In the past few years, conversations centering around the importance of catering to our mental health and general self-care has been at the top of life’s priority list.
This has become evident as we’re growing deeper into the strict age of the social media epidemic within our culture, on a compare and compete basis, which is only a part of reasons why our true-self, identity, and purpose can become gradually hindered.
Fashion stylist and influencer, Natalie Manuel Lee, is the rising and undeniably inspirational voice behind reminding individuals why self-acceptance is key to fulfilling one’s ultimate purpose, in the new Hillsong Network series, “Now with Natalie.” The show features some of today’s greatest influencers and entertainers, such as Fear of God designer, and brother to Lee, Jerry Lorenzo, Destiny Child’s Kelly Rowland, model Hailey Bieber, and more who are opening up to the discussion of their own journeys amidst; diving into who they were meant to be. “We needed to talk about the journey, and highlight the lows. We don’t need to highlight the highs. We need to talk about the journey and the struggles, how do you overcome and how to not lose yourself in the spotlight. I think the greatest way that we as a culture, and as a society can serve other people is to share our story. A lot of times we think vulnerability equates to weakness when it’s a strength. We need each other. We need each other’s stories. The whole purpose of this show is not only to discover your true purpose and identity but also to say “Hey, you’re not alone. We’re all on this journey together, let’s learn from one another.”
Lee’s own story began at a young age, and within the Christian values she was taught in and outside of attending church every Sunday. Her father, former major league baseball manager, Jerry Manuel, and his high school sweetheart, Renette, created a rhythm of these practices for Lee’s siblings and herself.
Although unexpectedly being in the spotlight during her childhood, Lee recalls a fruitful impact she gathered from seeing her father’s platform being used for the greater good, grasping firmly to the goal of carrying those Christian-like principles and an eye for purpose into being an adult. “With Christianity, I learned my identity and who I was. The show kind of dismantles and pulls back the veil of what culture is saying our identity is in, and what I think identity is, and who Christ says that we are and who he called upon us to be. With your everyday life, we have to remember that those trials and tribulations are all apart of the purpose to the bigger purpose, the bigger picture. I heard a person say even if it’s not the thing, it’s the thing that’s leading to the thing. So all of these perspectives has kept me grounded, learning and knowing who we are and why we’re created which is who we are in Christ’s image.”
“I think the greatest way that we as a culture, and as a society can serve other people is to share our story.”
“Now With Natalie” does just that. The show serves as more than entertainment including greatly adored public figures today, but to give viewers solutions to defeating negative thoughts fueled by unshifted culture, comparisons, media, and allowing them to “protect their lens,” as Lee stated.
Lee encourages those following the series set to premiere on March 3rd, to live within their own blueprint, and disregard the heavy pressure to look or become someone else through the social visions we are confronted with every day. “Since the introduction of social media, I feel that it has fueled a sense of inadequacy, and a sense of loneliness. It’s something that’s being sold that isn’t exactly the truth. In my opinion, 80% of that is fabricated. A lot of people are showing their highlights, as opposed to their low lights, and of course, you’re not going to see necessarily the bad, you’re going to see the good over the bad. With mental health and depression, a lot of those things start in our minds, and what is in our minds is our thoughts, and we have to protect our thoughts, we have to protect the things that come in our eyes, and goes through our ears. If it gets too overwhelming or becomes too unhealthy, take the app off your phone, fast from it for a couple of days and regroup, and know what you can handle. It goes back to knowing who you are, your identity, and purpose so these things don’t affect you, and you’re comfortable in your skin regardless.”
As she advocates a lot of her time toward the growth of others, Lee makes it a key component in her life to cater to her own self-care needs as well.
One of her newest techniques, a simple but effective tool in positively stimulating the persona, is scheduling rest. Lee created a method where she’ll find unoccupied gaps within her days, whether it be 30 minutes or two to three hours, and she uses that as a time to relaxingly power up her body. “It’s important to schedule rest because I think that it’s important to realize we can’t be pouring in other people’s cups if we aren’t having something poured in our cups. We can’t give other people all of us if we haven’t rested, and received the things and time to access self-care. You have to take care of yourself. For me, I’ve been scheduling rest, taking time to be still, that’s a big thing for me because my brain doesn’t rest, but it’s been an art. “
“With mental health and depression, a lot of those things start in our minds, and what is in our minds is our thoughts, and we have to protect our thoughts, we have to protect the things that come in our eyes, and goes through our ears.”
Lee also suggests taking a half-an-hour to the full 60, a few days out of the week, before starting the day to just be still. She uses this time for a diverse pool of reasons, through worship, collecting thoughts, eating a healthy meal, meditation, and just graciously taking in her surroundings. She believes our current culture has installed that we’re always expected to always be doing, and if we’re not doing, we’re not doing enough; when in reality it’s okay to be still.
The rest of Natalie Manuel Lee’s ventures into the other three quarters of the new year are looking promising. She already has her sights set high on filming season 2 of “Now with Natalie,” and spreading her continued goal of installing the fact that purpose and identity are accessible to everyone in life. “I’m extremely grateful for the platform God has given me. Just to be able to speak the truth that I’ve experienced in life, it’s really humbling. More importantly, I’m grateful that God saw me fit to deliver this message on identity and purpose, and really speak truth and light into our culture at such a time as this with the plight of humanity, there’s a need.”
“We can’t be pouring in other people’s cups if we aren’t having something poured in ours. We can’t give other people all of us if we haven’t rested, and received the things and time to access self-care. You have to take care of yourself.”
Be sure to check out “Now with Natalie,” premiering Sunday, March 3rd on the Hillsong Network!
Also keep up with Natalie Manuel Lee on social platforms, Twitter @NatalieManuel1, and Instagram @nataliemanuellee and @nowwithnatalieshow.