Anyone who knows me well knows that I’ve been trying to finish a master’s degree for the past three years. Yup, you heard me… THREE YEARS! Between working a full time job, never wanting to do the degree, thinking I was stupid, having a mental break down and taking an 8-month official leave, it has really taken me this long.
And now that I’m a few weeks away from finally being done, I realize that I learned a lot about myself in the process. The crappy thing is, I feel like I learned nothing about my actual topic…or, at least that’s what I thought.
After a day of writing and making a bunch of videos for instagram (follow me @ellasssofia where I am currently holding a give away!!), I sat down to eat dinner, said a prayer, and thanked God for letting me experience the trials and tribulations of the past three years. And even though I was so thankful that a crappy three years brought me to this place, I still wished Foucault’s theory of Biopolitics & Security (my research topic) was somehow applicable to my every day life.
And then it dawned on me….HOLY SMOKES!
This life I am now living as a result of the past three years — this self-care lifestyle — is an exact application of how Foucault understood biopolitical security! Hear me out and get ready to learn some cool sh*t:
Simply put, biopolitical security as understood by Foucault means keeping a population safe while allowing the natural circulation of the environment to be sustained so that the population can grow and flourish. Got it? So we have ‘safety’ and ‘growth’ going down at the same time. Still confused? Don’t worry it took me three years to get it. Here’s an example… Imagine you are a bee farmer and sell honey, but you know bees can’t survive outdoors in the winter. To make sure they survive, you could simply take your bees and put them in some type of cage-thing in your house where they would live until winter is over. After winter, you would release the bees back outside so they can make you honey. What you’ve just done is sustained the well-BEEing of the bee population, but you haven’t allowed it to flourish.
So if Foucault was a bee farmer, what he would do is take the bees and their hive, put them in a tempered environment with greenery and flowers and water and everything they had while living outside. This way, not only would the bee population live through winter, they would continue to flourish and produce honey for you!
Now, how the heck does this relate to my life? Well in the past three years I learned taking care of your mind, body, and soul is key to a healthy well-being. But I also realized that I can’t stop being productive and I have to continue to set goals a.k.a. I have to flourish. To be able to do that, I don’t just balance “work” and “life”, I realize I must address the multiple features in the one life I have. So every week, I make time to do things that keep me sane, but I don’t get so lazy that I can’t continue to kick life’s ass. I am safe from my own crazy thoughts while also pushing myself to new limits. And I’ll tell you it is entirely liberating. In fact, I think the next 365 days will be the best year of my life yet – it will be the year of Ella.
So now ask yourself, “What am I doing to keep me safe while allowing me to flourish?” Maybe you’re not doing it yet. Well…I challenge you to get ‘er done and make this the #YearofYou! Set goals and kick some butt. And ALWAYS remember WWFD (what would Foucault do)?
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