This episode is brought to you in collaboration with MJ Lemon Apothecary, responsibly sourced skincare engineered by nature.
We’ve got a juicy episode today! I’m chatting with artist, witch, and entrepreneur Maheen Lemon about all the things. We geek out about skincare and her skincare line, which will also be included in the September Feminist Book Club box! We dive into her experience as a woman of color in the art industry and why representation matters, not just as a token but true diversity. Maheen also tells us about her upbringing in a Muslim Pakistani-American household and how she has identified as an apostate since the age of 7 and discovered witchcraft in her teens.
This interview covers a lot of ground but all of the topics are fascinating and I’m so grateful Maheen shared her perspective with us.
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I noticed recently that I’m constantly distracted with the noise of the everyday, then I add to it with music, podcasts, TV, my phone — all things that prevent me from being truly present.
Why do I avoid silence?
More importantly, What am I afraid of?
As a kid, I was full of daydreams and had a brilliant imagination. As a teenager, that same vivid imagination kept me up at night, convincing myself that I’m a bad person and everyone hated me. My imagination became a part of my anxiety and took over. Imagination, shame, and anxiety went hand in hand during some really formative years.
So that’s what I’m afraid of.
But through silence, I’ve come to remember that I’m not afraid of my anxiety anymore, I have nothing to be ashamed of, and my imagination is not my enemy… so why should I be afraid of silence still?
Part of it is a false sense of productivity. We’re taught that the more productive we are, the more worth we have as human beings. I’ll be the first to admit I’m addicted to busy. I feel productive when I’m double-tapping Instagram posts and calling it marketing, when I’m listening to another entrepreneurship podcast and calling it research, when I’ve got the car radio turned to NPR and calling it citizenship.
All this productivity makes me feel important. But that’s modern, capitalist bullshit. It’s a gross feeling and I’m not proud of it.
So as a first step to healing this wound, I’m inviting in more silence. Not full-on silent meditation yet. I’m just turning off the TV, saving podcasts just for the gym, and muting the radio in my car. Just for now. Just to try it.
So far it’s lead me to getting in touch with younger parts of myself, parts that used to daydream on the regular. I’m learning to be less afraid of my imagination, as it’s just as important as my productivity. There are lessons in my daydreams that I need to learn.
My first lesson is clear: There are some things only silence can teach us.