How I Used Extreme Self-Care to Transform My Pivotal “Me Too” Moment

Why prioritizing self-love and self-care were the keys to taking back my power...

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Photo Credit @thealixrae
Photo Credit @thealixrae

After graduating from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, I started my career in the film industry as a writer-director-actor.

After early success ghostwriting screenplays, I was sexually harassed on what was set to be my first credited feature film, and my aspirations in the industry suddenly came to a standstill.

This was years before the “Me Too” movement, and at the time it felt like it was just me

I remember a feeling of powerlessness washing over me.

There was no “HR” department I could call to file a complaint and I knew so few women in positions of power in the industry (I had worked with mostly men) and lacked a sense of community. Instead, I walked away from what at the time felt like a dream opportunity (which in truth was just an opportunity to be taken advantage of). 

I even called the ACLU and was told I had a small period of time in which I could file a lawsuit, but having just lost my main source of income and with no hard evidence of what had occurred, that didn’t feel like a possibility at the time. 

With economic demands and without the luxury of taking time off to focus solely on healing, I found work in Manhattan and moved from LA to Brooklyn, hoping it would be a fresh start. 

Although being a filmmaker and actress had been my dream since I was a little girl, I felt like I had to make my safety, self-care, and healing a priority and I couldn’t see a way to do that in what I had found to be a very toxic and patriarchal film industry. I resolved to do other things for money, and thought I would just make indie films the rest of my life because I knew I would not be vulnerable to creepy producers if I was always the one running the set. 

My time in New York was incredibly healing – I fell back in love with live theater and worked for all women at a fair-trade fashion company that designed scarves and jewelry for the luxury fashion marketplace. We partnered with female artisans in places like Afghanistan, Peru, and Indonesia, helping to economically empower women dealing with high levels of oppression.

It was beautiful work and I thought I might do it the rest of my life, but something kept tugging at my sleeve. 

I learned that you can’t run from your true purpose forever. What I’ve found is that the universe will start with tiny whispers, and if you don’t pay attention, it will eventually hit you over the head until you take action. 

My whisper was a small, still voice saying…

“Don’t let sexism win. Take back your power. You have to fight for your dreams like you’re fighting for your life.” 

The voice kept growing louder and louder until I finally accepted that I was being called to move back to Los Angeles to start my own production company in order to be the change I wished to see in the industry. 

I continued my healing journey and began to turn my pain into my power, creating spiritual rituals, developing a movement and meditation practice, working with a therapist, and discovering new ways to nurture myself and deepen my connection to a divine source of love and inspiration. 

When I was 25, I launched my social impact production company, Conscious Cinema Co., and created my first feature film, Quarter Life Coach (about an aspiring life coach having a quarter-life crisis). I bootstrapped the production and wrote, directed, and starred in the film, which won awards at niche festivals.

I built community with powerful women filmmakers and joined forces with other survivors, finding myself at the forefront of the Me Too movement. 

As I continue to deepen my craft and develop new projects, activism remains central to my life and business. 

I’ve also discovered a passion for helping other survivors (whether it be from sexual harassment, assault, domestic violence, narcissistic abuse, childhood trauma, or any other life-jarring experience) with the tools and resources that I’ve learned on my own path of healing. 

While I am still a work in progress, prioritizing extreme self-care has helped me to find inner peace and spiritual alignment with my true purpose, cultivate self-love, repair damaged self-worth, build the confidence, courage, and community to create a conscious business and life I adore, and become an activist empowered in creating the social impact I wish to see in the world. 

If you are also healing, know that wherever you are on your journey, you are not alone. We are in this together, and you too can turn your pain into your power. 

(For extra support, I’ve put together a free virtual care package for anxiety-relief with a few of my favorite self-care tools and practices.)

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