What does your self-care practice look like? Do you have any rituals?

I start every morning with my green powder and oj, it sort of has become a bit of a ritual and it makes me feel fresh. Getting ready in the morning I find is quite an essential part of my day as well, because it will dictate how the afternoon plays out and so on. I find if I’m rushed I forget things or feel underprepared and don’t perform well, but if I take an hour in the morning to myself, I feel prepared for whatever the day throws at me. The ritual of dress, for me, is one of the greatest acts of self care I do for myself. How I clothe my body needs to support me in my daily activities and encounters, it’s armour and self expression - and it’s important. Along with that: dry skin brushing, epsom salt bathing, facial masks, daily yoga (or whenever I can make it to the mat), sleeping in when my body needs it, wine with friends, and reading, are little ways I show myself I matter.

Jacinta wears the YOGA TEE and the BLUE RELAXATION SCARF.