This is My No Make-Up Selfie. ~ Kelly Ryan

Via Kelly Ryanon Mar 27, 2014

All in this together

I was recently tagged for a #nomakeupselfie (or no make-up selfie for those of you not living in hashtag world) to raise awareness for breast cancer.

This heartfelt initiative asks people to not only post a ‘selfie’ to Facebook sans warpaint but also to donate to a breast cancer foundation or organisation. I am not sure of the actual percentage of selfie-posting Facebook users that complete both of the required actions.

Raising awareness for different illnesses affecting the community is important. However, I think that it’s safe to say that most of us are pretty aware of cancer and at least a few of it’s causes. I know my family is very aware of cancer in many of its forms and I don’t believe that there would be many families that haven’t been touched by cancer or some other equally heart-breaking, life threatening illness.

The fact is, a large percentage of us are sick (and many people despite living in first world countries with access to the worlds greatest health care) aren’t getting any better.

Many foundations and organisations have done a great job in raising awareness; starting the conversation; and providing valuable services & support to patients and their families. Often, we are raising awareness in order to raise money for research focused on finding a cure for [insert scary and debilitating illness name here].

Unfortunately, this research often ignores the significant amount of cases that have healed from serious conditions through unconventional treatments and/or lifestyle changes because it involves a process that cannot be patented or sold.

So this falls back on us—as a community—to be aware of what we eat, what we do, what we don’t do and to educate and support each other in finding health through treating our bodies, each other and the land in ways  they were designed to be treated.

All the physical nourishment our body needs, comes from our food which comes from the soil.  So ultimately the damage we do to our seeds, our land and our soil—we do to ourselves.  As long as we feel that it is okay to produce; buy; and eat cheap food and food-like products; we will continue to see diseases that were never seen in humans or animals living in the wild, eating naturally from the earth.

The following I wrote in response to the frustration I was feeling in regards to the myriad of selfies that I saw coming up on my feed. I honour the people participating and I know that their hearts are in the right place; however, I feel the awareness has been raised and now it’s time to shift to the conversation that we are not having.

I wanted to share this with people to encourage a more expanded level of awareness around cancer and other serious conditions we see so much of these days.

It is offered not in judgement, but in love and the hope that we as a community can come to understand that a cure is just as much in our hands as the hands of the scientific and medical community.

A cure is not a prescription—it’s a process.

A cure is not one thing alone but in all things together.

A cure does not give back lives—it changes them in every way.

A cure doesn’t come from outside—it comes from within.

A cure requires time to change and ask questions that we have never thought to ask. It also requires patience if we can’t find the answers straight away.

A cure calls upon us as a community of global citizens to look at our lives; our food; our family; our friends; our work; and our play, and ask the question “In what ways do you heal me?”

A cure is to restore to health; not to block out the symptoms, cut out the illness, or dampen the pain.

A cure will come from a change in the landscape and an understanding that the cause has worked its way into nearly all aspects of our lives.

A cure will come through changing the language of the conversation that disempowers patients and tells them their only option is to literally wage war against their own bodies.

A cure requires honesty; strength; feeling; vulnerability; courage; compassion; and love.

A cure provides nourishment; brings balance; activates joy; and opens the heart.

A cure involves community engagement & education; movement; breath; awareness; laughter; pure food; clean water; connection; true friends; soul family; and self-love.

A cure begins with a single step of sincerity and commitment, along a path that is constant.

But the most important thing about a cure is to start searching before you are sick. This, I beg of you.

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Editorial Assistant: Brandie Smith/ Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: Courtesy of Author

About Kelly Ryan

Kelly Ryan is a barefoot, earth-loving yogini in pursuit of magic. A rookie permaculturist and an avid kitchen dancer, she runs a yoga and wellness studio in Wollongong Australia called Little Branches Big Trees where she teaches yoga and has a passion for helping people understand the ecology of health and inspired living. She believes many of the problems facing the world could be solved if we cultivated a more sacred connection with the earth and she can be found discussing these ideas at her very new site Return to Sacred. You can also follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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2 Responses to “This is My No Make-Up Selfie. ~ Kelly Ryan”

  1. Thanks for this. I don't mind taking no makeup selfies (most of the pics I've taken I'm not wearing much anyway). But the fact that people are equating this to doing something useful to help cure cancer is frustrating.

    • Kelly Ryan says:

      I agree Kate, while I really want to respect the fact that people are trying to raise awareness – I think that it is all too easy for us to be "armchair activists" these days with all of the social media and feel like if we just like or share a post (or take a selfie) that it is enough. Always important to remember that an action (no matter how small) should acompany these symolic gestures, otherwise they are just empty symbolic gestures. :)

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