Palesa van Rooyen, is the founder of a student-lead movement called (in)courage whose aim is to awaken young women to their inherent power, and to equip them to use that power to serve society. The movement believes that one awakened woman, awakens another and one encouraged woman encourages another. IG: @incourage_official
In conversation about her lockdown experience, Palesa describes it as having been beautifully challenging! This passionately convicted lady says: “It is beautiful in the sense that it allowed me the opportunity for reconnection with myself, my dreams & my ambitions as well as with my family. And challenging, in that I have had to face some of the destructive habits and patterns that were my previous norm and have had to summon up the strength to change those patterns”.
During this time, Palesa says she has completely rebranded her brand, thereby letting go of a movement that had meant so much to her, and giving birth to a movement that would hopefully mean a lot to many more young women. This took a lot of courage and she hopes that she can inspire the same courage in other young women.
“This season has taught me that there is a blessing in every single season and that no season is ever wasted. Every season has fruit, which provides us with the opportunity to really zone in and learn what we need to cultivate during that season, in order to bear its fruits in keeping with the planting” says Palesa, who adds: “ There was a precise moment when I had my mindset shift and that was after a chat with Tammy (what a phenomenal woman). Tammy had been telling me how she was using this season as an opportunity to grow and sow new seeds rather than seeing it as a setback. That conversation changed the trajectory of my lockdown dramatically, and I went from being miserable about Lockdown to seizing every single day and every single moment”.
Palesa’s rather interesting take on social media was that, used correctly, it could be a pivotal tool in branding, especially during this time when most connection is through social media. She says people crave connection, now more than ever, and she has learnt that she could use social media to inspire that sense of connection with others within her community. In addition to that, she learnt how detrimental social media could be to one’s creative productivity if used mindlessly. So, she became very purposeful when using social media and was very selective as to what content she chose to engage in.
According to Palesa, In the light of what is going on in the world, the pandemic and the heart-breaking injustices people are facing, there has never been a time that called for community as much as now. Moreover, there has never been a need for a radical mindset shift as there is now. She says this had inspired the change in perspective for her brand, bringing the focus to the inside journey rather than the external journey. Currently working on creating content that inspired young women to look inside themselves and to finally reconnect with their inherent power and to use their gift/power to make the world a much kinder place. Her team are focused and intentional about creating content that shifts the focus from hate to love, whether that be health-, fitness- or mentality-wise. With lockdown, they have had to rely on social media to carry this powerful message across, and this has opened up a great opportunity to be creative!
Palesa’s turning point came when she saw a post on Tammy’s story: “The secret of your future lies in your daily routine”. Through this, she came to learn that how she chose to spend her days, greatly influenced the direction her life would take, and that she is responsible for creating the life she had envision for myself. “I have learnt that there is great power in every thought, every decision and every word I say, – so I have to be mindful of what I am creating, as the universe is always listening” said Palesa.
Whilst anxiously awaiting the end of lockdown, she believes she is no longer holding her breath till then but is focusing on breathing NOW and living NOW. The end of lockdown will simply be an extension of her new normal, the only difference is that she then gets to hold the hands of the young women she has journeyed with – and give them a MASSIVE hug!