Profiles of Power is a series of deep dives into the lives of six individuals who we believe embody the energies of Courage, Love, Intuition, Purpose, Opportunity, and Calm. These badass ambassadors of a new version of spiritual wellness prove, beautifully and magically, that wellness is not one-size-fits-all, but is available and accessible to everybody who dares to harness their own one-of-a-kind strength.
Few periods in life are as earth-shaking to the person experiencing them as adolescence, particularly when you are also coping with a pandemic, homeschooling, and the chaos that is 2020. It is a time characterized by self-consciousness, changing friendships, and the push/pull of independence. There’s a reason why there are roughly one gazillion books and movies about this roller coaster developmental stage. It may be interesting to be a teen, but chill is not the name of the game.
For Rei Corey, being thirteen years old has an additional wrinkle adding to the tumult: coming out as transgender. To get through that experience, alongside all the rest of the cray cray, they needed to summon their Power of Calm.
“Calmness to me means remaining peaceful and mindful, no matter what is happening around you.”
The vision of cool and collected, Rei -- who prefers the pronouns of he/they -- has tips for teens and adults alike for acheiving both.
To increase the peace, Rei recommends turning inward. Weekly sessions with a therapist to discuss being transgender, to strategize and problem solve, and to simply vent about how they are feeling have been instrumental to conjuring some Calm. As have some of Smudge’s favorite tools of introspection: crystals. “Everyday I use crystals, even if it's a minor part of my day, whether it's sleeping with them under my pillow or just holding them.” Clear Quartz, for clarity, Rose Quartz, for compassion, and Aquamarine, for relaxation, all have a place in Rei’s room and serve as energetic sidekicks when they need an extra dose of zen. Additional teen hack for soothing self-care: constellation lights to simulate a quiet night sky when he sleeps and a near-constant backdrop of K-pop.
Somewhat counterintuitively, being mindful for Rei is all about getting outside of his head and gaining perspective. While reading too much news can have the opposite effect and cause anxiety, paying attention to what is happening through the lens of empathy -- particularly to disenfranchised groups and other transgender people --- has a grounding impact, reminding Rei that they are not alone. A veteran of the protest scene, Rei counts among their passionate causes gun control, Black Lives Matter, and anti-ableism. “Being transgender is difficult, but being aware of the struggles of others reminds me of my privilege. It makes me feel grateful and also helps me focus my negative energy toward helping others.”
The ability to draw from their Power of Calm certainly has come in handy during the coming out process, which requires nearly limitless buckets of patience and forgiveness -- even from those Rei knows are trying to do their best. “I live in an area where there are not a lot of people who have not experienced situations like mine before. People have a hard time adjusting, and it's frustrating for me.” Mis-gendering and mis-naming are unfortunately par for the course, as are inappropriate and insensitive questions about their body and how they dress. As Rei’s little sister, an astute observer of all things LGBTQ+ and loyal defender of her sibling, notes, “people mix up sexuality and gender, and also femme vs. masc.” To the well-meaning community of friends and family, it might feel like minor errors, but for the transgender person it can feel like their identity is being constantly challenged and invalidated.
Which makes Rei and their seemingly unshakeable ability to harness their Power of Calm all the more inspiring. “Even though it's stressful, I must remain balanced.” The payoff lies within Rei’s capacity to live an authentic life, proudly and unapologetically as they were born to be.
Team Smudge is in awe of this cool kid and their ability to remain tranquil and true to themselves without equivocation. Rei: your out-of-this-world Power of Calm pushes us all to look deep inside to find our own tranquility. Thank you.
Looking to amplify your own power of Calm? Smudge Wellness suggests the following: