Issues of the Holistic Self and why it is an Ideal Camouflaged in Mantras

Words and Photography by Kerry O’Connor


The date is 01/01/19. The twitching arm has reached its final climax from the previous year. 12:01am, the bass clasps onto my breath, soulfully translating the rhythm through physical gesture, the first whip strikes, trampling upon my pelvic expression. Paused. Listening.

‘WHAT’S YOUR NEW YEARS RESOLUTION?’ already, the manifestations towards an individual’s holistic growth have begun.

01/01/19, 15:16pm. Instagram stories entertain my voyeuristic observation. List after list, future self after future self. The epidemic of perfection rashes over minds, a new year for sculpting a marble cut out of their holy grail. Better mental health, better physical health, better eating habits, better love, better sex, better rituals, better behaviours, better, better, better, better. How much betterness can be reached to engulf the taste of holistic perfection?

I welcome and crave for all to find peace within themselves. But, I observe a game of charades, competitive and hungry individuals who desire to reach a being that is complete. They leave no room for mistakes or a space to appreciate their mind’s response to interlaced repression grounding their subconscious.

I am not a cyborg whose internal drive is maximised by the creator’s intelligence programming me.

Not a perfect, completed object made to fulfil others desires.

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How much betterness can be reached to engulf the taste of holistic perfection?

I do not object the act of self-development; time well spent is to moisturise the coarse scales exerted for protection against social declaration. But as a conscious, 21st Century creature, tired of repressed social normalities of existing, I am asking that we all… pause… and listen. Listen to the voice the individual chooses to amplify. A tool of power, the voice upholds a narrative. It can tell stories withdrawn from truth, developed with ambition, wishful thinking and motivational expectations. Using this as a structure to publicise a list of manifestations for the year across social media does not form a golden, glistening aura to warm you from the inside out.

To place a future self upon a pedestal, brushing with bristles dipped in metallic honour makes the forthcoming year a challenging proposal for all. The New Year welcomes opportunity for society to engross the ego into triggering its metamorphosis. We are constantly placed on over drive, stretching beyond our past selves and into the realm of ‘completion’. We are expected to experience fulfilment and self-worth to arrive at our wholly balanced destination.

To idolise a constructed, utopia of the self absorbs mental space. By diminishing chatter of betterness clears room for obtaining growth from mistakes, it cancels out the lists of expected completion irrelevant to live a successful existence and it asks for you to be present, listening to your mind’s appetite right now. You no longer need to be spoon-fed unsatisfying capitalist slogans to achieve a fulfilled being. Simply replenish your thirst with the opportunities awaiting your immersion and hear the fizz as the social construct dissolves away- time.

Your voiceSonia Hadj Said