The Curl Power Podcast is back Curlfriends and we are going live on 22.2.22
In this episode of the Curl Squad’s Curl Power Podcast, we talk about:
- Our return to the podcast after a sudden unplanned departure.
- Adjusting to life-changing injury.
- Turning pain into creativity.
- How finding joy can deepen the connection to purpose.
- The power of connecting with our inner child.
1:00 Adjusting to Life After Rehab
3:37 Chronic Conditions and the Spoon Theory
4:33 Focusing on Joy to Escape from Pain
5:30 CURLS Sweatshirt Launch
8:03 Little Curls and Representation
09:21 The Mission, Connecting
10:43 Significance of our Formative Years
11:15 Connecting with our Inner Child
12:42 What’s coming up in the next episode
You can read the full transcript below.
Here are the links referenced in the episode:
About The Curl Squad
Curl Squad is a community of women on a journey to self-acceptance, pursuing passion and discovering their purpose.
We discuss growing up curly, overcoming obstacles, traumas and triumphs as well as sharing a natural hair care essential or two.
I’ll be introducing you to some incredibly inspiring curly creators and innovators as we discuss the natural hair community, representation, healing, doing meaningful work and building bigger tables.
Please do subscribe and rate and review to help us amplify our important voices. Curly Girls, join us in the ongoing conversation.
Read the full show transcript here
Transcripts are 90% accurate, please do not trust them for quote or news media purposes. If you need clarification for a story, a blog, or a reference, please contact us directly.
Curlfriend, we are back. Season two, let’s go.
If you are an original girlfriend, thank you for sticking around, if you’re new to the show, welcome, and thank you for joining us. I’m Zoe Fox, the host of the Curl Squads, Curl Power Podcast, and I am very excited to be back.
You know, it has been a good few months, I think the last episode that we did went out in July 2021, which was the month after I got out of rehab. And that’s rehab for my spinal injury, I had to take some time really to just adjust to what is now my new normal, living a life with a disability.
It was really important for me to just make sure that all my attention was going on that transitional phase. And yeah, just settling into life as we now know it. I think it was a challenge, really, because I waited 13 months from the point of my original injury, to get into rehab. So I was sort of living in the wilderness for a year, not really knowing where I was going, what I was doing, not really, not really understanding like the depth of what happened to me.
Then I finally got into Stanmore, which is the spinal cord injuries unit at the Royal Orthopedic Hospital in London, to finally get the rehab that I’ve been so so so desperate for. I have got a full episode on that which you can go back and listen to if you want to hear about that in a little bit more detail.
But yeah, so it was kind of strange I got out of Stanmore, I think I put so much on just sort of waiting to get in there to have this treatment. And I don’t know, I think maybe somewhere in my brain, I was thinking that after I had rehab, everything was going to sort of go back to normal when I say normal, I mean, like life before my disability. But you know, it doesn’t quite work like that does it?
So it’s just been about reintegrating back into the world, finding my feet, as it were, as a disabled person. And I needed to do quite a bit of reflection to get my head around it. And I’m quite a reflective person anyway, I think it’s a really important thing for me to do to keep on Yeah, striving to do better to be better, I think it’s really important for me, at least to, to check-in. And I had to take a lot of time to do that. So I’ve been going all-in on physio with weekly physio sessions, trying to improve my strength, trying to improve my stamina, my balance, all of these sorts of things, and I am seeing some improvements, which is good.
I think there’s still part of me that is focusing on returning to what life was like before. So it’s kind of trying to manage my own expectations with that respect. Not expecting any miracles. My physio has advised me to sort of see it as a three to four-year project. We’re just almost approaching two years, my injury actually happened on the 29th of February 2020, which is a leap year. So I haven’t had my first official anniversary, and I won’t do for another couple of years. So it’s sort of weird, not having an exact day to mark. But yeah, somewhere between like the 28th of Februay and the first of March is my second anniversary.
I have to be really choosy now about how I’m using my energy. Because I don’t have much in a day to waste. There is a theory actually called The Spoon Theory, which talks about people with chronic conditions having like a certain number of spoons that they’re able to use throughout the day, on different activities. So it might take, for example, like three spoons to wash my hair or, you know, like, two spoons to get dressed or that sort of thing, basically. So it’s just thinking, I’ve got these spoons in the day, how am I going to use them wisely?
So wisely, for me just means doing things that evoke good feelings and feelings of joy. I’m living in this body that is never free of pain or sensation. So the best thing that I can do to escape that is by focusing on joy, because when I find joy, and passion and enjoyment in things, I’m not focusing on the pain, my brain allows me to rise beyond it and go somewhere else with it. And I like living there. I like living in joy, I like not focusing in on the pain. Because to be living in like consistent pain that I haven’t had a day off pain since this happened.
As I said, we’re approaching two years now. And if I allowed that to be the entirety of my experience, it’d be a pretty miserable one. It’d be a pretty miserable one. So it’s down to me to make sure that I am pursuing joy and finding the things that I really love. So that’s why back in December, I launched the first garment in the Curl Squads clothing line, which is a chunky black sweater with an oversized colourful CURLS print. I love it. I did it because for the last couple of years, I’ve just been living in comfy clothes. I say last couple of years, pretty much last life my whole life. I’m just a fan of the comfy life, it is more important for me to feel comfortable than anything, really, because with everything else that’s going on in my body, like just not feeling comfortable in my clothes is like the last thing that I need to be adding onto my agenda.
And this is something that I’ve wanted to do for ages, like I’ve manufactured branded stuff before, like clothing and different things like that. But for me, this is extra special because I’m doing it for my community. And it’s more than just a sweatshirt, it goes beyond that. I mean, people be like ‘it’s really not that deep. It’s just a sweatshirt’ lol, but it’s not. It’s not just a sweatshirt. Anything I ever do there’s always a meaning in it.
It’s a celebration of identity. It’s a symbol of community, and seeing people wearing it since it’s gone live has just been the most incredible thing. I had this little picture in my head of something that I wanted to create. I took the steps to create it. Now it’s a real tangible thing in life, and people are wearing it, people are buying it. strangers, people I don’t even know have bought this sweatshirt because they’re connecting to the meaning of it. Or they might just like the design. Like I said, it ain’t that deep, Zo. But I’m gonna say it’s because they’re connecting with the message of it, which is about just being a part of something greater and bigger than just us as individuals.
And when I see those orders coming through, there’s a little meme that goes around that says when you buy from a little independent business, there’s somebody that does a happy dance at the end of it, well I am sitting in my chair doing a happy nod because it is such a good feeling. And for me, it’s just about reaching people connecting with people trying to find like-minded people, people who are finding the beauty within themselves now after perhaps years of not really feeling their natural hair or not really feeling beautiful in their own skin.
And when I announced the launch of the sweatshirt, I had some really positive feedback actually from parents, who were calling out for a kid’s version. So I’m really excited to be launching the little curls edition, which is available in sizes four to five to 12 to 13. And it’s available on www.thecurlsquad.com.
The kid’s edition just makes me reflect right back to what it was like when I was a kid, when I didn’t feel very comfortable in my own skin. I didn’t love my curls, it took me a long time to come to love my curls, like up until I was an adult really. So it makes me think what would it have been like to have felt proud of my curls from when I was a kid? What would it have been like for me to have felt beautiful in my own skin? And to not have had to spend, you know, the first part of my adulthood, trying to unpick the damage that had been caused by not seeing myself represented, not seeing people who look like me being cast as the beauty standard.
But it was my experience of growing up as a big brown bushy haired kid in Birmingham that has like led me to sit here, where I am today with the curl squad as a brand and the curl power podcast because it set me on a mission.
It sent me on a mission to want to just elevate and raise the vibration of naturally curly people really and just say you know what, babes? You are beautiful and you know what your curls are poppin and you are the beauty standard honey.
But I always say it’s deeper than just curls, because it’s the people behind the curls, and the curl squad is really just about connecting to other people, other like-minded people who have had similar experiences. Yeah, and just connecting naturally curly creators to other naturally curly women as a source of inspiration. So if there are women out there that are still on their journey loving themselves, then they can see these other women that are just like paving the way and just totally smashing it and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.
So yeah, I think it’s fair to say that my formative years, although looking back on them, you know, they were quite painful. There has been work that I’ve had to do over the years to, to work through some of the complexities that have been suppressed into my subconscious as a result of a lack of representation. But yeah, it’s informed my purpose and my mission, I think.
So I’m wondering, have your formative years, informed your mission and purpose, those early years are just so so crucial, I think it’s like the first years of our life up until around seven or eight, are really what set the blueprint of how we experience life and how we move through life, and how we respond to it. And just bless little us trying to make the most out of life as we knew it, without the skills that we’ve got now, you know, trying to figure out our way through life without the self-awareness that we’ve got now.
So just take a minute to take a couple of deep breaths. And just connect with the little you within. And when you can see that vision of you, little you, I want you to go up to them. And give them a great big hug, like you mean it from the bottom of your heart and just thank them, thank them for helping you to become the person, the amazing, beautiful person that you are today. And it might be nice to even grab a pen and paper at this point and just journal what comes up for you.
I know for me, it helps. Because sometimes when I started to think of me when I was little, I can tap into the vulnerability, I can tap into the pain, I can feel the anxiety that I felt at certain points when I was a kid. And sometimes I think journaling can help me just to identify with that. And to rationalize it as well, because the problems that you had, when you were little, and not the same problems that you have now. But unless we become very conscious and aware of the impact of our inner child, on our adult experience, it’s quite hard to move beyond it. So I think is really important if you can’t take time to just sit with your inner child, and just give it all the love and security that it needed when you were a kid and a huge great big embrace for getting you to this point.
So in the next episode, we are going to talk about facing change and connecting with purpose. And you know what, I’m just glad to be back. I’m glad to be broadcasting through the airwaves once again to you my friend. So thank you for joining me. If you’re not already, it would be amazing if you could come along and follow us @thecurlsquad. If you want to follow me personally, you can find me at @Zoe.e.Fox on the old Instagram. If anything resonated with you in this episode, I would love to hear from you. As always. The beauty of this like I’ve said it’s about the connection. It’s about the deeper meaning. It’s about finding people who are on a similar mission to you. And that’s what I’m here to do.
So if you’re out there and you feel this, come find me. It will be great to connect till next time curlfriend. Big Love. Peace out
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