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 Mars Santi.
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 Marisabel, and I go by Mars. My pronouns are she/her and currently I am living a pretty nomadic life. I do have a care base with my Mother in Massachusetts but I believe home is wherever I go --which has been really wonderful. I am a 29 year old Boricua and lover of all things creative including words, music, dance, and food. For everyone into astrology I am an Aries Sun, Sagittarius Rising, and Scorpio Moon; someone once told me my moon sign is my saving grace so ya’ll probably know more about me than a bio can explain!
2. When did you start taking conscious care of yourself?
I would say I’ve always taken care of myself physically because I am an athlete-- I played basketball competitively my entire life and other sports for fun. So, I was constantly running around & working out. However, in other areas of care, like mentally, nutritiously, and spiritually I would say it was during/post graduate school that I made the conscious shift. The first time I went to therapy was during grad school. I started cooking for myself more often & eating more fruits/veggies when I got my own place. I started diving deeper into meditation & prayer within the last couple years. I think that taking conscious care of ourselves is a constant exploration and our care practices flow in and out as needed during different phases of our lives.
3. What is your definition of self-care?
My definition of self-care is the practice of honoring yourself holistically. So, whatever it is that I need to do to honor myself is self care! This includes the digital world, physical, and metaphysical world. Honoring myself looks like respecting the Earth, taking time or space from people, massaging my legs after a workout, putting some money aside for a vacation, telling someone you weren’t finished speaking when they interrupt you. All of these things are self care in my opinion and when it’s done intentionally or mindfully you can feel it more deeply.
4. In your experience, how does self-care relate to community care?
Honestly, there is no self without community & no community without self. The two are intrinsically linked. We are all connected by a source (whichever is your belief) and the fact that we are all here in the same dimension, time, plane etc. is not coincidental. We are meant for each other. I think when we take care of ourselves we are more equipped to serve, which is one of the main purposes of this life.
When I was 13 the film “Coach Carter” was released and I recall Marianne Williamson’s piece “ Our Deepest Fear” being recited by Timo Cruz -- now that was a MOMENT. I was in tears as I watched & after, I found the poem. I still refer back to it till this day. Here’s the part of it that speaks most to this question for me -- " as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." (Williamson) like COME ON.This is a reminder to take care of you, respect you, love you -- be big, be brilliant, spread joy, and be of service to others with your gifts. Self care is caring for your community, caring for the community is caring for self.
5. What is your current favorite Self Ceremony?
Are we keeping this rated G? Okay, yes I got it. My favorite Self-Ceremony currently is starting my days off with prayer, meditation, and a workout! It just feels really wonderful to start off my day with gratitude & praise. I have two specific playlists that I listen to depending on my mood. One that I call “Church” and the other “Spirit”. They carry me through my mornings with intention. Every song raises my vibrations and I set them up to flow from my work out, to prayer, to meditation, and back to some form of movement (usually just dancing around) Some days I will switch back and forth as well. That’s been my favorite for a few months now so I’m happy I found something that grounds me, challenges, and aligns me for the day.
6. How do you know when you’ve been slacking on your self-care? What do your red flags look like?
I can feel it in my head-- a sort of heaviness. If I don’t do something that is just simply good for me (whether physical, emotional, or spiritual) I feel heavy. I can also just see a dullness in my face or body language. I try to extend grace to myself as much as possible when I don’t follow a ritual or practice as diligently as I could or maybe I skip a day of meditation/prayer because something came up that morning but I can always just feel the weight of it. So, I switch things up as needed -- if I am slacking in one of my self care routines I’ll pick up another thing just to do for that day or that few days. I just go with the flow of it all and try not to be too hard on myself mentally when I feel the slack.
7. What is your inspiration to continue doing what you are doing? What is the fuel that keeps you going?
My biggest inspiration has to be the people that I get to interact with-- whether it is in person,via social media, facetime, or at one of my workshops! Whenever I am finished having a deep conversation, or laughing with someone, or discovering some new things I feel so inspired to go again. I am constantly listening & reading the words, insights, and stories of other people and it is so beautiful to share this lifetime with them. I receive an overflow of appreciation & gratitude from people and it means the world to me. Honestly, I am just deeply grateful for the people who have poured into my life and provide me with a deep love. If it wasn’t for them I think I would have fallen into despair a long time ago -- but this community of people I’ve found really give me so much hope that we are able to heal, to grow, to forgive, and to really reclaim our lives. Our peace, our joy, our love, our care, our rest, our laughter, our dances, our recipes, our hugs & kisses, our children, and our spirits are a critical part of the revolution.
8. What have you learned this past week / month? What are you getting better at?
I learned that I really needed to spend more time with myself. As a practice, I think I am getting better at slowing down and really speaking with myself intentionally. I am learning a lot about inner child healing, shadow work, and accountability. I joined a couple different collectives / groups that openly discuss these types of topics and provide “homework” assignments for us to better understand ourselves. I learned a lot within those tasks / check-ins. Overall, I think the lessons of sharing my full self, embracing all the parts of me, and being more vulnerable with loved ones is something I took away from this season.
9. Tell us a fun fact about what you do, or something people may not know.
Ohhh I don’t know how fun it was for ME but fun fact #1 I’ve torn BOTH my ACL’s (for a total of 3x) and got the tattoo on my leg as a result! My mother had a crazy amount of keychains attached to the keys of her precious Toyota Corolla. While I was in undergrad she gave that car to me. Come to think about it, that was a great gift that went right over my pre-occupied young adult mind, THANKS MOM <3. Anyways, she had a lot of keychains on there and she stripped them all off except 1. It was a little mini scripture looking page with the “Serenity” prayer on it. I thought it was kind of symbolic. So, on a random night I asked a tattoo artist can you just put this prayer on my leg? And he did! The wild part was I lost that car key and that keychain not too long after that but I was really relieved to still have that prayer my mom gave me (now just permanently attached to my leg). Fun fact #2 I didn’t have to pay for that tattoo! Probably because I got it on some random dude's couch….. Yeah.
10. What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Or what is your message to the world?
Some celestial being once told me “Love is too good not to pursue” so I guess my message to the world will be to do everything with love, move with love, live with love, act in loving ways, spread it wherever you can, forgive yourself for times you acted with no love, and always stay open to it.
So, if anyone wants to be a part of a workshop or maybe you'd like me to host a workshop for your people I'm all about that! We do creative workshops such as writing or painting, community dialogues (around many different topics), and healing circles. So, be sure to check out our website for dates and poetry!
Cry, Cleanse, Flow on Instagram: @crycleanseflow