We're all familiar with the pro-black, feminist works of Beyoncé, Solange, Lizzo, Janelle Monae, and many others.We’re seeing monumental things we can accomplish with these examples in pop culture, yet we’re still dealing with all the baggage of everyday “other-ness”: of what it means to be a brown person in spaces created and maintained for others.
This is a heavy psychological burdens that weigh down on us as we continue to navigate the daily ins and outs of this crazy, beautiful--and at times terrifying--thing we call life; most of the time we don’t even notice we’ve gotten so used to it. Yes, we’re seeing these amazing things happen on a macro scale, but at the same time, we have to be careful it doesn’t give us false confidence. We have to make sure we’re still taking care of our own personal evolution. To scan and identify what roadblocks are keeping us from reaching our greatest potential.
There are a lot of bases to cover and we’ll touch on them in future posts, but today we’re going to focus on what I think is the biggest act of revolution you can partake in--loving and taking care of yourself in a world that still doesn’t honor and acknowledge “everyday blackness”.
The importance of self-care is steadily moving through the black community, and I want to be able to do a bit more to help that along. As I’ve worked through my own progression, I’ve come back time and time again to meditation and mindfulness. There are so many studies on how amazing and life-changing this practice can be. You don’t need any special equipment, you don’t have to belong to any specific religion or community, there’s no prerequisites. It’s come into the workplace, schools, hospitals, and on our iPhones, but I haven’t found anything made specifically for people who look like me. People that deal with the specific hopes, fears, anxieties, and emotional and generational baggage I carry around. I’m trying to fix that problem and bring more awareness of mental health and self-care into communities of color in collaboration with Maison Synesthésie.
Each week they’ll be bringing you a new 10 minute guided practice perfect for both beginners and those experienced with mindfulness. I had the opportunity of scoring these meditations and contributing my voice and insight, but we’ll be hearing from a variety of others in the future. I think it's also important to mention that I’m involving myself as a peer and not an expert. I think that's important as we grow in this journey together.
In this guided meditation series you’ll find a variety of videos on topics that affect us daily. And if you’re not a person of color or from a traditionally marginalized community, we’re not excluding you. This can be a place where you learn deeper empathy and understanding through a lens that you might not be as familiar looking through. So stay, and get to know us.
We’ll be publishing new meditations weekly but recommend practicing at least once a day to fully absorb each of the topics we’re going to focus on. Mediation is a practice and you should be doing it every day to see real change. Make it morning and/or nightly routine. And don’t get hung up if you miss a day, I do too; just start over, and keep going. Try again. And again. And Again until it becomes a habit.
We also want to build a global, non-judgemental community around these videos… Inspire conversations across generations, race, gender, and sexual-orientation. This is a place where we can all share with each other and I’ll be the first.
I have had my own struggles with mental health throughout the years and have been paralyzed and ashamed dealing with it-- choosing to suffer instead of reaching out for help and potentially embarrassing myself and my family. I have hated my blackness. I have dealt with so much stupidity and ignorance over the years and internalized these careless comments on my worth, my looks, my history, my potential, my future… I’ve had to take a lot of power back and learn to love myself again... It is the most powerful path I’ve ever embarked on. It has completely transformed how I view the world and allowed me to take my sense of self and happiness back. I’ll tell more personal stories as we go on in future posts, but right now let’s move on to the meditation.
Today, and in all future posts, we'll be highlighting passages from different literary works--starting with this beautiful collection of poetry entitled: “The Geometry of Being Black”. We’ll also speak on song lyrics, quotes from great leaders and thinkers, current events... really anything to speaks to us and is relevant to all of us. If there’s a topic you’d like to bring up, please post in the comments below and let us know.
We truly believe a meditation practice can completely change your life. It starts with awareness of your own thoughts. If you can’t see and visualize where you’re going, you will never get there. Your mind can get in your way a lot of time burdened with doubts, fears--things you don’t even know are swirling around in there.
It takes being quiet and listening to see what’s happening, to change those thoughts and begin to point yourself in the right direction. We all have so much more power than we’re lead to believe. Sometimes it just starts with one thought--a seed--and this blooms into the life we’ve always wanted for ourselves.
Saint & Synesthésie
I love myself.
I forgive myself and others for not treating me as well as I deserve.
I take the time, energy, and effort to nourish myself so I can reach my fullest potential.