I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be ‘in my element’ and how I can more easily tap into that state. A lot of definitions say that to be in your element is simply to be doing something you enjoy and are good at, but I would argue that it goes much further than that. To me, being in your element refers to a mental and/or emotional state that achieves the perfect balance between feeling empowered yet also somehow comforted, where you are energized while being completely at ease, and you feel both challenged and joyful. In this state you are able to be your whole and authentic self, while also confidently venturing outside of your personal boundaries and reaching your full potential.
As a creative person, I find it particularly important to be able to access that balance and flow so that I’m able to do my best work. The duality it offers gives me the strength and courage that I personally need to put myself out there and do the work that I do. It’s different for everyone, but there are several things I’ve found that I can do to help me get there. In this article I wanted to discuss the methods I use to tap into the power of being in my element and how I believe the clothes we wear can help us do that, featuring a beautiful piece from one of my favourite Canadian slow fashion brands, Power of My People.
Often we associate being in our element with a certain place or activity. For me, that’s being at home. I’m an absolute homebody and my home is like my sanctuary, where all of my needs are met and I feel safe and relaxed. My home also doubles as my creative workspace, and my office in particular is a space where I feel inspired and open to exploring new possibilities.
Feeling in your element can also be attributed to the people you surround yourself with. I have a small group of very close friends and family who I feel deeply connected to. When I’m around the people I love most, I’m able to relax with and be my full self, and in return I feel energized by the support and love I receive from them.
Another thing that helps me a lot is intentionally taking care of my inner state. Journaling, specifically in the morning as I start my day, helps me clear away all the clutter from my mind and minimizes distractions. Focusing on gratitude in my journaling helps me practice mindfulness and reduces my anxiety so I’m able to approach my day with an open, curious heart and fewer expectations on myself.
I spoke with Jessica, co-founder and designer behind Power of My People, to get a better understanding of what being ‘in your element’ means to her: “I’m most in my element when I’m in a garden. I love getting my hands dirty in my own patch, as well as spending time in public gardens – whenever I travel I make sure to visit as many as I can. I love studying landscape design and how it can best harmonize with nature and local wildlife.” I can relate deeply to this – I also feel inspired when I’m outdoors in nature, away from all the noise (literal and figurative) that comes with this fast-paced world we live in.
We’re not always able to physically be where we feel our best. However, I’ve found that clothing can really help me feel like I’m in my element regardless of my environment. It’s easy to say that clothes are just that, clothes; but in my opinion, they can be so much more than functional basics. What we wear impacts how we feel and how we present ourselves to the world. Clothing offers a way of being creative and expressing ourselves, so that our outward appearance becomes an extension of inner self while also giving us the opportunity to transform ourselves into something new.
“I really value the link between clothing and identity,” says Jessica. “It can be a huge confidence booster for me when I feel like I’m presenting as my most authentic self. To be honest, I’ve been experiencing somewhat of a wardrobe identity crisis since having my daughter 2 years ago. With both body and lifestyle changes, I’ve struggled with finding my style ‘voice’ as a mother. I’m still on that journey, but I’m allowing myself the space to experiment without self judgement, and if an outfit makes me feel like ‘me’, it’s added to my rotation.”
For me, what I’m wearing can have very similar effects of being in my element. I find that clothing is able to ground me and comfort me, while at the same time making me feel confident and powerful. So with that in mind, what I choose to wear on a day-to-day basis becomes much more important than just getting dressed.
I tend to feel most like I’m in my element when I wear something I’ve made myself, that I feel deeply connected to and also proud of. I also feel this way when I wear something made by someone else with the same sort of care and attention to detail that I include in my own work – and there’s no better example of that than Power of My People.
Power of My People designs high-quality pieces that are meant to be the core foundation for a capsule wardrobe. Their clothing is made to be an eternal favourite in your wardrobe, with high quality natural fabrics sourced from trusted, ethical suppliers. Their shirts especially are crafted with a fit that allows you the freedom to move and conquer the tasks of your everyday.
“Power of my People was born from the desire to honour the humanity of clothing – the people who make our clothes as well as those who wear them,” says Jessica. “[Our mission] has always been to create clothing that will stand the test of time, through both quality and style. But what that means to me has evolved since we started the company 9 years ago. I used to think longevity is achieved only with tested ‘classics’, like a white oxford shirt. But I now see longevity as being strongly linked to individual identity. A white shirt won’t have the same lasting appeal for someone that feels their best wearing jewel tones, or for that person who finds pleasure and inspiration from vintage tapestries. This is why I’ve had so much fun expanding our seasonal fabric offerings over the last year. What might seem like a novelty colour or texture to one person is another’s favourite unique piece in their wardrobe for the next few decades. We’re all beautifully different, and that’s what inspires me the most right now.”
Here I am wearing the Darling Wayward Fit Tunic, made from a beautiful textured cotton crepe fabric. The Wayward style is a loose fit with dropped shoulders and added length. The oversized proportions, unique collar, and tilted patch pocket all bring a level of uniqueness and interest to what would otherwise be a classic button-down shirt. This strikes the perfect balance between form and function which is exactly what I’m looking for when it comes to my clothing. The fabric is lightweight with just enough substance, perfect for year-round wear and as a layering piece over or under sweaters. The tunic is both comfortable and relaxed while giving off a polished and refined aesthetic. It’s the perfect reflection of what it means to me to be in my element.
“We believe that you don’t need to be an environmentalist to save the world, a fine artist to inspire others, or an activist to create social change. People do their best work when they’re having a good time, and through that work you have the power to make an impact.”– Jessica Matthew, Co-Founder & Designer
If you’re interested, you can save 10% on your purchase of any shirt from Power of My People with my code EMILYLIGHTLY.
I hope this article has given you some food for thought and helped you think of ways that you can feel more in your element, too. I’d love to know what being in your element means to you, and what helps you get there in the comments below. Until next time, thanks for reading!
Note: I was gifted this product in exchange for an honest review. I’m always happy to support local, small businesses that share my values of slow and sustainable fashion. You can read more about how I work with brands in my disclaimer.