We are constantly inspired by the amazing mamas in our Tubby Todd community. In our Inspired by series we profile some of these incredible women and give you a little glimpse into their lives as they discuss family, careers, style, activism and more!
Today we're inspired by our latest collaborator, Meera Lee Patel! This artist, best-selling author and soon-to-be mama creates beautiful work including prints and her new book, Create Your Own Calm: A Journal for Quieting Anxiety (something we could ALL use this year!). Our Gift Set in collaboration with Meera features a 25oz bottle of White Tea Ginger Hair + Body Wash (a brand new, super yummy scent!) in addition to a print with the sweetest quote by Louisa May Alcott. Read below to find out how Meera kept herself in a positive mindset throughout her pregnancy during the pandemic and how soon-to-be mamahood has affected her work!
"I can attest to how hearing about others’ experiences has only helped me feel more sane, more comforted, and entirely less alone."—Meera Lee Patel
Q: You have a pretty incredible job, tell us a little about what you do!
A: I’m a self-taught artist and the author of My Friend Fear: Finding Magic in the Unknown, a visual meditation on fear and how it can lead us toward our greatest dreams—if we let it. I’ve also written 3 journals that encourage people to connect more deliberately with themselves, each other, and the world around them: Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration, Made Out of Stars: A Journal for Self-Realization, and my latest, Create Your Own Calm: A Journal for Quieting Anxiety.
My greatest hope is for my work to help others feel less alone. If something I’ve created helps another person recognize the beauty, strength, and ability to create change they carry within themselves—I couldn’t ask for more than that.
Q: Can you share a little bit about your experience being pregnant during this crazy pandemic?
A: As a first-time mama, I don’t have another pregnancy experience to compare it to, but in many ways, it’s the opposite of what I always thought it would be. I’ve essentially been quarantining since February and being as careful as I can be, which means I’ve spent most of this year alone. A lot of the traditional pregnancy joys disappeared: celebrating with friends, baby showers, fulfilling food cravings, fun maternity clothing (nowhere to go, so my husband’s t-shirts have been working just fine!). All of those would’ve been great distractions from the sickness and fatigue that accompanied me pregnancy, but the hardest part has been not being able to see my family or friends. My physical strength waned throughout the pregnancy, and my emotional and mental tolerance was often tested, but remained (mostly!) resilient.
Q: What mental and emotional exercises have you used to keep yourself in a positive mindset?
A: -Getting regular physical exercise (which for me, was mostly long walks) has helped me clear my mind and feel more in control of my health and body.
-Confiding in friends and talking to other mamas has been the biggest source of relief, comfort, and strength. I’ve learned that a lot of women don’t share the hard parts of pregnancy, but as a first-time mama, I can attest to how hearing about others’ experiences has only helped me feel more sane, more comforted, and entirely less alone.
-I practiced meditation in times of anxiety and journaled in times of confusion—both as a way to clear my mind and chronicle a time that I know I can look back on and learn from.
-Lastly, when I felt disappointed or upset, I tried to remember the one thing that always helps me regain perspective and move forward: that this moment is temporary, and like everything else, it too will change.
"This experience has taught me to accept where I am and to slowly take small steps towards where I want to be."
Q: What are some products that you’ve loved to use during pregnancy?
A: I’ve loved using the Tubby Todd mama line, which I’ve used for my entire pregnancy. Using the belly oil especially has been an unexpected source of quiet solace--the routine of letting it soak into my skin after a shower has become its own little meditative routine. I also use it on my face and lips and love that it’s an all-in-one salve.
I didn’t buy many maternity clothes this time around, but I did fall in love with this jumpsuit which is so comfortable and stretched well with my belly, and this body pillow which offers support to my aching back.
Q: Tell us the most exciting thing you’re looking forward to about becoming a new mama!
A: I am so, so excited for all the ways in which I will change! It’s a whole new foray into the unknown, and although that sometimes feels uncertain, it mostly feels pretty incredible. Along with all the lessons I can’t even begin to imagine, I know this child will teach me to live more deliberately, think twice about the energy and intentions I put into the world, and encourage me to be a stronger, more resilient, and more capable person—and I’m looking forward to all of it.
Q: How has your experience over the past several months influenced your work?
A: Being pregnant amidst such political, social, and environmental turmoil and through daily heartbreaking news has been difficult for me, as it’s been for everyone. This experience has taught me to accept where I am and to slowly take small steps towards where I want to be, whether that’s a tiny step toward a quieter mind or a tiny step toward finishing a new project. I released my latest book, Create Your Own Calm: A Journal for Quieting Anxiety, a few weeks ago, and it reinforced what I already knew but don’t always remember: to focus heavily on self-acceptance, because accepting who (and where) I am addresses my biggest source of anxiety: the battle between my heart, body, and mind. When my mind is clearer and my heart is calmer, I’m able to make work that is truer, and a more genuine reflection of who I am.
Click HERE to shop the TT x Meera Lee Patel Gift Set!