Welcome to In Reverence.
On this series we ask 10 questions about self-care to folx we hold dear, honoring all kinds of voices and their Self Ceremonies.
We’re interested in digging into the ways self-care has helped people evolve past their own blocks, trauma and social conditioning. We believe in the deep healing path of vulnerability and compassion and how this can help us enrich our beautiful community.
For this edition we're honored to welcome Dominique Ashanti.
1. Tell us a little about yourself, your name, your pronouns, where you live. Share a small bio to help us get to know you.
my name is dominique ashanti and i live in Los Angeles, California.
my pronouns are she/her. i'm an artist, muse & painter dabbling in the passions that make my heart full. i paint illustrative portraits and colorful depictions of the melanated woman & her journey through spirituality. i'm truly an overall creator, from murals to acting and photography, i love to do it all.
2. When did you start taking conscious care of yourself?
i started taking conscious care of myself after leaving college in 2017.
my university experience left me very drained, damaged, and broken.
i was sexually assaulted on my college campus and instead of being uplifted and supported, i was bashed and victimized by the entire school board. it left me feeling very depressed, isolated and suicidal. i lost myself only to eventually find myself again.
3. What is your definition of self-care?
self—care is anything that soothes, rejuvenates and protects the inner & outer being. yes, its salt baths, face masks and essential oils.. but its also journaling—becoming rooted with one’s inner dialogue, healing traumas and past pains, meditating, staying hydrated, committing to spiritual maintenance and allowing oneself to be, without restriction or limitation.
4. In your experience, how does self-care relate to community care?
when you fill your own cup, it’s easier to pour into others.
it’s like being on an airplane. the flight attendant informs you that you must put your own face mask on, before assisting others.
it’s the same concept.
i can’t help you if i don’t help myself first.
so no matter what, i come first.
i have to take care of myself first.
5. What is your current favorite Self Ceremony?
my favorite Self Ceremony begins with intentional showers or baths.
i love to light a candle to set the tone and maybe even some incense or palo santo. water is truly a cleansing element, water is healing.
to wash away the day, to wash away any unwanted energies.
i always feel refreshed after a long shower.
6. How do you know when you’ve been slacking on your self-care? What do your red flags look like?
my red flags look like anxiety and overthinking.
i try not to adopt terms like ‘anxiety’ into my lifestyle but its normal,
and it happens.
i have a very vivid imagination so its easy to get caught up in my own thoughts.
i then have to ask myself, what am i even worrying about?
there’s only two answers, the past or the future.
usually it stems from social media, ego and not trusting myself enough to make the decisions i need to.
so i make a commitment to come back to the present moment,
just like coming back to the breath during meditation.
trusting my inner compass,
rather than what’s being presented to me in the physical realm.
7. What is your inspiration to continue doing what you are doing? What is the fuel that keeps you going?
i truly think God is my inspiration and S|HE is what keeps me going.
God created me, and in her/his image as well which means i'm amazing!
every time i touch something, it literally turns to gold.
that’s a magnificent power.
my curiosity of this power keeps me going.
when i create something beautiful,
i begin to only imagine what can be created next.
the magic is limitless.
8. What have you learned this past week / month? What are you getting better at?
this past month, i recently uprooted my life and moved across the country to LA.
with this, i've learned the art of detachment.
we always want to hold on to things that are familiar, that once made us feel a plethora of things. but comfort usually becomes stagnant and we have to make a choice. do we stay wading in the same river? or do we move forward and explore the depths of the ocean? i’m getting better at allowing myself to explore all that this world has to offer. nothing is out of my reach. i can have everything that i desire.
9. Tell us a fun fact about what you do, or something people may not know.
i think when people look at my art, they think i have it all figured out, but i really don’t, LOL. i took art classes in college that i felt diminished my creativity.
so when i returned home, i taught myself how to draw in a way that made me feel good. it’s hard to teach that when everyone has their own way and style of producing things. so that’s what i’m working on, how to teach people to create because i know people want to learn from me. it’s easier said than done because we’re all different and we all have different learning styles.
10. What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Or what is your message to the world?
my message to the world is to just be yourself, and to make sure you’re waking up every day committing your energy to the passions and desires of your heart.
no one can fulfill you like you can. no one can strive for greatness in your name.
you must do that. you must make that effort—and also, it doesn’t have to look like what people say it has to look like. forget the algorithms. trash the rules, all of them are false. create a narrative that you truly live by and stick to it.