This print is part of the series, Listen to Your Body. This print reflects a lifelong lesson that I've been normalizing for myself. I grew up with migrant parents who had a very strong work ethic out of necessity, and they would not always prioritize rest. On the contrary, I was encouraged since childhood to be highly productive and to be the best at everything. Being great at everything of course requires tremendous sacrifice, long hours, big sacrifices. Throughout my teens, college and well into my 30s, I would push my body to its limits. A message that my parents would say, “sleep when you die,” was etched into my mind.
Yet through my own decolonization and self work, I know that the myth of “productivity” is harmful and that capitalism pushes that narrative while not promoting rest, recovery and overall slowing down. After I got Covid this past Summer and dealt with lingering symptoms for 6 weeks, I became highly aware of the fragility of my body and also the deep importance of listening to my own rhythm, especially when it comes to how hard I work.
I'm naturally a very energetic person and I really love the things I do. I love running an organization, I love doing social justice work, and I absolutely love being an artist. But I am also releasing the habits of self exploitation, and learning how to really listen to what my body needs and wants. Sometimes I can go hard but I also cultivate pleasureful periods of rest for myself.
This art piece is about honoring the messages that my body gives to me. My body lets me know when it's time to rest. It lets me know who the right people are for me. Tuning into my body’s wisdom, I'm able to make the best decisions for myself. My body guides me in the right way.