By Brigid Morrissey

I sat on the edge of the pavement by Dog Hill in Cherokee Park, observing the energy and movement of passersby. The park was alive with lone joggers, pet enthusiasts, and friends strolling along the paved walking path. Of the women I interviewed, several of them were at the park because of a change they decided to make, whether it was for their physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual well-being.

A Quick Chat: The Changes Kelsey Traughber is Making this Year

“I would like to say I strive to make physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual changes every day. Most recently, I have found myself learning to live my life based more on self-compassion and balance in all facets of life. I have always been a dive-head-first/all-in kind of person. Recently, though, I am learning the need for and positives of dipping my toes in the water before jumping straight in with a cannonball. The biggest change I have made, honestly, is being compassionate toward myself and learning to love myself in all of the identified areas. And really learning to love myself, not just on the good days. I can recall countless times in the past when I would kick myself for missing a day at the gym. I would tell myself ‘I should have worked out today.. ugh, I’m so lazy.’ Or ‘I shouldn’t feel this upset right now…everyone goes through a breakup. It’s not that big of a deal.’ But why? Why do we treat ourselves worse than we would ever dream of treating those we love and care about? Of course I want to hold myself to a high standard and be the best person I can be. But ultimately, I believe that starts with truly loving myself for the good and bad. Embracing who I am not just on the days when I ran a 5K or volunteered for a worthy organization, but the days when I stay on the couch, get carryout, catch up on Netflix, and am able to say ‘I deserve this today.’ At the end of the day, the only relationship we can ever count on is the relationship we have with ourselves. I believe it’s the journey of the human spirit to continually evolve physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.”

Check out these quick chats with Blake Meade, Caitlin Nesbit, and Minera Virola.