My 'not-so-little' moment

What if this was all supposed to happen?

What if it took a global pandemic for humanity to

slow down & find compassion for ourselves & others?

What if we each discovered who we are on a deeper level,

even in a small way, because of this?

I am by no means glad that this pandemic has taken place, nor would I, in a million years, wish for it to happen again. That being said, I truly believe that I have learned more about myself during this time than I could have ever imagined. Many are searching for their small moments in each day that get them through, don’t get me wrong I am too, but the pandemic brought me to find what I call my ‘not-so-little moment’. I went into overdrive mode. I was out of my internship for the summer, and I wasn’t taking any summer courses. For some, working a forty-hour-a-week job would be plenty! It just wasn’t enough for me, who is used to working sixty-plus hours a week. I felt unproductive, stuck, frustrated, alone and lost. I wanted to create something that not only would help me but would benefit others as well.

I am a graduate student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Dance/Movement Therapy, and through my program, I have had the opportunity to work as a Clinical Intern at Monte Nido Eating Disorder Center of Boston and McLean’s OCD Institute. Although I love the clinical world and intend to work in it for many years, there is a whole world that is lacking awareness of mental health—the world of social media. I began Moving with Marina as a space to be vulnerable and give permission for others to do the same. Social media is crowded with inaccurate and unrealistic representations of perfect skin, cellulite-free, highly photoshopped bodies and complete inaccurate representations of lifestyle. I would scroll through pages and pages of ‘aesthetically pleasing’ photos of the perfect coffee, the desired body, a beautiful new handbag, a luxurious vacation and so on. What I didn’t see reflected on social media was the inevitable occurrence of bad days, the breakdowns, raw photos of bodies unfiltered, or—god forbid—someone seeking help. My goal was to chart a course for change. I wanted to be an account that represented body confidence and awareness of mental health. I began using what I was learning in my graduate program and my own personal experience of living through a pandemic, and channeling that into my posts.

More and more people were reaching out sharing that my posts helped them feel less alone. It helped them see how much diet culture is ingrained in their everyday life.

It helped them see that someone else was feeling the same way as they were.

For me, it did all that and more. I have always struggled with being alone. I am an outgoing person that will strike up a conversation with just about anyone. As you may have gathered, I thrive off of a busy schedule. This pandemic has taken those opportunities of in-person interaction away from me, and what was left was me alone with my thoughts. My outlet was mindfulness and movement. I began listening to meditations while I went on long walks just to get out of the house. I tried a few seven-day meditation challenges and sticking to a routine of guided meditations. I believe this time with myself helped me find clarity and peace. When it felt like the world was spinning fast around me, it helped me feel a sense of control and groundedness. Meditating and tapping into mindfulness helped me understand my internal experience, which in turn, gave me the confidence to share through my online platform.

You know, kindness truly is cyclical. When you begin finding it within yourself, it radiates to others—it becomes contagious and others will return it back to you. If you are looking for your ‘little moment’ today, start by asking— have you shown yourself or someone compassion? Through this self-inquiry, small ‘little moments’ of compassion flourish into a deeper sense of self and stronger connections with those in your life.

To work with or learn more about Marina, check out her instagram or website



Photography by Caroline Lebranti

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