Happy 2023!!!! Yes, I know I'm late with the newsletter. However, I didn't receive the concept (through meditation) until late last week, and you know I don't like to send you just anything! So I hope your New Year is off to a great start, and I hope January's essay is a blessing in your life!
Last week my sisters and I went on a day trip to North Carolina, and on the way home, I smelled rank. But not from regular sweat. This stench was from stress sweat - the funkiest of them all.
Humans produce two types of sweat: sweat responding to heat and physical activity, and sweat responding to stress. Heat/activity sweat comes from the eccrine glands. Stress sweat comes from the eccrine and apocrine glands, the latter responsible for its pungency.
Scientists don't know why humans produce a stench when under psychological stress. Animals do it, too - often to ward off predators. And while I'm not clear what triggered my anxiety, boy, did I have an unexpected bodily reaction.
The entire drive back, I kept my arms close to my body in an attempt to prevent manslaughter via funk. And when I got home, I FloJo'd to the shower to get clean again.
But despite feeling fresh, the scent lingered in my room, disseminating from the shirt I had been wearing. I felt like a skunk who had sprayed herself, and I knew it would take time, a washing machine cycle, and a fading away of this embarrassing memory before the smell completely disappeared.
The funniest part? Energy emanates from people in the same way. Just like I struggled to hide my funk in the car, people can't hide their energy. They can try to keep their proverbial arms tight to their body, but their energy always leaks out.
So how can we keep ourselves energetically airy and bright? With radical truth and acceptance. When we tell ourselves the truth about how we feel, no matter how shameful it may seem, we transmute the funk with freshness. But when we don't acknowledge these shadow feelings, they putrefy within us as a warning to ourselves and others.
Our thoughts and feelings are like passing clouds in the sky, impermanent aspects of ourselves. When we understand this, we can meet them with nonjudgment and allow them to float up and out of our psyche. Knowing that we are not our thoughts and feelings helps us undergo this process gracefully.
But what replaces these feelings when they leave? Integrity! Operating in integrity with self and others becomes the guiding light we follow in our thoughts and actions. A firm commitment to integrity is a firm commitment to truth.
And sometimes, truth requires us to be honest about the energy others emit around us. Occasionally, we love another person so much we don't want to admit they stank.
Not stink, shawty.
However, admitting the dankness is the first step. The second is asking ourselves whether we find it acceptable to abide in their funk. And then the third, should we need it, is reminding ourselves that we can't change another person's energy - for change is a sacred decision people make within themselves.
As Adyashanti says in his book, The End of Your World, "The sincere call to awaken is a call that comes from a very deep place within us. It comes from a place that wants the truth more than it wants to feel good."
So here's to radical honesty through the lens of nonjudgment. And next time I travel, the only secret I'll carry is the clinical strength antiperspirant for my underarms.
Thank you for reading January's newsletter. Here's to our collective expansion in 2023!
With Great Love!
Your Sister in Beauty,
✨ Lana ✨